1. I have an IUD and have had it now for a little over 2 years. The first year was very painful with very heavy periods, but things have definitely improved. I still experience a slightly more painful period than before but it’s 100 times less than what it was. I haven’t experienced an increase in appetite or weight gain and really do love it as hormonal birth control pills also do NOT agree with me!

  2. Jamie Horne

    Great post! I never got a notification on FB that you asked for additional info so sorry for leaving you hanging!

    Like you, I had no issues when the Paragard IUD was initially placed but within two months of my period returning postpartum, I was experiencing incredibly heavy flows. I attributed the heavier flow to postpartum adjustment too. My flow was so heavy I literally had to stand slowly after sitting for long periods of time for fear I would faint. Side note; when I was younger I had hemorrhaging issues as my body adjusted to my menstrual cycle that would cause me to faint because I would lose so much blood so fast when I passed a clot or stood up too fast. My flows on the IUD reminded me of those days. My periods on the IUD also lasted 7 to 10 days, as opposed to the 4-6 days I was used to pre-pregnancy.

    At around 11 months post IUD placement I started to notice pain in my pelvis and ovaries around the middle of my cycle each month and began feeling the exact moment I ovulated, it was very painful. The pelvic/ovary pain would subside temporarily when my period started each month but would always return. Ironically, I had zero cramps before or during my period each month, and only had cramps around the time of ovulation.

    I finally went to my doctor at 17 months and she said my IUD was literally about to fall out. She thinks it was misplaced and that my cervix was pushing it out. I also ended up having an infection that appeared to be early stage pelvic inflammatory disease. Thankfully, we caught it early and after some antibiotics I seem to be healing though I still have lingering pelvic pain. My OB said the heavy flows and nausea should have subsided within months of IUD placement and she was shocked I waited 17 months to remove it. She also believes (since my blood work was negative for STDs) that my body was rejecting the copper and the infection was a reaction to the copper being in my system. We are now using the FAM method until we are ready for baby #2.

  3. I’m glad to not be using hormonal BC anymore. IUDs freak me out, perhaps unreasonably, but I, too, have heard of more cramping and bleeding with them in. I’ve had really painful periods since I was 13 so the idea of using a BC method that makes that more severe sounds like a terrible idea! I still haven’t ovulated a year after my daughter was born, and at this point my husband and I would be happy to have another baby, so we sort don’t do much for protection.

  4. I am on my second Mirena IUD and have loved it both times. The first time I had never been pregnant prior to placement and had some abnormal (for me) cramping, but it was bearable. I had that one for about 13 months before we decided to start trying to get pregnant. The SUPER FERTILE thing applies to all IUDs, since we got pregnant the first time I ovulated after removal, by the way. After my third pregnancy/second loss we decided we were done trying, but not 110% sure never ever any more babies. So I went in for another Mirena and it has been great. Other than weight gain I have had no terrible side effects this time. I have a super light period about once every 3 months, and though I still have PMS-type physiological symptoms, not having to deal with the physical symptoms are fantastic. I know a lot of people have issue with the Mirena being hormone-based, but it is the only birth control that has worked for me. Pills cause heavy bleeding and terrible nausea plus enhanced PMS-type symptoms, as well as making me gain weight. And the NuvaRing caused such heavy bleeding I couldn’t sustain using it past 2 months. When my Mirena expires I think we will revisit the idea of J having The Surgery, but for now I think we’re good with the Mirena.

  5. Lorraine

    I have no children and am getting my paragard next month. BC pills were horrible so this is the only non-hormonal method really available. I’m so scared about weight gain. I already have my own to deal with! Lol

    • Julia

      I gained almost 20# with paragard in less than 4 months. Weird, and not common the doctor told me. I just had it taken out 3 days ago, and have had a migraine and nausea since.

  6. Thank you for opening up about your experiences! This was an interesting read – and thank you for linking the resources.

    Recently I have decided to discontinue hormonal BC due to the side effects (after 11 years, eek!). Not planning on having a baby ANY time soon, so I’ve been weary about the effectiveness of other methods. After looking around the inter webs, reading some other women’s experiences – I ordered the Taking Charge of Your Fertility book tonight! :)

    I would definitely be interested in reading some of your experiences with hormonal BC. I’ve been so engrained with the conventional realm of thought that this is the best/only method out there and that every woman should be on BC, blah blah blah… would reassure my decision to hear your thoughts. :)

  7. RG

    I have my paragard IUD in for almost 10 months. Not being pregnant before, my doctor warned me it may be a bit difficult for your body to accept especially since your uterus has not been “touched” yet. This IUD drives me INSANE. I’m totally off my regular period. It is very frustrating and extremely painful. CRAMPS IN MY STOMACH, down my legs, Sharp shooting pains in my lower back and CONSTANT spotting. My periods are sooooo long they range from 9-12 days. I’m looking to take out my IUD next period. I’m yearning to feel all natural normal periods again.

