Avert your eyes…it’s more on the Paragard

Thought I should post an update on the ParaGard and the followup effects. I have been lucky in that it’s been an amazing experience, and I have to say that on the whole, it was totally worth the massive copay.

(If you’re queasy about BC in general or female anatomy in general, I’d stop…reading…abouuuut….NOW.)

After the insertion, which I already blogged about, I had spotting for about two weeks. At times it was heavy-ish, but never like a period and definitely falling under the category of “to be expected”. My midwife said that it would be normal to have spotting during the first year, which I thought a bit excessive, to say the least, but it makes sense that your body is trying to re-regulate itself. In the end, all contraception is an interruption of the body’s processes, even if the method is non-hormonal. I have never felt the IUD, unless, of course, I was trying to (which you should do every few weeks to make sure it’s still around). My husband has not, either, which is something I had wondered about, having read about the Mirena and its strings being- shall we say- noticeable.

Here’s what I like: being comfortable. Being spontaneous. Allowing the romance to take place without freaking out about a possible pregnancy (especially in light of a recent birth and ovarian problems in the past). Not feeling out of control of my fertility.

Here’s what I don’t like: wondering if the ParaGard will migrate. Yes, migrate. Apparently one of the “extremely rare” side effects is that the IUD can actually take a little weekend on vacation to your body cavity….and then call in on Monday and resign permanently, deciding instead to inflict infection and surgery upon you. Not to freak anyone out. It is, after all, one of the side effects they tell you about. And in the end, it’s still better for me than hormonal methods, especially considering I’m still breastfeeding.

So, on the whole, I would say GIT ON IT, if you have that option. It’s a definite thumbs-up for me, in my situation- but, of course, talk it over with your doctor, blah blah blah… you may have issues that I do not…and vice versa. For me, the whole experience has been invaluable in that I have thought more about my reasons, my motivations, and my decisions in the face of BC, something I haven’t done seriously before. And, as a person of faith, it’s forced me to uncover my moral and ethical reasons for the decisions I make. Which, in the end, can only be good. Tough, but good. Cheers.

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57 Responses to Avert your eyes…it’s more on the Paragard

  1. Mindi says:

    It seems that I will be the next in line to talk about the Paragard Copper T. I had it inserted over a month ago and have had several issues and yesterday I had it taken out. I think the IUD can be a great option for some women. It didn’t seem to work for me though and I was sad about it yesterday. Insertion was a little painful, but nothing many of us can’t handle. I know it sounds silly but I could feel my IUD alot. I think because I have not had children before my uterus felt too small and stretched with the devise. Cramping was very challenging at times. Spikes of pain that would just stun you for a moment. I consider myself a tough girl but cramps of this magnitude was a lot to deal with. My sex life was struggling because my cervix felt bruised and deep penetration hurt me. Also, the bleeding was too much to handle for intercourse and I found myself feeling self-concience and frustrated. I went in for a check up on Monday and the placement seemed normal and I was prescribed several medications which unfortunatly made me sick. After I left work early yesterday, I decided to have it removed. Over a month and a half of heavy bleeding, pain, sickness and lack of sex life is a lot to ask from anybody. I wanted so badly for it to work out. I hope it does for you……………..

  2. evenshine says:

    Mindi- I am SO sorry to hear that you have had a bad experience with it. I think you may be right in that it’s generally better if you’ve had a child already…besides the uterine issues, the “spikes of pain” may be more bearable once you’ve delivered a child (though I haven’t experienced any pain at all). Anyway, glad to hear that you’ve had it removed. What’s your next option? I wish you the best!

  3. Mina says:

    I was wondering have you ever gained weight on Paragard? I just had a baby and I am struggling to lose weight. I want to use the IUD but I dont’ want to have issues with weight gain.

  4. Evenshine says:

    Mina, no, as of now I haven’t. I’m still losing baby weight, and I think that happens to many women. Good luck with your decision, and your weight loss!

  5. Jojojellybean says:

    Hi There,

    I am just trying to do a little research on the Paragaurd. I had one inserted a little over 4 months ago. I am just wondering if anyone can give me a little hope.

    I find that my menstral cramps are more severe than they were prior to insertion, that my mentral flow is heavier in the first few days, and that I experience some discomfort mid-month (probably during ovulation). This past cycle was particularly bad in terms of pain – not so much the amount of menstral flow. In that respect I was just slightly heavier than I was prior to insertion.

