Ladies, tell me about your IUD. Need answer fast.

I need emergency contraception in the very near future, and have learned online that the IUD is a viable form of EC. I don’t want a case of the babies anytime soon (or anytime really), and this seems like a good time to get it over with. For the record, it wasn’t a drunk one night stand. Thank heavens!

Anyone willing to share some intrauterine device anecdotes or advice? I am thirty years old, my ragtime is regular and sometimes crampy for the first day or two, and I had an abortion when I was young (and restless). IUD trivia: for centuries, camels have been IUD’ed with pebbles inserted by their riders to prevent pregnancies on long journeys. So, should I get Dromedaried?

I don’t know any reputable health care provider who will put one in without doing an STD culture, which takes a while to come back. While I love my Mirena and would have a dozen of them at the same time if it were feasible, it doesn’t seem like a very useful form of emergency contraception.

Crazy Cat Lady, I discovered it as a healthcare service provided six days a week by my local Family Planning Clinic. Only ninety dollars (equivalent of $60USD) for the consultation and, uh, insertion. As an emergency contraceptive, they say you can wait up to five days after you expect ovulation to prevent a possible current pregnancy and bonus, any further ones. I suppose it is the novelty of killing two birds with one stone by solving current and future conception dilemmas with one device.

Hmm, no STDs either - plus same partner for last five years - so I should be a good candidate, yes?

I take it you are digging Mirena? :slight_smile:

They still generally want to do a culture–I’d been an mutually monogamous relationship for 8 years, no previous partners, he’d had only one previous partner, and they still insisted on doing an STD swab before they’d put the Mirena in. It’s just the standard of care to prevent you getting PID. I don’t know how much time you have to play with, but it tends to take about 5 days to get a c/s back.

Yeah, I like Mirena. I’m on year 2 of my second one, and it’s been great for me. Only one period with the first one until the last few months, a more typical tapering off with this one. Greatly reduced cramps and PMS when I do have a period, both of which were pure fucking hell before.

That’s not to say that I’ve never had any trouble with it. The insertion on the first one was pretty damn rough because of my weird anatomy, and the cramps afterward were the worst I’ve ever had. I started a thread about it that should show up on search if you want the blow by blow. And the threads decided to pull up into the uterus enough that they couldn’t get a good grip to pull it out when the time came, so I had to be knocked out so they could work more easily without hurting me. I had no cramps at all with the second insertion, though.

I had the Mirena in for a year. It did not go well for me. I had severe pain which they kept insisting was not the IUD, so instead I had a bunch of tests and a transvaginal ultrasound which turned up nothing. When I finally got a doctor to take it out, she found that my cervix was inflamed and bleeding. I was 26, never had kids or been pregnant. It took several months after they took it out for me to get back to any kind of regular, bearable cycle.


Weird - your “emergency contraception” wording is setting of alarm bells for me, too (tho’ your second post cleared it up a little).

I, too, am on my 2nd Mirena, and I love love love it. I’d marry it and avoid having its babies if I could. It’s fantastic. Insertion is definitely a bitch (though the second time around was better; didn’t hurt so much).

My advice? Try Plan B or something else first to deal with the emergency, then look into getting the IUD. I think going this route will give you more time to do some research and find out whether it’s really a good fit for you instead of rushing into something. Of course, my advice is worth every penny you paid for it.

If you do go ahead, take a couple of aspirin/ibuprofin/your favorite painkiller an hour or so before you go for insertion - it’ll help a lot.

Oh! Posting to add that to my knowledge, I didn’t have any STD testing before I got mine (maybe the Dr. did it without my knowledge, but I doubt it). But I married my high-school sweetheart, we were both virgins before we did the nasty, yadda yadda. And we’d been married for 5 years, together for 11. So I wouldn’t say that it’s a given that you’ll need to have a test.

As for why I’d got the IUD: I’m fanatical about my birth control. However, I was never good about taking them at the same time each day, especially on weekends, and I’d sometimes forget one (like one every 3-4 months or so; it’s not like I’d forget frequently). Still, it was way more often than I’d like, and I knew I didn’t want to get pregnant. Since I felt that I wasn’t secure enough on the pill, I started looking into alternatives.

I love the Mirena. I love that I never think about contraception anymore, ever. It’s just totally not on my radar any longer. I also love the price - it’s a really economical choice. And I’m one of the lucky ones; it’s pretty much stopped my periods (so much so that I don’t even remember where they keep the tampons in the store any more).

I’ve waxed rhapsodic about my IUD on the boards before; a search will bring up those details.

Mirenas are not used for post coital contraception (PCC).
If you want an IUD as your Plan B (pun totally intended), it’ll be an old fashioned copper one.

If an IUD is offered as PCC insertion is sometimes covered by doses of anti-biotics, alternatively any infectins are treated post insertion with the IUD in place- waiting for cultures to return is not an issue as time is a factor.

Here’s a good resource:

If the Plan B boat has sailed so that an IUD is your only option for PCC, but you don’t want to continue with a copper IUD long term, you can have it placed as PCC, removed at your next period, and replaced immediately with a Mirena.
If the PCC boat has sailed completely an IUD or Mirena can be placed on the first day of a period or immediately after termination of a pregnancy.

