May 30th, 2013

My paraguard IUD was snapped in half when my doctor removed it

MULTIPLE UPDATES BELOW (LAST 3/24/14)

Has anyone else experienced or heard of this happening? My doc isn't sure if he broke it while trying to pull it out or if it had been broken before. Half of the white piece that crosses at the top was snapped off, ultrasounds shop it sitting inside my uterus. He said in 20 years he had never seen or heard of the IUD breaking like that.

Waiting now for a call to talk about how we will get it out. Recommendations? Thoughts? It was so painful getting it in I have this residual anxiety about getting my cervix poked at and have clearly expressed that to my doctor (like -- I don't want this to be a fishing adventure through my cervix because I will freak out). Initially my doc said that they might put me under -- I have health insurance, but still don't want it to be a fortune (and general anesthesia is sort of scary). Is this necessary? Am I a wuss? Cervix of steel? Help. Advice. Please.

PS Have loved it until I tried to get it out on Tuesday.


UPDATE 6/6/13: Today was my procedure to have the IUD removed. Firstly, I was given misoprotosol to soften the cervix. They gave me four tablets to take vaginally the night before. I took them at 9:30 as I hit the sack. I did not take any pain medication. I awoke at 12:30 with the worst cramps I have ever experience. I then took 3 advil, and tried to make myself comfortable by rubbing my abdomen, propping my legs on pillows and using a towel in between my legs. No major bleeding. An hour later, the advil kicked in fully and I was able to fall back asleep with just mild cramps.

My appointment was at 3pm. All day I have experienced moderate cramping. I requested valium from the doctors office earlier this week, and took a single dose about an hour and 20 minutes before the procedure. It did calm me considerably, but I still was fairly anxious. At the doctors office the nurse asked if I wanted to take another and I did.

The procedure was NOT a hysteroscopy. After an ultrasound last week, my doc felt he could find the arm of the IUD and pull it out using more basic tools. The first try was a bust. It was painful generally, with bursts of absolutely excruciating, mind-numbing pain. I spoke in tongues. I yelled. I groaned. It was dreadful. Worst of all he could not retrieve it. He gave me the option to stop there, or he could get the ultrasound, better see where it was, and try again. I opted to try again, since I was there and wanted to get it over with.

The second attempt also was a bust. The Nurse used the ultrasound during the procedure to try and determine the location, but he was essentially blind, and couldn't retrieve it. He believes he did get a grip on it a few times, but that it more embedded than he thought. The second was also excruciating, more than the first.

So, a little disheartened at this time. We are working on scheduling another procedure for next week under general anesthesia where they will use the scope and be able to retrieve it. Pretty bummed out, but please that I will probably never have to go through that again! Planning to have kids, then my husband with get a v.

I will update again with details on the next procedure, and then again later was my husband and I ttc.

UPDATE 6/11/13: I had "surgery" yesterday morning (really pleased with my GYNO office for moving SO quickly to get this done) and it went REALLY well. The piece that broke off was partially embedded near my cervix. They believe it broke during insertion and had settled there and embedded over the 5 1/2 years I had the device in. My doctor says that its likely that the device was entirely effective (I never got pregnant!), despite the missing piece.

The surgery was fairly involved, but there was no "cutting". I was under general anesthesia, it was very pleasant overall. The procedure took longer than expected, because of the embedded-ness of the piece of the IUD. However, he was able to remove it all without complication. I felt some cramping upon waking up, they provided me with a bit of pain medication. The whole procedure was 45 minutes, pre-op around an hour, post-op about an hour and a half. I was nauseated on the drive home, but as soon as I hit the couch I was fine. My husband stayed with me for the day, I slept on and off and walked around a bit to get my feet under me. They prescribed percoset, but I didn't feel that I needed it. I had hardly any pain, and just light spotting.

I will try and update after I visit with my doctor in two weeks.

Update 7/1/13

I met with my doctor last week for a "post-op" appointment. I bled more than expected about two days after I got the piece of IUD removed, though did not soak any pads (just bright red, more than expected). I bled for about 4 days, then continued spotting for 3 days. Finally, I expelled some gray-looking tissue (freaked me out -- but apparently normal if the hystereoscope hits the wall of the uterus in spots). After that, the spotting ceased entirely along with any residual cramping or weird feelings.

