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you might want to just read the comm for a couple days--you'd be amazed how much you can learn. Of course, if you need a question answered immediately that's fine.
Other than that...Welcome to probably the most comprehensive body of IUD information in LJ-comm form.
****Obligatory Note: We aren't doctors. We know lots of stuff, but medical choices should be made with the advice of a professional.****
You have all been a great source of information throughout the years, so thank you very much!  In turn, I hope this post about my experience will be helpful to someone; feel free to ask me any questions:)

The following post is about a nulliparous 36-year-old getting Mirena removed, regretting it, and getting a new one.
If you want some background, here's a link to a post about my first Mirena insertion:
Three Years with Mirena:  I had the Mirena for about three-and-a-half years, since Aug. 2012, and everything with it was going great.  My periods had stopped completely and I had no irregular bleeding or pain.  It did feel like maybe the hormones were affecting my sex drive, but the peace of mind of a "set it and forget it" birth control method was well worth it.
Worried about Expulsion: But then one day I got cramps that made me double over in pain.  I had never had cramps like that and when I checked my strings they were so much longer that I could see them right at the vaginal opening when I was sitting down to check.  Of course I freaked out and was convinced that my IUD was expelling so I got in to the gyno right away.  The doctor did an exam and said the cramps may have been the IUD trying to pass through the cervix so she sent me to get a transvaginal ultrasound.  The results were that the IUD appeared "satisfactory in position" but by then I was paranoid that it was on its way out.
Removal, Feb. 2016:  This, coupled with my concern that the hormones were lowering my sex drive, led me to ask to have it removed at my next annual exam with my gyno.  I was nervous, but it wasn't a big deal at all to get it removed.  During the regular pelvic exam my doctor just took an instrument and pulled.  One or two seconds of pain and it was out.  That was it; I had no pain or cramps afterward.
Deciding to Get a Second IUD:  After about nine months without Mirena I noticed no improvement in my sex drive.  What I did notice was the return of my period and its accompanying breakouts.  My first period came about five weeks after removal and then every 26 days or so after.  It was weird how quickly my cycle went back to normal.  I became really paranoid about pregnancy, since my fiancé and I were back to using condoms.  Also, talk about possible changes in the Affordable Care Act made me worry about birth control being covered by my insurance in the future.  So I decided to get another IUD.  I debated for a month over whether to get Paragard or Mirena; in the end I went with Mirena again.
Second Mirena Insertion, Dec. 2016: Yesterday, Dec. 2, I had my second Mirena put in.  I went to my regular gyno, who put in the first one, and it was much like the first experience.  I took Misoprostol and 600 mg ibuprofen one hour before the appointment.  The big difference was this time I was more freaked out; I think because I knew for sure that I would feel at least some pain.  The cramping during the sounding hurt like a menstrual cramp, but was over quickly.  The cramping during the insertion hurt like a severe menstrual cramp; I actually kind of yelled "Oh my God!" out loud.  But that pain too only lasted a few seconds.  They had me sit for a while after; I had no dizziness or anything and then I drove myself home.  There was some very mild cramping and very light spotting throughout the day; I just used a heating pad and took ibuprofen until I went to bed.  When I woke up today I took ibuprofen right away and I feel ok, so that's where things are at so far!  

IUD in Cervix

I apologize in advanced for my long story. Thank you to those who read the entire thing. Some background for you, I'm 22 and I've never been pregnant.

So the end on September I had the Paragard inserted. Aside from a little cramping after insertion, I had no issues. In fact both my doctor and the nurse we so shocked at how I didn't even flinch. Anyway I had my first period and aside from a period that lasted 12 days instead of my usual 4 (it was 4 days of light bleeding, 5 days of heavy bleeding and 3 days of light bleeding). But I had no cramps or any other side effects. I totally expected this though since I know that for the first 3 months your body is still adjusting. Anyway I'm currently on my second period since insertion and it's much of the same. However, last night I noticed that the stem of the Paragard is protruding from my cervix. It was most likely my fault, since until yesterday it was in perfect position (I had an abdominal CT for a different issue and the report says that it was in normal position and no uterine issues were detected), I switch between tampons and a menstrual cup and when I took the cup out I wasn't as careful as usual. I've already called my gyno and have an appt for Tuesday. They said it's highly possible that they will be able to just reposition it instead of having to remove it/replace it.

Has anyone experienced a similar situation?

Thanks ladies!


