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So I'm going to my gynecologist tomorrow and I'm gonna ask for a copper IUD. Hormones fuck up my moods. And I'm really just as fucked up as I can handle without them, thankyouverymuch.

Any experiences?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I had several back in the day. Never had any problems. Sometimes the little wire thingee would poke my partners tender tip, but, well not my problem! No babies was the objective.
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Heya Helena,

Haven't had one (but it's on my list of options).

Inserted a lot, and counselled a lot of women.

On insertion, watch for very bad cramps, fever, bleeding.  The usual (always a small risk of bleeding or infection).

Main side effects are messed-up periods, increased cramps plus/minus increased bleeds for a while, but they seem to clear up.

Make sure your doc (FP, gyne) asks for an ultrasound (not an Xray) to check position afterwards.

Don't know if they have the progesterone-eluting IUD where you are, but it's worth asking about if you're worried about the frequency of bleeding.  Costs more, lasts longer, fewer/no periods.

--ncc--

PS.  They talk about increased risk of ectopic.  Fact is, ask your gyne.  What I know is yeah, *if* there's a pregnancy, it's more likely to be ectopic, b/c it can't implant in the uterus, so it implants elsewhere. But, there are so *few* pregnancies overall, that the number of ectopics is still pretty small.

PPS.  Try this website:

http://sogc.org

Society of ObGyne of Canada.  They have a searchable database for patients.  It's helped me and my patients both.  Tells you all the pros and cons of any kind of contraception.

--ncc--

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Thanks for starting the thread Helena and thanks for the info NCC, I've been considering this too since OrthoTricyclen did not agree with my moody head at all.  The last time I saw a gyn I forgot to ask what the cost is like?  My access to insurance coverage is on and off.  So an important question is if I get one inserted by one doc or clinic do I have to get it out before changing docs (due to changing or losing insurance... again)?

Hormonally Challenged,

Circles

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Heya Circles,

Don't know about insurance in the US, sorry hon.

Here, IUDs cost like $200 for the copper and $500 for the Mirena (progesterone).

Depending.

And they last about 2 years (copper) vs. 5 (Mirena).

If the IUD lasts its lifetime, or falls out (can happen), it's just a new prescription and appointment to get a new one.

Old one out and new one in can be at the same visit, really.

Sorry I can't be more help re. insurance, but with this election, who knows?

--ncc--

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I have had a copper IUD for 8 years. My husband calls it the Magic Penny.

My doc told me it was good for 10 years.

I have had no problems with it at all. I only wish I had gotten it sooner. Birth control pills really screwed with my BP.

I was fertile Mertle before the IUD.  No pregancy since the IUD. I love it.

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I had one and had no real problems. My periods were slightly heavier... that's fairly normal and all I can remember being an issue. No cramping or anything like that.

Having it inserted is somewhat painful, but I couldn't even feel it being removed. In either case, well worth the advantage of not having to worry about getting pregnant without messing with the hormones.

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Wait, so call me stupid, but how is an IUD gonna help with your hormones??  I know how my pill helps to regulate mine, but as far as I know, and IUD is just a little copper spring thingie that prevents an fertilized egg from implanting.......

oh and, my mother had one and said that it's primary function was to irritate the uterus so badly that nothing could implant in the irritated environment (which since it was so irritated could not support an embryo)....Ug, sounds kind of awful to me......

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Wait, so call me stupid, but how is an IUD gonna help with your hormones??  I know how my pill helps to regulate mine, but as far as I know, and IUD is just a little copper spring thingie that prevents an fertilized egg from implanting.......

oh and, my mother had one and said that it's primary function was to irritate the uterus so badly that nothing could implant in the irritated environment (which since it was so irritated could not support an embryo)....Ug, sounds kind of awful to me......

I think the OP meant that she can't handle hormonal birth control so she wants to try a copper IUD.

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I have a Mirena IUD and I fricken love it.  It does release ummmm .....some type of homone, but it is absorbed only in the uterus - it doesn't travel into the bloodstream, so the Mirena people would lead em to believe.

The best part?  My last period was in August 2003!! Woo hooo!!!!!!!!1

The worst part? If you don't have insurance they are very expensive $300. but worth it as they are good for 5-7 years. 

I have also had the copper ones and liked them, only be prepared for heavier, crampier periods.

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I have used copper IUDs for 18 years. Works well for me. I get a slightly heavier period but almost no cramps. (I have had children - I don't know if that makes a difference?)

It's so nice to be able to use something that is not hormonal, as whenever I have tried oral contraceptives, I have gotten more depressed. Plus of course, once the IUD is in place it doesn't require you to remember anything, which is a bonus for some of us...

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I was always very very happy with birth control pills, so the hormonal aspect was not at issue for me. I had to quit them because of stupid Trileptal.

I got the Mirena in May of 2005. I bled for like 2 months straight! Well... only the first month was bad. After that it was a little blood every day. BUT, after that, my periods stopped! I had one two months ago... very light and short... I LOVE NOT HAVING PERIODS!!! *cough*

I don't know how much different the copper IUD is as far as insertion and recovery. I believe it increases the flow of your period instead of lessening it like Mirena, but I'm not positive. What I do know.... My cervix was really closed. It was very opposed to things going past it. My doctor had to use some sort of horrible torture device to dilate it enough to insert the IUD. It was exceedingly unpleasant! The next several days were punctuated by horrific cramps and lots of blood. THIS IS NORMAL. You can call your doc for reassurance if you feel nervous, but really, it's okay if this happens.

