April 18th, 2013

A positive Paragard experience!

I got my Paragard IUD almost exactly two months ago, and though it's still early, I am absolutely in love with it! I wanted to post my positive (so far!) experience because it seemed like Paragard was my only birth control option, and I found so many negative experiences that I almost backed out.

A little backstory: I am 24 years old, have never been pregnant, am in a monogamous and STD free relationship.

Condoms: Aside from general dislike (uncomfortable, mood killer, that rubber taste/smell that just lingers), I have a latex sensitivity which is no fun when my vagina is involved. The only kind of non latex condom that is readily available in my area turned out to be too small and ripped on several occasions, which resulted in me having to take Plan B a couple times.

HBC: I tried two different pills in a 7 month period, and considering my history with depression, that did not turn out well. I became insecure, jealous, and suicidal. I stopped taking hbc altogether when my boyfriend had to drive me to the ER and check into the psychiatric unit because I pretty much stopped being able to function.

Withdrawal: My cycle has been fairly regular for a number of years, but still varied from about 27-36 days. That window was far too big for my hypochondriac self, plus some more general dislike that probably belongs in the TMI community.

I almost backed out of getting my Paragard because of all the negative stories I heard, but so far I am VERY glad I didn't! Insertion was quite painful, and my OBGYN didn't really explain what was happening at all, just went about her business and made some idle chit chat. I was fine almost immediately after, though, and could have driven myself home although I took friends' advice and got a ride. I put on the horrible, diaper like pad the Dr. gave me and went about my day. My periods were generally very short and very light (usually 1-2 days of pretty bad cramping and only 4 days of light bleeding), and as I had it inserted on day 3, bleeding had almost entirely stopped later that night. Cramps got pretty bad with some cervical discomfort about 2 hours after insertion, they were worse than typical period cramps, but nothing I couldn't handle. As much as I was looking forward to the instant protection it offered, my cervix was way too tender for 2-3 days to even THINK about anything going near it. My first full period with the Paragard was 7-9 days, with the first few days being far heavier. I'm currently a couple of days into my second period, and it's much the same.

All in all, the Paragard was definitely a GREAT option for me. The only mildly negative comments I have: I occasionally get a twinge of something in my lower abdomen that I think may be the IUD poking me (my Dr. did say I have a small uterus), but that is getting less and less as time goes on, and increased vaginal discharge. I'm hopeful that my periods will eventually get back to where they used to be, but it's worth it to me even if they don't. Not only has my mood significantly stabilized, I find that sex has gotten much better for several reasons:

1. I don't have artificial hormones interfering with my sex drive or ability to self lubricate.
2. There is absolutely no interruption during sex to find a condom, wonder if I took my pill, worrying if he's going to forget to pull out, etc.
3. It's the most effective form of reversible birth control. As people who are genuinely undecided if they will have children at all, this is a HUGE plus for us!

All that being said, I do still have one question for you guys: Now that my period is heavier and longer, I would really like to be able to use a menstrual cup. I've never used one before, and I've heard very mixed things about using them with an IUD. I mean to ask my Dr. next month during my annual check up, but wanted to get some advice in the meantime. I know there are a bunch of posts on the subject already, but I don't know whether or not it makes a difference that I've never been able to feel my strings. I've tried at various times during my cycle, and my Dr. never mentioned a self check, so I'm thinking it's her standard practice to cut them flush against the cervix.

And thanks for all the great info I've gotten from the time I spent lurking these past few months!
thanks ponyboy!

My Mirena a year later

Hey everyone. I've had my Mirena for a little over a year now and it hasn't exactly been smooth sailing.

First of all, my periods are wonky. For a while, it was just heavy spotting for five days or so and now it's a full blown period that lasts a week or longer. I thought it was supposed to get better? I also get intense cramps that only last a few seconds and crazy pains on my left side near my hip. Also, after insertion, my strings were left long and after my month follow up they were cut pretty short. It seriously felt like a tiny spike coming out of my cervix. Now, I feel no strings at all and my cervix always feels open.

I tend to stress about this thing. My insurance covers nothing Mirena related (any idea when this will change?) and I've invested a lot of money in this thing. Not to mention I live in constant fear of getting pregnant. I tend to always think the worst. You know, oh it fell out or it's embedded or migrated to my kidney. I'm waaaaaaay over due for a pap, so I'll probably go to the gyn in the next few months or so, but has anyone had a similar situation or can offer some advice to ease my mind?

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

Trying to find contraception again...after Mirena. *sigh* 25 years old, NP

Hello all, I have posted in here previously.

