View Full Version : Do you have an IUD? Please advise.
04-05-2001, 01:02 PM
My girlfriend and I are looking for a non-hormonal long-term birth control method. We are currently using condoms. Since her body reacts badly to hormonal methods (she's tried Norplant, and several different types of birth control pill), that leaves only the iud and barrier methods. She used a diaphraghm for a while, but found that she was getting yeast infections more frequently. She's also started plotting her basal temperature, but I'm not comfortable relying solely on that.
Which brings us to the IUD. We've done some reading, and there appear to be two schools of thought:
1. Don't get an IUD if you haven't had kids yet and might want to someday, because your uterus is too small and it might make you sterile.
2. If you're older than 26 or so (she's 29), you may be just fine with an IUD.
She recently went to a doctor who belonged to school #1 (and who generally seemed disinterested in any non-hormonal birth control methods). She'd like to try to find another doctor who belongs to school #2, and get the other side of the story. I, of course, knew that there was only one place where I could get reliable, anecdotal information to help guide our decision.
So, please share your IUD experiences with me. Any problems? Any advice?
Lastly, if you live in the Bay Area (she's in San Jose, but can drive wherever), any recommendations for an IUD-savvy doctor? (You can email me, if you'd rather not post it to the board.)
04-05-2001, 03:37 PM
Well, this probably isn't what you want to hear, but since I do have one, I'll tell you what I know.
My midwife suggested that I try an IUD only after I told her that I did not plan on having any more children. There are still some risks-tubal pregnancy, infection-but I believe they are smaller in a woman who has given birth. Also, since I do not plan any more pregnancies, the risks are more acceptable. She did tell me that she would not put one into a young woman who had never had children.
Are the more frequent yeast infections the only downside you experience with the diaphram? There are dietary and lifestyle changes she could make that would decrease her yeast problem. If she has regular yeast infections anyway, she might want to look into this. They're darned unpleasant, and she shouldn't have to put up with them.
04-06-2001, 10:05 AM
Thanks robinh! It sounds like your midwife had very similar views to the doctor my girlfriend just saw.
However, I remember reading a birth control thread a month or two ago in which several female dopers said things had changed, and extolled the virtues of their IUD. Unfortunately, the search function doesn't work with my buggy Unix version of Netscape (grumble). Also, I don't think that thread was specifically on the IUD...
04-06-2001, 10:22 AM
I'm considering an IUD for myself, Giraffe - haven't decided yet. But there are some happy users in this thread.
04-06-2001, 11:50 AM
I'm one of the happy IUD users. I wasn't planning on having children when I had it inserted, and I now think that I may want to, so there's still potential for me to regret it. But I did fairly extensive investigation on them at the time I got it. They are quite popular in Europe, and many women swear by them. They are believed to be much more risky than they actually are in the U.S. because of the Dalkon Shield fiasco.
You also have to balance the risk of an IUD against the risk of pregnancy. If you go with a method that you can't use reliably or that has a higher failure rate, you need to think about what you would do if you do get pregnant. If you would probably abort, you should consider that that also carries health and fertility risks. Carrying a child to term (either because you would keep it or because you would give it up for adoption) has even greater health risks.
04-06-2001, 05:56 PM
Good points, ENugent. I thought of something else after I'd posted. I believe that one of the reasons that IUDs are often not offered to young people is that having one inserted makes you more susceptible to infection. That risk is further increased if, as many (but not all,) young people do, you have multiple partners. If, on the other hand, you are in a committed, monogamous relationship, that risk is greatly decreased. That is another factor to consider and bring up with your health care practicioner.
04-07-2001, 01:29 AM
I have a hormonal IUD (brand name Levanova, which sounds like a Russian novelist, but I digress). Incidentally, I had some nasty side effects on the Pill, but so far I am loving this IUD - no hormonal side effects, the dose is so very low. I wanted to try the hormonal variety because one of its happy side effects is reducing the strength and duration of the menstrual period - and I'm chronically anemic and bleed like a stuck pig, a very unpleasant combination :(
Anyway, I've had two kids and don't want any more, so I didn't ask about whether it was advisable for a woman who hadn't given birth or who might want kids. The booklet in the package (which I was told to keep) does say that you should "talk with your health care professional" if you haven't had children or if your family isn't finished. Reads like classic CYA speak to me.
