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maize

good and bad of copper IUD's

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Need to make a decision about this and would appreciate pros/cons/ experiences.

 

PM's welcome if you don't want to share here.

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ugh, the blank post glitch strikes again :( 

 

Cheap, no hormones, can stay in longer than recommended.  I had mine quite a bit over 10 years. 

I had no cons with it at all. 

Edited by hornblower
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Had four over my reproductive lifetime so far (I'm 43).  I love the things.  Aside from the horrendous pain and almost fainting I get from the insertion, I have short periods (4 -5 days max), they are somewhat heavy on the second day (my Diva cup may fill up 2-4 times over that day).  I tried using BC pills the last couple of months to try to stop my period due to holiday schedules and problems that would be helped by not having a period.  THAT was horrible.  I stained almost the entire time.  My first period of being on the Pill lasted forever, like a week. I gained a couple of pounds.  I tried for 2 months and quit this week in disgust.  I love my IUD.  I have to change it out in about 2 years but I will get another one and if I need one more after that, I'll do it happily.

Edited by YaelAldrich
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Just wanted to say that one can request a cervical block for the insertion of an IUD. I found a doctor to do that and it made ALL the difference in the world. Night and day difference. 

Had four over my reproductive lifetime so far (I'm 43).  I love the things.  Aside from the horrendous pain and almost fainting I get from the insertion, I have short periods (4 -5 days max), they are somewhat heavy on the second day (my Diva cup may fill up 2-4 times over that day).  I tried using BC pills the last couple of months to try to stop my period due to holiday schedules and problems that would be helped by not having a period.  THAT was horrible.  I stained almost the entire time.  My first period of being on the Pill lasted forever, like a week. I gained a couple of pounds.  I tried for 2 months and quit this week in disgust.  I love my IUD.  I have to change it out in about 2 years but I will get another one and if I need one more after that, I'll do it happily.

 

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Just wanted to say that one can request a cervical block for the insertion of an IUD. I found a doctor to do that and it made ALL the difference in the world. Night and day difference. 

Did you get the vasovagal response as well?  Fainting, nausea, feeling like someone kicked you in the family jewels (LOL)?

 

The pain is only a couple of minutes.  The vasovagal response makes me stay lying down for a bit then staying in the MD office for at least a half an hour to make sure I don't go down.  It doesn't happen with any other medical procedure.

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Did you get the vasovagal response as well?  Fainting, nausea, feeling like someone kicked you in the family jewels (LOL)?

 

The pain is only a couple of minutes.  The vasovagal response makes me stay lying down for a bit then staying in the MD office for at least a half an hour to make sure I don't go down.  It doesn't happen with any other medical procedure.

 

It was INTENSE. And they couldn't get it in! Seems my cervix spasmed and basically spit the damn thing at them and wouldn't let it pass. Tried MULTIPLE times, all of it causing horrid pain. Left and went to a different office, after calling to ask who was best at IUDs and would make it painless. This guy uses and ultrasound to visualize everything but most especially does a cervical block. One tiny tiny pinch and then nothing. SO much better. Still felt a bit off, and cramped for a while, but so much better. 

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It was INTENSE. And they couldn't get it in! Seems my cervix spasmed and basically spit the damn thing at them and wouldn't let it pass. Tried MULTIPLE times, all of it causing horrid pain. Left and went to a different office, after calling to ask who was best at IUDs and would make it painless. This guy uses and ultrasound to visualize everything but most especially does a cervical block. One tiny tiny pinch and then nothing. SO much better. Still felt a bit off, and cramped for a while, but so much better. 

 

This happened to my mother.  Her body literally just spit the thing out.

 

That's how she ended up with a tubal because she couldn't find anything else that worked out for her.

 

But not everyone has that issue either.

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LOVED the copper IUD. All of the protection with none of the hormones and it lasts a decade. It was great (except the day of insertion that felt like early labor.)

 

I had mine removed at the 12 year mark. I was getting recurring UTIs and thought that the IUD might contribute to that. Nope. I’ve just become more susceptible with age even though I’m much more careful with all the precautions. Allowing myself to dehydrate seems to be the actual trigger :-/

Edited by KungFuPanda
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You all know I'm going to weigh in.  ;) Not sure if this is a concern for you, maize, but copying from my comments on a previous thread:

 

IUD's can prevent implantation. [some of this information is specific to copper IUD's and some is not.]

 

Estimated post-fertilization losses specifically attributable to the IUD, per year, for various types:

Inert IUD--0.72 to 1.97 losses per year

Copper-380 IUD (Paraguard)--0.19 to 1.04 losses per year

Levonorgestrel-20 IUD (Minera)--0.19 to 1.82 losses per year

 

"These estimates indicate that, although prefertilization effects are more prominent for the copper IUD, both prefertilization and postfertilization mechanisms of action contribute significantly to the effectiveness of all types of intrauterine devices."