    Thank you for sharing your story

  8. Tasha G

    I have had the paraguard over 5yrs. Im anemic. My doctor realized after time it was causing my cycle to become heavy. I had it removed and it was very painful when it was removed and it took a while to get it out (i will NOT be going thru that again- NOT worth it) and after having a vaginal ultrasound they discovered Fibroids around the IUD (another reason NOT to ever get and IUD) I will have to have surgery to remove the fibroids.. Word to the Wise! Be Blessed!

  9. Mariella

    I had a very similar experience. I finally got an IUD placed about 2 years post partum. It took me about 15 months to lose all of my baby weight, but I was healthy and content with my body. I noticed that after I got the IUD placed, I automatically gained about 5 pounds. No big deal. After a year of having an IUD in place, I gained about 2o pounds in 3 months. That is so unlike me. My metabolism is pretty decent, and the most I gain at once is 5 pounds. I took the paragard out, and have had such a hard time losing the weight ever since. It completely changed my body composition. I gained weight in places I don’t usually gain weight. And I lost most of my muscle. The most I have been able to lose is 5 pounds so far even with exercise and a healthy diet. It is very depressing and frustrating. It is so much harder to lose weight after the paragard than it was after having a baby. I regret the decision to have one put in everyday.

    • Samata

      Hello Mariella,

      Have you lost tried removing it? If So did you loose the weight? I have gained 100lbs after my pregnancy since i put my IUD in. Never in my life i have faced this. I have a personal trainer and i get sit from her but I know I am not lying and i am dedicated to loose weight. One of my frd was like may be it is ur IUD. Thats when I started researching.

  10. Brenda

    I totally hear you about hormonal BC. It never did me any good. I mean, I didn’t get pregnant (which was the point), but the side effects were torturous and in some cases, quite damaging. When I was 3 months postpartum with my second child, I had the Mirena put in. We, like you, were not 100% sure we were done, but still needed a VERY reliable option to keep us from conceiving (Hubs is the super fertile type.). That was 5 years ago and I absolutely LOVED my Mirena. I had a period maybe once a year, and it was very light, with no cramping and no PMS symptoms at all. The Mirena is a hormonal BC, but since the the hormone it delivers is localized and the amount is so much less than other hormonal BC options, it made all the difference. About 10 days ago, I had to have it changed and decided to go with the Paraguard. I have been bleeding heavily for TEN DAYS. Like full on, the river-has-swelled-and-will-wipe-out-the-town heavy, with the cramps (I have NOT missed those), full PMS with back aches, and a migraine to boot!!!! If this lasts for the next year, I will definitely have it removed and will be going back to the Mirena. Thank you for sharing your experience. It was very informative and I appreciate the added point of view.

  11. quartersawnoak

    I’m 35, and had the Paragard IUD for 13 months. I chose Paragard because I had spent 15+ years struggling with the negative side effects of hormonal birth control, so I thought this would be a good option for me. I could not have been more wrong!

    Before the IUD, I was happy, healthy, fit, and trim. Since having the IUD inserted,(in addition to the insane cramps and heavy 10-day periods that are “normal” with the IUD) I have gained over 20 pounds, have developed anxiety attacks, feel lethargic and depressed, lost my sex drive, and have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I don’t drink alcohol or smoke, my diet is healthy, and I exercise a lot (yoga, running, spinning, pilates – 5-6 days per week). I literally could not lose a single pound with the IUD – no matter what I did, I just kept gaining. I am now on medication for hypothyroidism, and Wellbutrin for my other symptoms, but nothing has helped.

    I just had the IUD removed yesterday, and I know it sounds crazy, but I am already starting to feel better! My doctor told me that my symptoms and health problems were in NO WAY related to the IUD, and tried to convince me to keep it in. Ladies – please do NOT let your doctor do this to you. YOU know what’s best for your body, not the capitalistic, money-driven American healthcare system. There are thousands of women that are experiencing these symptoms after IUD insertion, but no one is telling us about them! The corporations & doctors continue to deny that the side effects exist, and we continue to be sick and confused.

    I am now starting the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM). I think it’s ridiculous that all females are not taught about this method as soon as puberty hits. It should be part of sex ed classes. All women should be aware of their natural cycles and fertility signs. Relying on expensive drugs, hormones, and invasive devices are not the only options available to us for birth control. I wish I had known about FAM years ago – I could have saved myself a lot of misery. But most doctors know almost nothing about FAM – it’s not taught in med school because it doesn’t make anyone any money (it’s free for life!).

  12. Julia

    I just recently (3 days ago) had my Paragard taken out after 4 months. My uterus shape is not appropriate for the IUD – was expelling it- and I was miserable for 4 months. Since removal I have had a nonstop migraine with nausea. I’m exhausted and frustrated. Started low dose BCP yesterday (Janelle), which I don’t believe is related as the symptoms started the day before taking pill. I had also gained almost 20# with the Paragard, which my doctor said was totally unrelated. Interesting fact is I didn’t change my diet or lifestyle after having IUD placed. So where did the weight come from??
    Hoping for my regular 3 day periods without cramping to return next month
    Praying for weight loss prior to my wedding in 82 days.
    And finally getting my life back!

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