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Thinking of getting an IUD - have you ever had one?

2015 Views 19 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  flitters
I had my postpartum appt. this week and got fitted for a diaphram. Came home and dh said no-way, not pregnant proof enough! So he really wants me to get an IUD.

I want to hear from others who have had them and what they think about em. I'm not too excited to set myself up for more uncomfortable periods. I know my babe is only 2 mos. so it could be awhile, but probably not! W/ dd they returned when she was 3 1/2 mos.

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I got a Mirena IUD 6 weeks postpartum. I bled for a day after having it put in and other than that, I haven't had my period AT ALL since (DD is 13 months old.)

I have heard that an IUD can diminish milk supply, but I've NEVER had a problem with supply. I've also heard that it can diminish sex drive. I have virtually no sex drive, but that could be due to other factors as well as to the IUD.

The only thing I can say I don't like about the IUD is that now I am thinking about TTC and instead of just not taking the pill, or not using condoms I have to go back in to the doctor to have it removed. Pain in the butt... So if you're thinking about TTC in less than a few years, I wouldn't neccessarily recommend it, but otherwise I can't complain.
i had a copper T IUD for about 5 years.

it was easily my favorite ever method of birth control, and i've used a variety of methods:

condoms - perfect starter birth control but i find them irritating and dh hates them so between the two of us we were being too risky about not using them every single time.

bcp - i was on it for 3 months and it caused me to have a stroke. i was 19 with no common risk factors. recent research indicates elevated risk of stroke from bcp for women with ocular migraines which i get once or twice a year, though i had only had one or two ever before i was 20. long story short - no more bcp for me and all is well.

diaphragm - used it for 2 years and was the single worst thing ever for sex. my main problem is that i'm allergic to spermicide. miserably so.

IUD - did i a lot of research on this (which i hearily recommend doing) especially because doctors are typically extra cautious giving them to women without children (not an issue for you). i was not comfortable with any synthetic hormones so copper was an easy choice for me, also because it has a long lifespan. my periods have always been easy and they remained that way. *maybe* a tiny bit more cramping and occassional spotting after sex. only other side effect of note was that in certain positions the inch or so of cord that comes through the cervix would poke dh in the tip of the penis during sex. not particularly painful for him, but not comfortable either. the IUD easily gave us the most enjoyable protected sex ever. i had my IUD removed in midaugust and we are trying to conceive now. for me the inconvenience of going to the doctor for its removal was completely irrelevant (and far less uncomfortable than the insertion). for me the IUD was hugely less of a pain-in-the-butt than the pill or condoms or a diaphragm. it also doesn't take months for hormones to settle down to normal levels after its removal though it is recommended to wait one cycle before ttc.

anyway, that's just been my experiences and i have every intention of getting another IUD after we have a baby.

it is definitely not for everyone... there are some definite medical conditions that are good reason to never use an IUD. and i think gut instincts are really just as important. if you're not comfortable with the idea of a foreign body in your uterus, you'll possibly be so worried about it all the time it could affect quality of life.

for me though, it was really the birth control method that afforded the highest quality of life, the least discomfort and the least stress.
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YUP....I have a copper T! Love/hate it. Love it because of the convience and the "not having to think of it." Hate it b/c my periods are heavier and longer. Give and take!

BTW...moving this to Healthy Body forum!
I've got a copper T also - which you'll want if you're breastfeeding instead of the new Mirena w/hormones. I like it because of the "not having to think about it" factor. At first the strings did poke DH, but now they're kind of curved up around my cervix, so I don't think they bother him anymore. I have less than an inch of string though. I've done condoms, diaphragm, and bcp, both regular and the mini-pill.

When I got fitted for the diaphragm, we tried the cervical cap as well to see which I'd prefer - I didn't think I could get the cap "screwed on" right, so I went with the diaphragm. Well, using a diaphragm, or rather, NOT using the diaphragm out of sheer laziness, is how I got pregnant with DS in the first place.

BCP is nice, but when you're breastfeeding & using the mini-pill, it's a pain-in-the-rear. I'm interested in the patch, but again, for breastfeeding, that's not possible. I like what the commercial for the patch says, "It's not that remembering to take the pill is so hard, it's just that it's so easy to forget." Which is absolutely, dead-on.

Regarding heavier periods - I've always been irregular, so that's continued, but my last period was quite a bit longer than usual and quite heavier. The cramps weren't significantly worse, but I've had bad cramps for a while, which is why I switched from bcp to the diaphragm a few years ago. I called my midwives, who thought the length and the heaviness might be attributable to the fact that I went 2 months without a period. But who knows! I didn't think that the heaviness or the crampiness or the length much interfered with anything, but my son's 13 months now - I don't have a tiny, non-sleeping newborn on my hands!

The other major factor in getting the IUD for me was that I really, truly, totally do not want to have another baby yet. I'm hoping that we'll start TTC when DS is 3, which is in another 2 years. Because I had to pay for my birth control myself, after 2 years with the IUD, theoretically it will have paid for itself since I was spending 25-30 dollars a month on the pill (though for a while there we went pill-less and just used condoms).

