I have talked very briefly about my experience with the ParaGard IUD and I am finally sitting down to share a little bit more indepth! Towards the end of my pregnancy with Edith we were exploring our birth control options and to be honest we were leaning towards going the snip snip route because me + hormonal birth control do not mix. Seriously my experience with hormonal birth control is a whole other story in itself and if you’d like me to share it just let me know! When it came time to discuss birth control with the midwives we said we were thinking of going snip route and she said well unless you are 110% sure you don’t want more children that maybe a better route would be the ParaGard IUD a non-hormonal birth control. This was the first time I had heard of the ParaGard and was very interested to learn more. When we got pregnant with Edith we had been loosely practicing the FAM method for about two years. However, I knew going back to the FAM method wasn’t something I wanted to do just because of the potential risk of getting pregnant again before we were ready and the fact that it’s hard to follow this method until your period has returned and as a breastfeeding mom who knows when that would occur. So it seemed that since hormonal birth control was out, FAM method wasn’t ideal and we were only 90% sure we were one and done that the ParaGard was the (only) way to go.
At eight weeks postpartum I had the ParaGard IUD inserted and had no immediate issues with it. Within a month of having the ParaGard I found myself back up to my pregnancy weight, after having lost 15 of the 25 pounds I put on. While I can say that nursing, diet and lifestyle may have also factored into weight gain I continue to be unable to lose any of the weight even when improving diet and lifestyle. At around six months postpartum my period returned and the first month was on the lighter side but come the second month I was experiencing a heavier flow which I attributed to a postpartum period. I also had incredibly painful cramping to the point of nausea. I figured it was just my body getting back into things and that eventually I would get back to “normal”. Well that just wasn’t the case at all. Every month I experienced the same heavy flow and extremely painful, nauseating cramps.
I really didn’t know what to do though because we just were not ready to even consider having baby #2 and we were not ready to rule it out either. I decided to do some further research on my “symptoms” and found that it is very common for women to have pain and increased bleeding during the first year of having the ParaGard IUD and it’s actually one of the top reasons women get it removed. I also read that things usually common down after a year of having the ParaGard IUD so I decided to wait it out and see if things changed after a year.
Well nothing changed and that’s when I finally said I’M DONE. I discussed things with Neil and while we were not ready to have #2 we both agreed that getting my IUD out was the best choice for me and my body. We had planned to go back to the FAM method and while we were not officially ready for #2 yet we were okay if it happened. I set up an appointment with a naturopathic doctor/midwife and went in to discuss my IUD and having it removed.
At my appointment we discussed my issues with the IUD and one thing she pointed out is that the copper in the ParaGard IUD is there to irritate the uterus and work as a spermicide and all this can cause inflammation in the body. Inflammation in the body can cause an increase in appetite and weight gain. This is when I went DUH! I know this but why didn’t I just put this all together? So while we were supposed to just have a conversation about the IUD and my issues with it my doctor said she could take it out right then if I wanted her to and without thinking twice I had her take it out. Well I should have made note of the fact that Neil and I had been intimate the days before because I ended up ovulating that night and since sperm can live up to 72 hours we ended up pregnant with baby #2 (this is just a side note for those who are thinking about getting their IUD removed).
So that all being said I will not be going back on the ParaGard IUD after baby #2 arrives instead Neil is going to take one for the team because we are two and DONE.
I thought I would also include some other people experiences with the ParaGard IUD: Friend #1: She also got the ParaGard IUD after her daughter was born and found it challenging to lose the baby weight until after about a year of having the IUD. She didn’t experience any other issues and is still currently using the ParaGard IUD.
Friend #2: While she never experienced any issues with the ParaGard IUD she did end up with a surprise pregnancy after about 12 months of using the ParaGard IUD. Now she is debating what to do next as she doesn’t plan to go back on the ParaGard after #2 is born (I mean why would you if you got pregnant on it the first time around!)
Naturally Family Facebook Friend: I have a Paragard and it’s been fantastic for me. I got it one year postpartum (used a diaphragm first year postpartum for protection). It was terribly painful to insert (maybe because I had a c section). The cramping was awful and periods were awful for the first 6 months…but since then, things have completely stabilized. Normal periods, normal cramping (about a days worth every cycle). No weight gain or skin issues. Love that it’s non hormonal. I’m sorry to hear your experience wasn’t a good one! I am interested in reading about it.
Naturally Family Facebook Friend: I had a horrible time with it and had it removed roughly 17 months after placement, thankfully your advice about abstaining the day before prevented us from an unexpected #2
What are you currently using for birth control and how is it working for you? For those of you who have tried the ParaGard IUD what has/was your experience like?