OK, I’m back!
So, I had the Paragard for about 2 years. Insertion HURT but not for a very long time, and I had a lot of cramps the first couple months, but they decreased steadily each month, so I knew things were improving. My periods became shorter, lighter, and less crampy than they had been before, which was GREAT and a big surprise. It’s not supposed to do that, but I guess the same thing happened at ArmyChica– interesting.
I was all set to have it for 10 years, but I think it shifted slightly at some point last winter, and I started feeling it poking the inside of my cervix with every menstrual cramp, or sometimes during sex, or when I coughed or sneezed. I’d also had a lot of yeast infections, probably because my body chemistry doesn’t like lots of male. . .umm. . . excretions in certain places unless I make sure I acidify with diluted vinegar or something. I’d also been feeling tired and run-down, though I believe this was caused mostly by several years of utterly uninspiring and low-paying jobs weighing on me. Then, I got a HORRIBLE UTI, which was cured with antibiotics, but some of the pain of the UTI remained for a long time. I was afraid the IUD was irritating everything down there, making it more prone to infection, and I was concerned that I had cysts, and that the IUD was out of place. So I went and got an ultrasound; everything was fine, the IUD was where it should have been. But I got it pulled because I was sick of feeling off.
After several months of experimenting with many other forms of birth control, I’ve come to the conclusion that the copper IUD is, in fact, the best one for me. But, I think the pain issue from the IUD poking my cervix was caused by the fact that my uterus is 6 cm long, the smallest size the Paragard fits into– so the IUD may have been a little large.
I’m going to Montreal tomorrow to a clinic I found, to get the Canadian Flexi-T 300, which is the smallest IUD commonly available in North America. I wish it was available in the US, but I’m happy to drive a couple hours for long-lasting birth control. I am a little concerned that the fatigue I had with the Paragard was because of the copper, and that I’ll get it again with the Flexi-T, but since it is smaller and more likely to fit me, I’m willing to put up with slight side effects for non-hormonal and non-condom birth control.
Overall, I would recommend the Paragard. Many people with uteri on the smaller end of what it fits into are fine; a minority, like me, have issues. It sure is better than fake hormones, I think!