IUD feedback

IUD feedback

Liz2 Liz2
I am in a quandary regarding getting an IUD. I have run the gamut of hormonal birth control...wicked reactions and bitchiness personified. Now we have been using condoms (my b/f is cooperative once we found a brand that is comfortable) but my gyn says she doesn't use IUDs with women who have not been pregnant. Says there are too many risks. My limited research shows there are opinions all over the spectrum on this; curious as to any positive or negative experiences of the community?
01/04/2010
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Dragon Dragon
Quote:
Originally posted by Liz2
I am in a quandary regarding getting an IUD. I have run the gamut of hormonal birth control...wicked reactions and bitchiness personified. Now we have been using condoms (my b/f is cooperative once we found a brand that is comfortable) but my gyn ...
There is a certain amount of feedback about IUD's in the birth control thread. Some of those people are gone now.
01/04/2010
Lara Lara
I had an IUD for seven years and only recently had it removed. In retrospect, an IUD was a good choice for me at the time (monogamous relationship, didn't like the thought of hormonal birth control, etc.), but now that it's out I'm absolutely over the moon.

The IUD made my period MUCH, MUCH heavier and there was quite a bit of cramping. I didn't really notice the change in flow and cramping while it was happening because it was so incremental, but the difference now is like night and day. I've gone from a 5-day heavy period to a 2-day very light one. There's much less vaginal odor. No menstrual cramping at all. No worries about checking on the string.

Life with an IUD is fine. There are definitely lots of advantages. I've switched to a diaphragm now and don't regret it for a second.
01/04/2010
Red Red
Quote:
Originally posted by Liz2
I am in a quandary regarding getting an IUD. I have run the gamut of hormonal birth control...wicked reactions and bitchiness personified. Now we have been using condoms (my b/f is cooperative once we found a brand that is comfortable) but my gyn ...
Not that I am actually any sort of an expert, but I'm pretty sure your gyn is a little misinformed.

Sadly, IUD's have this perception of being not safe because some of the first ones used in north america were really bad and had a lot of nasty complications and side effects. Now a days? If I'm not mistaken, they're statistically the safest option. After all, consider that the pill carries risks of blood clots...

I would suggest going to a planned parenthood and sitting down with one of their doctors to talk about the options. They're the experts. Or do a bit of research online and in freely accessible medical journals. Whatever you decide, goodluck! I know that the IUD has been the right choice for me...
01/04/2010
LikeSunshineDust LikeSunshineDust
IUDs are generally used in women who haven't had children because the uterus isn't yet big enough to comfortably accommodate for one. It can cause extreme cramping and possible perforation.

Actually, the risk of blood clots with the pill is not as high as people think. Unless you're over 30 and smoke, you're more likely to get a clot from the increase in hormones during pregnancy than with hormonal OCs.
01/04/2010
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
My understanding is that the uterus changes after pregnancy, becoming more forgiving and less rigid so it better handles the IUD. The pre-pregnant (so not the official word) uterus can be more prone to punctures which could result in the device being "lost" in the body and may also make it more likely that the IUD is expelled. I truly see why doctors would NOT give and IUD to a woman who hasn't had a child as this can damage the reproductive organs, making pregnancy impossible. So I would have to disagree with Red; the risks are still there.

However, as a babyless female and IUD user, I am glad I found a doctor who would put it in. In fact, many doctors are reassessing the risk of giving an IUD to a women who has not yet been pregnant so it shouldn't be that difficult to find one if you don't have a specific reason to use a certain doctor (insurance/money issues come to mind).

My experience has been generally positive. It's important to mention that I have Mirena (which is being touted as an IUC now, not IUD) that has hormones, not just a copper IUD. I basically do not have a period anymore, but had a good year or two of spotting that was my period and not entirely timely. It was annoying but livable. I wasn't cramping up like some and even insertion wasn't that bad.

