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Weight Gain and Paragard

 Let me preface this by saying that I love being off hormones and very badly want the Paragard to work for me.

I can't stand my stomach right now.  It has only gotten worse since insertion in February.  If I let it out as far as it can go naturally, I look 6 months pregnant.  I was a size 4 and 127 lbs at insertion, and have never fluctuated very much in weight unless I ate much more than usual.  But after insertion I very quickly (within a couple weeks) became a size 6+ in my pants and am now about 136 lbs.  It seems to mostly be around my stomach.  I didn't have this dramatic of a weight gain even on the Pill.  A quick google of other sites doesn't seem to indicate that it will go away.

Scientifically I'm not sure what might be causing this.  I've heard of people taking zinc to counteract the copper because of hair loss and other symptoms, but I can't find any evidence that the copper would cause the weight issues.  I read something else that suggested that the inflammation of the uterus might cause the weight gain.

I  feel disgusting enough to want to get the IUD taken out (i.e. I won't be able to wear a bathing suit this summer because people WILL think I'm pregnant), but I can't because it's the most bearable birth control out there for me and I need to stick with it.  I'm just so frustrated.... sex just isn't worth it for me (although my relationship is).

Comments

( 44 comments — Leave a comment )
clarinka
May. 3rd, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
Did you go off of hormones right when you had the insertion? If so I'm willing to bet that that's 9 lbs of bloat/water weight, and that it isn't permanent.
fleurdetragedie
May. 3rd, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
I had this problem, but I countered it by drinking a lot of water, which is just good for you anyways. The water weight goes right away.
amazonvera
May. 3rd, 2008 04:41 pm (UTC)
I could be wrong, but I don't think there's any clinical reason that the paragard should be causing weight gain.

I'd agree with above posters that going off the pill and/or retaining water might be the causes. Regardless, I'd try losing the weight through the methods above or diet changes and exercise before removing the IUD. Try to stay calm, keep things in perspective, and not let something like a little perceived weight gain derail your body image, sex life, and reproductive health.
elkay
May. 3rd, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
I have never heard of any evidence that non-hormonal methods of birth control could in and of themselves cause weight gain. Also, 9 pounds of weight gain is inconsistent with the dramatic kind of weight gain that is associated with (hormonal) birth control.

Nine pounds is not a significant weight gain at any rate, and certainly not enough to look 'six months pregnant'! I am very short even and while weight shows up faster on short people, ten pounds or so is something you notice, but other people really don't. And if they do they need to get a life.

Have you considered seeing a nutritionist or a doctor to talk about what is a normal weight for your height and body type, and come up with some sensible and sensitive ideas for maintaining a healthy weight, seeing yourself in a positive light and being happy with your body as it is.

Good luck.
coffeeaddict31
Jul. 24th, 2014 07:17 pm (UTC)
Weight Gain, other symptoms
I lost weight and kept it off for a year on Paragard, Once the year in a half mark hit I started gaining weight. I didn't change my diet or anything. I kept gaining. I went from 120 lbs size 00-0 pants to a size 4 at 158 lbs. There is a such thing as called copper toxicity from the IUD and it can cause weight gain. It can also make you feel as though you will be having a yeast infection every other month or every month before your period. I was checked no STI's not BV no Yeast Infection. It can also make your moods sucky worse than before. It was all after the year in a half mark. Do your research before getting this. I am getting it removed in a few days, honestly I can NOT WAIT!! This thing has also caused me to look like I was having the lining from my uterus coming out. They said it was from Tampons. I don't believe that as I have NEVER once had any issues before the insertion of this awful thing. I am also a Vegetarian, eat Extremely HEALTHY!
kitashla
May. 3rd, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
Er...I gained weight on every single pill I ever tried.

But I've never gained a pound on my paragard. Heck, I'm even losing weight with diet and exercise, something I was unable to do on the pill.
HaikuheM
Apr. 11th, 2012 04:59 am (UTC)
I'm planning on getting the PG inserted and have read a lot of stories about woman gaining weight and other issues such as heavy bleeding and cramps. My concern is the weight...I've already over weight and really do not want to add on. Yours was the first story that I read where you actually lost weight. I noticed that its been a few years now since your post on here so I just wanted to check with you to see if you are still losing weight? or if you are having problems with paragard.

