Tell me the pros and cons of hormonal bc...IUD related - Mothering Forums
Family Planning > Tell me the pros and cons of hormonal bc...IUD related
goodcents's Avatar goodcents 12:53 AM 08-20-2006
I have never previously considered hormonal birth control because I don't generally like to take pills or meds.

After researching my options for IUD's I came across alot of threads about the Mirena. Some of the benefits like lighter periods appeal to me. I have had something like 5 periods in 4 years because of ecological bf and being preggers. I don't like having my period again

My question is though, at what cost does these light periods come? What are the long term side effeects of this form of hormonal bc?

DH and I are fairly certain we don't want more children at this point, but want to avoid anything permanent. I am have way to much on the brain to take a pill everyday, and the nuvaring seems like it could be annoying.


mommyminer's Avatar mommyminer 05:14 AM 08-21-2006
I'd be really interested in knowing that info too. If you are using or have used Mirena, will you let us know your experience with it?

accountclosed3's Avatar accountclosed3 09:39 AM 08-21-2006
the risks are the same for any form of hormonal birth control--blood clot, stroke, and all of those good things, plus the decreased fertility that could lead to infertility, as well as lowered sex drive (which could be permanent) and related.

all of this is explained in Garden of Fertility by Katie Singer.
ChasingPeace's Avatar ChasingPeace 11:12 AM 08-21-2006
I decided on the Mirena IUD after much agonizing. The truth is, there's no perfect form of birth control! I was very worried because I gained a lot of weight when I was on DepoProvera. i've only had it in for about 5 weeks, so you might want to get some other opinions about the longterm effects. I spotted daily for about 3 weeks (not enough to be really annoying to me) and could feel it constantly until about a week ago (very annoying!). Those are my only complaints so far.
goodcents's Avatar goodcents 11:36 AM 08-21-2006
Originally Posted by zoebird
the risks are the same for any form of hormonal birth control--blood clot, stroke, and all of those good things, plus the decreased fertility that could lead to infertility, as well as lowered sex drive (which could be permanent) and related.

all of this is explained in Garden of Fertility by Katie Singer.
Zoe, I can't buy a book at the moment and my library doesn't have this one. Could you tell me more about the lowered sex drive, and how it can become permanent.
AugustineM's Avatar AugustineM 07:25 PM 08-21-2006
My midwife told me that the hormone in Mirena is so low that it is basically localized to the uterus, and very very little, if any gets into your bloodstream. The copper IUD doesn't have any hormones, if you're interested in a non-hormonal IUD, but apparently it does come with heavier periods.

I've heard the main side effects of the Mirena are spotting, cramping, possible "feeling" of the strings, and possibly it could be "expelled" randomly by your body. I've looked into it a lot because I have an appointment next week to get one.
Kleine Hexe's Avatar Kleine Hexe 02:15 AM 08-22-2006
Well, I do have a lower sex drive. Well, it's the same sex drive I have before I get my first pp period. I don't get that "I'm ovulating and want to fertilize my egg" craze. I do miss it. :

I do like not having PMS and painful nipples during nursing I used to get when I ovulated.

Good luck with your decision.
accountclosed3's Avatar accountclosed3 12:16 PM 08-22-2006

there are a lot of endocrinological studies that demonstrate that hormonal birth control--even the lowest doses--affect sex drive and may lead to a permanent loss/decrease of sex drive in women.

this article focuses on oral contraceptives, but i'm digging up the original publication in the endocrinology journals which includes any or all hormonal contraceptives in the information. the studies originally focused only on the pill, but are now extending out to other forms of hormonal birth control showing similar results in the preliminary stages of the study.

here's an article from Science Daily. This also gives the name of the author of the study and the journal of it's original publication (Journal of Sexual Medicine), but is a lot easier to read than the journal article. You may also want to look up endocrinological studies regarding this information.
PeacefulSeams's Avatar PeacefulSeams 05:43 PM 08-23-2006
I have had the Mirena for 3 years and I love it. I have no period at all. In the beginning it was spotting but eventually it stopped. I have had no side effects. The only cramping I had was when it was inserted. I am very very happy with it. It will be the only BC that I will ever use.
Cloth4Colin's Avatar Cloth4Colin 05:57 PM 08-23-2006
I talked with my doc at my last app't about post-baby BC. She heavily suggested the Mirena IUD because it can be used while BFing, is so effective and EASY, and your fertility is restored the second it is taken out - should you decide you want to conceive again.