04-07-2001, 11:46 AM
I have an IUD (I believe I extolled it's virtues in the link given), and I love it.
I had mine put in at the age of 26, having never had children. The ONLY side effect I've had so far is longer periods. Not heavier or more painful or anything, just longer in duration. I went to a women's clinic rather than a regular OB/GYN, and they were MUCH more willing to talk openly and honestly about the pros and cons of IUDs, IMO. The doctor was very good about telling me the risks of expulsion with me never having had children, and the possibilities of infertility, ectopic pregnancies, etc.
As an aside, I also tried many types of pill, and also Depo-Provera. I never had huge ISSUES with the pill, I always just felt a little.......off. And Depo was no good for me at all. It took a good year for me to acclimate to my natural body rhythms, but I'm so much happier now that I'm off the hormones.
04-08-2001, 09:28 AM
I discussed the IUD with my doctor, and he told me that he wouldn't put an IUD in anyone who was still planning on having (more) children. He said that if it did become infected, it would probably leave you sterile, and that is a risk he wasn't willing to take with one of his patients. The risk of infection is considerable lowered when in a monogamous relationship, but there always is some risk of infection. I'm not sure I would be willing to take that risk if I was still planning on having kids.
Incidently, my sister did know a couple of women who tried the IUD who had not had children yet, and both of them wound up in the emergency room in the first couple of days to get it removed. I do not know all of the details, but apparently their bodies rejected the IUD. Perhaps their have been improvements made since then, because this was quite a while ago.
04-08-2001, 02:42 PM
Put me down on the nay side. I would not recommend an IUD even to my worst enemy. I was within minutes of death as a direct result of my IUD and the resultant ruptured ectopic pregancy.
I had an IUD for 3 years and was miserable the whole time. My periods were very heavy and extremely messy to the extent that blood would literally flow down my legs. I had numerous infections, and you must be somewhat of a contortionist to check to see if the damn thing is still there monthly. Did you know that there are strings similar to fishing line that protrude through the cervix and dangle down into the vagina about an inch or two? Plus my husband said he could feel it hitting the end of his penis when we had sex and it was not a pleasant feeling.
Furthermore the IUD does not prevent conception just implantation. The egg still becomes fertilized and conception occurs but the presence of the IUD prevents it from being able to implant. You are in effect aborting a baby nearly every month. And in the unfortunate circumstance where you don't abort the embryo and it implants some place other than your uterus--like in your tubes--you have an ectopic pregnancy. The funny thing about some ectopic pregancies is that you may still spot and bleed and may assume you are just having a normal period. Also the embryo may not be able to cause the hormonal changes that occur that make you feel pregnant ie nausea, breast changes, mood and energy changes.
I went to the hospital with abdominal pain. My blood pressure was so low they were unable to draw blood from my arm. I was rushed straight to the operating room and I lost conciousness enroute. When I awoke I found I had been given a hysterectomy--without my consent, without the knowledge that I had even been pregnant. Several doctors including my OB-GYN whose judgment I trusted completely agreed it was the only way to stop the hemmorhaging and save my life. I had had an 8-10 week pregnancy lodged in my tube which they estimated had ruptured about 10-12 hours prior to arrival to the hospital and filled my abdomen with blood. The right ovary was dead from lack of blood supply and my uterus was severely damaged and could not be salvaged. I was 23 and in excellent health at the time. I spent 2 weeks in the hospital and was bruised black from my ribs to halfway down my thighs from all the blood loss.
I can not urge you strongly enough to consider any other method of contraception except an IUD. Have you looked into the shots ?depo-provera?. Even the rythm method, condoms or abstinence would be preferable to what I went through. I know my case may be somewhat extreme but it is not as rare as you might think. I hope and pray that no one else is now going through what I went through then.
Please do not do this.
04-08-2001, 03:51 PM
Mrs. Cal (Pepper Mill) sas that an IUD is not fun. During the time she had one she had BAD cramping and heavy periods. Three months later she was screaming for the doctor to take it out.
THAT hurt, too.
We have since had a girl, now 3 1/2 years old, I should point out.
04-09-2001, 11:41 AM
Yikes. I have to say that Mermaid's story scared the bejeezus out of me. Mermaid, do you mind if I ask when this happened, and which type of iud you were using, if you remember?
vBulletin® v3.7.3, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.