Thanks,
paragard21508
May. 3rd, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)
okay...
I'm not a vain person and it is definitely not an imagined occurrence. My weight has crept up at other times gradually due to overeating and inactivity, but this is different because it's like a bowling ball suddenly appeared in my stomach within two weeks of IUD insertion. It's not about my body image or happiness with myself. Nine pounds that has all seemed to immediately go to one spot is a little scary for me and I'm trying to figure out why it's happened. I guess a foreign body close to the abdomen can cause some issues.

I'm not taking the IUD out, since I paid $550 out of pocket for that sucker (terrible insurance). I think my next step is to cut out diet pop and drink a lot of water to see if that helps the bloating. Thanks for the input :)
sparklysquid
May. 3rd, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
Re: okay...
I've got paragard too and this happens to me when I get my period. I bloat up so bad that I can barely stand up straight. I don't look 6 mos. pregnant, but my stomach does distend quite a bit. (I also get shooting pains in my rectum, but I think this is because I have a retroverted uterus.) I had all of these issues before I got paragard; they're just worse now. The good part is that they end with my period. If yours don't, I think you might want to get things checked out down there. You could have an infection of some sorts. To help the bloating, I've found that extra water, Activia yogurt, peppermint tea, and cuttind down the salt/caffeine/artificial sweetener has helped.
elkay
May. 4th, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC)
Re: okay...
Shooting rectal pain says 'IBS' to me very loud and clear, especially given that water, yogurt, peppermint, and cutting those other things helps make you feel better!
clarinka
May. 4th, 2008 02:45 am (UTC)
Re: okay...
Another thing to consider: how frequently and at what time of day do you weigh yourself? I know that for me, my weight can fluctuate up to 10lbs during the course of the day, from morning to evening, with food and liquid intake, etc. If you weigh yourself once a week at the same time every time, you get a more accurate measure. I stand by my original assertion that it's probably just bloat, but I'd bet you that nobody but you would notice the difference. 6 months of pregnancy is usually a little bit more weight gain than 9 lbs ;).

Hope you feel better soon, though. Going off of hormones can make your body do some weird stuff, and the vast majority of it is temporary.
jaralith
May. 3rd, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
I understand how it's creepy. I had to work like mad to gain ten pounds. I'm up a pants size right now too, but I'm only two days post-insertion so I'm not too worried. If it's inflammation, ibuprofen/naproxen might work... if it's water retention, that can be fixed too. I think nine pounds of fat would have distributed itself more evenly, not all in the abdomen.

Do come back and post what happens, so we all know what to do. =) Good luck!
fadingmemories
May. 3rd, 2008 11:02 pm (UTC)
Odd. I've lost about 10 pounds since switching to the paraguard and I'm continuing to loose weight. It makes me quite happy as I've already gone down a pants size without any change in diet and a lower activity level.
new_shit
May. 4th, 2008 10:02 am (UTC)
For the first few months my belly was sort of swollen, and I didn't suck it in at all because I was tender. It's mostly gone now. I do still feel like I have more on my belly than I used to though, although I didn't actually gain any weight.

I've thought about getting mine taken out too, but I can't stand condoms, and refuse to do hormonal BC, so I don't really have another choice. =P
elkay
May. 4th, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, many people have a slightly puffy tummy after getting their IUD during adjustment. I had that too, but without significant weight gain I don't think. It went away.
lever2000
May. 5th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
The weight might go away in a couple months. *crosses fingers*
blue_hibiscus20
Jun. 2nd, 2008 09:07 am (UTC)
Paraguard CAN Cause Weight Gain!
I have had the Paraguard since October 2007 and I am experiencing the same thing! I switched from the Mirena to the Paraguard in hopes that I would not have mood swings and weight gain like I did with Mirena. Unfortunately I am still steadily gaining weight, I was always a steady 107 lbs., at 5'2". Now I am 122 lbs., and I look pregnant! I eat pretty healthy, tofu... lean red meat, plenty of vegetables. I have even become more active - cardio, weights, pilates/yoga - to no avail. I've gone from a size 1/3 to a 5/7, I do not fit into any of my old clothes except for sweatsuits. It's not that I feel overweight, but I am very small-boned and it does not look right on me.

Not only am I gaining weight but I have been experiencing pain in my right side, now finally tonight my left side (hence the Google searches on the Paraguard), the occasional pain during intercourse, unusual and FREQUENT discharge and heavier periods (though they don't last any longer than before). The only idea I can think of that would cause the weight gain is the fact that the Paraguard is still a foreign object in your body... your uterus nonetheless. Perhaps your body thinks you are pregnant and holds onto whatever fat it can in an attempt to keep reserves for the 'bun in the oven'?