Then came the 2 months of bleeding. I actually called my doctor at about 3-4 weeks because I was feeling very weak and tired, and I was concerned about anemia. Had it not eased up, I would've gotten an iron supplement. It did ease up, and I had spotting until the end of July. Not a lot.. just a little tiny bit every day. (Really, it was just enough for me to notice and be annoyed by.)

From the time it was inserted, I couldn't feel it or notice it being in there at all. If you reach waaaay up, you can feel the little strings, but that's it as far as being able to feel anything. I was able to tolerate the initial discomfort, but some women can't. It is pretty intense. I tend to be paranoid about pregnancy though, so it was very worth it for me to tough it out. I'm not sure what the stats are for other IUDs, but Mirena is more effective than tubal ligation! W00t! Plus... I can change my mind later if I want to.

But enough of my rambling.... Good luck to you. I hope you find your perfect dream birth control!

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  • 1 year later...

I'm not sure why this thread came up in my search for "light box," but I thought I'd revive it since I recently had another IUD inserted (copper again) and have some updated info. It's been at least three years since I had the last one removed (it's been a dry spell, lol).

In the U.S. the only copper version is ParaGuard. I haven't gotten the bill for it, but I think they told me it was going to be around $350. That includes the insertion. The insurance I was on years ago when I got the first one covered it. Not so lucky this time. But I had the same insurance when I had the old one removed and I don't remember being charged for that. I was in for a routine exam at the time, anyway, though and having it removed takes about two seconds.

Like I mentioned in my earlier post last year, it is a bit painful/uncomfortable to have inserted. But it wasn't awful and only lasted a few minutes. I understand that if you've never given birth vaginally (which I have), it's more likely to be more painful.

I had some mild cramping similar to menstrual cramps (which I don't usually get) for 2-3 days after the insertion, but nothing a little ibuprofen couldn't handle. My first period after the insertion was a week early (I'm usually very regular), was definitely heavier than normal, and lasted for a week. Hopefully that won't be a regular occurrence. I remember my periods being slightly heavier the last time I had an IUD, but nothing like this.

Oddly, I seemed to have PMS at the time I normally would. Also, I always get a migraine the day before or the first day of my period and didn't get one this time until the last day of my period (which would have been the first day had I not started a week early). I just find all that strange for some reason.

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  • 2 months later...

I have the ParaGuard, too. The experience was one of the most uncomfortable things ever in my life, but I got through it, no bleeding, no real pain (just uncomfortable) - it's like you want to say "ow" but can't find a reason to.

So far, my periods have been pretty much on time, nothing really different with the cramping. I found that a more positive attitude toward my period helps, a lot. I haven't had children.

I chose the copper-T because it has absolutely no hormones, and I've had absolutely bad experiences with hormones... so I felt that this made more sense. I still had insurance at the time, but I think it cost $400. (that's a lot more than a baby!)

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i don't know what it is, but i'm super sensitive in the cervical area. i've never given birth, and i've had 2 medication induced, very early abortions that were just a lot of blood, but no babies or anything significant coming out of my vagina.

i wanted an iud and went to planned parenthood to get one. my insurance was going to cover it. i was lying there with my feet up in the stirups, and she tried to dialate my cervix to insert the thing. it was SO BAD i can't describe, and i almost threw up on her! i have never felt like throwing up so strongly without actually doing it. they had to feed me some crackers and a banana, and we forgot about the iud idea.

now, that was 3 years ago. just 6 months ago i had to have surgery (LEEP) to remove HPV precancerous cells from my cervix. they had to inject about 8 injections of painkiller into my cervix to numb it to do the proceedure. that was a cake walk compared to that dialation they attempted.

i would have let them do the dialation and dealt with the pain, but not the vomiting part. that's just out of my league ;)

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  • 2 months later...

Well, I got one inserted today (copper). It was going okay until the actual insertion (there is some prep work in the vagina/cervix area beforehand.) I immediately started cramping and it got pretty bad. All told, I spent maybe 30 minutes in the room and doctor's office laying and sitting, trying to recoup. I finally gave up and called my husband to come pick me up. I'm still cramping 10 hours later even with painkillers but it's more manageable. I think I'm having a bit of a hard time partly because I have such a small uterus (my uterus sounds to less than 6 cm in depth, whatever that means), which I think is outside of the uterus size guidelines that they give doctors for the IUD placement (should be 6 to 9 cm in depth), and partly because I've never had children. My uterus has just been invaded for the first time and it's pissed.

I really hope it works out though because it really is an awesome method of birth control for STI-free people in monogamous relationships--no pills, no hormones, can be spontaneous, very highly effective (more effective than birth control pills when you factor in how women *actually* use them, not how effective they would be if they used the pills *perfectly*.)

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hollywoodfreaks:

that sounds pretty similar to my experience. for me, cramping went on for five days or so -- at which point i started freaking out and wailing that it wouldn't work for me and oh my god and i'd have to get it removed and it was SO UNFAIR and then....

it stopped.

and it was totally fine.

my periods are seriously wonky now, because i'd been on the pill in an attempt to make them not be wonky, but they're not heavy or painful. no one told me to expect the cramping to last after the initial procedure, but it can, and it does not indicate a problem. (just in case you're as prone to panic as me.)

hope it works out for you. it is pretty sweet not having to worry about birth control until 2019, no?

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