January 13th, 2013

  • kerkh56

New Copper IUD User

I just wanted to share my experience since others' posts in this community have been so helpful to me. For the majority of the past 5 years, I have not consistently used a form of hormonal birth control because of the side effects I would get. I have tried all different types of birth control pills as well as the nuvaring -- I would get moody, irritable, depressed and my sex drive was gone -- I didn't feel like I gained any weight and my breasts would get bigger (a plus!) but the effects on my mental health were awful. I spoke with several doctors about it who said "Oh just hang in there, give it a few months...it might get better." However, I felt like if I continued to take hormones that made me act like a crazy person, I'd have no reason to take them anyway because no one would want to have sex with me! I just didn't feel like I should have to "hang in there" -- if something makes me depressed, its probably not the best thing for me, right? I had thought about getting a non-hormonal IUD but didn't know much about it and wasn't sure if many doctors recommended it. I did a lot of research and found a doctor through my insurance who performed IUD insertions often. I saw the new doctor for my annual exam and told her I wanted to get on some form of birth control but I haven't had good experiences with hormones -- I asked if there is any newer lower dosed pill that maybe wouldn't give me those awful side effects. My doctor said "Honestly, whether you're taking low/medium/high dose of hormones -- you will probably get the same side effects." We talked about the copper IUD and she acted like it was no big deal, that it was a good option for me, and was like "OK, just give us a call when you get your next period and we'll schedule you to come in." She gave me some information and from then on I did a lot more in-depth research.
A week later I got my period and made my appointment for 1:30pm on a weekday -- the receptionist said the appt would be about 20 minutes. After reading others' experiences I took 600mg ibuprofen before my appointment. I'm pretty tough -- I've never felt anything during a pap smear and cramps don't really bother me so I didn't expect the insertion to be a big deal.
I wasn't given any kind of medications before the insertion like some others were -- but I was menstruating so maybe that's why. I won't really get into the details but it was a very quick procedure. At one point during the insertion, I think I yelped and kind of jumped because of the cramping, but it was so quick that I was fine. I definitely felt cramping during the insertion but nothing unbearable. I went back to work and was moving very slowly! The cramping got pretty intense and I was almost afraid to move/laugh/cough/sneeze. I kept popping ibuprofen and to be totally honest, I was not comfortable. I couldn't have gone to the gym in my state (especially since I couldn't wear a tampon at that point) and I could barely sleep that night due to the severe cramping -- and I was uncomfortable with the thought that there was a foreign device inside me! The next day I was a little better -- I was more comfortable but definitely had constant cramping all day long. I had a hot pack that day and I think it helped a little bit -- I also tried to stretch and move around to feel better. I did go to the gym but was pretty cautious of my movements. Day 3 was a lot better -- I started to feel more comfortable moving around normally and I didn't have much cramping compared to the days before. Its now Day 4 and I have had a couple cramps here and there but nothing compared to the first day I got it. I'm not really bleeding anymore (my period started Tuesday, it is now Sunday -- got the IUD Thursday) and I must note that my bleeding did not seem to increase with the IUD (my periods have always been "average": 6-7 days, heavy bleeding that tapers off, moderate cramps).
I was worried I was going to have cramping for a week after the insertion but I'm glad that its now Day 4 and I feel so much better. I was not a happy camper the first 2 days but I can now say that it was totally worth it. And believe it or not, despite the pain/cramping, my sex drive has still been intact (if I were on hormones, it would be a totally different story). Oh and I should also mention, my insurance covered the IUD -- I will not have to pay a dime.
I'm very happy with my decision and I'm glad I was able to read about others' experiences beforehand!
I don't think its for everyone, but if you can't tolerate hormones, I think it's a lifesaver!

Getting my Gynefix IUD

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to thank the IUD Divas community. I did most of my research here before getting my IUD and the stories here really helped me choose my IUD and prepared me for what to expect. I recently got my IUD last month at the Vancouver Willow Women's Clinic and shared my experience on my blog

You can read it here. It is very detailed and I hope other ladies will find it helpful just like I found all your stories helpful :).

The Period Blog: Getting My IUD

I'm Really a Mermaid

Bath After Insertion?

23, NP, first time Mirena user. I had my Mirena inserted on Friday morning, about 9:30. I'm still cramping a bit and my heating pad doesn't seem to be doing much. Has it been long enough for me to take a hot bathe to soothe my cramps, or am I just asking for an infection? I would think more than 48 hours is a sufficient time to wait, but my doctor's office isn't open until tomorrow morning for me to ask. What do you think?
  • dkwgdk

Mirena: 21 Months and My Periods Are Weird (Regular but interrupted?)

Hi Divas -- I have a Mirena IUD which I got to help manage my very heavy menstrual flow.  I'm 35, np. This is month 21 or so with the IUD.

From about month 3 with the device, my periods started to get lighter.  They have stayed very regular, with roughly 26 days between the start of one menstruation and the start of the next. I had gotten to where I could use just super-plus tampons and they lasted for six whole hours (!!!!) but lately my flow has increased again so that tampons only last four hours or so and/or they get totally flooded out by my tendency to gush.

Here's my real problem -- When i get my period, I spot for a day, bleed heavily for two days, stop for a couple of days, and then bleed heavily again for a couple of days.  If I'm lucky, that's the end of it.  If I'm unlucky, the spotting continues for four or five days.

Has anyone else had this experience, and were you able to reduce the number of days you spent bleeding?

Here's what I've tried.
3/3/3 ibuprofen - doesn't work, makes my stomach upset
Fish oil daily - I take it anyway for other reasons, but it doesn't seem to affect the bleeding
Thyroid levels all fine and managed by a doc
Exercise -- I do about 45 minutes to an hour of Pilates 4 days a week, together with 45 minutes of interval training four days a week, plus I walk my dog daily.
Cutting out dairy and gluten -- makes my cramps better, but doesn't affect the bleeding.
Partnersex/masturbation -- if it happens on a day when my body has decided not to have a period, it doesn't make it come faster. 

I have a new Manfriend, and I'd like it if I could predict my availability for sexytimes a little bit better.

In other news -- the Mirena has had zero effect on my mood disorder (yay!) and I am happier than I have been in literally years, maybe because I'm not bleeding huge quantities each month. It also doesn't seem to have made my migraines any worse -- these were the two problems with oral contraceptives I'd had in the past.  I