Now, I don't even remember what it's like to have a period and I will probably be an IUD girl for life. Although, I have considered going the copper route because the localized hormones have had a negative effect on my GI tract. I'm not regular like I used to be and have developed some lactose intolerance. I've talked to some others who have had similar problems, too, but I don't think there's been.. much studying of it. I suspect that users of the copper IUD have a bit harder time with the cramps and flow.
01/04/2010
Naughty Student Naughty Student
I have had my IUD (Mirena) for about 3 and half years now. I have had no problems with it at all. It was the most painful thing I have ever felt when I got it inserted but I am glad I got it. I have no children. It was extremely painful when I got it inserted but my sister in law got it done too and she didnt feel a thing. I guess we are pretty much all different in terms of how we are going to react to the insertion.

I have cramps a few days a month and I can deal with them pretty well. I have my period once maybe every 3 months and it lasts a day and it is extremely light. I find it awesome not to have to worry if my pants have blood on them or not or have to worry about staining the bed sheets. I find it a blessing to have the IUD especially when I talk to my mom who is having major issues with excessive bleeding.
01/04/2010
Red Red
I didn't say the risks we're there, I just said that I think its statistically the safest option. I also do not believe that the pill is super dangerous, I was just using it as a bit of a "consider this" foil. The risks we're talking about are like thousandths of a percent in size. I personally have decided that they are acceptable, but that's my choice to make for myself, y'know?

From Planned Parenthood -

Who Can Use the IUD: (link)

Can IUD's cause infertility: link

Quote: "Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) cause infertility, not IUDs. If you have an IUD inserted while you have an STI, you increase your chance of infertility."

Quote: "intrauterine devices, increasingly referred to as IUCs (intrauterine contraceptives) — are among the safest, most effective, and least expensive methods of birth control available."

Just me googling, and just one reference. Take it as such
01/04/2010
Red Red
@Liz2, I don't know anything about them, but other non hormonal options are cervical caps and diaphragms. They might be worth looking into if the IUD isn't a good choice for you? I feel for you, anyways, hormones make me all wacky too.

Good luck!
01/04/2010
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
Quote:
Originally posted by Red
I didn't say the risks we're there, I just said that I think its statistically the safest option. I also do not believe that the pill is super dangerous, I was just using it as a bit of a "consider this" foil. The risks we're ...
I didn't say you said they weren't there. It just seemed you were saying those risks were worth discussing. Probably just the medium of communication coming into play.

Yes, the risks are small but, then again, it doesn't really matter if you're one of the people for whom the worst case scenario comes true. Which is probably why the belief that IUDs are unsafe for women who haven't been pregnant is so widely held in the US. As a country, we seem to be a little slow in accepting new birth control methods (there seem to be about a dozen IUDs in the UK) and I can't say that I disagree with caution but, yes, it's a decision up to every woman and her doctor in the end.
01/04/2010
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
Quote:
Originally posted by Adriana Ravenlust
I didn't say you said they weren't there. It just seemed you were saying those risks were worth discussing. Probably just the medium of communication coming into play.

Yes, the risks are small but, then again, it doesn't really ...
that is, weren't worth discussing.
01/04/2010
Liz2 Liz2
Quote:
Originally posted by Red
@Liz2, I don't know anything about them, but other non hormonal options are cervical caps and diaphragms. They might be worth looking into if the IUD isn't a good choice for you? I feel for you, anyways, hormones make me all wacky too. ...
Appreciate your input. Yes, I have a diaphragm but my bf's penis reacts negatively to the contraceptive gel so he was using a condom as well. We just eliminated the diaphragm for now.
My gyn is associated with a med school, I trust her but an IUD seems like the way to go overall.
01/05/2010
Liz2 Liz2
Quote:
Originally posted by Naughty Student
I have had my IUD (Mirena) for about 3 and half years now. I have had no problems with it at all. It was the most painful thing I have ever felt when I got it inserted but I am glad I got it. I have no children. It was extremely painful when I got it ...
I will be using your experience in discussing this further with my gyn. If I could replicate it, I would be there tomorrow.
I also used the three month hormonal pill, periods only about four times a year (light) but OMG....the hormones made my life miserable.
01/05/2010
sexysavvy sexysavvy
I've had my IUD for almost 3 years now following the birth of my son. Hands down it was one of the best decisions I've made. As we've read in this discussion, the experience differs for everyone, but mine has been great. There was a bit of discomfort during placement (nothing I couldn't go through again) and then she did a quick vaginal u/s to make doubly sure it was placed correctly. About 3 months later my periods ended and I haven't had once since- you can imagine how happy I am with that little "side effect!" I've had no discomfort from it, and at my yearly exam she simply checks to make sure the threads (and therefore the IUD) are still in place. You simply can't beat the ease of use (do nothing and it works!).
01/06/2010
Lollie Lollie
For me, my IUD (Paraguard) was the best decision regarding my fertility I have ever made. It has improved my sex life exponentially.