Condoms are good, but they can interfere a bit in sex for us, which I'd rather do without. I do like DH being in charge of birth control for once, though.

As far as percentages go, the IUD is second only to Depo, from my understanding. The failure rate for my copper T is listed as less than 3%, which I think is pretty darn nice.

One last thing, if you do get it, before you go to have it inserted, be sure that you don't have to poop. It will hurt a lot more than it should if you have that added pressure.
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I've got a copper one as well. I've had it for 10 months now and have not had significant cramping or heavier periods. My period returned 8.5 months post-partum. I do have some spotting now, but I don't know if that's from the IUD or from just things getting back to normal.

I don't know if I'd do it over again. As far as birth control goes it's excellent, but after doing some reading by holistic/natural type practicioners I am concerned about having something constantly irritating my body. Also, while BCP were covered under my insurance it turns out the IUD was not. Of course I wasn't smart enough to check this out before hand. Whole thing cost 687 (IUD and insertion) which isn't cheap!
I am concerned about having something constantly irritating my body
That's exactly my concern. But it does seem like the best option as far as not having to think about it and the failure rate is actually 1%.

I was on BCP for 2 1/2 yrs. and got a blood clot. Then the progestrone only pill for 2 1/2 yrs. and I bled all the time. I did NFP for 2 yrs. and got pg. when we used a condom. We used NFP for 2 more yrs. before not-trying-to-avoid #2 (IYKWIM). I would really like to just do NFP again, but dh is too worried about having another and needs the peace of mind that it won't happen.

ohMel - how long did you have it in before your periods returned? Part of me feels like I should at least wait until they come back, but there's a chance we may lose our insurance at the end of the month so I'd want to get the IUD now.
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Originally posted by smeta
That's exactly my concern. But it does seem like the best option as far as not having to think about it and the failure rate is actually 1%.
hmmm, to me it didn't feel irritating. i guess the way i considered it, my body got used to it the same way someone would get used to a piercing or something. it just meant the environment inside my uterus just got a new chemical balace that is way unfriendly to sperms/conception... not that my uterus was irritated for 5 years.

Originally posted by smeta
I was on BCP for 2 1/2 yrs. and got a blood clot.
oh, this is interesting, though slightly off topic - sorry... 2 people in this short thread with a blood clot from the pill. how did yours happen? did you have other risk factors? what kind of pill did you use? i took triphasil (i think - it's been so long) for about a month and a half or so then got switched to orthocept which i took for maybe a month when i had the stroke. like i said before - no risk factors except the ocular migraine which was only discovered to be related to stroke recently.
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I had the Mirena IUD inserted about 8 weeks after dd was born. The insertion itself wasn't any more uncomfortable than an extended pap smear. (although anything less than the stitching I had after dd's birth is going to seem easy to me!) My experience was a little different though, because I bled off and on for about five weeks after the insertion, which the dr says isn't uncommon. Also have had a little spotting after intercourse. But, I don't feel it and don't have to worry about it, which is the biggest bonus!
it just meant the environment inside my uterus just got a new chemical balace that is way unfriendly to sperms/conception... not that my uterus was irritated for 5 years.
This is where the readings I was doing (and of course I don't have them now to cite) would disagree. They said that the IUD causes the body to be in a constant state of inflamation. That having a foreign body inside an organ (not just through a piece of skin) would always throw the body off. If this is of concern to you, I'd suggest finding some holistic/natural readings and see what they suggest.

smeta, I had the IUD inserted last December at 3.5 months post-partum. It was another 5 months until I got my period back.
I had a cooper IUD put in last year in Aug.And I'm right now looking into other options so I can get it removed as soon as possible.
I have had infections non-stop starting about two months after I had it put in.I get rid of one and another comes back within a week.Which makes sex uncomfortable to say the least and has dropped my sex drive to zero.Horrible cramping and has really messed up my periods.
I did it because my dh doesn't want any more kids and wanted me to have my tubes tied and I don't feel the same way.I had to come up with another option that would satisfy him and this is what I came up with.
Maybe I'm in the minority and it doesn't bother other women like this.
gosh sonya, i'm so sorry - that sounds so awful. i hope your recovery is quick.

i think i probably misstated what i meant about irritation... i've read mixed things about how much it actually causes inflamation inside... i do think there is more internal irritation from an IUD than with something like a piercing, but i still think it was very minimal for me. clearly there are other people who are made very uncomfortable by it so it is certainly not a good option for them. to me, what mattered a lot in this case was that every other form of birth control (except NFP which is not a reliable option with my very irregular cycle) caused me irritation and inflammation which bothered me where the IUD did not.