I am scheduling an appointment tomorrow to have it removed. I am not used to such pain and weight gain and I've been on Depo-Provera AND Mirena without such consequences. I will miss having a libido, which was the 2nd best feature of the Paraguard, after not having to worry about getting pregnant for 10 yrs.!
rose82
Feb. 8th, 2009 12:41 am (UTC)
Re: Paraguard CAN Cause Weight Gain!
Hello. I have the Mirena ( 15 months). I have not gained weight but my sex drive has lessened and I am more moody. Just wondering how the Paragard overall was for ur mood and sex drive.
tucktuck3
Feb. 25th, 2009 08:07 am (UTC)
Re: Paraguard CAN Cause Weight Gain!
Actually, the Paraguard does not make your body think it is pregnant; rather the copper in it causes you to release prostaglandins. It's the hormones (mainly progesterone) in BC pill, depo and small doses in the Mirena that "trick " your body into thinking it's pregnant. So this theory doesn't make any sense for the Paragaurd.
I'm not sure what could be causing those problems.
I just got the Paraguard inserted 5 days ago and my belly feels like it's protruding a few inches but this may also be the fact that I am going to start my period in a few days. I was really hoping to LOSE weight from getting off all the hormones (was on the pill for 8 years prior).
I hope everything has already or will resolve itself though.
tinymortal
Jun. 3rd, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC)
paraguard = puffy tummy
i'd like to preface this by saying that I love my paragard -- the benefits far outweigh the side effects. At least I don't have hormones making me into a nut job! :)

i got my lovely copper baby-blocker in Feb '08. The only downer is the periods = brutal!! Super heavy bleeding and really painful cramps. The cramps have subsided a little with each month tho. But 4 months post-insertion, I think my tummy is still swollen. It makes sense tho [sorry for the TMI] -- everything was pretty swollen inside for a couple weeks after the insertion. Intercourse was even painful in certain positions for the first two months [thankfully no longer an issue!].

Anyway, for a while I thought my slightly puffier pooch was due to my 8-10lb winter-weight-gain. But I realized that my pooch has a different look and around my period, my whole abdomen is kinda tender and it hurts to wear tight jeans. Hence I think I'm still swollen.

So here's my theory about paragard weight gain - at least for me: I think having brutal periods has contributed to my general lack of enthusiasm for working out. It's hard to play soccer and go to yoga or the gym when I physically just don't feel good. And I'm not used to having cramps the week before my period! Plus my period is like 7 heavy heavy days long now. Not fun...

So I think being crampy and/or bleeding for half the month put me on a downward spiral of weight gain -- cause skipping the gym becomes habitual SO easily!

I just hope my periods get better! In the meantime, I just need to buck up, take some ibuprofen and get back on the fitness train! sorry to sound so cheesy but I hope this helps others that are being affected the same way.
laniberry
Dec. 15th, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
Paragard / weight
I had my Paragard inserted 33 days ago and have, since then, gained shocking 9 lbs., without any other big lifestyle change. I'm a vegetarian, exercise regularly, and try to stay healthy and active; I don't have a history of significant bloating before or during my period; I drink 8-10 glasses of water daily in an effort to keep my body hydrated and flushed. Also, I have never been on hormonal birth control -- only condoms and diaphragms until now -- so I know the weight gain can't be attributed to switching over from a pill.

We've heard from some women who insist that Paragard can't affect weight, since it doesn't introduce hormones into our bodies, and this may sound logical -- but the truth is that the medical community doesn't know why copper prevents sperm from fertilizing an egg. The whole basis of why & how Paragard works is a mystery. Given this large gap in our medical knowledge of Paraguard, it doesn't seem like too much of a stretch to think that copper may possibly affect our bodies in other ways than preventing fertilization. We already know that it tends to make periods heavier and longer, and intensifies cramps, so why do we so readily dismiss weight gain as a possible side effect? Again, we don't know why Paragard works, but it obviously does. It is really so impossible to believe that it may not trigger weight gain in some women.

Another unpleasant side effect seems to be, for me, acne. I usually have clear(ish) skin, but I now have small eruptions all over the lower half of my face. The left side of my chin feels pebbly with at least 15 small pimples. I'm on day 6 of my first period with Paragard and, in addition to the severe cramps and shocking quantity of blood, seem to have the complexion of an unfortunate 15 year old. (I'm 31 and have never had much acne, even as a teenager.)

