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acne + possible iron deficiency

Hey y'all!

So I'm on Mirena and have been for about 10 and a half months (I got it at the start of July, 2015). I'm 23, NP, cis female, not currently sexually active so the birth control isn't super high on my list of reasons for having an IUD. For the first while it was great - I haven't had a period since October, and that last one was minimal, and I love the fact that I never have to take a pill. But I'm far enough into having it that I'm getting fed up with a couple things...

- acne? I'm getting hormonal cystic acne around my mouth and have been having some troubles with it on my back as well. I've always had pretty nice skin so this is pretty lame. It wouldn't be enough to cause me to consider removing the IUD, but along with my other issue, I'm beginning to consider it...which brings me to the other issue

- what seems like an iron deficiency. I've always had genetically high iron so this has never been a problem for me, but around mid-December I began to notice some weakness in my legs that at times (when I was exercising at high altitude) was bad enough that I couldn't stand. Since then I've switched to a multivitamin that has iron in it and have been feeling better - but not ever as good as I felt before. About a week ago I forgot to take my multivit for a few days and noticed soreness at the corners of my mouth, which I discovered can be a symptom of iron deficiency also.

- I've also noticed that while I don't bleed, I do seem to have hormone swings, which was one reason that I went on the IUD in the first place - my periods were often accompanied by joint/bone soreness bad enough that I was missing classes, so I kind of wanted to get rid of that altogether (which is why I'm not and have never considered the copper IUD). I have, especially in the last few months, noticed some soreness at seemingly random times that I'm beginning to think might be hormone-related.

I'm going to the doctor on Friday and am feeling rather discouraged. I'm considering switching back to a birth control pill, though I'm not looking forward to having periods again. I know that I need to get my iron levels checked before I make any decisions, but I suppose I'm wondering if other people have had this experience and if it was solved by taking an iron supplement? As I said, my multivitamin has iron in it, but I think it's lower than the recommended daily dose of iron so I'm wondering if a higher dose would make me feel better. Since the acne is cystic, I'm assuming there's not much that can be done about that, nor about the hormone swings.

Essentially I guess I'm trying to figure out where the balance is between no bleeding, no change in sex drive, and no remembering the pills on the one hand, and iron deficiency and acne on the other hand.

I suppose I don't have a really solid question but I'm looking for some reassurance that my struggles with this aren't solitary, and that this is "enough" justification for considering removing it. How long should I stick it out, even with a "real" iron supplement, before I should cut my losses? I've made it I guess almost 6 months now with this low-level weakness, but I'm really done with it...but on the other hand I know that these are issues that can sometimes take a while to go away, and that I should be patient with the IUD.

Any advice? Maybe just some support? :( I so wanted the IUD to work...
Hi. I'm 30, single and casually dating, have never been pregnant/had children, have never been on HBC before because I didnt like the idea of hormones flowing through my body.

I've noticed since January my cramps have been worse than ever, I had to leave work one morning due to the pain which had never happened before, so I started looking into a treatment solution. For those reasons I decided to look into an IUD.

I'm considering cancelling my appointment for my Jaydess (Skyla) insertion next week, I'm having hesitations now because:

  1. During the consult, the doctor told me that risk for infection was highest for 3 - 4 months post-insertion, and that I needed to "stick with this guy for a few months" He has told me he was up to date on STI testing which I'm taking his word for. We have not discussed being monogamous yet and will continue to have protected sex, with or without an IUD for now. Plus we've only been seeing each other for a few weeks so it's too early to tell if its even headed long term...

  2. I've been managing period cramps with medicinal marijuana and (as a last resort) prescribed Mefenamic acid and that seems to be working.

  3. I use a Diva cup and research tells me it's best to not use a cup with an IUD inserted. It would really bum me out to go back to using tampons and pads. Minor issue, but still.

Now that my cramps are manageable and I'm having protected casual sex (sometimes very sporadically), I'm wondering if it even makes sense for me to get an IUD at this point, or if it would be better to wait after/if I'm in a commited monogamous relationship? Besides the increased infection risk with new sexual partners, reading stories about some women bleeding every day for 1-2 months isn't ideal in the early stages of dating.

