Post # 1
My husband and I have been doing some major soul searching, and decided that kids would just not be right for us. I was previously on hormonal birth control and went off for a bit while we were deciding. I feel much better emotionally and intimacy is much easier/ better when I’m not on hormonal birth control so I’ve been looking into alternatives.
Have any of you tried the copper IUD? It seems promising but there are a lot of horror stories out there. It’s the internet so people do tend to amplify bad experiences, but I’d still like to hear from those of you who have tried it.
Post # 2
I haven’t tried it but a coworker did. She always had heavy periods and the copper IUD didn’t help her periods. In fact, she said she bled a lot more and heavier on the copper IUD. I don’t know if that’s entirely possible but if I had to guess, I’d say that her previous birth control method involved hormones which regulated her periods. So going off the hormones made her periods worse.
I also have a friend who is on the copper IUD and loves it. She’s always had really light periods without taking BC, had no periods on hormonal BC, and continues to have light periods on the Cooper IUD.
Definitely talk to your doctor if my coworker’s story worries you. She’s probably put in so many copper IUDs and can tell you feedback her patients have given her.
Post # 3
I recently had a copper IUD put about 4 months ago. I was reccomended it by my gynecologist becuase it was non-hormonal. I have not have kids yet and wanted a low maintence BC unit we were ready to start a family. I had read that some people find the insertion really uncomfortable, I honestly did not find it too bad. I will say however that I was pretty thrown off the first few months, I had never had a problem with cramping or heavy periods so when that started occuring for the first few months I was starting to have second thoughts. I even googled memes to make myself feel better aha.
I will say that the cramping and the bleeding does get better month to month. This past month was the best since I got in inserted and I have read that it can take up to 6 months to settle. Despite the pain for a few days a month I think its worth it as BC!
Post # 4
I am researching this now myself, I have an appointment tomorrow and can report back if you like. I cant take hormonal birth control.
Post # 5
I don’t have a copper IUD, I have a Mirena which is a hormonal one. I had two goals with my IUD, no kids and to try to cut my periods and period pain. I’m on my second Mirena, I absolutely love it. I would say the hormone level etc is so much less and so much more manageable than the pill. I don’t have a period at all. I spot on occasion super lightly every few months for a day or so.
It was painful getting it put in, and also when I had to get the other one taken out. But an IUD is probably one of the most successful forms of birth control as far as failure of it. The pain was very manageable, felt like bad cramps, I was told it would be painful and took the day off of work both times.
Some excellent advice I got when I was looking into an IUD was to make sure you get it put it by someone who is very familiar with them and puts them in a lot. There are some not great stories about them being positioned poorly and complications occurring rarely as a result, even to the point of the IUD falling out etc.
Post # 6
I had a copper IUD for 6 years and loved it. Yes, it made my periods a bit heavier and in the first few months my cramps were pretty bad. However, I’ve always had bad cramps and so it was normal for me. I loved not having hormonal BC- which gave me yeast infections and was hard on my hormone balances. Plus, when I got off it my fertility was not affected at all (not saying you will change your mind, but in case you change your mind a decade down the road, it’s good to know).
Post # 7
I had a copper IUD for 12 years,placed in my late teens. Insertion was fine. I’ve always had heavy periods with horendous cramping, so it didn’t really make it “worse” for me as it was already pretty bad. Over the years as I got older my periods got a little better. Never really noticed it for the most part, I did twice in 12 years get pretty bad uterine pain with deep penetrative sex that managed to hit at juuuuust the right spot where it ended everything for the night and had me in pain for a little while. My husband says the strings poked him a couple times here and there, but he was othewise fine with it. Overall, LOVED my copper IUD. No pregnancy scares, low maintenance, and no worries.
Last month I had my old one removed and a new one placed, (same brand, same type), and for a week or so everything seemed fine, but then I start having some lower abdominal pain, which progressively grew worse, (bloaty/crampy), followed by sharp cramps and uterine pain that dropped me to my knees. Again, my cramps could be Hercules to his knees, but I get through them, but this was a whole new world of pain for me. Ultrasound at my OB said it was exactly where it should be, they prescribed antibiotics in case I had an infection, that night I started a fever that hovered around 102 until Friday, finally went to an emergency clinic to have it removed since my OB could not get me in, they told me to finish the antibiotics and the sharp pains have disappeared completely and the lower abdominal pain/discomfort is rapidly going away.
I can try having a new one put in in 2-4 weeks, which I very well might because I LOVED my first one and really wanted to love my second one, but it just did not work. We’ll reevaluate next month and see what the best option going forward is, because I’d love a second copper IUD to be as awesome as the first.
Post # 8
Thank you very much for your feedback guys, it’s great to hear the different perspectives and experiences both good and bad.. It does help give me food for thought to make the decision.
Sorry to hear your second IUD experience went poorly, MrsCassie! Hopefully it can still work out, since you loved it so much the first time.
