General Question

seekingwolf's avatar

Ladies, what has your experience with IUDs been?

Asked by seekingwolf (10410points) April 2nd, 2013

I’m 23 and have never had children and do not intend to have them (medical issues). I had an IUD put in (Mirena) to replace my oral birth control in about mid March. Insertion was a bit painful but I got through it okay.

I’ve been having some transient uterine cramping quite a bit these days because I’m on my period but normally, I seem to have the very occasional cramp, at most once a day, and it lasts for 1–2 min. Nothing to take a pain reliever for.

I was just wondering if this is normal and if anyone else has experienced this. I’m going in for my check up soon but I wanted to ask.

Btw sex feels great (all positions) and I made the strings circle around my cervix so no issue there!

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11 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Guy here, but just be careful with any cramps or other symptoms. The Mirena has been subject to a lot of lawsuits. I have no idea how justified, but the lawyers are having a field day with it. I don’t mean to scare you, so hopefully a bunch of jellies will tell me I’m wrong.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Painful as hell. I demanded to have it removed after 6 months of pain.

bookish1's avatar

Not a lady, but have you considered the Nuva Ring? It has a lower total hormone level than birth control pills, so lower chance for side effects. And if you leave it in all month, it will dramatically reduce or completely eliminate periods.

linguaphile's avatar

The doctor couldn’t explain to me why, but mine fell out after 3 days.

codette's avatar

I got mine 8 days ago. So far I have found that I cramp mildly when I have to go to the bathroom or sometimes after sex, but it seems to be less and less as I adjust. My doctor said the cramps should decrease from day one, and an increase in cramps or pains should be cause to give her a call. I have felt a slight poking a couple of times in the last two days and am thinking that if it continues I’ll have the positioning checked. My strings seem to have settled and are no longer sticking anyone involved. I would definitely mention the cramping during your checkup. I remember they told me I might bleed/spot for a long time (I haven’t at all) but don’t remember what they said re: transient mild cramps. You’ll definitely want to rule out poor positioning though. Don’t want it embedding!

seekingwolf's avatar

I can’t be on Nuvaring. I went off my oral birth control because of a procedure I’m going to have and I can’t have hormones going through my body. My doctor said Nuvaring still has the widespread hormone effect as the pill. Mirena is much more localized.

@codette poking, you say? I haven’t had that. I cramped a lot in the beginning but that has decreased. My checkup is in a week so I’ll bring it up there and see what he says. I just don’t know if it’s normal or not to have transient mild cramps.

I’m aware of the lawsuits… I know the IUD use is rather stigmatized and avoided in the US but used more in Europe despite many studies done.

hearkat's avatar

I had a Mirena for 5 years. Insertion was painful and there was mild cramping as it settled. I don’t recall having cramping other than mildly with my period. However, that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen; but if it did, it was insignificant. Also of note is that I did have a full-term pregnancy years before getting the IUD, so I was less likely to have side-effects than those whose uterus hasn’t been fully stretched prior to IUD use.

The Mirena – and my uterus – were removed 3 years ago. I had fibroids and endometriosis, so the IUD actually helped control those symptoms for a while. I had very little PMS, compared to the psycho-banshee I had been while on birth control. Had my uterus not started to crowd out my other organs, I’d have had another IUD placed.

JLeslie's avatar

Two people I know who used Mirena had bad symptoms. One felt very crazy. The other started losing a lot of hair on her head and her bleeding did not diminish as she had hoped. I personally would not use an IUD with hormones, which is what Mirena is.

But, some people do fine with it, so I guess since it is in, give it a chance for a few months. If you still have symptoms you don’t like go with your gut feeling and have it removed.

Seek's avatar

No personal experience.

I did recently have a deep discussion with my Gyn about birth control options.

She’s a strong supporter of the implant – has one herself. It’s about the size of a match, goes in your arm, and no one can see it unless you show them EXACTLY where the pinprick of a scar is. You only feel it if you’re trying to. I’m going to look into it myself once my financial situation improves, since my insurance doesn’t cover contraception devices.

Another option – if you’re DEAD SET on never having a child, is called “Essure”. It’s basically like putting a cork in your fallopian tubes. It’s considered permanent and irreversible, but isn’t the invasive surgery that tubal ligation is. It’s also non-hormonal.

If your IUD’s hormones are what’s giving you issues, you could also look into ParaGard. It’s a copper contraceptive that is non-hormonal. And it lasts 10 years, as opposed to Mirena’s five. I have a friend who uses ParaGard and loves it.

seekingwolf's avatar

I doubt I could get Essure due to my age but that’s okay. My boyfriend would like to get a vasectomy in the future.

My insurance does cover contraception thank goodness. Mirena cost me a $25 copay. That was it.

The hormones are fine. I have very very very bad heavy periods. My Mirena has helped with that already. I would LOVE to go onto Paragard but it will increase your period flow a bit, and I just can’t have that unfortunately.

I booked an appt for a follow up so we’ll know soon. My period is coming to an end and I haven’t had a cramp in about 2 days now.

seekingwolf's avatar

I’m starting to think that my cramps have been period-related. My period is wrapping up now and I haven’t had a cramp in 3 whole days. Not one.

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