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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!