It seems most women who choose to get IUD's are in committed LTR or married and I'm wondering if that's the reason why? Or was my doctor just fear mongering?

Boric acid/vinegar/etc safe with IUD?


Quick question: is it okay to use boric acid capsules or apple cider vinegar when you have an IUD? Boric acid is my go-to for mild post-sex odor issues, it usually does the trick, but I guess I'm not sure if that's still ok with my new IUD. In my brain, it's possible that either substance might make it actually through the cervix somehow, so I just wanted to double-check that it was okay. Thanks!
So, it's been almost a year since I had the IUD inserted. I love not having to worry about pregnancy, but a few issues have popped up:

1. Periods are still kind of long, from spotting first couple days to a few days of bleeding followed by a couple days of spotting again. Usually ranging 7 to 9 days. Very frustrating.

2. Recently I've started to have RELENTLESS, stubborn pimples on my chin. When one goes down, 2 more pop up. I'm now trying Neutrogena Stubborn Acne to see if that helps, and also resuming the Calcium- Magnesium - Zinc and Cranberry pills. I'm assuming the pimples are related to the IUD, but there's also one or two things that I'm wondering could be the culprit: To keep "balanced," I've started using Vagisil's Ph Balanced Feminine wash which contains a prebiotic. It seems crazy, but I'm wondering if that could be behind it --maybe there's an interaction going on?

3. I may have experienced weight gain due to the IUD. For the longest time, I hovered between 125 and 129 lbs. I'm on a diet now, but for the past several months I've been stuck around 141-142 lbs. My diet has taken me down temporarily to around 136 lbs.

I don't want to give up on this IUD. But it appears that I'll have to choose between being abstinent, pregnant, or overweight with acne.

Fun with Jaydess

I'm in Canada, so have Jaydess, I think you Americans are calling it Skyla, from what I can understand, they are the same.

Because of medication I'm on, I'm not really able to take regular birth control, so this was kind of my only option besides condoms (which my ex wouldn't wear!).

The insertion was ok, a long way from fun, but not as bad as I had been expecting. I've never been pregnant, had only been having sex for a few months before I had it inserted. 27 years old at the time. I got it done on Dec 21 2015, my period had ended the day before.

I probably bled a little too much that day, I filled a pad with bright red blood, but felt pretty good, didn't even need advil. I took the day off but was back at work the second. I couldn't believe how little blood there was! I cramped a bit more than the day before, but I was moving around and lifting things so I wasn't worried. I had sex that night or the night after, and it was totally fine, didn't hurt, he said he could feel it, but barely.

I was so excited, thought this was the best thing ever, it was so easy...

Unfortunately the honeymoon was short lived. I made it through Christmas and lots of sex (too much information? probably, sorry) only to have my back randomly start hurting badly before bed on Dec 27. It was unlike any back pain I've had before, where it hurt to take a deep breath. I also started bleeding. I used up one panty liner every. single. day. for 8 days, with cramps.

I got 5 days off, then my period started 27 days after the last. It was awful. Heavy (for me anyway), sharp, stabbing cramps that had me gasping, clots. The cramps for the first few days were what I've imagined contractions to feel like, things would be ok for 5 minutes, light cramps, followed by about a minute of pain that would spread from low abdomen to my hips, stomach, and right in my vagina. After that would end, I'd get another 5-10 minutes of normal period pain. This went on for a day or 2 or 3, can't remember exactly. I wore liners/pads for the next 12 days, with cramps randomly thrown in. This is around the time I'm thinking how great birth control is: can't have sex at all!

Then sex stopped completely since my boyfriend and I broke up.

3 more periods go by, each slightly (and I do mean slightly) better than the last. There is random spotting/ cramping outside of the periods, and the periods lasted about 11 days. Extremely annoying after my usual 6 or 7 days.

Now it is April, so the 4th period after insertion- I started getting cramps, some the very painful ones I have described above on April 1st, day 27 in my cycle. They went on until day 32 when I finally got some blood to show for it. Cramps and pretty heavy bleeding carried on for another 3 days when I finally got fed up. Keep in mind that I'm not having sex anymore, the hope of clearer skin didn't apply to me, so there was no point in being on this anymore.