My bigger concern right now is the weight gain. It disgusts me that in only a month I've gained so much weight that I can't fit into my favorite jeans... even my loose clothes feel snug. I've always had a flat stomach, but I can now feel it pudging out, even when flat on my back in bed.

Have those of you who have noticed weight gain stuck with the Paragard or have you had it removed? Either way, did you notice a return to your normal weight? I love the convenience of Paragard, but won't sacrifice my weight for it.
atmyservice
Jan. 7th, 2009 12:39 am (UTC)
Re: Paragard / weight
Well i have had the paragard since June of 2007....initially i had no problems at all with the insertion or the recovery or the side effects (none at the time).

Now, a year and a half later, I have gained 25 pounds (barely eating), mainly in my face and abdomen, and am having a hair loss issue. I am not taking any medication that could be causing any of these problems...i've racked my brain thinking it's my fault.

I have severe cramping especially during my period. I also bleed heavier than before. The pain is almost specifically isolated to my left side though. And not a cervical pain, more like ovarian? I actually had my doctor do several tests and they found a tiny cyst which should not be the reason for all this.

I have two kids so i am not having the paragard removed, but these side effects which are normally blamed on hormones DO happen with the copper IUD as well.

So sad,
Jen
cbdetroit
Feb. 16th, 2009 02:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Paragard / weight
Wow. I seriously thought I was going crazy. I had my Paraguard inserted in August 2008. I have since gained 18 lbs. 18lbs for no reason in six months!! There has to be something to the copper and weight gain. I'm also experiencing brutal periods and shooting rectal pains. I actually went to the doctor last week because I was concerned about colon cancer. She thinks the IUD is tilting toward my intestines and could be triggering the lower colon/rectal pains. Anyway, today, I will join Weight Watchers and see if I can get the weight off. I'm definitely done having kids but I'm not sure this was such a good idea. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.
apathyinside
Jan. 13th, 2010 06:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Paragard / weight
"but the truth is that the medical community doesn't know why copper prevents sperm from fertilizing an egg"

are you seriuos? maybe you don't, but the medical community certainly does. copper is toxic to sperm (and the egg). the periods get heavier because of the increased blood circulation in the uterus which copper also triggers.
laniberry
Jan. 13th, 2010 07:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Paragard / weight
According to the three excellent gynecologists I have seen since my Paragard was inserted in Nov. 2008, the medical community isn't sure why copper prevents fertilization.

Yes, one of the going theories is that copper "seems to" or "appears" to be toxic to sperm, (not necessarily eggs), but it hasn't been conclusively proven. Another popular theory is that the copper produces an inflammatory reaction in the uterus that attracts white blood cells, and those white blood cells produce substances that seem to be toxic or poisonous to sperm -- in which case the copper is the catalyst, but it is the white blood cells that create the toxin.

I’ve looked into this quite a bit because I was worried about introducing a potentially harmful foreign object into my body, and I have yet to find a medical study that definitively proves, as you insist, that copper is toxic to sperm. (There is, however, some worrisome evidence that copper isn’t exactly fabulous for our own bodies.)

If you can cite a reputable study that conclusively proves your claim, I'll eat my words and correct my doctors. In the meantime, I am “seriuos” [sic] in that I will continue to listen to what trusted gynecologists have told me, independent of each other -- which is that the medical community doesn’t precisely know why Paragard works.

The good news, however, is that is does work -- with a 99.4% effectiveness (according to Paragard’s marketing material). And after 14 months with it, the excessive bleeding has subsided, the cramping and acne are manageable, my weight has dropped, and -- most importantly -- I haven’t had to worry about birth control.
bduffy777
Apr. 25th, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Paragard / weight
Sorry, apathyinside -- but she's right. Doctors don't know exactly why the copper iuds work. If you ask any obgyn or go on paragard's site itself (or pick up their pamphlet), you will learn that the scientific community does NOT no. For example, one of the many, many paragard explanations:

How does ParaGard® work?

Ideas about how ParaGard ® works include preventing sperm from reaching the egg, preventing sperm from fertilizing the egg, and preventing the egg from attaching (implanting) in the uterus. ParaGard ® does not stop your ovaries from making an egg (ovulating) each month.


They don't know...they just know it works. They can tell you 'it prevents the sperm from reaching the egg' but can't elaborate. I've asked four doctors. All four have said the same. So they go with the vague 'it prevents sperm from reaching the egg' route. It's the same with a lot of things -- they aren't sure, they can speculate, test out hypotheses, etc...eventually, they'll figure it out...but they really don't know.