Second Mirena, Nulliparous

About 4.5 years ago, I posted here when I got my first Mirena. It was painful and the reaction from my vagus nerve nearly led me to faint. But I still loved my Mirena. Due to recent events in the United States, I bumped up my replacement time because my insurance was changing and I am concerned that it would be more difficult to get a Mirena in the future.
I went on my hunt for a new GYN because the doc who placed the first one moved. A friend recommended her doctor who placed her Paraguard and my friend is nulliparous too, so yay, this doc has experience. [She's in North Dallas, Texas if anyone would like her name.] I'd had a well woman visit about five months ago, so this wasn't our first meeting and she'd already given me some idea of how to make this experience more tolerable.
She prescribed Cytotec, one pill taken orally before bed. I took 2 Aleve liquid gels as well (with food, with tea/water), and went to bed with a pad. I cramped during the restless night, watched animations of Mirena insertion on Youtube (I'm an information junkie). Two hours before my morning appointment, I took another 2 Aleve (it says you shouldn't take more than 3 in 24 hours but I have healthy stomach and kidneys and figured my body could handle it once).
Wear layers, so you can strip down to a tank like I should have!
My DH drove and held my hand during the process.
I expected the instrument that pulled my cervix to hurt more, as I'm pretty sure last time it did. Maybe due to the Cytotec? I'd found studies that it didn't decrease pain and only increased cramping for some women, so YMMV.
The removal was straight forward and both I and the doc felt it 'pop' out. She showed it to me before putting it in the biowaste, tiny thing. Deep breaths!
The new one's insertion was still pretty damn uncomfortable, and I felt the heat flush again. Tried to open some buttons, but it was pretty uncomfortable. The worst lasted maybe 30 seconds. Relaxation breathing exercises! The arms extended, she pushed it back up to the roof of the uterus (more pressure). Then retract, snip strings.
I laid still for maybe 10 minutes before I got up and dressed, then sat up for a while longer because I had another heat wave. The cramping was unpleasant but not unbearable (5/10) vs. my first experience at 9/10. I walked steadily, but slowly, and my DH even nudged me in the elevator to see if I was really stable.
Cramping for the first two-three hours. Bright red blood that I hadn't seen in a while, as my periods were light and cramping minimal. I'm attached to my heating pad for the next couple days and Aleve (lowering dose to 1). You shouldn't take Aleve for more than 10 days, but I'm sure I'll be off it by the third day.
Good luck everyone in your birth control!
Good morning everyone,
It's hard to believe I'm about to be on my third period with my copper IUD .
I thought I would post an entry for all those out there thinking of getting a copper IUD who are on the fence because of the scary stories they might have read elsewhere.
First off, I will say that if you are still researching do yourself a favor and only come to this community. If I would have never found this community I don't think I would have ever gone through with getting the copper IUD, and let me say I'm so happy with mine and wish I had done this 10 years ago!
For background purposes ,I am 30 years old , no kids and had been on hormonal combined birth control pills for 16 years.
Side effects I was experiencing from the pill included daily headaches and migraines, horrendous anger and mood problems where I would fly off the handle at everyone around me, daily anxiety, insomnia, no libido, dry vagina and very painful sex often I would get tears in my vaginal opening, very often I would get cysts on my labia I pretty much always had one right after another.
At this point, my third period since insertion I feel a million times better! The headaches are gone, I sleep like a normal person, my libido is starting to come back, stronger orgasms, no cysts since the last one i had before insertion which I had at the time of insertion, natural lubrication has returned (seriously, you don't realize how dry you are when on the pill until you feel what it naturally is supposed to feel like without hormones) pain during sex has disappeared! Over all, my vagina feels so much better. My mind is free from the raging mood swings, I feel like myself again!
If you've been on birth control pills for most of your life like I have, and you're interested in a copper IUD I say give it a go, you might be surprised at how bad the pill was actually making you feel, and how good it can feel to be a natural woman with no artificial hormones.
I was afraid of insertion pain, it turned out to not be the bad at all! I was afraid of insanely heavy periods, turns out they're not all that bad either and 100% worth it to be off those hormones for good!

Share your expirence with your Paragaurd!

Hello everyone!
I've had my Paragaurd for 10 months now and wanted to hear other people's stories on certain things.
My question or curiosity is how everyone feels having sex without condoms and relying on your IUD when you're around the time of ovulation. Do you trust your IUD completely?

I personally feel anxious and honestly don't feel like I can give into my IUD 100%, so what's your stories or input on this question.

Thank you!

Long, early period with Paraguard

I have had paraguard for about 5 months now and have loved it. I have had slightly heavier periods and slightly longer lasting cramps but nothing too bad. I've had some slight spotting and cramping around ovulation but after reading some of these posts I haven't been concerned.

