can I remove my IUD myself? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 10-09-2005, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Finally did some PubMed research that showed there is minimal published research in the area of affect of levonorgestrel (Mirena) IUD contraception on milk supply...but the ONE study that there is, showed that a significant number of babies started supplementary foods earlier and weaned earlier when their moms were using that type of IUD, compared to a copper IUD . All the info out there that says progestin does not affect milk supply is actually based on studies of moms taking progestin ORALLY (i.e., the mini-pill). As for my doctor and countless web or print articles claiming that an intra-uterine device releasing progestin is even less likely to interfere with milk than the pills because the hormone is not released into the bloodstream, that is apparently an ASSUMPTION. Not a single published article supports that claim. Someone made it up and then everyone else repeated it until it came to be true . MAYBE having progestin delivered directly to your uterus is WORSE for milk than taking it orally and metabolizing it through your digestive system.

Anyway having learned this I really want to just take my Mirena out immediately and try to relactate. I had considered DS (2) "weaned" as of about a month ago but I let him nurse practically all day yesterday and a couple times when he pulled off I saw a few drops. I think I could probably get my milk back, if this is truly the source of the problem. I also have a week's worth of domperidone I could try to jumpstart things with. He is soooo much happier this weekend than I've seen him in weeks. He just really wasn't ready to be weaned.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I want to get this thing out of me NOW, not wait until I can get an appointment somewhere. I don't even have a midwife or OB/GYN since we moved here not too long ago. When I had my first Mirena removed in order to conceive DS, the midwife just firmly yanked on the string and it came right out. It didn't hurt. So I'm wondering if I can do the same thing or if I might hurt myself. Anyone ever do this on her own?

TIA!
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#2 of 9 Old 10-09-2005, 12:30 PM
 
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((((hugs)))) I'd have the doc do it, and I'd tell him/her why.
even oral progestin runs the small risk of lowering milk supply (something like .5% but it's still a possibility) and depo-provera has an even higher risk of that happening. I can't believe they didn't inform you of that possibility when they gave it to you!

good luck relactating! it's a wonderful thing you are going to do for your baby.
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#3 of 9 Old 10-09-2005, 12:37 PM
 
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I don't think so. I *think* that it would be to hard on your cervix to do so. But if you have planned parenthood around there, you could get it taken out by them I think. That is what I am planning to do anyway so I hope so. You could make the situation sound more extreme if you need too to get a quicker appt.

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#4 of 9 Old 10-09-2005, 08:49 PM
 
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I've heard of women doing it themselves before. Just grabbing and slowly and gently pulling the strings is the same way that they take it out. It folds up and comes out. It's really easy to do. I've heard stories of women though that inserting it or removing it can cause an anxiety-type response where they pass out, but don't know how often that occurs.
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#5 of 9 Old 10-10-2005, 02:09 AM
 
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In all likelihood it wouldn't be any problem, especially if it hasn't been in long. All the doc does is yank it out. However, I'd be hesitant to do it myself on the off chance it had become embedded in the uterine tissue or wasn't oriented correctly. The chance may be terribly slim, but I wouldn't want to take the risk. I'd want it checked first, and it would take only seconds for the doc to remove it after the check.
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#6 of 9 Old 10-10-2005, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I got an appointment for 2:30 this afternoon! But it will cost $80 and they don't take insurance . I can file it myself but I think we haven't met our deductible yet...oh well.

I asked DH to do it but he declined :LOL
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#7 of 9 Old 10-10-2005, 12:54 PM
 
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Just something else to consider. I had a Mirena last year for a couple months. It gave me a pelvic infection and I was having a lot of cramps, so went to the ER cause I was worried about perforation, etc. The doc didn't know much about IUD's. He checked to make sure that he could feel the string, and didn't know what he was doing. Said it wasn't there! I checked and it was fine. The doc consulted with a GYN and decided to take it out. I ask him if he knows what he's doing and he says, I think you just pull it out. Grrr!! I *knew* that's how you get it out, as I'd researched it but was scared of the perforation thing so didn't do it myself. He used forceps and pulled it out. The bleeding and cramping stopped soon after that. But just so you know, docs don't always know what they are doing either. If I was having issues again, I'd probably just do it myself. But if you are seeing a midwife or OB, they should know. Good luck with it.

-Marsha
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#8 of 9 Old 10-10-2005, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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UPDATE -- got the IUD removed this afternoon, although it was a little tricky. The midwife couldn't see the string, so she called in the other midwife, and she couldn't see it either, but then they both checked manually and agreed that they could feel something that MIGHT be the very end of the string. I felt it too. There is no way I could have pulled that sucker out myself! There was nothing to grab onto. I was a little anxious but the first midwife decided to give it a try with the forceps and she got it. So that's solved.

The downside to the appointment, however, is that I was looking forward to meeting this midwife because she attends homebirths, and I hope to have our next child at home. Unfortunately I didn't get the greatest feeling that she would be right for me. She was perfectly nice and spent quite a bit of time talking to me but some things she said really put me off. Like I mentioned having my son at the birth center across the state, and how I pushed for four hours, and she was shocked and incredulous. Not only that, she was telling me I remembered it wrong. Her words were something like, "You must not have REALLY been pushing, they wouldn't have let you push that long." Well, I remember it just fine, and I did push that long, although I didn't know how long it took until afterwards, and I'm DAMN GLAD nobody at the time let on AT ALL that it was taking a long time. I was absolutely full of confidence that I was going to push my baby out and meet him soon, and I think it would have been horribly undermining for someone else to start getting antsy about the length of time, or --gasp-- suggesting a hospital transfer. A while after the birth I requested copies of my records to refresh my memory of what happened and it's pretty exactly as I remember it. I started pushing around 3:30 and my son was born just before 7:30. So besides telling me I was wrong about what I remember, she told me she would never allow a mother to push for that long at a homebirth, because they have to be more careful at a homebirth or they'll ruin it for everybody : . So in other words, unless everything about your homebirth is going totally IDEAL and FAST, you're going to get transferred. Not at all what I wanted to hear.
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#9 of 9 Old 10-10-2005, 07:07 PM
 
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The downside to the appointment, however, is that I was looking forward to meeting this midwife because she attends homebirths, and I hope to have our next child at home. Unfortunately I didn't get the greatest feeling that she would be right for me.
I am glad you had an oppertunity to meet the midwife and get to know her. Also, I am relived that you didn't remove the IUD yourself :LOL that was freaking me out, shows how comfortable I am with my body.
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