And, it causes weight gain. I'm a runner, a vegan, and have never in my entire existence had an issue with weight gain unless I ate myself sick. I put on five solid 'tire around the waist' pounds....along with periods lasting 2 weeks (when they were only 3-4 days for my entire life), terrible cramps, and a disgusting discharge that apparently 'happens' b/c of the paragard. (and no, the discharge isn't from anything else...and I'm not sexually active.)

I hate the thing. I can't take hormones and really am considering at this point in my life of getting my tubes tied.
Angela Hamon
Mar. 30th, 2012 05:33 am (UTC)
Have there been any studies to suggest that the presence of hormone free IUD could *trigger* the production of hormones by your body? I suspect this is possible, and therefore the dreaded side effects may or may not show up no matter which IUD you get. I have had to have both types removed. and had one expulsion (after surgery to repair damaged cervix). These devices are risky and if you pack on weight that you never had before, I would blame that device whether it was 9 pounds or 90, since they only came after the stupid device.
s160tigger
Feb. 28th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
Weight gain
I just had the Paraguard removed yesterday. I had spotting and heavy bleeding since I had it inserted in July 2008. I gained 15 lbs and haven't changed my eating habits too much, actually I started trying to watch what I eat more carefully. As soon as the paraguard was removed the bleeding stopped. I am hoping this 15 lbs will come off also. I didn't think the paraguard could be the cause of my weight gain until reading these posts. Everyone's body is different so I'm sure a foreign object in the body can have different effects on different women. I'm going back to the Nuva Ring to regulate my period and its easy. Expensive but easy. Good Luck!
triboobedbetty
Sep. 17th, 2009 02:45 am (UTC)
To: People curious about Paragard
First, let me say, I have 1 child, who just turned 6 years old and I had her vaginally. My body does not handle hormones well AT ALL! After years of trying different birth control methods, Paradard was my last option.

I had it inserted January 26th, 2009. First of all, the insertion was very painful, followed by a week of horrible cramping.

I then got PID( pelvic inflammatory infection)
which i had to take antibiotics for.

Here is my period calendar since insertion:

1/18/09- started period
1/25- p. over
1/26- IUD insertion
1/27- started bleeding again
2/2- p. over
2/9- started
2/23- p over
3/11- started
3/19- stopped
4/6- started
4/16- stopped
5/3-5/13 period
5/22- spotting
6/3-6/11- period
6/29-7/20 period
8/1-8/13 period
8/24-8/31 period
9/4 spotting
9/5 spotting
9/6 spotting
9/15- present period

Now, doesnt that seem a little ridiculous to anyone?

But wait, it gets better. My periods were heavy and PAINFUL! I had to get 2 perscriptions for vicodin! and 1 for ultram (tramadol).

Ive taken countless ibuprophen and diuretics for pain and swelling
which you need to know, the swelling has been HORRIBLE! To the point where i have been in tears on countless occasions because of the level of discomfort and weight gain.

And on the topic of weight gain, i dont care what any doctor or ANYONE says, the Paragard DOES cause weight gain. I am a fit and active person and have maintained my weight for years.

I HAVE GAINED ALMOST 15 POUNDS! SINCE JANUARY!

Not only have i been completely uncomfortable and in horrible pain for so long, i never have sex anymore because i feel disgusting, and im always on my period!

Do your research before getting this thing! Its crazy.

Oh, and someone else had mentioned other digestive issues maybe being associated with this and i agree. my cramps were nothing like they used to be, i feel it all the way up my abdomen to my chest. anytime i have gas or a BM, it irritates my uterus.

Sometimes, the pain can be dabilitating.

My doc kept telling me "wait it out. it will get better"

