copper vs. hormonal IUD? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 40 Old 03-31-2008, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

I am getting ready to have baby #3 .. in 2 days actually. It will be a planned c-section due to a high risk complication that roared its ugly head last week. I have blood clots, we (baby and I) are very blessed to still be here due to all the complications that arose. The prospect of having more children ...at least right away is very unappealing to me and my hubby! As it stands now, we will NOT be able to use the pill, shot, patch etc.. (which truth be told we became pregnant with both the pill and condoms- and therefor are not so impressed with their ability to prevent pregnancy) We tend to practice NFP but at this time neither of us feel that is the best alternative, and would like something that is a little more permanent. We considered Tubal ligation, and a Vasectomy, but there is something about it that we are still uncertain of. I have heard good things about the IUD/IUS but I would like to hear personal experience. I am leaning toward the copper non hormonal IUD, but when I asked the OB he mentioned only the hormonal IUD. Is it even still possible to get the copper one or no? ANY thoughts would be helpful as I should settle on what we are doing ASAP.

Thanks,
Kimberly :-)
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#2 of 40 Old 04-02-2008, 08:10 PM
 
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It's possible to get the copper IUD (called paraguard) but for some reason I find a lot og HCPs pushing Mirena (the one with the hormones).

I'm looking in this board for the same information so no personal stories. There are a lot of stories on this thread:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=866512
Hope this helps...
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#3 of 40 Old 04-02-2008, 08:37 PM
 
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I just got a Mirena on Monday.

My doctor told me that most prefer the Mirena (she inserts about 6 Paraguards a year, and about 3 Mirenas a week) because the Paraguard usually makes your periods longer & heavier. Mirena tends to make them shorter or nonexistent. I have heard a rumour that doctors get a kick back from the pharmeceutical company for every Mirena they insert--no idea if that is true or not.

My dr. said the biggest downside to Mirena is 4-6 months pretty much constant spotting while the uterine lining thins out. After that she said usually you either have one of three things:
1-no periods at all
2-spotting for a few days every 2-3 months
3-regular, but very light periods

She told me basically that if you can get through 4-6 inconvenient months, you get 4 1/2 years of really great birth control.

Coincidentally, I'm actually here today looking for more personal experiences with Mirena. The prescribing information I got says there is no difference in weight gain compared with a placebo, but I'm reading tons of horror stories online of people who gained a lot of weight on it. I know about 6 people in real life who have it and tell me they lost weight or stayed the same on it though.

You can't get a Mirena until you are 6-8 weeks postpartum, and if its not inserted during your period, you have about 7 days before its considered "safe" and working as birth control.

It was pretty painful when it was inserted (think mild labor type contractions), which was exacerbated by the fact that my uterus is on a slant. My friend who had the paraguard said she was cramping for days after it was inserted as well. I've heard its even more painful to have it removed.
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#4 of 40 Old 04-02-2008, 09:45 PM
 
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My doctor told me that most prefer the Mirena because the Paraguard usually makes your periods longer & heavier. Mirena tends to make them shorter or nonexistent.
This is true. Most female providers pick Mirena over Paraguard.
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I have heard a rumour that doctors get a kick back from the pharmeceutical company for every Mirena they insert--no idea if that is true or not.
This could not be FARTHER from the truth. Contrary to popular conspiracy theories, we (providers), do not receive any compensation (money or otherwise) for placing one IUD over the other.
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The prescribing information I got says there is no difference in weight gain compared with a placebo, but I'm reading tons of horror stories online of people who gained a lot of weight on it.
Mirena does not cause weight gain. Your diet and lifestyle cause weight gain. It's much easier to blame your birth control than blame yourself.

The hormone in the Mirena does not cause blood clots, so it would be a perfectly acceptable choice for you if you have a history of clots. Both the Mirena and Paraguard have side effects related to your menstrual cycle. You just need to decide which side effects you are willing to accept-ie monthly, predictable periods that are heavy and longer or episodes of unpredictable spotting that will most likely transition to amenorrhea.

Congratulations on your baby and good luck with your decision.
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#5 of 40 Old 04-02-2008, 10:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kate3 View Post
This could not be FARTHER from the truth. Contrary to popular conspiracy theories, we (providers), do not receive any compensation (money or otherwise) for placing one IUD over the other.
Thanks for clarifying!
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#6 of 40 Old 04-02-2008, 11:13 PM
 
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My gyn pushed the Mirena on me as well, but I got the Paragard. I can handle heavier bleeding and cramps--I have a mooncup and ibuprofen. what I can't handle is artificial hormones!

