Kak (cederpine) wrote in iud_divas,

Almost a year with Paragard!

Well, time flies! Next month will be my one year anniversary with my Paragard and it has been better than I ever thought it would. So, here is an update of my copper IUD experience so far.

Choosing my IUD:
When I got my IUD I had been using condoms as birth control for some time due to the migraines and emotional side effects I had experienced using hormonal BCP. After developing a condom lubricant allergy, I went searching for a non-hormonal birth control method that I didn't have to insert everyday, and decided on the copper Paragard. (I am 25 years old, and have never been pregnant)

In the state that I was working, I could not find a provider (not even a Planned Parenthood!) that would give me an IUD, so while I was visiting my parents in Western Washington I went in to the Planned Parenthood there. I had to schedule a consultation with a nurse practitioner. Since I was under of a time crunch, she agreed to insert it for me mid-cycle, and gave me a prescription for Misoprostol to help ensure that it went in the first time. I'd recently had a pap and some std tests all come back clear, so we scheduled my insertion for the next week. I took the oral Misoprostol the night before, and 800mg of Ibuprofen the morning of. Before the insertion I had to get a pregnancy, and an anemia test. I was nervous, so the NP called in another nurse to hold my hand, and talked me through every step of the process. The large speculum was a bit uncomfortable, and the tenaculum gave a pinch, but the rest was just a few cramps and it was in. She left my strings long. I was able to drive myself home with no problem.

After insertion:
I was tired and a bit shocky.  My discharge was gross and brown and unusual.  I felt sorry for myself and went and got coffee with a friend, then curled up and watched TV.

Physical Side effects (or current lack thereof):
For months 1-3 my periods were totally wacko! They seemed to have no schedule, and it was hard to tell what was spotting and what was bleeding. Month 3 I had a period that cause me to bleed through a super tampon every hour. It worried me, but I was in the backcountry so by the time I got back to civilization my period was over and I decided not to see the doctor.

Months 4-6 my periods started to find a more normal pattern again, and I experienced occasional bouts of strong cramping and some wonky mid-cycle spotting.

Months 6-11 have been back to business as usual! My periods are about two days longer, but those days are just light spotting. I would even say in whole they are lighter than pre-Paragard. I cramp sometimes, but not any worse than before.  My cervix seemed to be lower after insertion, and it didn't move as much during my cycle as it used too, but it has returned to normal within the last few months.

Mental Side effects:
Holy PMS Batman! I was not expecting a copper IUD to effect my moods at all, but I have noticed an increase in my PMS symptoms. It's like when I was a teenager. Mood swings, crying at the drop of a hat, clumsiness, aching breasts and body, tiredness, craving salty foods...the whole mess! Luckily, it doesn't happen every cycle, and seems to be tapering off so I'm hopeful going into year 2 that this will fade as well.

My cervix is a bit more tender when bumped, and I'm a bit dryer than I used to be. I have asked my partners if they can feel the strings since they are so long, and the reaction has been, "Strings? There are really strings coming out of you?! I didn't notice." So, no one has felt them yet!

Wow! That was longer than expected. I love my Paragard, and I hope this update is helpful!
Tags: paragard, updates long term

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