Well, im done with that. I have an appointment next week to get my life back.
mic_keiya1
Nov. 12th, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
IM SUPPOSED TO GET THE PARAGARD ON THIS COMING FRIDAY NOW IM SECOND GUESSIN IT
hair7583
Sep. 28th, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
Bloating
I have had the paragaurd for three months now. I'm 26 with 3 children. I current DON'T WANT ANYMORE KIDS! So I decided to get an IUD. All of my adult life I have been 5'4 at 118-122lbs. Since I've had the IUD I've gained almost 20lbs. I actually love the weight gain, but I hate the fact that it has started to make me look 4 months pregnant. I have a very attractive body, but this stomach is making me look akward. Does this go away?
mrshernandez
Jul. 2nd, 2010 04:24 pm (UTC)
23 with 3 kids had the IUD removed
I had the paragard inserted after having baby #3. It has been one year and I just had it removed because my periods were coming about every 20 days and lasting 8 days. I weigh more now than what I did 9 months pregnant with my baby. I was having serious headaches and stomach pains. I took the IUD out and have already lost about 5 lbs. I think my body was reacting to the copper. I chose the paragard because I am allergic to latex. but i became less interested in everyday activities along with depression and mood swings with my husband. With the last couple of months I have fought with my hubby more than ever and I have been with him for 5 years. I am very happy that I will finally get myself back. I do NOT recommend this to no one. Foreign objects are not suppose to be inserted.
big_a31
Aug. 19th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC)
paragard/weight
I am 31, have 1 child, and got paragard in February 2009 because I cannot take hormonal birth control. I began noticing a swollen stomach a few weeks after insertion (my boyfriend at the time actually commented on it because it seemed to happen overnight!). There are days where I seriously look 3-4 months pregnant. I've never had issues with bloating, weight gain, cramping, or acne... all of which started after insertion. I am 5'3" and weighed a steady 108 pounds for years before I had my son. I've actually always had trouble keeping weight on (whether I was on hormonal birth control or not using anything). After having my son I dropped down to 95 punds (yes I know this is too thin, but I couldn't gain weight). After instertion I have steadily gained approximately 20 pounds.

I am a very healthy eater, workout regularly, and have always been thin. There are days where the water weight is so bad that my entire body feels swollen... face, legs, stomach, hands... and the only thing I can fit into is a pair of leggins or sweats. But, the worst part is that no matter what I do my stomach is no longer flat. I actually work out more now than I did before getting paragard because I'm constantly trying to keep my weight in check. Not only have I noticed weight gain, but I get bumps under my skin (mostly around my chin) which I have never had before.

I have an appointment with my doctor in a couple of weeks and I'm going to discuss having the IUD removed with her. I have seen her very frequently for all these issues, so she's well aware of what's going on with me. Regardless of whether or not this is "supposed" to happen with paragard I think we can all see from the posts here that it does. My brother's in medical school and they just discussed how the IUD works in one of his classes. It's a mystery to the medical community... but one theory is that your body "thinks" its pregnant, so it won't allow a fertilized egg to implant. If this is the case perhaps the uterus is preparing a cushy place for baby ;-)... no matter the reason, I want my old body back so this thing's gotta go. The weight gain may not be so unbearable if it wasn't mostly in my belly!
smalleen
Oct. 12th, 2010 10:01 pm (UTC)
IUD problems
I am 35 years old and have not had any pregnancies. I recently got the paragard and immediately gained 9 pounds the first week of my insertion. I am a new grad nurse and weight gain that rapidly is caused by fluid retention. I called planned parenthood to tell them and they disregarded me. They told me that there was NO direct connection between the paragard and weight gain. There are no hormones, there is NO WAY it was responsible for the weight gain. I also experienced constant bleeding for the last two months and cramping so severe that i have to lay down, do deep breathing and use a heating pad. I am starting a new job in November and decided to take out the paragard after these last two months from hell. I am 5 foot 1 and was 120 at the time of insertion. I am fairly athletic and muscular. I am now 132 and have before and after pictures because I look 3 or 4 months pregnant. All the weight has gone to my abdomen, as my legs and face look completely normal. I cannot convince anyone at Planned Parenthood that the IUD caused any of this weight gain. I am frustrated because I wanted a birth control that was not hormone based. Now I am considering tubal ligation. Thanks for having this forum because I felt like no one would believe what I was going through. Overall, this has given me a bigger understanding for chronic pain and people not wanting to go to a doctor because they think no one will believe them.
big_a31
Nov. 9th, 2010 03:29 pm (UTC)
Re: IUD problems
I had my paragard taken out about 5 weeks ago.. I've already lost 7 pounds. Most of the weight loss occured in the first week, but I don't own a scale so I had to wait for my next doctor's visit to see how much I'd actually lost. My doctor is amazing.. and she said that while this isn't a listed side effect of Paragard it was obviously my body's reaction to either the foreign object in my body or a chemical contained in it. Regardless of the reason I'm so happy to be back at my normal weight of 108. Also, my stomach hasn't swollen once since I had Paragard removed and I haven't had cramping or been insanely ravenous around my period. I now use a diaphragm because I wanted to stay hormone free and am very happy with it.
geekgal84
Dec. 22nd, 2010 12:50 am (UTC)
Had the Paragard for 7 months and it was awful :(
First off, I find it hilarious that someone on here said that doctors know why the Paragard works and Copper is "toxic" to sperm. Look at the Paragard website, it says even the manufacturers DON'T know why it is effective.