For us, we want a long term form of BC, perhaps without the risk of it being permanent. DH is not wanting the big "V" anyway - even though we're pretty sure we will be finished having children...and part of me is scared to permanently rule out another child.

Due to my family history of ovarian cancer, I prefered not to be on an estrogen based form of BC, such as the Pill. Mirena is a progesterone-only based product.
momma of monkeys's Avatar momma of monkeys 12:30 AM 08-24-2006
Okay, this is just my experiance, I am sure this isn't the case for all who use this form of bc...I had dd in 12/05 and got the Mirena in early March. Had minimal spotting, one three day period in the first month. The following months I had HORRIFIC pms: , cramps, bloating, headaches, backache, etc.
I also have not been able to lose weight, which is VERY unusual for me.(I used to be a model and the like and I admit, I am a touch vain ) Even w/ eating well and weight loss (I am however bf'ing so I couldn't 'crash diet' or anything like that.
I also have been so terribly had gotten to the point that I thought I had PPD....libido is next to nothing...
My skin has been more oily since Mirena...lucky for me I use good products. I had better skin when I was a teen than since IUD.
Alrighty...those of you who are still with me is the topper: having Mirena is responsible for me being diagnosed w/ PID (=pelvic inflammitory diesese). I had noticed over the past 6+ weeks that I had a low grade fever, was very tired (whether my children ran me down or not), and just had a lame disposition. I felt like I couldn't get out of the slump!
The other big thing I noticed was that sex HURT LIKE HECK (and then some)....I finally called my doc/obgyn after taking my temp for almost two weeks and having a fever every day, every time. (For those of you who are poopooing me right now for not going in pretty much all the rest of you, I have a demanding life, and everyone else comes before momma)
I had to go to Urgent Care and they diagnosed PID. They also tried to convince me that I MUST have multiple sex partners or that my guy (who I've been with for several years...dd's daddy) MUST be cheating on me. I have no risk factors except the IUD. none. period.
Last week I had the Mirena removed (fyi...those things cost over $700) and here it is less than two weeks later and I feel SO much better...emotionally anyway (still having some cramping)....I felt happier after just a few days.
So anyway, that's my story...I left out some details and such (don't laugh )but, there it is...Thanks for reading and good luck with your decisions! c
ps...the not having periods thing is supreme
Cherries10700's Avatar Cherries10700 12:38 AM 08-24-2006
I have Mirena!

I got it at 7 weeks PP. I was told to take motrin before my appointment to have it inserted. I have had two babies med. free and OMG'sh did the Mirena HURT! I must be a bit of a whimp and not know it! lol. Anyway, I bled on and off for 3 weeks after getting it (not enough for a maxi pad, but too much for a liner). I have not had a period yet, but I am BFing my 5 1/2 month old. My husband does feel the strings when I am actually in the mood... but I don't think I'd be more in the mood without it either, I really believe that's a BF/new, tired mom thing. I'm hoping to get an appointment to get my strings shortened soon because my hubby is a bit scared...
Both of my midwives use Mirena and they highly reccomend it. They suggest it even before the mini pill to all BFing moms and they have posters everywhere. Yes, I'm sure they are given lots of freebies to push it to us, but they use it too, so that makes me a bit more trusting of it.
medicmama's Avatar medicmama 02:23 PM 09-26-2006
I have merina also but have had bad luck with mine: As it has perferated my uterus and is gone some were in my abdomen 2 us and a catscan later i now have an apoint with an ob surgon.
goodcents's Avatar goodcents 02:25 PM 09-26-2006
oh no medicmama i am so sorry.

that is scary. i have plans on getting a paraguard this week. eeks!
Shelsi's Avatar Shelsi 06:09 PM 09-26-2006
I had the mirena for a little over 2 yrs and just had it removed 2 weeks ago so we could start TTC again.

