Home Forum Topics Gynecologic Health My experience with the copper IUD (Paragard)

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  • #793 Reply
    Laila ELaila

    About two years ago I decided to get the copper IUD, Paragard. Since around the age of 16 I had tried many different brands of birth control pills, but I felt like they all made my acne worse (even the brands that are supposed to make it better). I also didn’t like the idea of taking hormones for the rest of my fertile years haha. Soo I did some research and found Paragard. This is a non-hormonal IUD that has copper wrapped around it (copper is toxic to sperm). They had me at “non-hormonal,” but then I read it can last up to 10 years (bonus!) and I was all in. While reading about the process and side effects I saw pretty mixed reviews…some said “mild cramping after insertion, but no problems after!” while others said “worst experience of my life.” A lot of them had “heavier bleeding during periods” in common also. I figured I’d try my luck and schedule an appointment. Before the procedure the doctor gave me some Ibuprofen, waited 15min or so and then started the process. She said I would feel a slight pinch when she inserts it and afterwards I should stay laying down for 5-10min. Let.me.tell.you. it HURT. The next few hours I had waves of intense cramping and I had to go home instead of returning to work, but the next day I was fine. Later that month I got my first period with the IUD …quick backstory: I usually used 3-4 regular tampons a day while on my period and had never experienced cramps throughout my 12 years of having a period… I remember getting up for work and having blood ALL OVER my clothes. I went to take a shower and started having such bad cramps that I had to lay down on the bathroom floor and the next thing I remember was waking up a few minutes later in a puddle of blood. At that moment I thought “yeah.. this isn’t for me,” but I had just paid out of pocket for the IUD (at the time they were around $400) and decided to try and tough it out. Over the next 4-6 months I experienced severe cramping and even more severe bleeding (literally changing “super plus” tampons every hour and sometimes that wasn’t enough to prevent bleeding through my clothes). After around 6 months the cramping was less frequent and now (2 yrs later) I’ll just cramp a little before my period starts. The bleeding also calmed down significantly and now I only use 3-4 “super” tampons on my heaviest day.

    To anyone who is considering a copper IUD: keep in mind that every body is different and everyone’s experience is different. This was MY experience and although it was MISERABLE at first, I’m so happy with it now!

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    • #2526 Reply
      Lillian UnderwoodLillian Underwood
      Participant

      You said it all right. Did you know that in this case, you can sue? This is because manufacturers have hidden the dangers of this drug. I have read that lawyers argue that the manufacturer has obtained sufficient information about the alleged risks of the IUD device. From both post-marketing experiences, medical product safety network data, and clinical trials. However, Teva remained focused on the end result, never warning women about the potentially serious risks of using Paragard for contraception. Therefore, if you have any claim, then you can safely file a lawsuit.

    • #1455 Reply
      HeikeHeike
      Participant

      After starting my adult life on the pill, and not being good friends with hormones, I had a 30-year journey with the Paragard. And what a journey it was!

      Like said earlier, insertions are PAINFUL! I had three of them, and dreaded each one. I had each insertion done while I was menstruating, and the cervix was naturally dilated, but still PAINFUL! After the first one, at 25, I kept menstruating for another two weeks – and it was very heavy menstruation. Like my body was trying to expell the IUD. My gynecologist said she had never seen menstruation so heavy. Periods over the next couple of months would be very heavy, but each one would be a little bit lighter than the previous one. It took about a year before my periods were somewhat back to close to what they were, but still rather heavy, and would remain so until menopause.

      Another challenge I had, our first intercourse after insertion, my husband hit the strings, which he definitely did not enjoy. Let’s say it’s because he’s “quite big”. I was told to wait three months, and come back to get the strings trimmed. Which I did. And that problem went away. Fortunately. After the second and third insertions, we had to do the same thing. A frustrating three months for both of us.

      At my third and last insertion, I asked my gynecologist about switching to the Mirena. I really liked the idea of curtailing periods. But she knew I was a smoker, and therefore convinced me, not only because I was a smoker but especially at 45, that I did not need to introduce hormones into my system. So I stuck with the Paragard.
      Menopause was behind me at 54, this is when I had the Paragard removed. It was reassuring, being there for the removal, and knowing that it would not be followed by another painful insertion this time.

      The Paragard is certainly not for everybody, but after a rough first year, I wound up swearing my mine. Since we are both very true to each other, and because of a better than 99% effective rate, the Paragard meant totally worry-free sex for us.

    • #947 Reply
      tb7

      I read that your period blood can be a different color and thickness when you are on the pill versus not. That was my experience too when I stopped the pill my blood was a much brighter. Maybe that is why yours has gotten darker.

    • #888 Reply
      VBlane

      ]I’m so glad the Paraguard is working out better for you now! I’m sorry you had such a bad experience at first. I recently got the Paragaurd and, like you, read all the mixed reviews beforehand and saw that many people also had a tough first few months. For me, I was super nervous about the insertion process… I made sure to take Ibuprofen before and then during the whole process I really focused on trying to “breathe through” the pain. The docs were like “dang you should teach our pregnancy breathing classes” LOL. I feel like it helped though because I would say the process was uncomfortable but not super painful. The day after the insertion I started “spotting” which lasted for over a week. It was a much different color and texture (??) then I had ever experience before. The blood was pretty much black. I’m only on my second period since having Paragaurd, but so far my periods have been different, but manageable. It almost seems like I’m bleeding less, but it’s spread out over more days?? So pre-Paragaurd my periods would only be 3-5 days, and post-Paragaurd they are more like 7+ days. I am getting some pretty intense cramps here and there but they aren’t constant. I’m curious to see how my periods will be over the next few months. I’ll post an update around the 6 month mark!

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