I had my IUD inserted last April. I had been on the NuvaRing and even though I liked it, my copay with my insurance climbed from $20 to $40 to $60 a month. I decided to try the Paragard because I have no intentions of having children for at least five years, and it was free for me to get it. I was told there would be no weight gain or noticeable side effects because it didn't release a hormone.

Over the months I had it, I had a multitude of side effects. I experienced really extreme sugar/salt cravings. My periods were very, very heavy, and would vary from 2-9 days. I would get sore from my pelvis all the way down to my knees, every single month, particularly in my lower back. I also retained so much water weight that I couldn't wear certain pairs of pants because they wouldn't even zip up.

Flash forward to 7 months later. During the month of November, I bled 20 out of 30 days. I had severe abdominal cramping to the point where I had to go see my gyno to get an ultrasound. When they weighed me, I had put on 20 lbs, nearly all of it in my abdomen. I have also noticed puffiness around my chin and "jowl" area. The reason I was having so much pain and abnormal bleeding is because my body had rejected the IUD and it was lodged in the side of my uterus. I had to have it removed (which, if you can imagine, was even more painful than having it inserted).

I realize that there is not supposed to be weight gain associated with this IUD, but a friend of mine had hers inserted shortly after mine, and has had a similar experience. I am going back to the NuvaRing. At least I know that if it dislodges that I won't nearly bleed to death. :P
star2273
Jan. 28th, 2011 12:47 am (UTC)
Paragard / Polyp on Uterus / Weight Gain / Bloating
Hi,

This forum has helped me through my IUD experience so I feel like I owe it to everyone the let you know my experience. I got my Paragard inserted in the beginning of October 2010. The day I got it, my stomach bloated up. I thought I'd wait a little while as I had read that it may take up to 6 weeks for the bloating to subside. It did go down a little after the first month. Then I gained about 7lbs. from 118lbs. (I quite HBC one month before the IUD), up to 125lbs. Meanwhile, I did a complete overhaul on my diet and exercise---little to no fat + 5 workouts per week of weights (1 hour) and cardio (run 2-3 miles). Still nothing! So frustrating.

I got it removed today and they said I had a polyp on my uterus. Polyps appear to be affected by hormone levels and grow in response to circulating estrogen. Too much estrogen will cause you to have a "spare tire" stomach. So here I am, 4 months later with a polyp that needs to be removed immediately and 7 lbs. that need to come off. If any doctor tells you that it doesn't affect your own hormone levels, I'd tell them to take a hike back to med school!

Anyhow, best of luck to everyone that is having these problems. Do yourself a favor and get it removed. Don't second guess yourself with the lure of 10 year "perfect" birth control!
jesicapm
Mar. 4th, 2011 04:59 pm (UTC)
I posted my (so far brief) experience on a similar thread. I'm 26, never been pregnant. I had a Copper IUD inserted yesterday, and my belly feels very tender, distended and bloated too. Aparts form that, I'm not feeling many cramps and almost no pain, but my lower abdomen is probably 1-2 cm bigger (in circumference) than yesterday. The bloating seems to go all the way up to my ribcage. I've been taking 400 mg of ibuprofen 3 times a day and driking lots of water, but it doesn't seem to help.

I was hoping it would go away in a week or so, but after reading this I'm getting worried. I really like the idea of non-hormonal contraception, but I do feel very uncomfortable now and I can't imagine being like this long-term.

I'll wait it out, I really hope it goes away soon. I live this community, I've been reading posts for several months while I considered the IUD. Good luck to you all.
liberty
Mar. 12th, 2011 03:15 pm (UTC)
I'd just like to say that I went on the Paraguard a year ago and it's been great. I wasn't on hormonal birth control before it was put in.

I have had no weight gain. My cycles are the same length and bleeding lasts as long as it did before. A few days are heavier than usual but I suspect this is because there is no clotting anymore.