MooseMeese the fact that the IUD is easily reversible is definitely a plus for me, so it’s a good thing to point out. Although we don’t see ourselves changing our minds, in my view there’s no need to jump to an irreversable decision when a relatively non-invasive one will do just as well.
Danigirl, that’s good to hear about the Mirena! The only thing holding me back from the copper IUD was the stories about terrible periods, so it’s good to hear about the hormone alternative which lightens periods. I have always had pretty mild periods so it might not be a huge concern either way but it’s something to think about.
PixxieFox I’d love to hear about your experience if you don’t mind sharing! Good luck at the appointment.
KateWithLove ha ha, I love that picture! Gotta get a plushie uterus for my desk. 😉
Bewitched, thanks for sharing both a good and bad experience. It really is good to hear about both the good and the bad. From what I’ve heard and read so far the potential downsides don’t seem too bad, and are reversible if needed.
Post # 9
Didgeridoo : I’ve had mine for 7.5 years. I LOVE IT! Yes, it hurts like bitch going in and it makes your period/cramps worse for 6+ months. But it’s hormone-free, hassle-free, good for 10 years, and it’s literally as effective as sterilization. IMO it’s by far the best option for a long-term monogamous couple. Huge fan.
Also, on the off chance you guys do change your mind about TTC, you can get it out and start immediately. No waiting around for 3-6+ months for your body to regulate itself after hormonal BC.
ETA: I had quite light periods and rare cramps on hormonal birth control, so I haven’t minded that they’ve been somewhat worse on the copper IUD. But if that is a major drawback, you could look into the Mirena. It does have hormones but it’s a very, very small amount since it’s so localized. Much less than birth control pills or Nexwhatever.
Post # 10
Didgeridoo : I have not tried the copper IUD but I was on BCP for a long time (16 years) and now I have a mirena. Overall, the mirena is much different than being on BCP. The hormones are much lower. I used to get headaches with BCP (every month, would last for like 3-5 days), not awful ones but just enough to be annoying. I haven’t had any headaches with the mirena. Since you have light periods, I think a copper IUD may be worth a try for you. I was actually put on BCP for super heavy and irregular periods so having to deal with even heavier periods wasn’t something I was interested in. I choose mirena specifically because I wanted no periods. But in your case, I think the copper IUD would be worth a try. You can always have it removed.
Post # 11
I had my copper IUD fitted in August, and I’m not in love with it. The periods in August/September were normal, but October’s (and each one since) have been awful. I was on the pill from a teenager up until April, had a break and my periods regulated, were fairly light and pretty pain free. Not any more!
I’ve ended up using Period Tracker to try and establish patterns, be more prepared etc. I’m trying to ride it out, but I’m due on my period on my wedding day and absolutely dreading it, to the point where I’m contemplating going back on the pill (without removing the IUD) for a couple of months. I buy the biggest tampons you can get your mitts on and still have to change every couple of hours – I’ve considered sticking a few in!!!
My theory is if I give it 12 months to settle and it doesn’t, I’ll look at the Mirena instead. I felt like hormonal BC was a) killing my sex drive and b) doing who knows what else to me. I think if my periods settle down I could be very happy with the copper IUD.
The good news is that it’s relatively easy to have the copper IUD put in, and I assume out. I’m not going to lie it hurt, but you know if your partner gets a bad angle/goes too deep and hits your cervix, you feel like you’ve been punched inside? It was only a bit more painful than that and I felt badly crampy for a few hours afterwards. I didn’t cry or hit anybody during the insertion though – and in the grand scheme of things a few hours of discomfort seems worthwhile.
Post # 12
My copper iud experience was very positive. Insertion she removal was very painful but lasted less than 5 seconds which imo is worth the years and years of worry – free contraception. My periods got heavier but they were not as painful. Again, I feel it’s a small compromise. My sex drive never waned, and I was able to drop stubborn weight that I’d put on with the pill. I also found myself less anxious and depressed.
I got pregnant the cycle after it was removed as well, after it being in for 4 years. I love that part of it. So easily reversible. I also plan on getting another put in after the birth of this baby. 🙂
I had one in called the Multiload which is smaller and a different shape than the Paraguard (it’s a U shape and flexible so apparently less expulsion and pain) and is deemed easier for women who have not had children to handle. I was told my cervix and uterus are quite small so they used this small one. It lasts 5 years not 10. Paraguard is not used here in New Zealand.
Imo it’s the best contraceptive out there – hormone free and long term.
Post # 13
I will say, my IUD cost FIVE HUNDRED BUCKS to get removed >:( For a 10-second pull of the string! Ugh. But that’s a problem with the American health care system, not with the IUD per se.
Post # 14
KittyYogi : WOW! Everytime I here about having to pay an astronomical healthcare cost I’m, so thankful I live in Canada.
Post # 15
My SIL had it in for six years and was the 1 in 20,000 who got pregnant. I say she took one for our family.