 

Source: Mechanisms of action of intrauterine devices: Update and estimation of postfertilization effects by Joseph B. Stanford, MD, MSPH, and Rafael T. Mikolajczyk, MD. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2002;187:1699-708.

 

"Insertion of an IUD in the early luteal phase is a highly effective emergency contraceptive, suggesting that the IUDs act after fertilization.† 

 

Source: Cheng L, Gulmezoglu AM, Van Oel CJ, Piaggio G, Ezcurra E, Van Look PFA. Interventions for emergency contraception [Reviews]. The Cochrane Library 2007; Vol. 2.

 

“Indirect clinical evidence is supportive of the hypothesis that the effect of the copper IUD on the endometrium plays a role in its contraceptive action (Spinnato, 1997)...Also, several long-term studies have established that when pregnancy occurs in IUD users the embryo is more likely to be ectopic than in control women using no contraception or in those who become pregnant while taking oral contraceptives (Sivin and Tatum, 1981; World Health Organization, 1994). The ratio of ectopic to intrauterine implantations is ∼1 in 6–8 among IUD pregnancies compared to 1 in 20 control pregnancies. The most plausible explanation for these findings is that IUDs are more effective at preventing pregnancy when it implants in the uterus rather than the tube, implying that with an IUD in place some embryos reach the uterine cavity but fail to implant.†(Before objecting to the older dates of three studies cited here, please note that all were cited as valid supporting references in Oxford Journal's Human Reproduction Update, Volume 14, Issue 3, Pp. 197-208, 2008.)

Edited by MercyA
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You all know I'm going to weigh in.  ;) Not sure if this is a concern for you, maize, but copying from my comments on a previous thread:

 

IUD's can prevent implantation. [some of this information is specific to copper IUD's and some is not.]

 

Estimated post-fertilization losses specifically attributable to the IUD, per year, for various types:

Inert IUD--0.72 to 1.97 losses per year

Copper-380 IUD (Paraguard)--0.19 to 1.04 losses per year

Levonorgestrel-20 IUD (Minera)--0.19 to 1.82 losses per year

 

"These estimates indicate that, although prefertilization effects are more prominent for the copper IUD, both prefertilization and postfertilization mechanisms of action contribute significantly to the effectiveness of all types of intrauterine devices."

 

Source: Mechanisms of action of intrauterine devices: Update and estimation of postfertilization effects by Joseph B. Stanford, MD, MSPH, and Rafael T. Mikolajczyk, MD. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2002;187:1699-708.

 

"Insertion of an IUD in the early luteal phase is a highly effective emergency contraceptive, suggesting that the IUDs act after fertilization.† 

 

Source: Cheng L, Gulmezoglu AM, Van Oel CJ, Piaggio G, Ezcurra E, Van Look PFA. Interventions for emergency contraception [Reviews]. The Cochrane Library 2007; Vol. 2.

 

“Indirect clinical evidence is supportive of the hypothesis that the effect of the copper IUD on the endometrium plays a role in its contraceptive action (Spinnato, 1997)...Also, several long-term studies have established that when pregnancy occurs in IUD users the embryo is more likely to be ectopic than in control women using no contraception or in those who become pregnant while taking oral contraceptives (Sivin and Tatum, 1981; World Health Organization, 1994). The ratio of ectopic to intrauterine implantations is ∼1 in 6–8 among IUD pregnancies compared to 1 in 20 control pregnancies. The most plausible explanation for these findings is that IUDs are more effective at preventing pregnancy when it implants in the uterus rather than the tube, implying that with an IUD in place some embryos reach the uterine cavity but fail to implant.†(Before objecting to the older dates of three studies cited here, please note that all were cited as valid supporting references in Oxford Journal's Human Reproduction Update, Volume 14, Issue 3, Pp. 197-208, 2008.)

 

You know that happens naturally too, without an IUD, right?
 
"What are the chances of a fertilized egg not implanting?
Once the embryo reaches the blastocyst stage, approximately five to six days after fertilization, it hatches out of its zona pellucida and begins the process of implantation in the uterus. In nature, 50 percent of all fertilized eggs are lost before a woman's missed menses."

 

https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/conception_how_it_works/

 

 

 

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You know that happens naturally too, without an IUD, right?
 
"What are the chances of a fertilized egg not implanting?
Once the embryo reaches the blastocyst stage, approximately five to six days after fertilization, it hatches out of its zona pellucida and begins the process of implantation in the uterus. In nature, 50 percent of all fertilized eggs are lost before a woman's missed menses."

 

https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/conception_how_it_works/

 

Yes, of course. The statistics I mentioned took natural losses into account; that is why they say "estimated post-fertilization losses specifically attributable to the IUD."

