Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

paragard for bipolar patients?

23 posts in this topic

Posted

i am a frequent lurker and post very infrequently, but was wondering if anyone here has used paragard and is bipolar. i am terrified of the procedure, but my gyn thinks it's the best option for me since HBC makes me bananas. anyone have any words of wisdom? success stories? thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

You mean the IUD? What part scares you, exactly - insertion itself? Have you tried looking up how it's done? Also, if you go right after your period (I hear) it's much easier since your cervix is already open. Personally I really want one (although I'm not bipolar, I do have a uterus) but I can't have one which makes me sad and is frustrating.

 

I'd suggest looking up what Our Bodies, Ourselves has to say on the subject. That's a good book when it comes to women's health.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Paragard is the copper IUD, it doesnt release any hormones like the Mirena. I am bipolar, I have a Paragard, and I LOVE it. It is hormone free, it lasts TEN YEARS, and other than checking once a month to make sure the cord is still there, you can pretty much ignore it.

 

I am on my second one, I had my first one put in when I was in my late 20s, and ten years later I had it replaced with a new one.

 

I wont lie to you, it did hurt a lot when the doctor put it in, but only for a minute. After it was inserted, I had slight cramping off and on for the first month, but after that I couldnt feel anything. I have not had any side effects from it, my periods did not get any worse, and I have never gotten pregnant.

 

So I highly recommend it. The only downside I had was the insertion pain, but that did not stop me from going back for a second IUD when the first one wore out. I would do it again in a second.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I have one. Have you had kids? That makes the insertion hurt a bit less. That being said, the insertion wasn't so bad, but I DID have really bad cramps for a few days after I had it put in that were next to unbearable. TOTALLY worth it. I would do it again in a heartbeat, and I probably will in four years. 

 

I was scared too, but like you, I found that hormones were not worth it at all because yeah, they made me even more insane and WE CAN'T HAVE THAT! I've only been a generally mean person once in my life and it was when I was on HBC. I like being NICE and not yelling every time someone doesn't breathe right so I got the Paraguard. I love it. Insertion took less than five minutes.

 

I feel like an idiot because I basically never check for my strings and just assume they are still there. Which was weird because when I first got it I checked for them at least once a day, probably more because I was afraid it would fall out.

 

Whatever, totally freaking love it, has no effect on my moods, would recommend it to absolutely everyone who's looking for a long-term birth control. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I have used paraguards for five years, the HBC issue is an issue for me too. I have not had kids and have cervix issues (inflammation etc) but I found the insertion fine, uncomfortable but not painful as such, a bit of cramping a a light bleed after insertion, but nothing that a painkiller and some deep breathing didn't fix. Some people find that their periods become heavier at first, see how you go. If it's not for you, getting it removed is easy and there is no effect on your fertility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

thanks ladies! i have not had children yet, so i guess i'm bracing myself for the worst pain imaginable for insertion. still waiting to hear if insurance will cover any of it. i feel like it's my only choice that's effective, seeing as how HBC turned me into an evil person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

just chiming in to say i loved mine as well, had it for ten years.  being prepared for the pain is good, but remember it is VERY quick - it only takes a minute to insert it.  and if you lose your strings or can't find them at some point, it's ok - just tell your doctor, and you'll probably have an ultrasound just to make sure the IUD is still there.  i lost mine and everything was fine (some people lose their keys, i lose strings that are atatched to my body heh).  i think the copper IUDs are a great choice, and i wish there was more education available about them as an alternative to HBC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Also chiming in to say I have a copper IUD and I am bipolar. It doesn't affect hormones in any way, it's wonderful. I also have the issue of hormones making me go batshit. 

Edited by Parapluie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I've been thinking about paragard. I have horrible periods, when I have them that is, so I've heard horror stories about periods getting worse. That has me nervous. Other than that I don't know if my insurance would cover it. I was thinking of talking to my ob/gyn about it soon. I just don't do well on birth control pills, I'm on them now, so I figured something like this would be better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

To preface, there are a lot of people for whom it works great, as you can see.

