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I've had a Paragard since early April. No significant problems. Last night I woke up to killer cramps on one side, specifically in my lower abdomen and mostly in my back --I've only ever felt that once before, and that was when my IUD was first inserted. I also felt an aching in my cervix, also something I haven't felt since right after it was put in. There's no blood and the strings appear to be where they should be, and I don't feel any plastic or weird bits in there. Everything was fine by morning.

Is this what expelling is like? I'm sexually active and super-scared of pregnancy. I also can't see a doctor for a little while because of scheduling problems.

Looking for reassurance, or if this really does seem like an immediate problem. Thanks!

Copper IUD options for Canada?

Hi everyone, I'm a new member who has been lurking for a while. I've been interested in getting a copper IUD for many years now, since I have been on bcp for half of my life.
I had read for a long time that they are not given to women who have never given birth and was surprised when my doctor recommended it to me on my last visit. She actually recommended morena or jaydess but I'm sure i would prefer a copper IUD as I'm sick of fake hormones!
My question to you ladies is what information you can give me on IUD options available in Canada? I've read of the nova t 380 which is good for five years , do we have any ten year options in Canada?
Any information you give would be greatly appreciated!

heavy bleeding with paraguard... help!

I've been using the paraguard since September last year. At first I really loved not having to worry about birth control and the cramping was significant but manageable. During those first several menstrual cycles following insertion my period was really dark in color and not very heavy. I switched to the Diva cup around then and was excited to ditch tampons for good and found it to be an easy transition at the time. I guess about six months into my paraguard my periods started getting unbelievably heavy. Although I'm not sure if this is how my cycles originally were under non-hormonal circumstances considering I had been on the pill for six years prior and don't really remember (I'm 22 now) I doubt they were this heavy... maybe it's some crazy paraguard side effect but it's been a year now and I cannot deal with it anymore! I bleed through everything I use and it makes going to school or work or exercising totally impossible. I have to change the cup once an hour if I want to avoid bloody underwear (and usually end up ruining them anyway) -- and the strangest part is that the cup is almost never filled to the 7.5 ml line when I change it. Despite being reluctant to regress to tampons I found a super lying around my room and tried it overnight to compare -- bled right through that too, so I don't think it's the size of the cup that's the problem. Backing up with Thinx underwear worked for a two month camping trip but I only had one pair so I still had to change the cup once an hour on "medium" days and bled through to my underwear a couple of times.

This cycle was the last straw so I started tracking my flow. I'm about halfway through the day (2pm) and have recorded 22.5 ml so far (not counting overnight). Doesn't seem that crazy in terms of volume but it keeps bleeding through!! I've made an appointment with a gyno in two weeks -- not having regular sex right now so I'm considering just taking it out. I'd prefer to avoid the Mirena since not having a cycle freaks me out and would rather not do the hormone thing, but this is too much. Thought I could power through because those first couple months were so great but it's really starting to drag on me being too uncomfortable to go to work or even leave the house on my three heaviest days. I'm sick of worrying about it all the time. Has anyone had a similar issue?? Please help. Ideally I don't want to have to take it out so if there are other ways to reduce the bleeding I'd love some advice! Should I give up?

Please... Help...

Hello, fellow divas...

I'm in need of major reassurance...

My partner, whom I am now in a long-distance relationship with, and I had sex about a week ago. Of course, I'm on the IUD for birth control, the Paragard to be specific, but he also pulled out (he completely rejected the idea of using a condom...) Now, I come to this forum to see advice on things like minor side effects my IUD has brought me. Because I don't have sex often-- This was the second time I've had sex with my IUD-- I get quite paranoid about its effectiveness. My Paragard has been with me since January of this year, and I had a follow-up appointment near the end of July, where my doctor said the strings looked to be in their place. I believe she did mention they were short, and that I'd feel one rather than two. However, with this new sex experience... I have become paranoid all over again.