I love my Mirena- but I had to have it inserted under GA after a insertion with a cervical block failed (my cervix did not want to dilate), and that was after a full term pregnancy and c-section. That was my second one- the first was inserted under GA as well, and I got pregnant with my daughter less than 3months after I had it removed, so I can attest to it being reversible.

I loved my mirena, too. No periods while I had it in, insertion hurt, but not terribly so. I’d do it again.

I love my Mirena.

Insertion was a bitch, I won’t lie; I’ve heard it’s worse if you haven’t given birth (I haven’t, exactly, as my son was born c-section, but I got to 8 cm first).

It took about six months but I got to where I have almost no period some months, very light when it does come.

I’m getting a Paragard (copper one). The hormones in the Mirena are baaaaaaaad for me and I do not trust even hyper low doses to be okay. I hope it doesn’t hurt too much. :confused:

I really like my Paragard (the copper T). As far as I know, there was no STD testing involved, and I’ve had three of them now (before first baby, between babies, after second baby). I did have unexplained infertility for second baby, so I guess it’s possible that the IUD was implicated in that - but I was also old to be trying to conceive (started trying for him at 37, succeeded after IVF at 39), so that’s more likely the problem.

I have minor cramps, and my periods are typically 4 days long. No sweat.

I have a copper one, I get periods and they are crampy! Before having this copper IUD I never, ever had cramps before, and they were quite a surprise (I was 31). I wish I could stand hormones, but even if they didn’t exacerbate my eczema, they would put me more at risk for stroke, etc, which given my family history I don’t need.

I’m not really happy with the copper one, because of the cramps and the fact that my cervix is very tender (I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it’s inflamed). If I were you I’d get the Mirena, if you can stand the lose dose of hormones. I couldn’t.

I liked my first Paragard, but the second has been so terrible that I’m going to get surgically sterilized instead.

So far so good (have had it in for a bit over an hour). Cramps are slowly amping up but not bad so far.

For the insertion, I’d say there was about a minute (maybe two) of pretty damn painful period cramps. Interspersed in that was two sections of about 10-20 seconds each of OH MY HOLY FUCKING SHIT FUCK GOD THAT HURTS. But as soon as they removed the non-IUD stuff from the uterus, it faded really quickly.

Caveats: I had two shots of vodka before going in (don’t worry; my husband drove me :)) and took two ibuprofen pills in the car right afterwards. I’m sure the cramps will get worse in a bit of time, but at least so far :: fingers crossed :: it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought.

I just got a Mirena about four weeks ago.

From everything I hear, insertion is a bitch, especially if you’re nulliparous. Hearing this, I got a cervical block for mine AND was given a prescription to pick up and bring in to take just before my appointment (Tylenol with codeine and a Valium). It still wasn’t particularly FUN, but it didn’t hurt much at all (versus a friend of mine who described it as “the worst pain” in her life, including stuff like appendicitis).

I’ve been bleeding pretty constantly since then while my body adjusts–anywhere from really light spotting to heavy enough that I have to put a tampon in. I also had cramps for pretty much the first two weeks straight. (Oddly, it was right after the insertion that I was fine… the cramping didn’t start picking up until day two or three.)

Can’t wait for the damned bleeding to stop, but at this point I’m just glad the cramps seem to be over.

I got one about 2 weeks ago. Ive been spotting non stop. I have also seriously bloated up - I have gained 6 lbs! please tell me this goes away. I went to my doctor to have a check on it and they say all is ok.

Has anyone else bloated up?

Thanks so much for all the feedback, fellow Dopettes. I decided to go for the ECP today and keep my options open as to a more permanent method. Mirena sounds fantastic but I would prefer a non-hormonal method as I am a smoker and already dealing with some adult acne which is a possible Mirena side effect. Gosh, I sound like a real prize, don’t I!

Then look at the Paragard. It’s non-hormonal, as several of us mentioned.

FWIW- Mirena contains only progestogens (levonorgestrel- the same drug in Plan B) at very low doses, not oestrogens. It is the lowest dose hormonal contraceptive. It is safe for women with history of blood clots, migraines, those with a BMI over 30 and smokers. Oh, and you can use it up to the menopause.

I have bad skin when on no hormones at all, fab skin when I’m pregnant, and only the occasional minor breakout on Mirena. Obviously YMMV, but for me Mirena makes my skin better, not worse.

Personally, I’ve gone from a natural 21 day cycle with 7 days of heavy, painful bleeding, or taking pills daily and having breakthrough bleeds and periods-from-hell every 3 months that needed strong pain medication to a totally period-free life. The minor inconvenience of 2 days off work for the insertion (the second day was because of the GA- I actually felt fine, there is a thread here) was totally worth it.

If you decide to go for an IUD or IUS- see if you can get some Arthrotec to take the day before and day of the procedure. The Diclofenac is a good painkiller and the Misoprostol softens and slightly opens the cervix. I took it before the removal of my first Mirena, and I didn’t have any discomfort at all. I would have taken it before they tried to insert the second one, but Misoprostol and breastfeeding are not a good combo.