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#7 of 40 Old 05-03-2008, 11:45 PM
 
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I've had the copper IUD for ~10 months and I am probably going to have it removed. My periods are very heavy, even with my diva. I fill it up (10+mL) every 3-4 hours in the day and every 6-8 hours at night for the first 3-4 days of my 9-11 day period. It has gotten to the point today that I felt uncomfortable leaving the house to grocery shop because I'm having an issue getting the cup placed right I can use tampons but have to replace the super plus ones every 2-3 hours. Don't let me get started about work days - I'm a teacher and only have a break every 4 hours, so it's tough to get to the bathroom even in an emergency.

My periods used to be lighter - change the cup after 4-8 hours and 5-7 day periods.
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#8 of 40 Old 05-04-2008, 03:20 AM
 
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I have the paragaurd and love it. After being on the pill for many years, than pregnant, I felt like I was done with dealing with all those hormone ups and downs. I've had it for two years and my periods were pretty heavy for the first 5 months... but now they are very normal. I've heard it's normal to be heavy for a few months and then for them to lighten up.

Oh and just to note... my insertion was very easy, didn't feel anything more then what you do at a pap. I think the insertions going well or not might just depend on the doc?? Not so much if it's one or the other...
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#9 of 40 Old 05-04-2008, 05:59 AM
 
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I had a horrible time with the Mirena. I went in to get the Paraguard and was talked into the Mirena because it supposedly causes less cramps and lighter periods. I got it because I tend to have very heavy cycles and pretty bad cramps. The CNM also told me that the hormones stay localized and so there are no side effects other than the breakthrough bleeding. UGH! First the insertion was awful. She had to use a cervical dilator (I was only 6 weeks pp) and the pain was so bad I thought I might pass out. Then I bled lightly for the entire time I had it in. I had major mood swings (I'm not sure if my family would have stayed with me much longer) and major anxiety. I could feel it inside as well. The CNM who inserted it cut the strings so short that when DH and I did decide to DTD (despite the blood), the strings would poke him all over his head and once in his urethra. I went to another doc to see what could be done and she explained that I would have to have another one inserted to correct this problem or DH could just use condoms until the strings softened up. I had to have it removed. . .it was just too awful for me (and many other women, do a search on MDC for Mirena and you will find many tales). I have contemplated going in and getting the Paraguard. . .but I'm nervous about it. . .

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#10 of 40 Old 05-04-2008, 01:39 PM
 
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Mirena does not cause weight gain. Your diet and lifestyle cause weight gain. It's much easier to blame your birth control than blame yourself.
Hello, I rarely post here, but feel compelled to respond to this. It bothers me a lot the way many providers just brush off the complaints of women regarding Mirena side effects. The fact is it does release a hormone, and that hormone can have varying effects on women.

I have to disagree with the idea that for me Mirena did not cause weight gain. Aside from the first 10lbs that I gained in 2 weeks, which I attribute to water retention (I had horrible swelling with Mirena) I found my appetite tremendously increased during the 6 months that I had the device. I experienced a constant hunger feeling that was similar to that I've experienced when pregnant. It was sudden, and undeniable, I have no doubt it was related to Mirena. My level of activity did not change while I had Mirena.

So yes, it is true you cannot gain weight without added calories, but when the hormones cause a constant ravenous hunger, it is unfair to say that the Mirena had no role in any accompanying weight gain.
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#11 of 40 Old 05-04-2008, 01:52 PM
 
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I just wanted to share my experience with Mirena...

I had the Mirena inserted 8 weeks pp with my first and had several weird side effects. I gained 12 lbs in 3 weeks, (yes, despite eating well and exercising)developed some facial hair and a very bizarre body odor. I think that some women have greater sensitivity to hormones than others. I do "blame" the IUD for the strange things that happened...

I have paraguard now and feel very satisfied with my decision. The cramps and bleeding were heavy for the first 5 months, but have subsided considerably. I feel like the discomfort was worth it for me. Good luck on your decision!
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#12 of 40 Old 05-04-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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I have paraguard now and feel very satisfied with my decision. The cramps and bleeding were heavy for the first 5 months, but have subsided considerably. I feel like the discomfort was worth it for me. Good luck on your decision!
I wish my bleeding would subside! All of these post are making me wonder what BC to use - the copper IUD is so far not working and since I have had horrible experiences with the depo shot but good ones with bcp, I am not sure if a hormone bc is right for me. :
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#13 of 40 Old 05-05-2008, 12:59 AM
 
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Just visiting this board to talk with others about the copper IUD. I had it inserted just over a week ago and had spotting for about a week. It has JUST seemed to have stopped.

Now I keep feeling like I FEEL IT all the time. It's very awkward. When dh and I DTD last night I felt like he bumped my cervix and ouch! It HURT. When I engage my muscles to lean forward a bit it hurts. It's strange. I think I should speak with my doctor. Is it possible that it has shifted position somewhat or something?