    This past month had me wanting to get the iud removed but I do like the device for so many other reasons. Have any of you had the iud for 6 months or longer? Is it like regular birth control where your body will cease to react so much once it gets used to it?

    For now I have opted to leave it in for longer as I wonder if 4 months is really enough time for your body to regulate itself and get used to this foreign object sitting in there. I will continue to monitor my cycles just to see if it is in fact getting better.

    If anyone has any personal stories of things getting better with time it would be much appreciated.

  6. Jojojellybean says:

    Hi,

    It’s me again.

    Just found some information on how long it takes before things will calm down – the information provided on the following website seems to indicate about a year:

    http://www.drugs.com/pro/paragard.html

    I would still appreciate any personal opinions though.

  7. evenshine says:

    Jojo- I’d say that over the past (now almost) a year it’s regulated itself. Things were pretty “off” there for a while, but have calmed down and gone back to normal. Still loving it. Sorry I didn’t see your comment sooner! Cheers.

  8. Captain M says:

    I’m going on two years with ParaGard, and I’m just about as thrilled with it as one can be. My period is more predictable with it than before, and although the cramps can get pretty bad, hormones do worse things to me. It works for me, and I hope it works for everyone else who wants it.

  9. Bear says:

    Have had the mirena for about two years. Am having it removed next friday and am replacing it with the paragard. I didn’t put two and two together till recently about my weight gain, low sex drive, crabbyness, lower back pain. Did some research and found my symptoms could be from the mirena. Talked with my dr. Had the same problem when i was on the pill form of bc. I decided to give the paragard a try. My cramps are tolerable and necer had much of a period. Cramps and having a period aren’t an issue for me. The weight gain, and low sex drive are and for my husband. He has been so understanding. I am so excited for next friday i can’t stand it. Will keep you posted. Thank you for your blogging. If it weren’t for people like you people like me would keep thinking that it was all in our heads and that it was “us”. THANK YOU.

  10. Evenshine says:

    Bear- your symptoms seem to be common to various forms of hormonal BC. I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve had a tough time. Here’s hoping that the ParaGard will work better for you. Be prepared for a few strange months, though, as your body adjusts. And do keep us posted. Good luck!

  11. JoJo says:

    I had Paragard inserted this morning. I was actually supposed to get Mirena. I read so many things last night about weight gain, hair loss, mood swings and low sex drive. I struggle with those anyway and decided that a hormone method was not right for me. I am 32 and have had extremely heavy and long periods since 12. My doctor has recommended the pill many times. I have never been on any form of birth control ever just because I was always scared to try anything. I’ve been blessed with 2 children and we have decided that we are happy with 2. My husband had a vasectomy 4 months ago and IT DID NOT WORK. So, I decided to get an IUD until we figure out what we will do. It hurt just a bit but nothing bad or where I would discourage it. I’ve only had it for a few hours BUT I do not feel anything at all. I am bleeding heavy but I was before I walked into the doctor’s office this morning. So, if anyone is afraid of insertion or feeling that it’s there, don’t worry. 🙂

  12. q jay says:

    I have never been a heavy bleeder…I just got the Paragaurd last month and this is my first period. IT IS SO HEAVY…I AM SOAKING THROUGH PADS AND TAMPONS LEFT AND RIGHT…IS THIS NORMAL…Please let me know…think I will call the Dr. tommoroww.

  13. Evenshine says:

    q jay- totally normal. Give it a few months (it took me about 6 months to be back to normal) and your body will regulate itself. I know it’s hard, but from what I’ve read and experienced, it’s totally normal. Wishing you the best!

  14. JoeyK says:

    Hello all. I have been following this blog for a while because I wanted to get off hormones asap. I just had the Paragard IUD last week. I am 23 and I’ve never had kids, but I’m aware of all the risks involved. I may be just paranoid, but I feel like my uterus just cannot relax! I am hypersensitive to even slight cramps and stomach aches for fear of the IUD falling out of place. Is this normal? Also, my ob/gyn told me she left the strings long so I could feel them and she would adjust them next month, but the length of the strings seems really inconsistent. Two days ago I could not find them and today they are only 3 or 4 in. Is this normal? S.O.S!!!

  15. Jojojellybean says:

    Wow. This blog has certainly had a lot of activity in the past few months! It’s nice to see since there are few “personal stories” outside of those drenched in terror and horror. I think that it’s nice to hear honest but fair accounts of experiences with Paragaurd.