This month however, my period has come early and is really long. I started with spotting and light cramps a little earlier than I expected on Monday, two weeks ago. Throughout that week the spotting gradually got heavier. That following Sunday (about 1 week ago) I started having to really wear a pad and considered it to be a full period. This was a little weird, but obviously this can happen sometimes. However, I have now had this period for a week with no sign of it letting up. Normally, my period is heavier the first two days (slightly heavier after Paraguard) and then is relatively light for the remaining 4 days of my period. Before Paraguard I would wear a panty liners by day 3. After Paraguard it has been a little heavier, but still a thin pad works for the entire day. Currently, I am going through about 3 pads a day like I would on my first day of my before Paraguard period. It has been like this for 7 days and if anything has gotten heavier. This has never happened to me. And so far I have had fairly consistent periods while using Paraguard. I have not had any cramps since the first few days of spotting two weeks ago. I can still feel my strings.

Has anyone had anything like this before? It's starting to really concern me and get annoying. I'm thinking I should call my doctor if this continues any longer, but I just wanted to see if you all had any advice first.

I am 21 years old! I got my mirena in January 2016! I had spotting for about 3 months after it was inserted but have not had any spotting since. But 3 days ago my face started to break out which hasn't happen since I had my last period/spotting and that was about 8 months ago. So for 8 months I had no spotting or bleeding whatsoever. But about 3 days ago I started to break out and I had breast tenderness, cramping and now I have brown discharge. But I only notice it after I go to the bathroom. It doesn't come out like blood. More so just discharge. I can still feel the strings but I cramp after I feel for the strings. I took 2 pregnancy test about 3 days ago and it was negative! Is it just my body finally getting my periods regularly or should I be worried? MY GYNO is so hard to get a hold of so I thought I would try here first. Please let me know if you can help!!!!
Hi everyone, I'm new to posting on here (I've been reading for quite some time) so bear with me while I figure this out.

I got Paragard back in September and things have been going fine. I've had 2 periods since insertion -the last one starting Oct. 20. I started having sex about a week after Oct. 20th. I don't use condoms due to allergies so all I use is the Paragard.
I haven't gotten my period yet for this cycle and it was supposed to start within the past week.

I was wondering if anyone else has had an issue like this where your period is delayed after having sex for the first time after insertion or if my body is still adjusting to having an IUD after getting off the pill.
(Also because I'm super paranoid about pregnancy, I've taken 2 HPT within the past two days and both were negative, but I would still like to have a period just to be sure 😑)

IUD insecurity?

I got my Mirena inserted almost 5 months ago and have yet to have sex. I recently developed this (male) friend with benefits and we haven't done much yet, but the thought of having sex with him and my IUD strings poking at this penis makes me anxious, for some reason. I keep telling myself that my strings are probably soft enough now to the point where he won't be able to feel them, but this thought makes me kind of insecure. Has anyone else experienced this feeling? 
Hello Everyone!

It's been about 3 years since I last posted or commented (almost to the day actually...) but I have checked back often and I constantly refer friends intersted in IUD's to this site. It's a great community and I love that it appears to still be going strong.

I posted my story becoming a diva way back in 2013 here with a follow up question post about bloating here.

I am back, like I imagine some women might be, due to the political changes in the US lately. I am due to replace my Mirena in 2 years and had already been considering switching to Paragard for reasons I'll elaborate in a moment. But given recent events I wanted to switch now, while ACA still covers it fully.

More in depth ACA/Political reasoning on switching now... Feel free to skip since I understand not everyone has the same stances on this.Collapse )

Long Term Update on Mirena:
My Mirena 3 year anniversary was October 1st. Since then, I've gotten married, my company's office has moved so I now have a 3 block walk to work rather than a 1 hour drive commute, I've been on countless far away vacations, I've had some medical issues, and we have two cats.

Mirena has been with me every step of the way. It's been a bit of a mixed bag to be honest.

Year 1:
I had a short adjustment period, maybe only 2 months, after coming off of Implanon. I imagine it was because the hormones are similar, just lower dose. I had a few periods that were light and some spotting. But no constant spotting or anything crazy. And then...my period disappeared. This was just like on Implanon (now Nexplanon) where after a few cycles I simply had no period and everything was magical. I didn't lose any weight by switching from Implanon to Mirena. I didn't gain any either, but I was hoping to lose some weight I felt that Implanon had added (10 pounds) and I never did. I was also hoping to get my sex drive back. That didn't happen either. On top of that, when I did want to have sex I was much drier making lube necessary, something I hadn't had before. This continues to this day and now is even a problem day to day without sex being involved. It's probably the one thing I can *definitely* link to Mirena.