First of all, I felt discomfort as I had sex. I attribute this more to tensing up and the position, rather than the IUD. Second of all, I believe because I don't have sex often, my after-sex cramping could be attributed to that as well. But... It's been a week, and I still got some painless cramping that... feels bizarre to me. Third of all, I've never been able to reach for my own strings. I think this is because my fingers are short. But, my partner said he felt them during sex at times. I tried asking him if he'd felt something hard, but he simply mentioned he felt something more like a string. I'm real paranoid I'm pregnant. We had sex during my fertile week, and though I'm eight days away from getting my period, I'm afraid I might be pregnant. I see many of you, many entries, where you talk about expelled IUDs, making me believe it's more probable than the statistics say. Could I really feel an expelled IUD, or a dislodged IUD, or could it be as painless as some of you have mentioned? Other than minor cramping before I ovulate and before and after my period, I normally don't cramp. I don't feel bloated, and I haven't had any bizarre discharge or spotting. Sure, sometimes I'll feel a twinge of pain, which is what I've been feeling lately, but otherwise... Nothing. Help?

new user

I am new to IUDs and I was actually iffy about getting them because of the idea of a foreign object being in my body was weird to me especially since I have a hyper sensitive sort of mind and I know the copper IUD is supposed to be more difficult with periods but the other forms of birth control suck and I feel like it would be far worse for my sensitive mind to endure synthetic hormones. I started worrying because I had cramps so bad the first or second day that I almost felt like killing myself and ended up taking Naproxen I had leftover that was still good (which I never do because I and medicine just don't mix) Well here it is about 3 weeks after I got it placed and the cramps are occasionally there. I know the cramps are normal so I shouldn't have cramps that bad again anymore since I haven't had them that severe right? The OB said that I may feel ovary pain because it tends to shift.
My top concern though is my bloat. I know that is also part of my adjustment period but it seems like more than just normal bloat. It is always there even when I wake up in the morning so my stomach is never flat and I feel like it is connected to the fact that I seem like I have to pee all the time and once I pee I never feel empty. I know I drink tea but I've been drinking tea for a long time before the placement and have never had to pee this much nor do I feel like I haven't emptied myself. I was sorta thinking that maybe I feel like I have to pee because of irritation down there but that's more towards the side so I would think that it shouldn't have to have anything to do with that even with my sensitive mind. Plus it wouldn't make me go this much.
I also have more acne than I used to. I have been doing more traditional exercise than I used to so it's possible it could be that but I was exercising regularly a few weeks before the placement and hadn't noticed this before. I also have always loved to dance and was doing that regularly for at least a few years so I would think that would cause enough to produce acne. It is not a whole lot but a significant change to me because I only would have like one or two zits around my period and my skin is almost completely clear other than that since I've been using this moisturizer for a few years now. I can even skip a day or two of rinsing my face but still have clear skin. Now since I got the IUD placed, I would say about 5 on my chin in addition. I still get zits even with regularly moistening my face.
I also feel like I am more prone to back pain..not severe but seems more prevalent and I had a screening which they said I had low mobility
I have three chin hairs (I know they're small but they still gross me out!!!) About a year or two ago I would get them around my period just like the acne but they would disappear after. Now since the IUD it is always there.
Finally not sure if this is a coincidence but I find that it's easy for my plantar fasciitis to come back. For a while it went away and even if it didn't it was only on the one foot. I could also use acupressure if it was hurting me at night. Since the IUD placement it has also been on my other foot like it originally was and I had tried accupressure. Well that doesn't work anymore. The only thing that helps now is wearing my special socks. I feel like I have to wear them all the time.

Sometimes I really feel like taking it out..that I was right it was a bad idea but I can't understand why this is happening. I have been taking a multivitamin with zinc magnesium and cortisol reducing herb (which I have been taking a few weeks before the IUD cuz I know I'm prone to high levels) to prevent the imbalance but yet I am still having some symptoms. Am I allergic to copper/nickel? But if I was allergic wouldn't I be breaking out on more places in my skin?
Of course I mentioned to the OB about the acne back pain chin hair and the bloat. She of course said it shouldn't have anything to do with that except for maybe the back pain but I don't know where she stood on that because she confused me. They saw it was placed correctly when I went in a few days ago so it is not that.

Before I had the IUD placed the doc did mention it was a little red in/near the labia but not enough to cause him concern apparently. I did have an infection a few months ago but when I went to have the IUD placed the test was all clear. But it has never really felt normal down there since that infection and I'm worried the IUD is keeping it from being healed since I am still a bit irritated in one spot though I'm not sure how because it's in my cervix.

I also have been a long time sufferer of gastritis so I wonder if that makes it difficult for my body to handle IUD..perhaps with my condition I will not get used to it at all. The odd thing is though on the other hand my period was a day shorter but I don't know if that means anything because I was still on my period when they placed it so I'll just have to wait until my next period to find out about that.

Sometimes I try to think maybe this is all in my head but my head as crazy as it is has never produced such profound symptoms before.

