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Discussion Starter #1
I am considering getting an IUD soon. I haven't had any children yet and don't plan to TTC for 4-5 years. I've been on the Pill for about 10 years and I'm starting to want to try something new. I've read the threads on here about insertion and it sounds awful (even Pap smears are painful for me) but I think it would be worth it in the long run. FAM or charting BC methods are just not something I am interested in, and we prefer not to use condoms permanently. I'm satisfied with the pill but think the IUD might be *better*. I have moderately heavy-very clotty, painful periods without anything, and the pill helps immensely. I have read the Mirena IUD has the same effect and if it doesn't, well, I can have it removed.<br><br>
HOWEVER, my concern is infertility. I do not want to do anything now to adversely affect my future fertility. I saw my doctor today and she explained that there is a slight risk of infertility with the IUD, and also mentioned the increased risk of ectopic pregnancies. She referred me to a gyn. who will be able to go over things in more detail with me but I would like to talk to people who have experienced IUDs.<br><br>
Have any of you had ectopic pregnancies with an IUD? I thought the Mirena (because of the hormone content) acted to prevent ovulation like the pill - but I guess that is wrong? Have you had a perforated uterine wall? Have you had trouble conceiving after removing the IUD?<br><br>
THanks...
 

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I work as a family planning nurse. I can tell you that most of my clients that end up getting the Mirena LOVE it!<br><br>
The main risk of infertility with the IUD has to do with infection. If you get an infection in your uterus (PID - pelvic inflammatory disease) that isn't treated quickly, you can get scarring in your fallopian tubes. This scarring makes it difficult for an egg to get where it needs to go to get fertilized. The easiest way to get PID is if you have an infection (esp gonorrhea or chlamydia) during the time of insertion. To avoid this, most clinics test for these on all women before putting the IUD in. Exposure to STDs after the IUD is already in is also risky, but not as much so. Sometimes infection occurs for other reasons, but it's not that common. If infection is treated in a reasonable amount of time with antibiotics, scarring can be avoided.<br><br>
Uterine perforation does happen but it's fairly rare. The most common time for perforation is during insertion. I would make sure you see a practitioner who inserts IUDs on a regular basis, that way you know they've had lots of practice and have honed their technique.<br><br>
The progesterone in the Mirena is in very low doses. It's main purpose is not to prevent ovulation but to help you have lighter, less painful periods by inhibiting how much uterine lining you build up each month. Most women have lighter periods than they did before getting the Mirena and over 20% of women have no periods at all (they just haven't built up enough uterine lining to shed each month). If you have heavy periods, the odds are in your favor that the Mirena could really help reduce your bleeding. I would NOT consider getting a copper IUD if I were you. This one is good for 10 years, doesn't contain any hormones, and tends to cause havier, more painful periods.<br><br>
Pregnancies in general are very rare with the Mirena. It is over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy - it's actually statistically just as effective as getting your tubes tied! I've worked in the women's health field for almost 15 years and in this particular setting for the last 5. I have yet to have a client have an ectopic pregnancy with the IUD. I'm not saying it's not possible, it's just rare. There are inherent risks with any birth control method so you always need to weigh the risks and benefits to dertmine which method will be right for you.<br><br>
My sister got a Mirena after having her first baby and LOVED it. She said the insertion felt like menstrual cramps and she was a little crampy that night but that was it. If you've had a baby, the IUD is a piece of cake! She had it in for about a 1-1/2 years before deciding to have another baby. She had 2 days of spotting that entire time! She had the IUD taken out and got pregnant 2 months later. Your fertility should return immediately after having the IUD removed.<br><br>
DH and I suffer from infertility. Even though I have to pay serious cash money to specialists to get pregnant, I'm still planning to get a Mirena after I have another baby. My periods are really heavy so I'm hoping I'm in the "no periods" camp! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
There are a lot of other good method of birth control out there beyond birth control pills. If you want information on any others, I'd be happy to share it. I'm a big fan of the NuvaRing, I used it for about a year before we stopped to get pg and discovered our infertility issues.
 

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I was under the impression that Mirena was intended for women who've already had a baby. It is my understanding that insertion would be easier then, and the chances of expulsion and perferation would be less. I would discuss this with your doctor.<br><br>
With that said, I have had no problems with my Mirena. I got it inserted about 6 months PP. I've had no AF since birth.
 

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I had a Mirena for the full 5 years. No major problems. I did have cramps for a few weeks after it was inserted, but that was it for any kind of issues. Definitely made my periods lighter.<br><br>
As far as TTC...well, check my sig. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> We weren't trying, but I'm terrible at charting apparently. Had an u/s at 9.5 weeks, the babe is in my uterus, everything looks normal.<br><br>
My dh is getting a vas after this baby, and I'm still contemplating another Mirena just for the lighter periods!
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I was under the impression that Mirena was intended for women who've already had a baby. It is my understanding that insertion would be easier then, and the chances of expulsion and perferation would be less. I would discuss this with your doctor.</td>
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It used to be that only women who have had a child could get an IUD. Then is shifted to any women who had a pregnancy to at least 9 weeks even if it ended in miscarriage or termination. Now many providers are more willing to give it to women who have not been pregnant at all. The muscles of a uterus that has never experienced a pregnancy are tighter (sorry, couldn't think of a better term) than one that has had a chance to expand to acommodate a pregnancy. This does increase the risk of expulsion. Definitely talk to your provider about it!
 

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I got the copper-T IUD when I was 21, before I had children. I kept it for 5 years before having it removed. I never had an ectopic pregnancy while it was in, however I had just stopped taking Depo Provera and my cycles were all screwed up because of that.<br><br>
Getting it inserted was (to me) quite painful. Worse than labor, in fact. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: Then again, I'm a wimp with an extremely low pain tolerance plus there are issues in my past that make gyn exams very upsetting for me.<br><br>
After I got the IUD out I was on the pill again for a little over a year before TTC, I didn't have any fertility issues when we started trying.
 