Has anybody else had some discomfort or pain after the IUD was inserted, as if it was lying funny in their uterus, and then it righted itself? TIA

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#14 of 40 Old 05-05-2008, 01:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Emese'sMom View Post
Just visiting this board to talk with others about the copper IUD. I had it inserted just over a week ago and had spotting for about a week. It has JUST seemed to have stopped.

Now I keep feeling like I FEEL IT all the time. It's very awkward. When dh and I DTD last night I felt like he bumped my cervix and ouch! It HURT. When I engage my muscles to lean forward a bit it hurts. It's strange. I think I should speak with my doctor. Is it possible that it has shifted position somewhat or something?

Has anybody else had some discomfort or pain after the IUD was inserted, as if it was lying funny in their uterus, and then it righted itself? TIA
I have not experienced anything like that with my IUD, I would definitely talk to your health care provider as soon as possible.
I have Mirena, and though I'm satisfied enough to stick with it for the full five years, I'm thinking I want to go with paraguard next time, though hopefully when it's time to have my Mirena removed (in 2011) we'll be ready to start TTC.
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#15 of 40 Old 05-05-2008, 09:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Emese'sMom View Post
Just visiting this board to talk with others about the copper IUD. I had it inserted just over a week ago and had spotting for about a week. It has JUST seemed to have stopped.

Now I keep feeling like I FEEL IT all the time. It's very awkward. When dh and I DTD last night I felt like he bumped my cervix and ouch! It HURT. When I engage my muscles to lean forward a bit it hurts. It's strange. I think I should speak with my doctor. Is it possible that it has shifted position somewhat or something?

Has anybody else had some discomfort or pain after the IUD was inserted, as if it was lying funny in their uterus, and then it righted itself? TIA
I never feel mine... I'd check with your provider.
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#16 of 40 Old 05-06-2008, 02:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Emese'sMom View Post
Just visiting this board to talk with others about the copper IUD. I had it inserted just over a week ago and had spotting for about a week. It has JUST seemed to have stopped.

Now I keep feeling like I FEEL IT all the time. It's very awkward. When dh and I DTD last night I felt like he bumped my cervix and ouch! It HURT. When I engage my muscles to lean forward a bit it hurts. It's strange. I think I should speak with my doctor. Is it possible that it has shifted position somewhat or something?

Has anybody else had some discomfort or pain after the IUD was inserted, as if it was lying funny in their uterus, and then it righted itself? TIA
Have it checked just to be safe. Can you check your own cervix? If it is slipping out or something you would be able to feel it. I had mine reinserted because it was working its way out.

In the beginning I could feel it all the time, like something cold in my uterus or something...it was weird but went away.
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#17 of 40 Old 05-06-2008, 06:28 PM
 
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I wish my bleeding would subside! All of these post are making me wonder what BC to use - the copper IUD is so far not working and since I have had horrible experiences with the depo shot but good ones with bcp, I am not sure if a hormone bc is right for me.
This is such a hard decision! DH and I are now using condoms. I hate them, but I would really not like to get pg again. I swear we've looked into every option and for us, condoms are the best choice. No hormones, no surgery, nothing inserted into either one of us. . .the list goes on.

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#18 of 40 Old 05-06-2008, 07:33 PM
 
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Neither DH or I like condoms, and isn't it expensive to go that route? (TMI) We probably DTD 3-5x per week (or more if DH gets lucky )

This month AF caused me to bleed heavily, but I am on day 5 and it is really slowing, so I may not have the looong periods I have had in the past... maybe I'll giv it one more cycle...
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#19 of 40 Old 05-07-2008, 05:22 PM
 
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I had a copper IUD for five years. I can not tell you enough how much I love love loved it! Its absolutely been the best way to go for us, and we'll be returning to it. Yes, it did make my AF heavier. It took some getting used to, but was still very managable. I would soak a regular tampon within 3 hours in my first couple of days of AF-previously I could go 6 hours if I wanted. Mostly, I just had to relearn my own schedule, ya dig? But the ease and convience and the lack of hormones in my body were outstanding!
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#20 of 40 Old 05-08-2008, 12:09 PM
 
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I'm going crazy trying to decide what BC to use also. I've had three lovely kids in 6 years, and now we're done (I think). I wold prefer not to have hormones (although I had been on the pill for 9 years prior with no complaints). Now I'm thinking about an IUD.

I live in Germany and have a few more options for the copper iuds. They have somehing called a Gynefix over here that sounds interesting.

Anyone out there have any experience with it?

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#21 of 40 Old 05-09-2008, 09:53 PM
 
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I wish my bleeding would subside! All of these post are making me wonder what BC to use - the copper IUD is so far not working...
What do you mean that the copper IUD so not working???