    So before I launch into my own experience, let me say this…if you are looking for a non-hormonal approach to bc, give it a shot. No two experiences are alike and I wished that I would have had the experience that Evenshine and others have had but I did not.

    I had mine removed after approx 7 months of having it in place. I found that my periods were very heavy, the cramping (during menstration and ovulation) were significantly worse than before, and intercourse in the early days after menstration or right before menstration occurred would sometimes be painful. I really tried to stick it out for the full year (to see if things got better) but in the end decided that my previous experiences with anemia were enough of a reason to rid myself of the heavier-than-normal menstration that I experienced post Paragaurd. Everything went back to normal in no time (hence my statement to give it a try if you have weighed the options and the only thing stopping you is not knowing how your body will react).

    I miss the convenience of the Paragaurd and honestly that is what prevented me from having it removed sooner. But all in all the costs for me outweighed the benefits. But that may not be the case for you.

    So there it is. I hope that I’ve given you a fair account and not scared anyone from trying it if they have considered the medical complications that may occur (tiny chances of perforation, migration, etc) and are now just looking for the experiences of the “average Jane”.

    Anyway, thanks for reading. Thanks for being just one more source of information. And best of luck to you all.

  16. Chantelle says:

    Hi all,

    I went into the doctors office today and had a paragard IUD put into place. I’ll admit I was nervous going into the doctors office. The actual experience for me was a lot better than I though it would be.

    1 They put iodine on my uterus to sterilize it
    2 put something in me to keep my uterus from moving.
    3 Then put the Paragard in.

    It was that easy. There was pressure but it wasn’t unbearable like giving birth. I have bleed a tiny bit. It is such a more pleasant experience than giving birth. I’ve given birth vaginally twice.

    My advice is consider your own feelings. I went in the doctors office wanting to try it out for myself. If it ended up being horrible I would have them take it out. It was worth it to me to try it. I am very happy I tried it. =)

  17. jc says:

    Hi,
    I came across this blog trying to find any new info out there on the paragard. I’ve had mine for 2 years now and I’m thinking of having it removed. Everything I am finding on-line says that bothersome symptoms should ease up in about 6 months, but in my case I am continuing to have HEAVY bleeding-to-death periods every month. Today at work I bled through 2 of the huge ‘super-plus’ tp before the end of my work day. I’ve had lots of other issues in the past 2 years as well, including infections, ovarian cysts, increased pms symptoms, dh complaining that he can feel it, increased cramping….. I’ve stuck it out for this long because I really want it to work, and in many other ways it is awesome.

    My real worry is that I’m actually conceiving most months and then experiencing miscarriage. Sometimes my periods actually seem that heavy (I have had a real miscarriage about 5 years ago).

    Can somebody tell me that I’m just crazy? I know, I should talk to my doctor…and I probably will.

    For those of you who are considering getting one or just got one, please don’t let my situation discourage you. It’s like Jojojellybean said, no two cases are alike.

    Best Luck to all!

  18. Jojojellybean says:

    Awww. JC. I don`t think that you are crazy. I also don`t think that you have conceived in some of those months and then miscarried. Remember that Paragaurd contains a copper coil and that copper is supposed to be toxic to sperm. The likelihood of conception with Paragaurd, at least in the stats that I read, were even smaller than traditional forms of birth control.

    If your body has not gotten used to the Paragaurd in 2 yrs of having it I think that you should probably go with your gut and get it removed. There`s no need for suffering through your menstral cycle.

    I find that I am extremely sensitive to hormonal birth control. I just find that I `feel`different when I am on it (maybe that`s crazy – ha ha). But that is why I went with the non-hormonal IUD. As I said in my prior posts however I found that my body just did not like having the IUD. So I am not really concerned. I am at a point where if I get pregnant it`s not a huge deal and when it comes time for me to decide that I don`t want any more children then I fear the word `vasectomy`may prompt further discussion between my guy and me.

    All in all, I would say that if you have not had any relief after 2 yrs, you`re probably not going to and that you should just go ahead and get rid of the IUD.

    Anyway, that`s my two cents.