Year 2:
Still no spotting or periods. No cramps. Life was fine. Tried to start losing weight for my wedding. Just couldn't. Exercise. Dieting...nothing. I ended up the same weight as I started when I got married. Additionally, I started having gastro issues. I had stomach aches every time I ate, acid reflux, constipation. It got bad enough that I couldn't eat anything without upsetting my stomach. I ended up seeing a Nutritionist and a Gastroenterologist. I had an endoscopy, a colonscopy (I'm 28 at this point...so a colonoscopy is not something someone my age would be getting unless it was to look for something specific), tests for SIBO. All negative. They find nothing. I go on an elimination diet and start to feel a bit better. In the end, I now have a list of foods I know I can't eat, my diet is pretty restrictive and I'm still only about 70% back to where I was. I also have to basically take Miralax (as directed by my doctor!) every day to stay regular. This whole adventure took about.... 9 months to go through while Iw as planning my wedding (and it's a miracle I didn't lose weight given all that)!

Year 3:
I start getting symptoms like oily face and acne, sore breasts, and cramps that feel like ovulation. These are then followed by light spotting, just enough for a pantyliner, a week following. During this time I'm bloated too. Essentially, I get all the symptoms of a period without a period. In the last three months I've developed cramps too! This doesn't really happen on a set schedule either. Sometimes it is once a month, others I skip a month. Sometimes I feel the symptoms all month. It kinda sucks.

Towards the end of the this third year the acne, which was before just flare ups that would then go away, is now sticking around. My skin care routine is more involved now than it was when I was a teenager and I literally have more acne now than I did then! I know it isn't adult acne because my father never had acne and my mother got adult acne when she hit menopause. She never had acne before then. So there's that. During this year, about 9 months ago now, I decided to get off my anti-depressants, which I had been on for several years. Being in a stable marriage and job with friends and a support system, it seemed like a good time. This went pretty well in the end. But I believe it revealed something else that I didn't expect. I got mood swings like crazy. I believe the anti-depressants stablized my mood. I was very blah and level on them, which is fine. Without them I'm able to experience a wider range of emotions which is great, but over the last 4 months or so, I also experience mood swings that seem ridiculously off the charts. One minute laughing and fine the next crying on the floor. The worst part is, I don't know if this is just me normally or a side effect of hormones (which my psychiatrist actually suggested - more as a normal hormonal cycle as opposed to a Mirena specific thing) or if it is the Mirena?

Why I'm Switching:
In any case, with all the above over the last two years I'm beginning to wonder if these are side effects of Mirena. The Gastro issues just snuckup on me until they were terrible and I never connected it to the Mirena. My doctors also never mentioned it. But now I wonder. The period symptoms and then the mood swings too, just happened slowly over time. I realize that localized hormones shouldn't affect too much but I'm starting to wonder if it's either, A.) they affect more things over time since they are pretty much in your body for several years and B.) if the Mirena is getting older and releasing fewer hormones and my body is struggling to figure out how to adjust.

Either way, I have been thinking about switching to the Paragard, if only to know for sure what it's like without hormones. I have been on some type of hormonal BC since I was 16. Before going to a Progestin only one I was on combo BC pills and I never seemed to have side effects. Once I got Implanon and now Mirena, it seemed like there was always something off with me. The low libido is probably the worst since both killed my sex drive and after 5 combined years of these, I'm wondering if I ever had one...hell even my husband is wondering and that's even worse! I'd love to hear some stories from people who had Mirena long-term, switched to Paragard and have had that for longer than a year or two as well. Those are harder to find.

Mini Rant:
Now that I've made the decision to switch and called my gyno, I have to wait 3 months (February!!) for my appointment because that's just how booked my doctor is! I tend to be the type of person who will agonize over a decision, spend a lot of time researchng the options and probably obsess over it a little too much. But once I make up my mind, I just wanna get sh** done! Plus, now that I suspect my Mirena is a problem I seem to notice the problems way more and I just want to get it out! I know this is unreasonable, but so is waiting 3 months to see your doctor!! I'm on their waitlist in case of cancellations but I don't have a lot of hope.

I feel bad because I know that this is not an emergency so I don't want to push for an earlier appointment, especially since that might mean taking time from another woman who really has a true emergency! I also don't want to see another doctor because I like and trust this one. She placed my Mirena and I know she'd understand my reasons for wanting to swtich. I just want to see my doctor before the new year at least! How is that too much to ask?! It's stupid but this is a serious stressor for me right now. I wish I could do something about it!

So to tl;dr - Had Mirena for 3 years. No periods is awesome but wondering if health and mental problems over the past couple years are sneaky side effects. Want to switch now to try Paragard while it is fully covered under insurance. But (rant) my doctor is too popular and can't see me until February!