Thanks to all who commented on my post. I did check my cervix and I could feel the strings. Actually, turns out the uncomfortable feeling I had in my abdomen was related to something I ate and I don't feel the IUD now. We're enjoying it's benefits though.

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#22 of 40 Old 05-09-2008, 10:00 PM
 
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What do you mean that the copper IUD so not working???

Thanks to all who commented on my post. I did check my cervix and I could feel the strings. Actually, turns out the uncomfortable feeling I had in my abdomen was related to something I ate and I don't feel the IUD now. We're enjoying it's benefits though.
It's working, but the two days of my cycle with heavy bleeding are hell - I am a teacher and have a break every 4 hours, but need to go to the bathroom every 2-3 hours, and I get that weird "I wonder if I'm bleeding through my pants" feeling I haven't really had since middle school. It is uncomfortable and stressful. When my Diva cup fills up, I have like a minute or so where if I get to the bathroom I am ok, but I can't always do this...

The only other issue we have is that the string is uncomfortable while DTD at times. As bc, the IUD works great, I'm just not sure I can deal with the bleeding monthly.
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#23 of 40 Old 05-09-2008, 10:00 PM
 
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My gyn pushed the Mirena on me as well, but I got the Paragard. I can handle heavier bleeding and cramps--I have a mooncup and ibuprofen. what I can't handle is artificial hormones!
:

I've had the paraguard for a little over a year now. Love it. Periods are heavier, but completely manageable. And it's worth it to me to not have to deal with the hormones. Also, the paraguard is good for 10 years whereas the mirena is only good for 5.
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#24 of 40 Old 05-18-2008, 04:58 PM
 
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I'm considering an IUD, but I'm not sure which one is best. Neither sound like a lot of fun, really.
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#25 of 40 Old 05-18-2008, 05:07 PM
 
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I had a copper IUD for five years. I can not tell you enough how much I love love loved it!
I agree. I chose the Paraguard because I wanted something without hormones. It hurt when it was inserted and I had a couple weeks of cramping afterwards. Then, it was great. I had it removed to get pg.

I think pp I'm going to try the Mirena. The lighter periods appeal to me.
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#26 of 40 Old 05-18-2008, 05:46 PM
 
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When my period returned after the birth of my first child, I suffered from mentally debilitating PMS. I literally almost admitted myself to a psychiatric hospital. After a few of those, I decided to get pg again. Six months after ds was born, I had the Mirena put in. It wasn't bad at all, but I did have nearly constant spotting for a month. The only side effect I've had is NO MORE PERIODS! That's what I was going for. No more hormonal mood swings. I love it. I think everyone reacts differently to these types of things. You have to figure out what works best for you.
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#27 of 40 Old 05-18-2008, 05:52 PM
 
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I have the Mirena and am getting it removed on the 29th of this month. I had it inserted 8 wks PP and it wasn't bad getting it inserted. My biggest problem is the weight gain and the acne. I lost over 30 pounds in the 8 wks before I had it inserted and gained it back in no short order. Now, after working out daily and seriously watching what I eat for almost a year, I haven't lost a thing. Not one stinkin pound, no inches, no nothing. The acne is cystic and I was told by my dermatologist that it wouldn't begin to clear up till the IUD was out. I am reading the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility. I think I'll be charting for a while before I decide what steps to take next.

Erin, mom to Amelia Rose:, 6/15/06 and Lily Grace, 6/7/09; wife to Phil since 10/9/04
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#28 of 40 Old 05-20-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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I had Mirena for almost a year. Periods were fine, no real weight gain...but my acne got HORRIBLE. Especially around the jaw line. I now have many scars to show for it. One other thing was that the cycle after I had it taken out I had my platelets drop extremely low- basically an autoimmune reaction. Not sure if this was the Mirena- or coming off the hormones- but it was a heck of a coincidence.

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#29 of 40 Old 05-20-2008, 03:04 PM
 
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I just met a woman this weekend whose milk supply took a serious nosedive after getting the Mirena inserted pp.

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#30 of 40 Old 05-20-2008, 05:15 PM
 
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I had Mirena for almost a year. Periods were fine, no real weight gain...but my acne got HORRIBLE. Especially around the jaw line. I now have many scars to show for it. One other thing was that the cycle after I had it taken out I had my platelets drop extremely low- basically an autoimmune reaction. Not sure if this was the Mirena- or coming off the hormones- but it was a heck of a coincidence.

Jenny
mommy to Quentin (5) and Ariel (2)
hmm my acne has gotten worse since being on Mirena too. I just attributed it to being off the pill (which really cleared up my skin, it was amazing, so much that I debated switching BC for that reason). Interesting.
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