I had never been pregnant when I decided to get mine and my midwife was VERY hesitant to place the IUD for me. I'm a midwife myself though, and I really twisted her arm and was able to convince her that I had done the research, was aware of the risks, and I still wanted one.

The risks of having an IUD if you haven't had children before are based on the notion that women with children are more likely to be in mutually monogamous relationships and therefore less likely to contract STI's or get pelvic inflammatory disease. These are serious risks if you are having sex with a partner who is or could potentially become infected and give you an infection. It is preferred to only give IUDs to women who are in mutually monogamous relationships because it was found in the most recent generation of testing that these women will have the lowest incidence of complications related to their IUD.

The other reason (not so much a risk, more of a side effect) that nulliparous women aren't often offered the IUD is that insertion and postinsertion pain is significantly intensified as compared to women who have been pregnant for longer than 20 weeks. I found this out the hard way and suffered for about 8 months with toe curling, brought-to-my-knees cramps. I cried every day from the pain, which was intensified during my periods. My midwife tried to convince me to take it out but I kept it in and I'm SO glad that I did. Once the cramps finally subsided, they never came back. Now, I have an incredibly effective form of birth control that I don't have to think about and which never ruins the moment.

Also, if you have severe reactions (moodiness, etc) to hormonal birth control, consider the Paraguard over the Mirena. It's very slightly less effective, but you'll thank yourself when you don't have hormonal side effects.
02/23/2010
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
This thread has made it clear that there are no clear reasons why the IUD is considered less safe for women who have not been pregnant and that qualified doctors and other medical professionals themselves aren't even on the same page as to why it might be an issue.
02/23/2010
Jade Jade
Thanks for this post. I'm considering getting an IUD and this has been really informative.

I've got two kids and I'm totally not ready for a third. Yet I have problems with the pill and the hubby doesn't like using condoms. I've considered getting my tubes tied, but I'm only 27 so realistically I might want another baby down the road. Which means the IUD is something I'm really interested in.

Sorry for the long post just wanted to say thanks for the info.
03/01/2010
Nerdy Nymphette Nerdy Nymphette
Well, I have two very distinct feelings about my I.U.D.:
1) Having it is one of the best things that's ever happened to me.
2) Getting it inserted was the one of the worst things that's ever happened to me.

I made the choice to get the IUD because I was having a really tough time with other forms of birth control. I'm a 20 year old with a four year history of struggling with birth control. I have an estrogen sensitivity ruling out most hormones, barrier methods were making me nervous, and the mini pill was a lot of work. I went to my local planned parenthood and sat down with an NP/Midwife for about two hours before we decided that the IUD was right for me. We talked through the pros/cons of Mirena vs. the copper IUD and I ultimately decided on Mirena and then scheduled the insert for a week later.

I was not, however, informed that if the NP did the procedure, she was not authorized to anesthetize me. No one actually told me that anesthesia was even an option for the procedure. Apparently if a doctor inserts it he/she can give you a lidocaine shot before the insert. You may have to ask for them to do this, though. I would HIGHLY recommend that you ask. For reference, a nurse walked up to me at a follow-up appointment and told me that she had given birth to 5 children, one without drugs, and the IUD insert that she had subsequently was worse than all of the births. That said, there's no baby after the IUD, which may have something to do with her less positive memory and it's worth noting that the discomfort (albeit extreme) I experienced after the insert lasted 2 hours tops.