  19. Ana says:

    Hello, I am 32 years old. I have been on birth control for about 3 years, I was on Yazmin. I decided to change birth control because of the dieritics yazmin has. So i have been on Lutera for about 3 months. I feel horrible. My lifestyle has not changed. I am a health woman, exercise regulary, nonsmoker, nondrinker. I have gained weight, noticed signs of cellulite, have headaches, decreased libido and acne.
    So i found about about the paragard, little scared about it but i am excited about the nonhormone contraceptive. I made my appointment to have the paragard inserted. My boyfriend freaked out about the idea.
    I am hoping for a great result.
    Thanks,
    Ana

  20. evenshine says:

    Ana- best of luck! Let us know how it goes!

  21. Amy says:

    Hello, I am 21 years old and resorted to paragard about a year ago. After trying the pill, the patch, the shot and the ring I realized that I couldnt have anything with hormones. They gave me really bad headaches.
    The insertain process was super painful and i had cramps for the whole first month. Now even after a year I get really bad cramps through out the month and severe cramps during my period. To the point where I cant even walk and am in bed with a heating pad the first couple of days.
    I’m thinking of getting it taking out.
    Any suggestions?

  22. Jojojellybean says:

    Hi Amy,

    My two cents…it sounds like you’re already leaning toward getting it removed. As per my prior comments, the costs far outweighed the benefits for me. Nothing was worth the discomfort and heavier menstral flow. Mine was in no way as bad as what you describe. I don’t have any suggestions on ways to ease the discomfort because nothing seemed to ease mine. Maybe someone else can help with that aspect of things. In any event, best of luck.

  23. basil says:

    I’m scheduled to have the paragard inserted next week (right before a 10 day overseas vacation, which after reading comments about the insertion process, I’m starting to reconsider). My question is for evenshine — evenshine, you had your paragard inserted quite a while ago and I wanted to check in to see if you still are happy with it, or if your opinion has changed since your first post. Thanks!

  24. Evenshine says:

    basil- I continue to be happy with it. The first 6 months were hard, as my body took its time to regulate itself, but I have never had any problems like those discussed by the other commenters. I think it’s not for everyone, but you should give it a good chance- say, a year or so. Be prepared for heavy periods for quite a while. But for me, it’s worth it! Best of luck- let us know how it goes!

  25. sunshine says:

    Hello ladies! I have had my paragrad for 2 months now. At first I thought that it was a mistake I cramped alot and i felt a lot of discomfort in my uterus. It lasted for about a week or so. My period for the first month was a heavy. It felt like i was bleeding a river. this month has been a little lighter. But i had been on depo for the past 10 years and not had a period in 10 years. But this month I have also been experciencing some tenderness in my breast and have had a mucus like discharge aometimes. is this normal? Is anybody else experiencing these symptoms?

  26. luv1b says:

    I had the paragard since the beginning of April, it was inserted while on my period I was a nervous wreck but the procedure wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I held my breath during the insertion and it was over. That was the easier part to me. The side effects or the aftermath on the other hand are not the greatest. I had lower back and abdominal pain for a while. I have had cramping and spotting a week ahead of my period. During my last period -I used a tampon as usual I think it may have pulled on the string when I went to remove it. I was in so much pain I had to leave work. I did go for my follow up afterwards and everything was still in tact. I also think using the tampon increases the bleeding as well maybe from the pressure, now I’m a bit hesitant about using a tampon. I hate using just pads when I’m not at home especially now since my flow requires super and overnight absorbency. From reading everyone’s comments it seems like I have a few more months to let my body adjust to this. I hope this is the case for me. I will keep counting down and look forward to the norm again as of now I only have to deal with this during my period. Any suggestions about the tampons?

  27. Cheryl says:

    So I currently have the mirena for about 10 months now and seriously considering the copper iud. I have been looking at some of the side effects of both of them and noticing that the major ones with the mirena is that i will cry over everything and make a big deal over anything, not ever gotten any of the back pains that i noticed is common in both the mirena and the copper iud. Does that mean I shouldn’t have that problem? I see heavy bleeding is common for a while but so is yeast infections…. is this something most have experienced? Is weight gain that is absolutly impossible to loose also common? I am just trying to figure out all the possible side effects of this one before I start this process all over again

  28. Silver says:

    I’m 23 and have one child. I’m contemplating getting the Paragard IUD. I just wanted to say that I appreciate all you women who have put your personal stories on this blog. Anymore information or personal stories would be great to hear as I’m still a little unsettled with the idea. I’m not worried about migration or perforation. I’m just worried about the bleeding and menstrual cramps. I used to have debilitating cramps as a teenager, actually I had horrible cramps until after I had my daughter. Then they went away and I barely have a period now, so I’m not too worried about getting a heavy flow. I’ve dealt with that before. No worries, I”m just worried about getting the Paragard and how to tell if something is wrong. That’s my main worry.

