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How to trust my Paragard...

I only recently acquired the Paragard, last Friday to be exact (today is Monday). Very painful insertion, and have only had minor cramps and bleeding since then. My question to you all is, how did you start to trust the device? Prior to this I had the Nexplanon (arm implant), which I was in love with. However, it kept screwing with the other medications I was taking, as well as my weight, hence my decision to go with the Paragard. I trusted the Nexplanon enough to allow my boyfriend to finish inside me, every time. I could see and feel it anytime I wanted to know it was in place and (theoretically anyway) doing its job. I'm wondering how I can start to trust the Paragard to do the same. I know it's highly effective, but I think I've read too many "Got pregnant with Paragard/IUD" stories to trust it now, which is a shame. Any advice?


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 9th, 2017 06:04 pm (UTC)
I had the Nexplanon too, then Mirena and now Paragard.

What helped me with this anxiety is to remember that you can feel for the strings of your IUD in the same way you'd check your implant. That's how you know it's in place and working. Maybe you can't see it anymore, but you can definitely feel the strings and that's all you really need.

Also remember that you're going to hear about the failures more than the successes online. No one is going online every year writing, "I *didn't* get pregnant with Paragard/IUD!"

Compared to the pill or really any other BC, IUD's and Implants are the most effect with the only difference between the two being something like 0.4%! (99.8% with implant v. 99.4% with paragard or something).

That means out of 1,000 people, 2 may get pregnant per year with the implant vs. maybe 6 people per year on Paragard. Out of 1,000 people! Over an entire year!

Put differently, over the course of a year, *994 out of 1000* people on Paragard will *not* get pregnant.

And if you check your strings monthly as you are supposed to, you are even more likely to be a part of that 994 that don't get pregnant.

Not to mention, you'll get your period every month with Paragard, so again, you have monthly reassurance that way too that you are not pregnant. It might take some time to mentally adjust but you can trust your IUD as long as you check it as much as you checked your implant.

If you want to go the extra step to ease your mind, you can use an app like Clue and track your cycles. Just coming off of Nexplanon, you'll probably be irregular the first few months, but once you are regular again you'll know when to expect your period each month and that should give you some reassurance too. :D
Jan. 9th, 2017 07:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the reply! You made some really good points. I think I'm just a worrier. My strings are really long, but I was concerned about getting them trimmed up short because I don't want them to poke my boyfriend. I heard that they are supposed to soften. Do you know about how long that takes? Granted everyone is different and all......

I'm waffling on waiting until my 4 week checkup to go condomless though...Have the reassurance that the IUD is in place and unlikely to move at that point before we have "enhanced" fun. ;P
Jan. 9th, 2017 10:02 pm (UTC)
I don't really know how long it takes to soften up the strings because it's never been an issue for me. I know the doctor told me that Mirena strings are thicker than Paragard strings and that Paragard strings tend to be softer to begin with.

Either way, my husband has never felt anything with either one and he also has an ex who had an IUD and never felt those strings either. We had sex just 2 weeks after I got my paragard. He felt nothing IUD related at all.

Wait and see what it feels like for your partner first. If he can't feel them then there's no need to worry about trimming.
Jan. 9th, 2017 11:19 pm (UTC)
My last Mirena I did not have the strings trimmed, the most recent Mirena they were trimmed quite short. My partner could feel them either way, but they're not a bother. If your partner's penis can reach your cervix, he will likely be able to feel them whether they're short or long, unless they wind themselves around/behind your cervix.

I would agree with n2narcosis above to try it out with the strings long and only trim them if there's a problem, mostly because my strings were much easier to check when long and it sounds like you might be more comfortable being able to find them easily any time.
Jan. 10th, 2017 06:07 am (UTC)
I've had my Paragard for about 6 months now (or 7? I have poor timesense). The strings originally went and hid up behind my cervix, so all I could do was feel that there were strings present, but have now apparently softened because they're sort of flopping around beside the cervix instead, and feel... less stiff, kinda sorta. (I'm not gonna tug on them to find out if they're flexible, y'know?!)

I am tracking my bleed patterns, because I, too, am paranoid about the copper ions properly killing off the wigglies -- and while it's not like sickness and stress have let us do much (*grumble*), what we have done has not resulted in pregnancy thus far, if that helps.

I'd be fine with waiting for the checkup and reassurance, myself; the whole point of contraception is to feel more secure about having sex, and if you're not feeling secure, then it's not really fun...
Jan. 10th, 2017 03:22 pm (UTC)
Do you ever worry about the IUD shifting and not realizing it? I think that may actually be my biggest fear after all. But that's what checking the strings are for isn't it? Mine are so long I"m basically reaching up to feel around the cervix (Feels really hard) and feeling for anything metal or plastic. :D Thanks for replying, I'm definitely going to be tracking my bleeding patterns. That's a great idea.
Jan. 10th, 2017 05:40 pm (UTC)
In my case, I do not worry about my IUD shifting -- but my uterus has, according to the doctor, "a right angle turn" in it. It was extremely difficult (and painful!) to insert, and I don't think it's gonna be going anywhere. Like, ever. If I'm lucky, I'll hit menopause around the time it "expires" and maybe I'll just leave the little thing there if it doesn't cause any problems.

I did have my first IUD decide to live in my cervix (that right-angle turn fooled the first doctor; she inserted it up to the turn, not up to the "fundus" (top) of the uterus), and I could feel a little hard bump like a tiny joystick coming out the center of my cervix. It was very distinctive to me, though I've seen posts that note sometimes there are cervical cysts that feel hard as well. But basically, if you feel anything that feels like non-flesh, about the center of the cervix -- and especially if you have really bad cramps beyond the norm (I was doing some Breathing Through cramps the day it slipped down!) -- then talk to the doctor and they can check, or ultrasound.

(Note that your bleed patterns may well be slightly wonky for several months, and not just from the hormonal birth control leaving your system and letting your ovaries wake up. I have spotting a few days ahead of my true period, and was having spotting afterwards, too; the after-spotting has gone down, and it's not as many days of spotting ahead, 6-7 months in, but it's definitely different.)

Gotta run!
Jan. 9th, 2017 10:34 pm (UTC)
I was on HBC before the IUD and I trusted it to not fail me. Towards the end I didn't take the HBC as carefully as I should have and still, nothing happened. I had zero sex drive, so I didn't think taking birth control was a priority. My boyfriend at the time always finished inside me and nothing ever happened, so it was easy to make the jump to an IUD because I knew that there'd be no "usage error," i.e. perfect use would be guaranteed every time because there was no way I'd screw up.

I can't feel my strings (they've been trimmed very short because they used to poke my ex) but I have my period. My cycle is very regular and I've been using Clue to track it ever since I've gotten the IUD inserted almost three years ago. Clue has proven to be very reliable and I love it. It's easy to use, too. I don't use all its features, mostly I track my period and when I have sex including if my partner came in me. I used to have more than one sexual partner, so that seemed important. Even as I made the switch to (mostly) monogamy, I've kept up that habit.

If you're a worrier, maybe start out only letting him cum in you when you're not in your fertile window? (Again, Clue...).
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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