 

For me however, it was fucking awful. Everything was fine, until my first period. I got cramps, bad ones- which I'm no stranger to, so I soldiered on. My first period lasted 13 days. 13 days of bleeding. I phoned my clinic to check if this was normal, I was told it was fine. over my next few periods the cramps got worse- they would literally disable me for days on end, all I did was lay on my floor with a hot water bottle and try to stop wishing for my uterus to fall out. Not a single period I had was shorter than 11 days, and after it ended I did not get 21 days of rest in between, I'd get a week and a bit, followed by another 10+ days of bleeding. The pain in my abdomen was primarily focused on one side, knowing this was wrong, I went to go see the doctor who had put it in to have an exam. She did an ultrasound, told me it was still in the right place, and everything was fine (when it most certainly was NOT) and sent me home.

 

In this time I had a decreased appetite, and increased anxiety and depression (some of the worst I have ever experienced). I believe this was my body reacting poorly to the copper. That being said- I have no proof. I was never tested for it and it's just a hunch. What is not a hunch is that after a few months of heavy bleeding I was pretty severely anemic. I became extremely fatigued and spent the next few months that way, until some blood tests confirmed that I needed to be taking iron supplements. In the sixth month, my pain got so bad that I had to go to the emergency room. I was having sharp stabbing pains (same side) that were radiating throughout my whole body.

 

The emergency room doctor told me that it was likely I had a cyst and that they were very common with copper IUDs. I asked why, and she told me that the copper iud basically works by making the uterus such a hostile environment, that nothing can move in or survive. IUDs of all sorts work to change the cervical mucus, but the copper itself irritates the uterus, making it nearly impossible for anything that DOES get past the cervix to implant itself. If this is incorrect, my apologies, I haven't personally read into it, but it's what the doctor told me, and it felt like she was right. She said to get it taken out, and sent me home.

 

I went in the next day to see the doctor that had put it in. I told her about the sharp pains I was getting. She told me that "I highly doubt the IUD is causing that at all- if they thought it was the IUD, why didn't they take it out there?" I told her that I didn't care and I wanted it out of my body. She complied, and less than one hour later the pain was nearly gone, leaving behind just a bit of soreness.

 

(I plan to make an official complaint to about this particular doctor to the college of physicians for the way she handled this case, lots of which I have left out.)

 

A lot of people (as shown above) have the paraguard with no issue and it works GREAT for them. But after talking to some more people, I have definitely found that the incidents of terrible side effects are a lot more common than I, at least, was led to believe. I would strongly suggest if it is an option for you, to look into the mirena. I understand that might not be an option at all though, so I leave it with this parting advice- listen to your body. If you get the paraguard, just please keep a close eye on things, If it feels wrong, get it out. Do NOT let anyone convince you to keep it in longer to see if it will even itself out. I could have ended up with a punctured uterus had I left it in any longer.

 

I was going to say that I was sorry, because I know that sounds scary- but I'm not sorry- I will take the time to tell anyone considering getting one of these what happened to be, because it is easily the absolute worst thing I have ever put into my body. If you CAN get the Mirena- seriously consider getting it instead. I know a lot people do okay with it, but my experience was so awful that I feel like I have to tell people anyone considering it.

 

Check out some of this: http://forums.webmd.com/3/sex-and-relationships-exchange/forum/6033?pg=7 if you need some more opinions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

The main reason I was considering paragard was because of the lack of hormones. I believe mirena has hormones. Maybe I'll just stick to my pill and moodiness. I don't know what I would consider worse...periods worse than I already have or the moodiness that comes with the pill. I kind of know what to expect with the pill. 

 

Stories like yours vondick is exactly why I've been on the fence. I've heard quite a few like yours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

So have I! I know that it DOES work very well for a lot of people, but given how many stories I've heard since, I'm kind of pissed that the doctors told me that their was virtually no risk. Oh- and did I mention, I only gave consent for the procedure under the influence of sedatives? Yeah, terrible clinic.

 

You might want to ask your doctors about the progestin only pills- you need to be more careful taking them because you have less wiggle room, but for me they have much much less side affects, and are similar to the hormones released in mirena. I have been on them to see if I can tolerate the mirena, and so far so good. Regular birth control was not good for me at all, too hormonally sensitive. But this has gone well for 8+ months, and would have already gotten the mirena if I wasn't having a tough time making the appointment. I'e done a lot of research into that one, and all of the frequently reported side affects seem to be hormonal, so I am hoping since I tolerate progestin only pills very well, the progestin only IUD will work well. That is, granted, just what I figure, but it is a lower dose of hormones than standard bc pills.