  29. Kristy says:

    I have had Paragard for 3 years, in the last few months I have had severe breast tenderness to the point it hurts to wear a bra and abdominal cramps and nausea, severe pain in my lower abdmonen. I have taken 6 pregnancy test and all were negative. Im considering taking out my IUD, Im getting it checked on August 20th, I couldnt get in any sooner. Has anyone else had these symptoms? I feel pregnant but test after test say no. I have also gained about 5-10 lbs. I have a 6 year old son I had while on Depo, so I know Im more suseptble to become pregnant on BC. If anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated.

  30. Brandi says:

    I had the paragard inserted a few weeks ago. They had a hard time at first inserting it because I hace a lot of tissue left over from my pregnacies, but the doctor came in and pushed it in, with no promblem. Afterwards I might have bleed heavy for just a few days, with really no cramping. As of now I have no cramping and am not spotting. Just want to be sure this is normal? And also I am having a hard time feeling the strings. I wldnt think the paragard has come out since they had a hard time putting it in at first. I am going to get it checked out to be sure its in there.

  31. Silver says:

    I am scheduled to have the paragard put in on july 31st at 120 pm. I will update with how my appt went.

  32. Cindy says:

    I am 8 months pregnant and considering paragard after I give birth. My doctor said that if I am nursing while on paragard my bleeding should be a lot less. Has anyone tried nursing while on paragard?

  33. Silver says:

    I got my paragard this afternoon and I will say it was THE MOST PAINFUL THING I’ve ever done.

  34. Silver says:

    forgot to mention that it’s been a few hours and the bleeding is not worse and the cramps have gone away.

  35. evenshine says:

    Silver- hope all is well by now.

  36. paragard sucks says:

    Removing that hellish thing was the best thing I have EVER done for my body. I lost 10 lbs in 24 hours after removal. My body deflated…skin went back to normal…and I am way less of a bitch now. If you are thinking of getting it removed: DO IT!!!! I can’t have hormones so it is back to condoms for me!!!! I guess logically speaking…having a metal rod shoved up your uterus can’t be the best thing for you…lol.

  37. brandy says:

    I just got the paragard 3 days ago. I had almost changed my mind after reading so many negative stories about it on the internet. I was so scared it was going to be the most painful thing ever. I am so glad I got it. It did not hurt at all. In fact I didn’t even know the dr. had put it in until she said okay it’s in. I thought she was still opening the package. I had it inserted while i was on my period and have not had any cramping or heavy bleeding. It may be to soon to tell if its gonna change my cycle, but so far I like it. Everyones body is different so don’t let the horror stories scare you from trying it.

  38. jenna says:

    I had the paragard inserted 2 days ago and have been taking motrin since to help with the cramping. I chose this option because I am breastfeeding. But am wondering if it is lessening my milk supply?!? Have any other nursing mothers experienced this? Also, do feel like I’m starting to get a yeast infection (which would be very strange since I have been on a Candida cleansing diet the past 4 months) Am really dreading the heavy periods…. especially since I was prone to them before having kids.

  39. evenshine says:

    jenna- my experience was nothing but great. yes, the periods are heavier at first, but they level out in a few months. best of luck. let us know how it goes.

  40. Jrae says:

    Thank you all for your stories. I just saw my GYN today and talked to her about getting an IUD. She seemed to be pushing Mirena on me, even though I specifically asked about Paraguard. I explained to her that I do not want hormones because I had low sex drive, weight gain, headaches, nausea, etc with all kinds of birth control (various pills, ring, etc.) She claimed that Mirena doesn’t have those effects because it’s not estrogen. From what I’m reading here, most people have had the same side effects with Mirena as are expected with other forms of hormonal BC. Anyone else have their doctor say this nonsense about it not being hormonal??

    Also, I’m wondering if the people who have experienced heavy bleeding had heavy periods before? I have a very light period now and am hoping that will mean once I get Paragard it won’t be SO bad? At least treatable with Midol…

    Thanks so much, ladies!

  41. jojojellybean says:

    Jrae,

    I would say that mine were/are “average”. Definately not heavy. But I still say give Paragaurd a shot…It may work fine for you.