I used to have really bad cramps before my period, the kind that would leave me in bed all day long, in pain and fatigued. I don't get those anymore. I do get cramping in the middle of my bleeding, but it is closer to that "shooting rectal pain" other people have reported. I get gas with this pain too though, so that could be causing it (I have IBS). It lasts maybe one or two days.

Is it possible that people who've noticed side effects just aren't used to life with a regular menstrual cycle not controlled by hormones? My weight and size and mood fluctuate all during my cycle, but that's just normal.
kanzan
Mar. 13th, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC)
I think the experiences described about the abdomen weight gain and it being significant amounts in short periods of time are more than just a regular menstrual cycle. I'll bloat a little with my normal cycle, but my abdomen doesn't stay larger, and weight only changes up to 5lbs at most with water retention over the course of the month- not 9 lbs plus.
liberty
Mar. 13th, 2011 09:54 pm (UTC)
I haven't noticed any significant weight loss or gain myself at all. I've never noticed my abdomen getting bigger either. But, this is just my experience.

I just think stuff like weight gain is something too anecdotal to be considered a side effect of the paraguard. A lot of women went off hormonal birth control and it may have changed their body, and although they say they exercised and ate a healthy diet, how do we know this is true? Even just eating a hundred more calories a day than your body needs is enough to affect your weight.

I just think it's weird that everyone is being really negative about this form of birth control, and the number one reason appears to be weight gain.
scorpio_92
Sep. 4th, 2013 12:36 am (UTC)
I hope women are still accessing this page!
I had my iud inserted August 2nd, 2013, so it's barely been a month. My concern has been weight gain. Before iud I was 5'4 125 lbs. I actively go to the gym (3-5xs a week) and I have a beautifully organic diet- so please don't respond saying I need to be more active And change my diet.. THIS is the reason it's bothering me . I shouldn't be gaining any weight .. I was maintaining it and literally out of no where I am 140 lbs! Not only have I gained fifteen pounds but they have STUCK. I've never stopped by workout regimen so there is so reason for it. It's clearly apparent that the weight is in my stomach and hips.... I'm barely squeezing into my clothes and I too don't have to have sex any more because of it! Oh the joy of being a woman.
I'm simply curious if any women have gotten their iud removed and lost the weight they've put on or if over time (still having iud) the weight went away.
Any help would be great! I've been researching my head off and it only seems to scare me more and more... Iud pregnancies, copper poisoning, need to be surgically removed. Ah..........
Shylene Wayna
Sep. 19th, 2013 03:43 am (UTC)
Hi I've been on paragard since feb. 2010 and ive experienced heavy cramps to the point where it feels like im in labor again and also ive noticed that i never lost that distended belly after i had my daughter. I have not been able to get below 200 lbs without starving myself to death and before i got pregnant i was only 145 and never had trouble with weight. Im also horribly sensitive and moody and I'm always depressed. I can't believe my doctor told me there was no side effects. I have unexplained acne and even when I was going to the gym five days a week 2 hours a day and eating right i couldn't get below 185 pounds. My sex life has gone down the tubes as I always feel unattractive and I have no desire to go to the gym anymore hence all the cramps and heavy bleeding that happens. My periods have never been heavy at all. I'm calling tomorrow to get an appt to have this removed for good I will never use this birth control method again. I will keep everyone posted after I get it removed to see what happens. I had no idea until I started reading all the posts about it thank you to all who posted and good luck
navona
Mar. 26th, 2014 12:01 am (UTC)
I've only had my Paragard for two months, but these past two months have not been comfortable. I was previously not on any form of birth control besides condoms, and I chose Paragard because I wanted to remain hormone free. Since the insertion of my IUD, I've experienced weight gain (only about 5lbs, but I can feel it on my small frame. I've been exercising and watching what I eat in an effort to lose the weight, but to no avail). My face breaks out more than it ever has before, and I get these huge painful cystic acne pimples that take forever to go away. The worst, however, is my mood. I've been uncharacteristically anxious and irritable these past couple of months. I also experience more painful menstrual cramps and a heavier flow, but I'm OK with these side effects as I knew they were common and expected side effects of the IUD prior to insertion. I cannot say with 100% certainty that it is the Paragard causing all of these negative changes in my body, but it seems the likely culprit. I'm anxious about discussing these issues with my doctor and then subsequently being dismissed because there is no conclusive evidence that Paragard can cause these symptoms.

Just wanted to add my voice to the discussion. I'm going to give my body a few more months to hopefully adjust, but if my symptoms continue, I cannot see myself living with the Paragard.
( 44 comments — Leave a comment )

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