Mirena Vs. Paraguard IUD

posted 3 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
8850 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

@JSB2B:  I have the Paraguard and got it because I was sick of taking hormones (even though I didn’t have any side effects).  It definitely made my cramps worse and periods heavier, although the effects on cramping basically went away after a year or so.  I didn’t have bad cramps to begin with, so it wasn’t so bad – just a couple ibuprofen would fix it.  My period lasts for a solid 4 days or so, and I have to use the “super” tampons, which I never did before.  Nonetheless, I love it and I’m glad to just have a structural form of birth control rather than any hormones.

The Mirena only has a tiny bit of hormones though – I just wanted NONE.

Post # 5
2169 posts
Buzzing bee

@JSB2B:  I did research about IUD translocation before I got mine. Studies have found the incidence of IUD migration to be 0.1-0.5%, which is pretty low. Additionally, there needs to be uterine perforation for migration to occur. According to what I read, the vast majority of cases of uterine perforation occur during insertion…WebMD even says that perforation “almost always” occurs during insertion.

This was definitely a concern for me, so I talked to my gynecologist about it. She was very understanding, and told me that she has been inserting X number of IUD’s per week for the past Y years and as not had any incidences of uterine perforation. She also told me that she did know of a practitioner who had perforated a patient’s uterus, but that it’s pretty uncommon.

What really sealed the deal for me in terms of allowing me to stop worrying about uterine perforation was that my gynecologist checks IUD placement with a transvaginal ultrasound after insertion. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, this “is not common practice” but should be used when there is “difficult IUD placement.” I have really great health insurance, so I did not have to pay anything extra for this (the entire process was free for me), but I don’t know if that’s the same with your insurance because the ACOG also states this should be billed in addition to normal IUD insertion. 

Back to the original point–the fact that my gynecologist checks this after every insertion really put my mind at ease because there was actually a picture showing that everything was placed the way it should be. I gladly would have paid extra money for that if I had to because it was so important to me after she told me about it. Nowadays, I don’t worry about anything and just check my strings monthly to make sure it’s still there.

I would definitely ask any questions that come to mind before you decide to go this route. A competent healthcare provider should be able to be honest with you and put your worries at ease. 


Btw, I have the Paragard. I got it because I didn’t want to have any artificial hormones in my body. Also, I have never been on hormonal birth control and have never missed a period, so I was not on board with not having a period–that would’ve been too strange for me. I had my Paragard inserted 6 months ago, but I keep track of all things period-related on an app on my iPhone, so I can actually give you specifics of my personal experience.

My period was kind of wonky before IUD insertion, but usually would last 7-8 days, 4-5 of those being days that I would classify either as heavy or medium flow days based on my personal experience with my period (for me, light days are when I only have to wear a lightdays liner, so extremely little flow). I have always had a heavier period than most people, but it’s not abnormally heavy.  I don’t have any medical condition or hormonal abnormalities.

My insertion was extremely easy. The cramps subsided within 20 min afterward and I was already on my period but I didn’t notice any increase in flow right after insertion. About a week after my IUD was inserted, I had cramps every day for a week (this ended a week before my next period was going to come)…I remember it’d only be at night and I thought that was pretty odd, but a heating pack and ibuprofen did me good. My first real period after IUD insertion was long (2 days of spotting + 11 days of period), however there wasn’t really an increase in heavy days for me…it was that the light days were more drawn out. I did notice that I was bleeding more heavily on my heavy days, though. I also had a lot of cramping that one time…again this only happened after work for me (maybe because I was sitting more), and tylenol and a heating pack was all I needed.

Ever since that one long period, my periods have gotten more “normal” for me and I’m pretty much back to normal length of time in terms of how long my period lasts. I will say that I believe there is a slight increase in my flow on a heavy day. I definitely get cramps, but I’ve always had cramps 1-2 days a month and I think it’s pretty much back to normal cramp range for me. I have an extra crampy afternoon once a month around the time of ovulation, but it’s really mild pain and doesn’t happen every month.

The one thing that has definitely changed for me is that I now have spotting between periods. It’s not very much and it used to occur on more days in the beginning, but there are a few days a month that I end up spotting. It does annoy me a bit, but if this is the only real side effect I’m going to notice from this birth control, it’s worth it to me. Usually, I just put a lightdays in and I’m set to go. If I don’t notice it in the morning and spot during the day, it’s still not a big deal because it’s not very much…I just prefer having the lightdays there.

Overall, I love my Paragard and am so happy to have it. Since SO and I are monogamous and STD-free (we got tested lol), it’s nice to be able to have more spontaneous encounters. Anyway, I hope this post is helpful to you, and feel free to ask me any questions if something comes to mind! 🙂

Post # 6
5697 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

If you had mirena before and had no issues I’d go with that. I loved my paraguard but had I had a choice I would have rather had no period. I just react badly to BC hormones and didn’t want to change it so I went hormone free. It was great but yes the cramping was a bit worse and my periods were heavier. Definitely not any reason NOT to get an IUD imo, it really was one of the best decisions I ever made. But again, if I had my choice, even if those weren’t side effects, I’d still prefer not to have a period at all!

Post # 8
1140 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

i got the paragard a few months ago. heavy cramps and bleeding at first. but now it was the best choice i made!

Post # 9
697 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I’ve had the paragard for about a year and half; I chose it over the mirena because I wanted to get off of hormones. I’d previously been on Loestrin BC pills. I would say that my period is definitely heavier and crampier now than when I was on hormonal pills, but it may be about the same as it was before I went on BC the first time.

Post # 10
1134 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I have Mirena only as I actually can’t have the Paraguard, because I have Wilson’s Disease.

I haven’t had any problems with it. I really wish there were other non-hormonal options that are good for me, but the copper IUD is the only one. And my body doesn’t metabolize copper.

Post # 11
176 posts
Blushing bee

I liked the Paraguard (never had a Mirena) but only experienced 1 menstrual period with it in because it expelled a few weeks later during that very period. My period was the same (minus the poky sensation.) BUT my boyfriend at the time didn’t like the ‘pennies’ smell it gave me, lol. The second one expelled during insertion. 

Post # 12
2319 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I have the Mirena. I just got it on Thursday, but so far I don’t have any problems with it.

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