My post-op involved no inspection -- my doctor was happy to hear I had stopped bleeding and he explained in detail what he found. The piece of IUD was almost entirely buried in my uterus (near my cervix), with just a few millimeters poking out. This is fortunate, as had it been buried entirely, my doctor would have recommended leaving it and allowing my uterus to work it through into my body cavity (or remain there). That would have made me very uneasy as my husband and I would like to get pregnant soon.

He was able to grab the piece and pull it out. There was no cutting, he was just able to tug it out. The procedure took about 40 minutes longer than expected (hello, anesthesia bill!). He did not think it perforated my uterus, and since the bleeding stopped, he believes I am totally healed, and there was likely no scarring (or very minimal) to the uterus. He even gave us the go-ahead to try to conceive after one menstrual cycle (though we wont start for a few months). And he let me keep the piece of IUD (replete with patina'd copper)!

This was a pretty scary experience and cause a lot of drama in just a few short weeks. I am glad that my doctor was able to act quickly (because it helped me mentally) and pushed to get the procedure(s) completed as soon as possible. Will give an update on our ability to conceive in a few months (though any issues may not be the result of this situation or procedure). I feel confident that it went well and did not result in any lasting damage. That said, I don't believe I will ever get an IUD again (my doctor said that he believes the breaking of the IUD and embedding was just coincidence, but understands that I would not want to do it again).

UPDATE 3/24/14

I never got around to updating, but I'm happy to report that just two months after my surgery my husband and I were able to get pregnant with our first child, due in just a few months. We got pregnant on our first try in September, so there was evidently not much or no damage related to my IUD breaking or the surgery, just as my doctor suspected.

However, I would be hesitant to recommend the paraguard IUD (or any IUD for that matter) because of my experience. The "install" of the IUD was over $500.00 in 2007. Insurance covered the surgery after the break, but I still paid deductibles and co-pay out of pocket to the tune of $700.00. My insurance company covered thousands. To some extant, this all was a fluke... an gyno anomaly. But I don't have any other issues, have never been our of balance with hormones... I have normal anatomy. It just happens, and I certainly wouldn't be willing to take the risk again despite how easy it was for so many years. It feels like since it happened to me, it might be happening to more people than is reported.
  • dkwgdk

Mirena + BV - A Quick Note About My Experience

Hi All --

TL;DR: I have the Mirena and then I got BV before my period and it hung around and came back with the stink after my period. I have no itch.  My vagina smells like garbage (literally). I got antibiotics from our Urgent Care and after two doses, the stink is already abating. Way less drama than I thought it would be, totally relieved!

Longer version:
I've had my Mirena for just over two years and it's great! I get my periods regularly, but they are way lighter than they used to be, which is why I got it.  This month, though, I got BV for the first time in my life (I'm 35), and since it was really...uh...frightening, I just wanted to post about how things went. Having an IUD can increase the number of BV infections you have, thus, posting here.

So, BV is caused by an overgrowth of one kind of bacteria in the vagina.  If the OTHER kind takes over, you get a yeast infection instead.  Fun times! Anyway, my period was a little late, and preceded by several days of spotting.  I had practically no cramps, either, which is pretty unusual for me.  My discharge, however, smelled like...WHOA GROSS.  The intertubez say that BV smells like fish, which...well...I don't eat fish very much, so that didn't mean much to me.  Mine smelled like the trash when it REALLY needs to be taken out.  Also like dog breath when I haven't brushed my dog's teeth in way too long.

I had about three days of the smell, then I had a regular period which smelled like my period normally smells (meaty, metallic), then as it tapered off, the stink came back. After agonizing over it for a day, I went to our local Urgent Care.  They confirmed my suspicions and sent me off with 7 days of antibiotics and a scrip for fluconazole in case the antibiotics gave me a yeast infection. Happy to report that after just two doses of the antibiotics the smell is gone!  I'll keep taking it until the meds are gone because I definitely do not want this back, but happy that things seem to be getting sorted. I also realized that I switched brands of vitamins, going from one that had a lactobacillus component to one without it...I suspect that might be why I got BV now instead of at another time, but it could just be coincidence. I'm taking a lactobacillus supplement again to help my stomach and hopefully my vadge.