IUD questions and plea for experiences?

Related to my current rant in The Pit, I’m trying to decide whether to change my current BC method from the Depo Provera shot to the IUD. I’d like to get off of hormonal BC if I can, and I’ve been doing a lot of reading recently on the IUD, so I have a pretty good idea of the stats on effectiveness, risks, etc. I was just hoping that some of you with practical experience in this area could share your experiences, and possibly answer the following questions:

  1. How much did you pay for your IUD? If I go with this option, I plan on getting the copper T, as the only other one available in the US contains a hormone.

  2. If the IUD is accidentally expelled, do you have to pay whatever you answered in Question #1 again, or is there some sort of coverage for a replacement if this happens?

  3. I don’t get regular periods unless I’m on the pill. If I go with the IUD, and I’m not getting my period…how will I know when to worry about whether the IUD failed and I’m pregnant??

Thanks in advance. :slight_smile:

I used to have the copper T IUD. I got it for free through the local health department, since at the time, my income was low enough that the government had a vested interest in my not reproducing. I didn’t get regular periods either, but relax…those suckers are 99.7% effective at preventing pregnancy. Just check & make sure the string’s still there.

Sadly, mine got dislodged somehow & was scraping the inside of my uterus in a horrifically painful manner, so I had to have it out. I’m on the Pill now, but it’s such a hassle that I’m thinking about getting another IUD. No fuss & no worries. It took about 5 minutes to put in & maybe 2 to have removed. Neither was particularly painful, beyond the cramping that always happens when they mess with your cervix. I did not notice an increase in my menstrual cramps, though the blood flow was a little bit heavier, I guess. & it stains green (from the copper) rather than the usual brown! Also, I didn’t have any trouble with PID, even though I was a major slut at the time, which is generally considered to be a risk factor.

So I say go for it! Whenever the Pill-related mood swings kick in, or my boobs hurt, or I’m on antibiotics so I have to use a backup method, I REALLY miss my IUD.

Bumping this up in hopes that there are other IUD users lurking out there. :smiley:

I have no personal experience with the IUD, but I understand there are a lot of risks associated with it. From “Everygirl” by Derek Llewellyn-Jones and Suzanne Abraham:
The IUD, or intrauterine device, is a plastic shape which can be straightened to place it inside the uterus, but which has a ‘memory’ so that it returns to its previous shape once it is inside. A doctor has to insert the IUD, after examining the woman. Once it is inside the uterus, the IUD usually remains there, preventing pregnancy by altering the nature of the lining of the uterus. It may be uncomfortable or painful having an IUD inserted, and crampy pains may persist for two or three days. Some women have slight bleeding for one or two months after the insertion.
The IUD has a string which projects through the cervix into the vagina. As sometimes a woman’s uterus may expel the IUD, usually during menstration, a woman should return to her doctor after the first period following the insertion to make sure that everything is in order. As well she should feel for the string inside her vagina after every period, and if she can’t find it, visit a doctor.
The IUD is not a first choice for a woman who has not had a baby, as its presence in the uterus increases the chance that infection may occur in the pelvis. The infection is more likely if the woman has, or has had, several sexual partners. In many instances the infection causes no symptoms, but so damages the Fallopian tudes that the woman is made infertile.

This book was published in 1987, so the information may be a tad out of date, but it states several times to reconsider an IUD if you plan to have children after. Take this into consideration, and talk to your doctor about it.

I think that the info you’re looking it is, in fact, a bit outdated. All of the stats/risks I’ve read in the past two days indicated that the risk of PID is very small, and infection in general is typically only associated with the insertion or removal of the IUD, as that’s that time when the chance is there to introduce bacteria through the cervix. It appears to be fairly standard practice for the ob/gyn to prescribe a round of antibiotics at the time of insertion to head off any infection risk.

I think that one of the earlier issues with the IUD that started the PID issue was that the string that is left hanging used to be some sort of natural fiber (cotton?) which acted as a wick, drawing bacteria up into the uterus. The IUD’s now available use a monofilament that cannot absorb and act like a wick, so this problem appears to have been resolved.

As for having children after…I’ll just refer you to this thread, where all of your concerns will be allayed. :smiley:

Cazzle, the IUDs used now aren’t plastic, they’re copper. There were more problems associated with the plastic ones, so they were taken off the market. The plastic ones worked by preventing the implantation of the fertilized egg; it is not completely understood how the copper ones work, but something about the copper seems to interfere with sperm motility/viability, according to what I was told when I got mine. The copper ones do not work by “altering the nature of the lining of the uterus”. & of course it uncomfortable to have them inserted, but it’s always a little uncomfortable to have work done down there. Opening the cervix produces cramps. Though I certainly don’t see the logic in that…but hey, I don’t make the rules.

A lot of people, including doctors, have a knee-jerk anti-IUD feeling because they remember the horrors of the Dalkon Shield. Those days are over, & IUDs are one of the safest forms of birth control out there.

I had the “Paraguard” IUD inserted about 1 1/2 years ago because we have completed our family and I was realizing that there were a few times I had forgotten to take the pill and I got concerned. (with three kids, I have been more distracted) I had used the shot in between the second and third child, but it did give me headaches.

I have had no problems with my IUD and I get regular periods.

My gynecologist said it is a good option if you have completed your family but don’t want to have surgery. It’s best for women in monogamous relationships who don’t want any more children (although it can be removed, there is a chance of infertility). In 10 years it will be removed and another one inserted.

My midwife only suggested that I try the IUD after I told her that I was done having children. She told me that the infertility risks were too high for her to recommend it for women who wanted to have more children and that she would refuse to insert one in a woman who had never given birth. Apparently, the risks of a dangerous rejection by the body are much greater in a woman who has never had children. But, since I am in a monogamous relationship and am not planning any more pregnancies, she suggested that I try it. I have been very happy. I had fairly significant cramping for a few hours after it was inserted, but have had no problems since.

Having just read your Pit rant (the link took forever to come through, so I posted while waiting) I want to make it clear that I am not giving you the “don’t do anything rash now; you might change your mind later” argument. As I understand it, the risks of complications for women who have never had children-including infections-are issues for you as well as any children you might or might not ever have. Even if you aren’t concerned about future fertility, you should still be aware of the risks for yourself.

I wrote a story called IUDC once. Is that close enough? It’s only off by one letter.

Wanring: Waaay TMI.

Many, many years ago, before I had a child, I had an IUD implanted. (Why, given that it is not advised for woomen who haven’t been pregnant, is another thread. Suffice it to say that I personally know the drawbacks of most fertility control methods. Including IUD’s).

I had a partial expulsion of the IUD, as mentioned by Stella, and by crikey it was painful. I had to be taken, lying flat and yowling, to the family planning clinic for it to be removed. IMMEDIATELY.

Also, (any males reading this just shut your eyes, it’s for your own good) it crippled sex. The string is supposed to be flexible and unnoticeable. PTHTHTHT. My (now) husband got spiked by the string a few times, and it seemed to curtail his enthusiasm more than somewhat. In fact, he still has a fairly stroppy reaction to the mention of IUD’s.

For less subjective effects, there was reported to be a higher rate of PID in use, and of ectopic pregnancy, including ater it had been removed. My info may well be out of date, but it might give you an idea of questions to ask.

Oh yeah, good luck!