Edited by vondick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I think that part of Vondick's story was a poor response from the care she sought. IUD's can be taken out quickly and effectively should you not want one anymore. Unlike HBC, the effects stop after removal. The risk of causing a permanent damage to your health is relatively poor. If your provider is skilled and accessible should things go wrong, you should be fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

It's true, I can't believe that much incompetency could exist in one clinic. Oh did I mention that when I asked for alternative BC, saying that I did not want hormones, or if not possible, the least amount of hormones, or even just a good talk about my options, she gave me a year long prescription for the nuva ring. A YEAR. "you don't get migraines do you?" "uhhh, yes actually, once and a while..." "Oh well it should be fine."

 

 

AGH. Anyways.... My case was extreme and in many ways unnecessary. Removal was very quick and fairly painless. However, afterwards, I was looking to find more people's experiences, and I did find a lot of bad ones. So you really won't know until you try. One more constructive thing I can add, is that in talking to other women, I found that most who had good experiences did not have that bad of side effects, more bleeding, more cramps- but not alarmingly so. And in those that had bad experiences had extreme side effects from the start- and most were told that it takes time to even out. So if by month two, you feel like the pain and/or bleeding is unearable, take it out. If you find that it's just a bit stronger- you'll probably be fine for a very long time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I can't speak about Paragard itself as i have a mirena.  Insertion for me was like a 6 on a scale of 10 as far as pain goes.  I went on the 3rd day of my period.  I have not had children, and the doctor didn't want to do it at first because I had not taken a cervix softener.  I talked him into it, and it's stayed put for 3 years now.  The hormones are localized, and have not had an adverse effect on my moods (I'm bipolar I).  Plus side is that I haven't had a period in over a year.

 

The live journal community iud_divas helped me make my decision.  There are both positive and negative reviews on there from people who have had both types of IUD.  I urge you to google "paragard positive reviews" and most likely you will be taken to that community.  I know that when I googled "mirena positive reviews" it took me there.

 

Good luck in whatever you decide.  I love my IUD and have recommended it to many people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I'm bipolar and the Mirena IUD made me batshit, so I switched to the Canadian version of a copper IUD, called Nova.

I was given Cytotec, a very, very low dose (an abortion pill) to use to soften the cervix and dilate it and had it done on my period. It wasn't terrible, removing the Mirena was worse. Inserting the Mirena was a bit worse, previously, because it's bigger. Some gyn's will give you anesthetic, but it's not really necessary and I was fucking terrified. It felt like bad menstrual cramps.

 

It didn't affect my mood. I bled for a week and had mild cramping, didn't need painkillers (I had been prescribed tylenol with codeine by a generous gyn but I had class and couldn't drive with it in my system) Afterwards, my period was worse. I eventually decided on a tubal ligation.

 

But honestly, find a gyn you're comfortable with, one that will guide you through the procedure (mine did this, and it kept me calm and I am NOT CALM in a doctor's office)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

If you're looking for a permanent method, I had the Essure procedure done a few years back. Like having your tubes tied, only easier.

http://www.essure.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Thanks for the link Gearhead. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I am bipolar, and I have had paragard for about a year now. I have noticed no side effects in regards to my MI. I have had two children, but paragard placement was a little painful for me, but I have a tilted uterus, which may have something to do with that. It's a quick procedure, over before you know it, so don't let that worry you too much. The first 3 -4 months I had unusually heavy periods, and a little pinching sensation in my uterus, annoying, but soon my periods become much the same as they were before paragard  and the pinching sensation stopped as well. I admit, those first couple months I thought about going back to my lady doctor and taking the paragard out, but now I am very glad I stuck it out. I am NOT ready for another pregnancy and paragard gives me piece of mind like no other birth control on the market. I don't have yet another monthly rx to refill at the pharmacy. No hormones in the paragard because I think being on bc pills and then depo provera really fucked with my system.  When I was younger I used to think I'll never have something that stays inside me, but I'm a lot more educated about exactly how all the different bc options work, and I think this is the safest, hormone free choices.  The human body has the ability to accept medically foreign objects (think knee and hip replacements, pacemakers, cochlear implants, i.e.) so why not paragard which doesn't release hormones such like other forms of birth control?