  42. Sam says:

    I’ve had the mirena IUD for two years and had it out yesterday. I am 28 and never had children. But can’t have BC pills due to a blood clotting disorder. Let me tell you the mirena hurt going in but tolerable with some ibuprofen. Then I never got a period it was great…until I ended up with severe acne. Tried everythign to get rid of it and nothing worked chemical peels, scrubs, laser treatments nothing. SO my gyn is recommending the paragard. I also become more emotional, had a lot of belly bloat, and a low sex drive. and on occasion would get a severe sharp pain which would subside quickly. If you can deal with the side effects not having a period is WONDERFUL. Could someone post a positive experience with paragard please!!

  43. Kay says:

    I’m 23, never given birth, and just got my paragard a month ago.

    I’m not gonna lie, insertion hurt like hell, but I’d do it again. This first month, I’ve had a lot of cramping and spotting, and now my period is super heavy as expected. But, I feel like my body is adjusting to the iud better. The strings have stayed the same length, and I no longer have abrupt stabbing cramps like before.

    Someone mentioned that she was concerned about using tampons. Instead of tampons, I’ve been using a menstrual cup for several years. It’s just a medical grade silicon cup that collects the flow, can be emptied, cleaned, and reinserted (it holds a lot too, so you don’t have to worry about trying to wash it out in public restrooms). It lasts for years (saving the environment and not putting fibers and dioxins in my uterus). I’m really glad that I use a menstrual cup with my IUD. I don’t know how I’d be able to safely contain the flow otherwise!

    I’m really happy I decided on paragard. I was on the pill (the lowest dose too) for about 6 years. The hormones really did a number on me both mentally and physically. I don’t know how doctors and big pharma can subscribe the stuff to women without thorough case studies. At first the pill and my body got along… my severe acne even went away. But after years of taking the pill, I started to notice a change in my mind and body. I’d get depressed, have no libido (kinda defeats the purpose of BC), get headaches, acne, low energy, foggy mental state, and I gained over 40lbs!

    Since I’ve been off the pill, I’m getting my energy back, I feel perkier, happier, “in the mood”, my face is less oily, and my headaches have gone away. Hopefully, I can get the weight back down too!

    Anyway, I’m just really happy that I came across forums and blogs like this one that helped me make the decision to finally get rid of hormone bc and switch to paragard. I don’t know any of you, but thanks gals for sharing!

  44. Kay says:

    Jrae,

    Before paragard and even before the pill, my periods were usually pretty light too. I am bleeding a bunch right now on my first cycle, but it’s tolerable. And like I said before, a menstrual cup helps, because I don’t have to change it as often… once in the morning, once at night, and once during the day… usually when I get home from work.

    My doctor also gave me the “mirena doesn’t release enough hormones to affect you that way” bull. He was really trying to push it on me. He kept saying things like “most women don’t have periods with mirena” and “sometimes cramps are so bad with paragard that your body will expel it”. I worked at a clinic for a while, and I’ve seen the drug representatives there. These drug reps come in to almost every clinic and hospital in the country EVERY DAY and bring in nice catered meals EVERY DAY to feed the docs, nurses, and staff. Then the drug reps give a talk to the docs and give them lots of samples and incentives to push their products on patients. I think the mirena people are probably doing a good marketing job to all the docs, because I’ve heard other women say the same thing about their docs when they went to talk about IUDs.

    When I went to get mine, I was dead set on the paragard, but the doc made me wary about it. So, when the nurse came back in, I had a nice chat with her, and she reassured me that I should stick with my original plan and that they have many patients who love their paragards.

    Glad to be off big pharma drugs, hormones, and didn’t give into my doc.

  45. khawaii says:

    I have lost half my hair in less than 4 weeks. I use to stretch my hair ties just to wrap it twice. Now I have to wrap it 3 times. I have balding spots behind my ears. I called Paragard to file a report. The nurse said that they turn over every report to the FDA. I also called the FDA to file a complaint. They are sending me some paperwork to fill out. My mission is to get every woman that has hair loss along with all the other side effects to call Paragard and the FDA to file a complaint. Not only that,but I have written to all my friends on facebook and myspace my story. They have all copied and pasted it to all thier friends. We need to ban together and at the very least have Paragard to list this as a side effect. You have to pick your battles, and this is a battle that needs to be fought!