I had the Mirena for about 1.5 years. I had it inserted before getting married in May 2011, and just had it removed the end of December 2012. I researched contraception methods VERY thoroughly before making this decision. Mirena seemed so perfect for me, and was in alot of ways. This was the first contraception I used for sex, and I actually trusted it. I have big fears of pregnancy, not an option right now. My periods stopped which was wonderful! My husband and I had crazy honeymoon sex, and my libido was through the roof! It was great! (this was our first time together, and my first time having sex).

But something happened to my body between September 2011- the present (some symptoms). I gained 40 pounds, have chronic yeast infections (on feet also), developed Vulvodynia, and had a chronically dry vulva and vagina-also very red. I felt a complete loss of vitality, and like an old woman who had gone through menopause. I had crippling intense cramps, but I think I could live with that if it wasn't for the other side effects. After sooo many different tests, turns out I had practically no progesterone in my body. (September 2012). I supplemented with bioidentical progesterone pills (were free), and felt slight relief from that. After months of not feeling better, I decided I needed to get the Mirena removed. I just HAD to know if it was that, or something else. It was very emotional for me because in so many ways I did love the Mirena. My doctor said it is possible it is a reaction to the levenorgestrel, but it is very strange because I was on a bcp with the same hormone for a couple of years with no side effects. It is hard to know if perhaps I always had a hormonal imbalance, and mirena exasperated it, or if it caused it, or if something else did.

I struggled BIG time with Binge Eating Disorder before and during this time. It got really bad after a series of negative events. I was assaulted by a doctor shortly after I had the Mirena inserted (different doctor), in September my kitten died after I spent the entire month taking her to the vet trying to get her well. I also had internal struggles with depression and voicing my opinions to my husband. I moved also, and it was hard for me because my husband has an underwater house, and I didn't like it at all, but we had no other options of places to live. It took about a year before I felt like the house was mine. I read through my journals, and this was an intensely tough time for me. I was binging EVERY DAY for EVERY MEAL, although I just ate ALL DAY. I think I was trying to stuff down emotions that I didn't want to deal with. I have always had a problem with binging but it was amplified 10x during this period. I gained alot of weight, esp. in my stomach, and lost alot of self confidence. I got into counseling for binge eating, did alot of work, and am just now starting to see the benefits. March and April have been relatively binge free for me, but have been emotional terrible months as well. I was just diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and I think I was lying to myself for a longgg time about having this. So, I don't think Mirena caused my binge eating. I do wonder if it caused the hormonal imbalance. Although eating so much crap, along with my other issues seems like it could contribute as well. Hard to say.

I started taking Desogen bcp March 2012, not for contraception but because my periods are horrific off the Mierna, and with no bcp. I experienced 2 cycles and remembered why I didn't want periods...

Anyways, I still have chronic yeast infection problem, depression, red and dry vulva and vagina although this has gotten better. The past week actually everything seems to be getting lubricated like normal! My vuvla no longer feels like it is a piece of paper being torn. I am wondering if that is the Desogen bcp though! I have lost 15 lbs the past few months since I had Mirena removed, but again, I am swimming, weight lifting, and doing cardio as well as not binging!

Anyways, my reason for this post is to hopefully not feel so alone. I am trying to find a method that will be good for me. Mirena again is always an option, but I am scared of everything going back to the hell that was the past year. It is hard to know what role Mirena played.

Paragard is an option, but I already have heavy periods, so that is a little scary. To be honest I do not trust it as much as Mirena, since Mirena is slightly more effective. I have heard that if the paragard shifts, it loses its effectiveness, whereas mirena has the hormonal effect as well.

I know I sound so crazy, but I want something close to perfect when it comes to birth control. I do understand nothing is perfect, but I want to do everything in my control to have that NOT HAPPEN. I am wondering about the possibility of continuing a birth control pill with an IUD, weather the Paragard or Mirena. I know it would help me get through the first few months of Paragard, and also give me extra protection (for my peace of mind), it is a little trickier with Mirena, but maybe if I had the right combination, it could balance out my hormone levels.

Anyways, I am going to the doctor tomorrow, I am sick but want to talk more about contraception as well. I have been abstinent since the Mirena removal, which has become hard because I have a libido again! I also recently started taking Wellbutrin for depression, and that could be a side effect. I want to find a contraception soon, something I will be confident using. If I am not confident, I will either just not have sex, freak out in the middle, or be taking pregnancy tests 3x a day. I already have problems with anxiety and stress, and I just can't be like that! It is important I find a method/s that I can trust fairly well. I had that with Mirena.