The procedure, though, is fairly straightforward and relatively uncomfortable with lidocaine (and a higher dose of ibuprofen than I had taken). Tests were run to ensure I had no infections or STIs, then a preliminary gynecological exam was performed. They then measured my uterus to ensure that it was neither too small or too large for the IUD to sit comfortably and effectively, which basically involved them stabilizing my cervix and then inserting a small tube to measure. After it was determined that the IUD would work for me, they inserted a slightly larger tube to ready me for the actual insert. The way the inset works is really interesting. The IUD is typically "T" shaped, but the two arms of the T are folded up so that the device looks like an elongated I with two long, thin stings attached to the base. This is placed into a thin, hollow tube, which is slid into the uterus. The tube is then pulled out, allowing for the arms of the T to unfold. Then they cut the strings, leaving a little so that you can feel to ensure the IUD is in place and as a method for removal later.

As you can imagine, while fascinating, this can produce some SERIOUS discomfort. If at all possible, I'd recommend having someone you know in the room with you, especially just afterwords and I would definitely recommend having someone else to drive you home. Really, i've never felt anything quite like it...

That being said, I really couldn't be happier with the results. Though I experienced a light period that lasted a month and half just after the insert, I have since had 3-4 day cycles once a month that have been relatively cramp free. I will say that for a few days after, as I adjusted to the hormones, I was more emotional than typical, and I find myself more sensitive to emotions a day or two before getting my period. Aside from that, I've had almost no side effects, certainly nothing compared to my experience on the pill. I went up a cup size and have had a few minor breakouts, but that's about it.

Feeling safe to have condomless sex with my monogamous, fluid-bonded partner has been amazing and hot. The peace of mind and lack of human error the IUD have afforded me have been incredible. I don't really have to think about it EVER, and receiving a note in the mail informing me that I needed to renew my birth control in the summer of 2014 was unbelievably gratifying. It's awesome not to feel anxious about pregnancy monthly (however irrationally). The one thing I'll say, though, is you need to be even more vigilant to STIs. The IUD can intensify the likelihood that infection could impact fertility. But with regular testing, monogamy, and/or condom use that's easily addressable.


One last thing, some doctors, especially those over 50 (said my NP), are hesitant to proscribe IUDs to women who have not already had children because of complications with the first IUDs in the 70s and 80s. The defects have been addressed and multiple women's health organizations now endorse IUDs in younger women. There was recently a two part post on EmandLo.com that gives some more info.

Hope this helped!
05/03/2010
Blinker Blinker
The only reason that some gynos say that they will only implant an IUD in women who have had at least one child is because of the uterus' size. The way my gyno put it, putting a wire robot in your uterus can be a shock to your body, but that shock is lessened when your uterus has already carried a baby. For instance, my friend has a 2 year old kid and got the Mirena, and she says it's the best thing ever. My body "rejected" mine and I had constant infections.

That being said, I've never had a baby (just an ectopic pregnancy) and I got an IUD in July of 2009 because of serious PCOS and endometriosis, and heavy menstrual bleeding and cramps (not to mention I'd tried every BC pill under the sun and they all sucked and killed my libido)...anyway, my gyno said the Mirena IUD would work. It was great for a while...then I would cramp nonstop for days. My period went away completely which I enjoyed, and sex was more spontaneous, not having to worry if I took my damn pill at the same time everyday.

But I had it removed in October of 09. I couldn't take the cramping, sex started to hurt, I had baaad acne and hair loss. It just wasn't worth it. Now I'm on NuvaRing and I love it. I'm never switching again.

But if given the chance, I'd try Mirena again to see if it would work, but I agree with Nerdy Nymphette...insertion is a BITCH. OW. They say you will feel "slight cramping" BULL FUCKING SHIT. Imagine a tank firing missiles into your uterus for 30 seconds.

Then there's the Paragard IUD which I've heard is even worse. And for God's sake don't get it if you even THINK you have allergies to metal.