    I had mine removed over a week ago. I talked to my doc about my hair loss and can you believe that she told me this is very common!!!!!I called my old gyno about this and she told me that is the reason she does not give Paragard. It would have been nice to know this info BEFORE I lost all my hair!!!!!I have an appt. to get checked for copper toxicity. Not only blood test but also hair mineral test. I will be going to see my derm. on Tuesday. You can follow my blog @blogger @khawaii. I will be posting updates there. I would also love to hear some of your stories and follow ups

  46. Jennifer says:

    First I want to address Kay….
    I personally know 2 woman who got pregnant using the Paragard IUD who were also using the menstrual cup. I don’t know of anyone else who has gotten pregnant with the Paragard, and not sure why it may of affected it. Just thought you should know.
    And to share my experience……
    I had the Paragard inserted 6 months ago. At first I thought it was fantastic as it is so convenient, making the spotting and cramping endurable. However, I have gained weight over the 6 months gradually and had been chalking it up to the few extra pounds that come with winter. But now I think it’s more than that. It doesn’t follow the normal pattern for me when I gain weight, as I usually see it in my face first. The weight seems to all be around my abdomen and even into my thighs. I feel bloated all the time and find myself thinking that I look 5 months pregnant. I decided to look online to see if others have had that side effect, and sure enough, they have. Many have. Now, despite the convenience, I think I may have to get it removed because I cannot continue to gain weight like I am. My clothes barely fit anymore. It’s ridiculous. I thought I had found the answer to a tolerable form of birth control….

  47. bazile2173 says:

    I have ordered a ParaGard & am supposed to get it inserted after my next period. I am so scared. I have bad cramps to begin with, I am scared of cramping more & bleeding heavily. My Biggest concern, no pun intended, is that intercourse will be painful & that both myself & my partner will feel the device. If there are strings on it that I would be able to feel, then my partner may be able to feel it as well. The reason I wanted it was to be able to have a more free spontaneous sex life. A friend told me there were certain positions she had to avoid due to pain from her IUD. that would NOT be good!!!

  48. Silver says:

    I’ve had my IUD since July 31st of 2009. I love my IUD. I had very light periods after having my daughter and I still don’t have what i consider a normal period like I had before I got pregnant. I have a couple days of spotting and 2 days of a semi normal flow and then spotting for a day or 2.

    Just remember you can have a spontaneous love life, just make sure you fully trust your partner, IUD is NOT the same as a condom! Or so I was directed and warned by my OB. I love the spontaneity though! It’s great!

  49. Kay says:

    @ Bazile

    Even when I’ve had pain with the IUD, I’ve never had pain during sex. Just make sure you wait a week after insertion and you should be fine. The first month w/ the IUD my partner sometimes felt the strings actually prick him! So he wouldn’t insert all the way. But now the strings have softened and they have sort of curled around my cervix, so they haven’t poked or bothered him since (but I can still feel them when I check thankfully!).

  50. bazile2173 says:

    I guess to be blunt..I am concerned we won’t be able to have rough sex.

  51. TinaBri422 says:

    I have had my Paragard for approx. 6 weeks now. The only complaint I have is VERY SEVERE headaches to the point of being nauseated. Anyone else had this problem? I know paragard is non hormonal, and I cannot take hormones which is why I chose this option. I’m considering getting it removed. Just wondering if anyone else has had the headache problem too.

  52. TinaBri422 says:

    To Bazile2173:
    No problems there. I know that they say it can be painful, but I am a newlywed, and we have had absolutely no problems with intensity or positioning during sex.

  53. wren says:

    I’ve experienced similar things as Jennifer has. I’ve had mine for 6 months now. In the first 2 weeks I noticed the weight gain- the “spare tire” around my belly. In the entire time, I’ve gone from 126 lbs to 140, and from a size 4 to a size 8. In addition, I felt hugely bloated all the time, and with more depression/anxiety than ever before, so my self confidence has taken a plunge, and my sex life has suffered because of both the weight gain, and the cramping. Possibly because my uterus is small, I felt it almost constantly, My menstrual flow went from “barely any” to “absolute bloodbath,” and I could go on and on. This morning I decided I’d had enough, and I pulled the Paragard out myself. I know some women love theirs, including my best friend, but it just wasn’t for me. We’ll go back to condoms. IUD just wasn’t worth the suffering.