Try it for 6 months. If you hate it, just go back to your lady doctor and get it taken out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I just think there is something wrong with my vagina and uterus. 

 

About four years ago, at age seventeen when my hemiplegic migraines were destroying my life, my neurologist told me that I needed to stop taking birth control pills so I could take topamax (which has been a great preventative for my migraines). My OB/GYN then said that I could use the Paraguard IUD because it did not have hormones (and topamax interferes with HBC) and my insurance covered it 100%. However, it was actually the most painful thing I have ever gone through. She gave me no cervix softener, I am no teen mother, and there was no anathestic--she did everything in the doctor's office RAW. My procedure took 15+ minutes and I was SCREAMING. I have a very damaged uterus and vagina from over eight years worth of violent raping and molestation, but that didn't matter to her at all (but it doesn't matter anymore, I have changed OB/GYNs). 

 

I was bleeding severely after the procedure for a month. And every period since procedure, my periods have been 11-15 days. I actually endure the most painful cramping and stabbing pain almost everyday each month (I have maybe 3-6 days without pain), which my doctor says is my PMS and my post-period pain. I have really serious hypothyroidism so he said if I get that under control the pain could go away. But I am going to be 21 soon so they will be testing me for endometriosis and for more cysts as I have a few. I have been having papsmears since I was 12 and I have ultrasounds every couple years and we know the IUD isn't perforating my uterus. But I have heard that my natural cycle is just that crazy ass 11-15 days. Madness. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I have had the mirena IUD for the past three years. I'm BP. I haven't had a period since April 2010. My dr's decided it would be fine for me because the mirena releases such a small amount of hormones and those mainly stay localized in the uterus.

I've had two children, so maybe that's why I barely felt anything during the insertion. A little cramping for about 15 seconds and that was it.

The only bad thing is that my OB/GYN trimmed my strings too short, so I can't check the strings. But I've been reassured that I would most certainly feel if it ever fell out, and I've had abdominal X-rays as recently as three months ago, and they all note that an IUD is visible in my pelvis.

Since I'm almost 40 and the women in my family have a history of being post-menopausal by 42, I don't know if I will get another one when this one needs to be removed. I don't know if I will even need to. But if I do, I will certainly do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I finally got my Paragard inserted and I wish I had done it years ago! I love it! It did hurt for a few seconds when they inserted, but I have never had children. They gave me a pill to take a few hours before that was supposed to dialate me. My insertion was difficult for the doc, and I don't know why (other than she was a BITCH- she tried to talk me out of it 3 times within about 20 minutes and she was not the doc that did my initial consult or my regular ob).  People say you can have heavier or longer periods, but I have not experiened that. It is likely because of my Topamax and Lamictil though and has nothing to do with the Paragard. I'm not saying it was all fun and games. The day I got it done I had to take off from work and take some serious midol because I had no pain meds (they should give you at least one pain med of some sort), and use the heating pad, but the next day I was fine.

 

I'm just really really glad to get the hormones out of me. Good luck to anyone making this decision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I have a Paragard. I can't use hormonal BC because Lamictal and Trileptal makes it less effective. I had my IUD inserted a year ago - it hurt like hell, but was quick. My first period afterward was murder - horrible cramps that ibuprofen didn't help. That said, I'd definitely do it again. It was worth the pain. I don't have to worry AT ALL about taking a pill, buying condoms, etc. I got mine done for free at Planned Parenthood via a state assistance program that I easily qualified for due to being on SSDI. The nurse practitioner was amazing. She did my consult and insertion, and she has an IUD herself, so she knew exactly how to talk me through the procedure. My periods are longer and heavier than before (Tampax Pearl Ultras - buy them at amazon should you need them; I've heard good things about OB Ultras too), but I don't care too much. No increased cramping. They told me it's approved in Europe for twelve years (the FDA here only says 10 years for some reason, but it actually works for 12), It was this or get my tubes tied, which I can't afford.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0