one thing i forgot to mention was how painful the insertion was for me. i think the doctor actually screwed up and was not skilled or well practiced inserting them. the painful moment was when she pushed the uterine sound (a thin metal pole to measure uterine depth) in too far. that was the single most painful moment of my life (luckily it has been pretty lacking in significant pain). the rest was just uncomfortable, including the actual insertion which took her 2 tries because she didn't properly deploy the applicator. grumble. moral of this story is to find a doc who you are confident has inserted many IUDs during his/her practice.
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I wasn't saying about your comment personally flitters.I was just commenting that while a lot of women seem to really like the IUD it can have some complications for some women and make them miserable.Plus,what I have found on the internet since I started having problems makes me want to get it out ASAP.The warnings that go along with the IUD can be very dangerous.(Not saying that bcp's are any less dangerous or anything.)Just the thought of having to have surgery to remove it if there is something bigger wrong than just infections scares me.It is really making me nervous about my appointment to go have it removed.
the warnings are real but until you get your appointment try to remember that incidence of complication is really unusual... there are some kinds of infection that are particularly bad with the IUD (std types mostly) but there are lots more infections that suck but are no more harmful that without the IUD. you're probably just fine, only intolerant to it for some reason. if it's hard to get an appointment with your doc to take it out, you may want to ask for an ultrasound soon to make sure it's in the right place meanwhile... just for peace of mind. i got a vaginal strep infection in january (never had anything like it before - dh and i actually both had strep throat at the same time too - icky stuff). i was really scared from what i had heard about the IUD and infection but my gynecologist gave me lots of information which reassured me and she also sent me for an ultrasound which eased my worries. odds are your removal will be uneventful and quick... it was actually surprisingly quick for me - a quick tug, about 20 seconds of moderate cramping, a tiny bit of spotting, and that's all. good luck!
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I have a Mirena. I got it while bf'ing, but 10 mos. out. I have had some problems with irregular spotting, but now that I'm having periods they are very, very light. Since most of the hormones in the Mirena at locally and not systemically (and even if they were systemic, they are the same ones as in teh mini pill [the one bf'ing women take] only in much smaller doses) it has not shown to be a problem with bf'ing.
I have the copper- T IUD. I have had it for 3 years now. I got it 2 months post partum... didn't have any problem with insertion or spotting afterwards. For me it was a good choice b/c it was non hormonal.... Dh and I had used condoms for 4 years, 1 time it broke and I had dd. I had tried 3 different bcps after trying depo for 9 monthes... I figured out my body can't handle hormonal bc.

I tried the diaphram for a while, but it caused a lot of irration and yeast infections....I think I was allergic to either the latex or spermicide, plus I left it out one night and my cat chewed a hole in it...

For me the IUD was the best option b/c I didn't want to take the risk of getting pregnant so soon after dd was born... although I didn'tstart menstrating again until 13 months after she was born.

the only drawbacks for me now are more cramping, before and after menstrating it is getting severe now so I think I am going to have it taken out plus I would love to have another baby now. At first i didn't have the cramping but it has steadily grown worse.

some people have no ill side effects... some minor ... and some like my freind had one put in and her body rejected it and within a few weeks spit it out. you could always try it ... you may like it or decide it is not for you and have it taken out

btw since the Copper-T is non hormonal doesn't effect milk supply at all... good luck in your decsion

another thought if dh doesn't want anymore kids why don't you both think about him getting a vasectemy .... instead of you doing bc or even more trumatic getting tubes tied... just a thought

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Originally posted by slinkypea2

I tried the diaphram for a while, but it caused a lot of irration and yeast infections....I think I was allergic to either the latex or spermicide, plus I left it out one night and my cat chewed a hole in it...

the cat thing is just cracking me up!

i had the same problems from the diaphragm - irritation, yeast, itching... i experimented a bit after and i think i'm allergic both to latex and spermicides.

i *wish* my pet hamster had chewed a hole in mine one night when i left it out!
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I got mine when Dd was 9 months old and got my period the next month but I don't think it was because of the IUD just because my body was ready. I did not have any problems with my milk supply. I did not have any problems with the insertion but I did have cramping for about 24 hours after the fact. I also had spotting for about 5 days and then everything was fine UNTIL about 5 months later when I found out that I was pregnant!! I was the first patient that got PG with my dr in the 10 years that he was putting them in. I would definatly reccomend it but in my dituation I would also ask for an internal u/s to be sure that it was in correctly. Good luck!
Just wanted to say thanks for all your imput ladies! I decided to just try it and see how it goes - got the IUD about a week and a half ago. Bled for a few days after, but otherwise haven't noticed it yet.

Flitters - I was on Ortho Tri-cyclen, had no risk factors and nothing that would pre-dispose me for having a clot. To this day, all they can blame is the pill. Did you 'have' to be on blood thinners during pg. and post-partum? The drs. want me to, but it seems like they really don't know if it's even neccessary, so I'm not sure if I'll do it if I have another baby.
i hope the iud works well for you!

i'm currently trying to conceive my first baby so i can't speak from past experience, but i spoke with the stroke center recently and they said in my case there was no extra worry about clots when pregnant. they said tendency to stroke when pregnant has to do with added blood volume, not clotting agents. i will have another blood screen when i do get pregnant to make sure my clotting factors are all normal and unless some test comes back showing added risk, i won't go on blood thinners for pregnancy.
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