Over all I loved it. For me it didn't hurt at all when it was inserted. I mean it wasn't even uncomfortable. The best way to describe it is that it just felt like a "click" and I could feel what almost felt like those first little kicks you feel when you are prego and that was it. I didn't have any cramping or anything like that (although I remember pretending to dh that I did because I wanted an excuse to just lay in bed ). I've always had pretty terrible PMS and I don't think it made it any better or worse. It didn't stop me from ovulating and it actually regulated my period. For the first time in my life I had a period almost every month (before the IUD I would go about 4-8 mos between periods). I think it did make my periods a little lighter but they weren't really heavy to begin with. Dh never had a problem feeling the strings or anything like that.

Fast forward to getting it removed. They couldn't find the strings! They had slipped up into my uterus. So the OB had to dialate my cervix slightly and then go sweeping through my uterus with a long hook. It was very painful although thankfully only took a few mins. Then I had cramping and period like bleeding for a full week after wards.

So I did like the IUD but getting it removed was awful because of my lost strings. I think I'd like to try the fertility awareness method next time but if I ever get an IUD again I will try the copper one just because the more I think about the hormones the more they concern me.
tarablesue's Avatar tarablesue 11:53 AM 09-28-2006
I had Mirena for 7 months and it made me a pshycotic b*tch. The depression was awful. BUt I didn't have any period at all, nothing. It did not hurt being inserted , or removed.
I now have the Paragard, it has been in for 4 months, and my periods have been wickedly painful-like so painful I am bound to my bed with a heating pad and 800 mg of ibruprofin with no help. It is being removed on October 5th and I was prescribed Nuvaring and i am anxious to try it. if this doesn't work , I 'll be pulling and praying and leaving it in God's hands i suppose. Good Luck!
Alana's Avatar Alana 06:21 PM 09-28-2006
I have a Paraguard, because my body does not like hormones. I had my first period with it last week...I had one painful day, it was a bit heavier...but not insanely so. On the painful day, dh brought me chocolate ice cream, and helped.
UmmSamiyah's Avatar UmmSamiyah 12:17 AM 09-29-2006
Assalaamu-alaikum Goodcents!
So I apparently I have a Paraguard with no hormones. I like it. I have actually loved it for the last almost 4 years. I don't have lighter or heavier periods ( I did have heavier periods the first I think two months).DH can feel it sometimes. Overall it is a good buy. The only thing is it can mess with your uterus which is why I am having it removed. Nothing has happened but i don't want anything to happen.
MommyMine's Avatar MommyMine 04:28 AM 10-02-2006
The coper IUD is a good option. No hormones and the heavier period went away after a few months. At first it was pretty heavy and the cramping was quite bad but now it is like free sex for ten years with no chemicals, no thought and lots of fun! My sex drive is 100% my body is mine and I love it.
cchrissyy's Avatar cchrissyy 10:58 PM 10-12-2006
I'm researching Mirena too... go to their official website and read the patient insert, then go to the Doctor's side of the site and read the official perscribing insert.
goodcents's Avatar goodcents 01:37 AM 02-14-2007
so i finally got it last week and i am kinda - um - freaking out!

okay - kinda.... really..... alot.

i touched the strings when the midwife put it in. i touched the strings yesterday because i was having alot of cramping and such.

today i had alot of mucus which was slightly tinged with blood. mind you my period ended on sunday so i think that would be a wee bit fast to be ovulating.

and now. i can't feel the strings. and i still feel crampy. my midwife said that it is normal - to feel crampy for a few days post my first period with the IUD.

but still wtf? please tell me it will be okay.
MommyMine's Avatar MommyMine 01:46 AM 02-14-2007

if you can't feel the strings after your period go see the doc. You could have lost it. They are most often lost in the first 4m and during a period. Most people who loose them don't feel them coming out.

Go get a check.

Act as if you have no bc until you get it checked.

Since you just finished your period and don't think you ovulated yet there is little chance of pg but start acting safe just in case you don't have the IUD in.

Check again in the am- once the strings go wrapped around the cervix and were hard to find but in the am I found them fine.
goodcents's Avatar goodcents 02:18 AM 02-14-2007
thanks! so more details....

my period ended on sunday - i was able to touch them on monday.

i don't understand how they get wrapped around the cervix....i need a visual. : b/c i always though the cervix was donut shaped.
MommyMine's Avatar MommyMine 02:29 AM 02-14-2007
It is donut shaped I think but...look I don't know but they do somehow.
goodcents's Avatar goodcents 02:35 AM 02-14-2007
So if that happens how do you get them down - or do you have to go to a midwife or dc?