Wow sorry for this huge wall of text but I am just lost right now..really wishing there was a Dr House in real life so I could know for sure.


Can strings reappear?

My Paragard strings have disappeared right at the point when my OB/GYN decided to pull it (it has moved slightly out of place). She says she can see the strings on the ultrasound inside the cervix.

What are the chances for the strings to reappear? Is there a time of the cycle when they should be the longest? And how can the IUD be removed if they don't?

For background: I (33, no pregnancies) have had the Paragard for slightly over a year, with no problems whatsoever. A few weeks ago I had heavy cramps, so I decided to go for a checkup, and indeed the IUD had moved. At this point, the strings were still there. Today is the beginning of my period and I went in to get it pulled, and the strings have disappeared up into my cervix. The OB/GYN was a bit at a loss and sent me home for the time being, with the prospect of checking back after a while.

The fact that the IUD is not completely in place (so it might not be doing it's job), and that it giving me quite a bit of cramps, makes me really want to get rid of it.

TL;DR: Successful 5 years with Mirena, got a new one and replacement hurt, I make some lifestyle suggestions, bleeding still heavy four months out, thoughts?

Hi all -- After so much great support from this community, I got my first Mirena almost six years ago.  It helped my heavy, painful periods immensely.  While I still had very regular periods that required super-plus tampons, I could sleep through the night with JUST a tampon...a major, major improvement. Even better, it played nicely with my depression, unlike the oral contraceptives I've taken in the past to control pain and bleeding. As I got closer to the five-year mark with the first Mirena, my periods started getting heavy and painful again. So, I got a new one in March.

The removal and replacement was uncomfortable, but less so than my first placement.  Maybe I knew what to expect this time? I got a bit light-headed, but that's common for me with sudden pain (a fall down the stairs, road rash, etc). Okay, lemme be real, it hurt like hell.  HOWEVER, it was over quickly enough.  I'm 39, nulliparous, and I got it inserted the week after my period, just like my first one.  The logic for that was what my very first IUD, a Paragard, was inserted while I had my period and I expelled it two days later.  I switched to a much more experienced doc for my first Mirena, and she suggested I try the later insertion to reduce the likelihood of a repeat expulsion.

Here's the thing. I have the new Mirena, but my bleeding hasn't slowed down yet. I woke up this morning in a puddle of blood again, and I'm back to the change-the-super-plus-tampon-once-an-hour-for-two-days routine. I'm just wondering if I can expect this to improve in the coming months?  I'm stressed out from work, and I think I just got a little more rattled by this bleeding than I should be. I think I'm just looking for reassurance. I'm also wondering, more abstractly, if someone can explain the endo-heavy bleeding relationship to me.  I've definitely got growths outside of my uterus...you can actually SEE one outside of my body that grows and shrinks each month...I refer to it affectionately as my lady testicle. So -- if these growths are outside of your uterus, why do you bleed so heavily?  Wouldn't the blood in the other cysts just empty into other parts of your body and get reabsorbed, like blood from a bruise?

Here are the things I changed about my lifestyle that helped with my Mirena experience -- for the first year, I pretty much entirely eliminated wheat from my diet.  Wheat seemed to be causing me serious gas, which in turn created these stabby pains and seemed to make my cramps worse. As time went on, I reintroduced it without problems. This might not help everyone (or anyone, tbh.) I now avoid wheat the week before my period.  Thanks to advice here, I also added a 50mg zinc supplement to my daily diet.  It cut way down on my hormonal acne (the cystic things along my jaw).  For the ones that still bust out, I found a sulphur-based remedy helped more than salycilic acid on its own.  There are a wide variety out there, but the cheapo best one I've got is alba's "Quick Fix for Pimples." I started taking 1000mg Vitamin E, as that reportedly helps lighten bleeding...I think it helped a bit. Finally, ensuring I'm getting at least two, but preferably three to four, rounds of relatively intense aerobic exercise a week helped further reduce my cramps...if I don't eat wheat and exercise?  I don't have them.  It feels miraculous. For me, 'relatively intense' means getting my heart rate up to 70% of max for thirty minutes, but it might be different for other folks. I've got an active job that keeps me on my feet and moving 30 hours a week, plus I walk my dog two miles a day in addition to that other stuff, so what it takes to get my heart/hormones going might be more / less than other folks.