 

Already born human beings die naturally, too. That doesn't mean I'm going to deliberately do something I know might kill them.

 

I don't expect everyone to agree with me on this. Maize asked for input and I gave her mine.  :)

Edited by MercyA
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I had mirena, my friend had copper.

 

One issue she's had is recurrent yeast infections.  Tons of them.  Apparently, it can be a thing with copper IUDs.  BUT, she loves the no hormones thing.

 

I ended up getting Nexplanon (Implant) and I'm loving how much easier insertion was.  Still lasts four years. 

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I have Mirena, and while the insertion was easy-peasy, I was surprised to find that I could feel the IUD afterwards.  It was quite noticeable, but not painful, for the first week or so, and then gradually a little less noticeable after that.  

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My SIL had a rare reaction to her copper IUD- sick/flu like symptoms that would keep coming back and made her feel compromised for over 3 years. She did online research and took a guess that she was reacting to the IUD and had it removed....literally had severe withdrawal symptoms the day and night after removal and then improved was fine. And has been fine ever since.

 

She could give more specifics but suffice to say was ill enough she was having blood tests and many Dr visits ( and she has lived in developing countries and had malaria, cholera and chickungunya )

 

It’s a rare reaction but was very severe and distinct for her and had irrationally soured me from ever considering an IUD.

 

ETA assisting phone spell check

Edited by LarlaB

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One daughter has a mirena, the other a copper. Each is happy with what she has. The mirena doesn't last as long and that is rather a pain. She doesn't get a period at all on it, but she used to be an athlete and still has a low body fat percentage. No side effects for either of them.

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Yes, of course. The statistics I mentioned took natural losses into account; that is why they say "estimated post-fertilization losses specifically attributable to the IUD."

 

Already born human beings die naturally, too. That doesn't mean I'm going to deliberately do something I know might kill them.

 

I don't expect everyone to agree with me on this. Maize asked for input and I gave her mine. :)

If a blastocyst hasn't implanted there is no pregnancy. People draw the line in different places.

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It was really painful when they put it in.  The first time, they couldn't get it to stay.  They had me come back a week later to try again.  She said to expect the cramping and pain at the time to last up to a few hours.  The pain lasted almost three days, the cramping for a week and a half.  My periods were super heavy and less regular for quite some time; after about a year an a half they had evened out and gone down to heavier than they had been, but not so bad.

 

All that said, it is the best form of birth control that I have ever tried (other than just having a breastfeeding baby).

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If a blastocyst hasn't implanted there is no pregnancy. People draw the line in different places.

 

No doubt they draw it at different places. I believe it's arbitrary to draw it anytime after a new, genetically distinct human life has been created, at fertilization. I would argue that one's environment--be it fallopian tube or uterus or birth canal or incubator or outside world--does not and should not determine one's humanity.

 

I think it's something that's important to consider. That said, it's late and I really don't want to argue. :) Maize asked for our input and I gave mine. YMMV. 

Edited by MercyA
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I am in agreement with Mercy about the morality of it; if you believe life  the right to life begins at conception then it's not really an option.  Before Mercy mentioned this in a thread a few years ago, I had no idea that the copper IUD prevented implantation; I was under the impression that it just prevented conception.  I was glad for the information as I didn't want to use a bc method that did anything other than prevent conception.

 

That said, I had a copper IUD for a few years when I was youngish and found it preferable to the years in which I took mostly didn't take the Pill - the hormones are just not something my mind does well with.  It was fine. 

Getting it taken out when we were ready to have more kids was not terrible either, except for the doctor (at a Planned Parenthood of all places), who snidely said I was probably just going to go right home and try to get pregnant.  

Well, yes, lady, that's why I don't want the IUD anymore.  She was annoyed that I'd had it for less than 5 years, I guess.

Edited by eternalsummer
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No doubt they draw it at different places. I believe it's arbitrary to draw it anytime after a new, genetically distinct human life has been created, at fertilization. I would argue that one's environment--be it fallopian tube or uterus or birth canal or incubator or outside world--does not and should not determine one's humanity.

 

I think it's something that's important to consider. That said, it's late and I really don't want to argue. :) Maize asked for our input and I gave mine. YMMV.

It's only arbitrary if there is no reason for it :) People have reasons for drawing the line elsewhere. It seems to reason that if a blastocyst isn't yet receiving blood flow or nourishment and hasn't grown nerves, a heart or brain and is just as likely to naturally pass from the body as dig in for the long haul--there is a case to be made that the cluster of cells doesn't yet pass for life.