On April 10 2016, I squatted down in the shower and pulled the (insert a lot of curse words!!) thing out. I know, you're not supposed to, but I was just so sick of it, and I'm afraid of doctors and my work was too busy to even ask for time off. It was hard to get a grip on the strings (to be honest, I'd already tried several times before this day) but I was able to do it this time and when I pulled, I felt it move. Super weird feeling. So I kept going, and pushed down as well, next thing I knew it was out. I think there was an extra cramp or two as it was coming out, but not a big deal.

The bleeding was pretty heavy for the next 3 days, but without the horrible cramps! There was light cramping at times, but not bad at all. All bleeding finally stopped on April 16.

I have just finished my first period off the stupid birth control and I am pleased to report that it's right back to normal. Cramps, but no stabbing pains, blood loss back to normal... Done in 6 days.

I don't know what I'll do when I need to be preventing pregnancy again, because I hated that IUD most of the time and don't want to go through it again. Like I said before, the pill isn't really an option for me. I guess I'll just have to hope the next guy will wear a condom.

Wow this got really long... thanks for reading. Hope that if someone else is having an experience like this they'll feel less alone. I can't say everything is ok, since I haven't gone to a doctor to check. I feel good though.

A year in review: my IUD 1 year update

As the title suggests this post is about my experience in my first year of having Skyla IUD. I'm gonna start with a recap of my insertion and then to today. I got my IUD last year on May 18th, and I have been really excited to hit the first year. My body has fully adjusted and is doing great.

A little info about me: I am 24 years old and I have not had children.

A bit about my IUD: the brand is Skyla, it is a three year hormonal IUD. It is recommended for women what have not given birth because the insertion tool is smaller.

Here's the details.

The insertion:
My insertion went really well. I took some pain medicine about 30 minutes before my appointment, I honestly don't know if this helped or not. I experienced cramping that was intense but not unmanageable. I got the IUD inserted in the last day of my period which meant that it was practically nonexistent. I laid down on the table, popped my legs up, she took a look and then began. My doctor is wonderful and she explained everything and made me feel very comfortable and would often ask if I was okay. The worst part was when she measured my uterus, and it also took the longest. When she actually inserted the IUD it went fast. The whole fiasco was actually very short, I'm thinking less than 10 minutes. Feeling dizzy after insertion is normal but I felt relatively fine, I wasn't even cramping very much. As far as insertions go, I think mine pleasant and exactly what I expected. I used condoms for four weeks after insertion and at my check up I was cleared and my IUD was still in place. I had no complications.

The first 6 months:
I bled for a long time. I had moderate bleeding for about 2 weeks after insertion and then continued to spot for quite a long time. I feel it was at least 2 months of spotting. I tracked all of my bleeding but at the moment I can't refer to it. Toward the end it became very light and wasn't a big deal to me at all. I cramped on and off during this time. One reason I switched to the IUD was because the pill made me feel crappy and killed my sex drive. I started feeling more like myself and my drive started to come back. I tried to check my strings early on but I couldn't reach them, however my husband could. So the worst thing during this time was spotting and having to wear liners nearly everyday. Otherwise I was fine and the bleeding gradually got better everyday.

The last 6 months:
Once my body adjusted to the IUD I stopped bleeding altogether. I no longer have periods. There was a time about 3 months ago that for about 3 months I would bleed once a month for a couple hours during 1 day. It was odd and I did consider it a period since it happened consistently like a period. As of now that bleeding has stopped. I have been experiencing a little bit of cramping recently but nothing alarming or that is bothersome. Every now and then I may see a little pink when wiping but it has not happened in quite some time. I am absolutely smitten with my IUD. My sex drive is 100% back and in full force, my moods are not crazy, and overall I feel great.