I have had the copper IUD for about 2.5 years now. Recently, I have been in and out of the hospital with pains during sex, pains all of the time, etc. Suspected endometriosis, but nothing was found during a laparoscopy; but there is still some speculation that the disease is there and it has been missed. Anyways. Due to this pain and the severe symptoms that I have been having, two doctors have suggested that I switch from the copper IUD to the Mirena.

My dilemma is this: I am taking 125mg of Lamictal for severe bipolar II depression. I have been on birth control in the past, and it definitely exacerbated my episodes (though this was prior to beginning to take mood stabilizers). I am unable to find many studies on the use of Lamictal with a hormonal IUD, and was wondering if anyone has any experience using the two together; or any other mood stabilizer's for that matter.

I have seen conflicting information: That the mirena may affect the efficacy of the lamictal, and vice versa.
I obviously do not want the efficacy of the coil to diminish, as I do not want to be pregnant, and, lamictal is the only medication that I have had success with, so for this to cop out on me...
I have also read that any progesterone can affect the lamictal.

Any advice, or experiences that you may be able to share would be very much appreciated!




I need help and advice!!!

Last year in February (2015) I went off the pill and switched to paragard! I love how easy and low maintenance it is but theres a problem. The first day I got it inserted i had a "weird" feeling where my left ovary is. Kind of like pressure. Over time... the pain in this area has magnified 50x. Randomly anytime during the month with no rhyme or reason I get a pain as if something is ripping, twisting and tearing out my left and only left ovary. It typically comes in waves like on for 10 seconds and off or it can be constant for a couple hours or a couple days. It can happen 5 days out of the month or 20. Sometimes during my period and sometimes not. When i get the pain i know in a couple of minutes i will be spotting as well, not a whole lot of blood but a little bit every time. Its very annoying to keep spotting but it keeps me sane because there is actual proof of my pain - Im not crazy!!!

Of course I have gone to the doctor about this, 2 different times and she told me the first time that it was ovulation and take some advil, her words were "I'm not saying it doesn't hurt, but you will be fine with just a little advil." This is the sharpest pain I have ever felt and advil (which normally will take away my headaches) doesn't even touch in the slightest. So for the few months after I told my self it was ovulation. I knew it wasn't unless i was ovulating every other day but whatever. So the second time i went in she did an ultrasound. This showed that my left ovary is polycystic.... i do NOT have PCOS, just one polycystic ovary. She told me that it probably happened now because I'm not on the pill any more and that as we all know paragard doesn't have any hormones and that other than possibility of a hard time getting pregnant later in life nothing was to be done and she gave me no other information.

Im having trouble finding information online on just a polycysitc ovary vs the actual syndrome. But the info i can find states there should be NO pain associated with it. This pain is SERIOUSLY impacting my life! Im in nursing school and while in the hospital i have to stop what I'm doing and breath through it acting like nothing is wrong. The pain comes when I'm in class or studying and i can't concentrate at all. I can't plan working out because the pain is absolutely excruciating. Im hoping someone can offer advice or maybe they were in a simaler situation and can help me out! :) I NEED relief!!

As a side note - i also get this pain whenever i get stomach cramps like drinking anything with caffeine. So i try to avoid it but sometimes i really need my coffee ha!
So I don't post often anymore, because, frankly, the past 4 years have been the most problem-free of my actively menstruating life! However, I depended greatly on this resource when I was deciding whether to get an IUD, and feel it's important to contribute my experiences back to it.

....especially when they might not be the "traditional" or "normal" experiences.

To summarize: In 2010 I had a Paragard IUD inserted for birth control purposes. I had bleeding or spotting continuously for 13 months, and toward the end of that time I got diagnosed with PCOS. I also developed hemorrhagic cysts and chronic pelvic pain which led to an exploratory laproscopy to look for endometriosis. They didn't find any, but they did find lots of inflammation and adhesions in my pelvic cavity. They removed the Paragard, gave me some prednisone, and inserted a Mirena. I've had the Mirena from 2011 to the present day. I have not had any cycles with the Mirena (no bleeding) which is expected since I didn't menstruate regularly before IUDs. No cramping, minor side effects only - such as thickened cervical mucus and a slightly more friable cervix. Overall a great experience. Nothing like the Paragard, and much fewer side effects than oral contraceptives.

The current situation: After 5 years (the recommended length of use in the US) I decided to have the Mirena removed and replaced. There are new types of birth control I might try, but I've had such a nasty time with all things menstrual/birth control until this IUD that I decided not to tempt fate. I'd like to share that removal/insertion experience so others can learn from it/not feel as alone.

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