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I have the Mirena and do no want to ever be pregnant again, so I can't tell you about after that. However... I had the copper-T for over a year after my second baby and concieved my third within a few days of its removal.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>techno_dara</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7959533"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I was under the impression that Mirena was intended for women who've already had a baby. It is my understanding that insertion would be easier then, and the chances of expulsion and perferation would be less. I would discuss this with your doctor.<br><br>
With that said, I have had no problems with my Mirena. I got it inserted about 6 months PP. I've had no AF since birth.</div>
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Chances of expulsion are potentially higher, but (according to my doctor) this actually has more to do with uterine size and not whether you've had a baby or not. The reason they used to discourage it for nulliparous women is because they are *more likely* to have a smaller uterus, but that is not a given. Now I could be wrong, that's only what my doctor told me - but it makes sense?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all of the info, everyone!<br>
I'm reasonably happy with the pill, but feel like the Mirena would be even easier. I don't want the copper IUD - I've heard it can actually make periods worse, and I don't need that at all. I don't like the idea of the NuvaRing and I will not have Depo, so as far as hormonal methods I figure it's either the pill or Mirena. Price-wise, the Mirena is a better deal, and it just so happens to coincide with our thoughts on when we will TTC, time-wise.<br><br>
Insertion is a huge concern for me, I find Pap exams incredibly painful so I can only imagine how awful the insertion will be but I'm trying to convince myself it would be worth it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
Anyway, thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts/experiences. I have an appt in two weeks with a gyn to discuss things further so I hope to be able to assemble a list of the important questions to ask.
 

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I had a copper IUD put in after the birth of my 2nd baby. Maybe about 4 months after birth.<br>
I had it for 4 years. No problems, great! Loved it. Periods were same.<br>
insertion was easy and pain free but then again internal exams and paps are not a big deal for me.<br>
I had it removed Nov 1st 1999, again it was pain free, so we could TTC. I got pregnant Nov 17th, 1999.<br><br>
I highly recommend the copper one but then again I hate artificial hormones.<br><br>
A friend of mine just had an IUD inserted, just at her 6w pp visit after a twin pregnancy. It somehow migrated into her tubes and caused an infection. No one said why it moved but I think perhaps her uterus was still to big after twins.<br><br>
Anyway, I would still do the IUD if I were to use BC in the future.
 

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I think you're wise to avoid the copper T if you already have heavy/painful periods. I had a copper T mostly because I wanted to avoid any hormones and I liked being able to keep it in > 5 years. I had it removed and conceived within 6 cycles.<br><br>
Pap smears are only uncomfortable for me, but the IUD insertion was (tolerably) painful. I think a lot of it was the fact that my dr didn't warn me enough, so I wasn't really prepared for it. Still totally worth it to get off BCPs!! If I were you, I would ask your dr about how much it's likely to hurt and what you and she can do to maximize your comfort. I've seen posts about taking a pain reliever beforehand, some sort of spray numbing stuff, and injections into the cervix. Some sort of relaxed breathing, etc would probably help a lot - I tensed up and it just made things worse.<br><br>
On a positive note, there was no pain or discomfort at all when I had it removed. I think a lot of that was that the dr was more experienced, I was more comfortable with her, and I was prepared just in case it hurt <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Discussion Starter #12
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>heatherh</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7979547"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think you're wise to avoid the copper T if you already have heavy/painful periods. I had a copper T mostly because I wanted to avoid any hormones and I liked being able to keep it in > 5 years. I had it removed and conceived within 6 cycles.<br><br>
Pap smears are only uncomfortable for me, but the IUD insertion was (tolerably) painful. I think a lot of it was the fact that my dr didn't warn me enough, so I wasn't really prepared for it. Still totally worth it to get off BCPs!! If I were you, I would ask your dr about how much it's likely to hurt and what you and she can do to maximize your comfort. I've seen posts about taking a pain reliever beforehand, some sort of spray numbing stuff, and injections into the cervix. Some sort of relaxed breathing, etc would probably help a lot - I tensed up and it just made things worse.<br><br>
On a positive note, there was no pain or discomfort at all when I had it removed. I think a lot of that was that the dr was more experienced, I was more comfortable with her, and I was prepared just in case it hurt <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"></div>
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Thanks for sharing your experiences. I will ask about numbing spray. Needles and I get along even worse than Pap smears as I, so I'd prefer to have pain over an injection :-/ I will definitely practice my breathing techniques, I've learned several over the years and they do help with things like smears & injections so that is a great idea.<br><br>
Thanks also for the info on removal. My friend who has an IUD just found out that her strings pulled up in her uterus and they tried to go in there with a tool and "scoop" it out, but couldn't, so she has to have surgery!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: I will just cross my fingers I can avoid *that* problem!<br><br>
The thing I am wondering now is - tracking cycles while on the pill is worthless, is it the same with an IUD? I wonder if I can start tracking and then when I have it removed when we decide to TTC I will already have an idea of what to expect.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>crayolaab</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7981016"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The thing I am wondering now is - tracking cycles while on the pill is worthless, is it the same with an IUD? I wonder if I can start tracking and then when I have it removed when we decide to TTC I will already have an idea of what to expect.</div>
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I have the mirena and I don't even notice cycles. I have very light spotting about every 20-25 days but I wouldn't really consider it a period. I think it would be pretty much impossible to track cycles on the Mirena, but not sure.<br><br>
Insertion takes only a minute or two and for me it wasn't bad at all.
 
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