  54. Maria says:

    Hi all,
    I thought I’d share my story. I am 24 with no kids, and I had the Paragard inserted about 4 years ago. Recently, I have decided to have it removed, the primary reason being my severe iron-deficiency anemia which I have develop[ed over the tears because of my very heavy menses. My period typically lasts 7-10 days, with about 5 days of extremely heavy flow. I literally have to change my tampon every hour, and I only use super once, regular would last me maybe 20 minutes. At night I always double up with a super pad and a super tampon, and sometimes I still wake up to a bloody mess and stained sheets. Cramping has been very severe at times- I have gone to the Emergency Room twice- thinking that I had apendicitis, but they doctors said that it was a ruptured ovarian cyst. This had never happened to me before I got my IUD, but I didn’t think of attributing these things to it. Then I read some other Paragard user reviews online that said they had that same crazy pain that made them go to the ER. Besides all that, my sex drive has greatly diminished over the years and my BF always complains. I have gained some abdominal fat (nowhere else) which I had just figured was due to me no longer being a skinny teenager, however now I am seeing that other people on IUDs have this problem too. I need to sleep like 12 hours a day, but that can all be explained by my anemia, which I am now taking daily Iron for. The weirdest part is my emotional mood swings and occasional depression. I have always been a very happy super motivated person, but I find myself becoming more sad and moody and I know that it is for no reason and sometimes me and my boyfriend will laugh about how I will just burst out crying for no reason. Anyways, I am having this thing removed once and for all and will just try to stick with condoms until my periods go back to normal. 5 day periods? That sounds amazing!!! Also, what is the point of being able to be sexually spontaneous if you never want to do it anymore? My bf is happy with my decision too, he hates condoms, but he is willing to use them if that means I will be want to have sex more than once a month. Goodbye Paragard!

  55. katelynn says:

    im 16, have not had kids and i have had my paragard IUD for 1 week now and im just questioning things? i really didnt have to many problems until today, i had such bad pains i was crying, i am worried about what it could be? i get sharp pains every once in a while. planned parenthood wouldnt let me get an IUD because i was “to young” and it wouldnt fit in my uterus but my doctor told me i had a great uterus and everything went great! i know i have only had it for a week, i just really hope everything works out i dont want to be on any other BC. can anyone tell me something about the sharp pains i have?

  56. Mrs. S says:

    I am a 31 year old, former single mom – my kids are 12 and 10. My husband has 3 kids from his prior marriage, 5 and 9 year old twins. So, yeah, no more kids for us.

    My youngest was born when I was 20 and of course thought I’d want more kids in the future. Once I decided I was done (at 30), I talked to my gyn about tubal ligation and he said no. :-/ you know, the whole schpiel about me being “too young” to make the decision :roll eyes:

    Once we were engaged and he also knew he didn’t want more kids, I decided to get the Paragard. I DID research, however it’s not easy to find *everything* when you don’t know what you’re looking FOR. So, since I have a complete set of symptoms, it has been MUCH easier to find information.

    I got my Paragard on July 13, 2009 (one week after my 30th bday). I was EXCITED. The plan was to get IUD #2 at the 40th bday and then #3 at the 50th bday if not menopausal yet (earlier menopause runs in my family). I had not been on hormonal BC since January of 2007 so I know what my “normal” body functions are.

    Insertion was terrible. Well, not the process itself, but the 24 hours following. I got sick from taking so many pain killers but it was horrendous! I have gone from 4 day cycles, with one heavy day to 7-10 day cycles with 4-5 heavy days. Cramping is UNBEARABLE. I am on my back for 2 days with a heating pad and an abundance of pain meds. I don’t care what anyone says about the non-hormones not “being able” to cause certain symptoms…I work out DAILY. My diet and lifestyle is as consistent as it has been. I am up nearly 10lbs and have constantly felt bloated. I have cramps that end up causing pain throughout my entire left leg, down to my foot. This has never happened before having the IUD. I am starting to get migraines that last for days. My breasts are constantly sore and tender. My body is SOOOO itchy during my cycle.

    I just can’t take all the side effects anymore. I am getting my Paragard removed on Tuesday (12/28) and hopefully my husband can get a vasectomy soon!

  57. Lisa says:

    I know this is an older blog. But I am considering the paraguard but the side effects such as migration scares the shit out of me…is there anyway to prevent that? I have two kids, currently breastfeeding which I was told and its listed in warnings increases risk of perforation 😦

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