When I was researching IUD's, a LiveJournal community helped me out a lot. Here, try it out:
link

Any question or concern, they'll help. There are lots of doctors there, too. They helped me through my weirdness, so...best of luck to you, hon
06/16/2010
Kim! Kim!
I know this old and I'm guessing that you have already made your decision but for anyone else who is curious...

I've had my IUD for about 2 1/2 years now (Paraguard, the copper one) and I really like it. I recently went through a brief period where I thought I wanted to go back on hormonal BC so my gyno let me go back on BC and keep it in since it's non-hormonal. I quickly changed my mind, I forgot how much I despise the stuff.

I have had a child so insertion may have been a bit easier for me than some of the above stories. It wasn't great or fun but I would say it was the true meaning of "discomfort". Normally when a doctor says that whatever is coming up is going to hurt like hell, this was not the case, it was just horribly uncomfortable. I had some minor cramps for a little bit but was fine shortly after the procedure.
06/18/2010
Owl Identified Owl Identified
SO weird because I was about to post on this. I am considering getting an IUD. So glad this thread is already up!
06/18/2010
ThoughtsAblaze ThoughtsAblaze
I'm curious to know: have any of you who posted in here gotten an IUD, and what was your experience? I can't take hormonal birth control (the Pill made me have seizures again) and am considering an IUD. I'm 25 and never been pregnant.
08/20/2011
aliceinthehole aliceinthehole
Quote:
Originally posted by ThoughtsAblaze
I'm curious to know: have any of you who posted in here gotten an IUD, and what was your experience? I can't take hormonal birth control (the Pill made me have seizures again) and am considering an IUD. I'm 25 and never been pregnant.
i'm getting paraguard next week. 25, nulliparous too. i'll let ch'all know how it goes.
03/06/2012
MamaDivine MamaDivine
Quote:
Originally posted by Liz2
I am in a quandary regarding getting an IUD. I have run the gamut of hormonal birth control...wicked reactions and bitchiness personified. Now we have been using condoms (my b/f is cooperative once we found a brand that is comfortable) but my gyn ...
I have the morena. I haven't had any issues with mine at all. When I first got mine put in (6 weeks after I gave birth to my fourth child) I was leery at first, as to how something like this could possibly be more effective and not get pulled out and all the other questions that surround these types of b/c.

I have had mine for about 8 months now, no problems what so ever. I had the feeling like (because I could feel the string/plastic when I inserted my fingers deeply inside) that maybe it was falling out. Went in, they said I was still good to go! My period was wacked out for a while, was heavy as all get out, then it would come twice a month for a few months. It was pretty crazy, but I have to say that I LOVE not having to 1.Spend money on condoms, 2. Have to worry about having them on us in order to have sex and 3. disposal of condoms lol

I will have mine in for up to 5 years and I can have mine taken out in the event that I want more children in the future before the 5 years is up. If I have it my way, Itll be the full 5 years....my uterus is mad enough about the past 5 pregnancies lol.

I love having guilt/worry free sex! WOOT! On another note about hormones...I really have not experienced anything in the way of grouchiness or crazy hormonal activity or lessened/hightened sexual desire. Though, everyone is different.
03/08/2012
MamaDivine MamaDivine
Quote:
Originally posted by MamaDivine
I have the morena. I haven't had any issues with mine at all. When I first got mine put in (6 weeks after I gave birth to my fourth child) I was leery at first, as to how something like this could possibly be more effective and not get pulled out ...
On another note...I have lost almost all of my baby weight without even trying, so I can attest to the fact that It has yet to make me gain weight. Thank god! I was worried about that one (like the shot/pill) but so far, nothing has seemed to effect me in that way.
03/08/2012
MamaDivine MamaDivine
Quote:
Originally posted by Nerdy Nymphette
Well, I have two very distinct feelings about my I.U.D.:
1) Having it is one of the best things that's ever happened to me.
2) Getting it inserted was the one of the worst things that's ever happened to me.

I made the choice ...
Wow! They did quite a bit for your exam! All they did was a routine exam for me, took about 2 minutes to insert the IUD and off I went 10 minutes later. No pain or anything. Thats really strange that someone would offer a local for something like that.
03/08/2012
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Unique posters: 17