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Here is the thing about bringing up abortion every time an IUD is mentioned. It's the idea that potential human life trumps all. No matter if a woman would be devastated to fall pregnant. That maybe her physical or mental health is compromised to the point that a pregnancy could have life threatening consequences. Or maybe the family is just financially overwhelmed. Another child is a huge and very real responsibility. An IUD is the number one most reliable birth control ahead of everything else except abstinence, which lets be real--doesn't work if someone decides to force himself on you.

 

Half of all fertilized eggs naturally don't bother implanting anyway. On average one fertilized egg every 1-5 years according to the statistics upthread fails to implant. Now weight that against very real consequences to women and to families in the event of an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. I feel as strongly against sanctifying a cluster of cells over existing living, breathing human life.

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Well, for people who believe life begins at conception, what you're saying is that it is okay to kill a person because another person would be devastated if the first person were allowed to live.  

 

Maize asked for pros and cons of IUDs, and this is, to some people, a con.  When Mercy told me about it the first time I was grateful for the info; if instead you don't think the right to life begins at conception, I'm not sure how it would be even relevant, and is easy enough to discount.  

 

Anyway, I don't want to get into an argument about abortion in Maize's thread as that is probably not why she started it :)  So I will desist.

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It's only arbitrary if there is no reason for it :) People have reasons for drawing the line elsewhere. It seems to reason that if a blastocyst isn't yet receiving blood flow or nourishment and hasn't grown nerves, a heart or brain and is just as likely to naturally pass from the body as dig in for the long haul--there is a case to be made that the cluster of cells doesn't yet pass for life.

 

It's not a matter of passing for life or not; from fertilization we are alive and we are human. I'm personally not comfortable ending any human life based on their level of development, their environment, or their degree of dependence (or because they might die anyway). 

 

People can and do argue about personhood, but that is a different discussion. I would just say that, historically, the only time human beings seem to call other human beings "non-people" is when they want the right to subjugate or kill them. It's something we should think very carefully about. When do we have the right to end another human life? Do we have that right at all?

 

Not trying to hijack your thread, OP. Thanks for sharing your thoughts so calmly and kindly, Barb.  :)

Edited by MercyA
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No doubt they draw it at different places. I believe it's arbitrary to draw it anytime after a new, genetically distinct human life has been created, at fertilization. I would argue that one's environment--be it fallopian tube or uterus or birth canal or incubator or outside world--does not and should not determine one's humanity.

 

I think it's something that's important to consider. That said, it's late and I really don't want to argue. :) Maize asked for our input and I gave mine. YMMV. 

 

How do you feel an ectopic pregnancy should be handled given this stance?

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How do you feel an ectopic pregnancy should be handled given this stance?

 

I can't speak for Mercy but my denomination's stance is that since an ectopic pregnancy is life-threatening, surgery to remove the tube is morally permissible even though it has the unfortunate side effect of killing the baby. Taking the abortion pill to kill the baby but leave the tube intact is NOT moral.

 

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Here is the thing about bringing up abortion every time an IUD is mentioned. It's the idea that potential human life trumps all.

I think Mercy's post was entirely appropriate to the thread; she was sharing information in case I might find it relevant to the decision making process. She wasn't trying to force me into a particular decision.

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How do you feel an ectopic pregnancy should be handled given this stance?

 

My own? With monitoring and watchful waiting. Many ectopic pregnancies resolve naturally.

 

If necessary, I would have my tube removed to prevent its rupture. This would unfortunately result in my child's death, but, in my view, that would be a tragic consequence of rather than the purpose of the procedure. I would not be willing to take medication to directly kill her. Perhaps the difference between the two options is slight, but I have thought about this and that is what I would be comfortable with. 

 

I believe doctors should always attempt to save both their patients, mother and child. If that is truly impossible, they must try to save the one they can. 

 

Good question.

Edited by MercyA
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I think Mercy's post was entirely appropriate to the thread; she was sharing information in case I might find it relevant to the decision making process. She wasn't trying to force me into a particular decision.

 

Thank you, maize; that was exactly my purpose.

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I had mirena, my friend had copper.

 

One issue she's had is recurrent yeast infections. Tons of them. Apparently, it can be a thing with copper IUDs. BUT, she loves the no hormones thing.

 

I ended up getting Nexplanon (Implant) and I'm loving how much easier insertion was. Still lasts four years.

Your friend might benefit from eating foods rich in zinc, or supplementing zinc. There's a balance thing with copper and zinc in the body, and if someone is high in copper already and then gets the paraguard, then the balance may be thrown off.

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Not copper, but I had Mirena IUD implanted a month ago. I just went for my follow-up. Insertion was insignificant in terms of pain and discomfort. I would rather have ten Mirena insertions (like that one) than one mammogram like those I have had. Even the doctor and assistant said, “You made that look easy.â€

 

Interesting, since I am generally on the queasy side. But maybe I am less like that as I age.

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