Getting my IUD placed was the best decision I ever made. Even though I had to deal with quite a bit of bleeding, in the end the benefits certainly out weigh the negatives. Not having a period is great and not having to worry about my contraception is really nice. I am always conscious of my body and how I feel, I keep an eye on any weird cramping, but for the most part I approach it as set it and forget it. Currently I am having some issues with my strings, I didn't get them shortened in the beginning because my husband wasn't sure if he felt them during sex. He definitely does, it only happens occasionally but when it does he gets totally distressed about it. I'm booking an appointment soon because I'm due for a Pap smear and I will be getting them shortened. I am incredibly happy with my decision to go with the IUD. Initially I was very scared and wary of them but I would do it over in a heart beat and I will in two more years when this one runs out. I may go with the Mirena next, but I've got my eye on the copper one as well.

So that's that. I hope that this may help someone with their decision or that you just enjoyed reading it.


Weight Issues on Skyla - am I crazy??

Hello hello!

I've had my Skyla for a little over a year and a half now and I love it! Other than some mood swings and some cystic acne pretty much every period, it's the best. But I've recently been working my ass off trying to lose weight and...it won't freaking budge. And I'm thinking it might be the Skyla...

I have a long, complicated history with both BC and my weight. I'm 32, was on Yaz for maybe six months when I was 25 after being diagnosed with PCOS. Yaz was pretty great! Until I was hospitalized for a week with blood clots in my leg and lungs. Boom, HBC is no longer an option, for the rest of my life. I've been obese (220-230 lbs. at just under 5'3") my entire adult life, until something snapped in my brain about 4 years ago and I started losing weight. August 2014 saw me at 125 lbs. Also around that time, I met the Bae, which then led to the need for some type of BC. I had Skyla inserted in October of that year.

I didn't keep great records, I imagine I was too busy basking in the glory of my new-found (and first ever) sexual relationship, but between then and February the following year, I put on 13 lbs. I was able to take a few back off, but then...10 more lbs. And so on and on, I'm now almost 25 lbs over my lowest weight.

And it. Just. Won't. Come. Off. I'm even eating healthier than I was at the height of my weight loss (more protein and veggies instead of empty, albeit few, calories) and adding resistance training, on top of working out just as much. I don't get it. I know how to do this. But it's just not happening.

So if there's no link between IUD BCs and weight issues, am I just not trying hard enough? Is my metabolism just changing as I age (fuuuck)? I'm thinking about seeing my gyno about switching to Paragard, would it all be for naught?

Sorry for the length, any ideas will help!
I'm 21 and had my Liletta hormonal IUD inserted January 20, 2016. The insertion process was so painful I thought I was going to pass out. Afterwards, I experienced heavy bleeding and frequent severe, stabbing cramps that forced me to stay in bed. The cramps and bleeding lessened slightly after a few weeks, but haven't stopped. I saw a doctor after 2.5 months. After an exam and urine test, she determined that everything was normal and my body was still adjusting. She gave me some spasm medication, and sent me on my way. It's been almost 4 months now and I haven't stopped bleeding or cramping for more than a day or two since insertion. The stabbing cramps seem to be localized to the right side of my uterus. I'm thinking about seeing a doctor again, but I'm not sure if my body is still getting used to it and if the bleeding and pain will eventually subside. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

IUD safe with high impact (combat) sports?


I recently got my Paragard a little over a month ago, everything seems to be going ok. (Except for the strings ruining my favorite sex position, but that's another topic... >:() My last major hangup about it is whether or not it's safe for me to resume my martial arts training with this thing in? I feel like this is a silly question but I can't get it out of my head, and I'm scared to go back to the gym until I know the answer.

To be clear, I do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (among other things), which is full-contact sparring. Having someone's knee in my abdomen, with all their weight pushing into my belly, is completely normal and expected. (Especially because I'm still a beginner and get trapped in those situations a lot. :P) In addition, I also attend classes with a lot of kickboxing, which means getting struck in the belly somewhat frequently. (Hopefully through a pad, but we all mess up sometimes...)

I've Googled this to death but can't find an satisfying answer. Does anyone out there know if I'm 100% safe (well, as safe as I ever was) with this thing in my body now? Anyone out there have any experience they can share? I'm still getting used to the idea of having this foreign object in me and it kind of weirds me out still. :/