Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 4 years ago
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Hi there,

I have a few questions about the contraceptive (copper?) IUD.

Me and my partner of 2 years are struggling to find a method of contraception that works for us. My partner is highly sensitive on the insides and as such condoms have been a complete no-go for us in the past. She has been on the contraceptive pill for a long while which suited us perfectly for a time (skin on skin contact suits us best without a doubt).

Unfortunately while this worked for a while, she has recently seen some side effects despite trying several different pills. Due to these we have had her off the pill for a couple of months to see if things improve. Since doing so she has started to lose weight again, has been happier and seen an increase in libido. Neither of us are overly keen or her to go back onto the pill.

I will be honest and admit that neither of us have a great deal of self control in between the sheets. This is not a problem on the pill however with her off the pill (and neither of us getting along well with condoms, that we are once again having to use) our lack of self control is causing a high risk to unwanted pregnancy. In the moment and not liking condoms, you make excuses not to use one but the fact of it is that we are being ridiculous in reality.

We NEED to do something about this and so are exploring the idea of other contraceptives. Something that allows us to not use a condom with minimal risks, does not effect the sensation of skin on skin intercourse and might be better for my partner in terms of side effects.

So about the IUD...

How large / obstructive a device is it? As I mentioned, my partner is very sensitive so this could affect how interested we are in it. And of course there is the added concern of if it affects our feels during intercourse.
What side effects can occur?
How does it work? I am aware it is a non-hormonal method of contraception and so this one is purely out of curiosity.

On top of these, what other options are there? My partner is completely against an implant for reasons of her own but is there anything else? I am aware of the contraceptive sponge but do not know much about it.

Anyone's help would be most appreciated and thank you in advance.
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As the name suggests, an IUD fits inside the uterus. Inserting it can be uncomfortable, but once it's done, that's it for about five years. It will have a string hanging out through her cervix. If it is long enough that you can feel it during intercourse, it can and should be trimmed.

Side effects can include heavier periods.

It works because it does and the effect was known long before why it worked was discovered. There are versions that release progesterone - these are now the most common in the UK - that work mostly because of that, and ones that are copper and which have a spermicide effect. All sorts also probably help prevent implantation.

What sort of pill was she using: combined or progesterone only?
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gemmam
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I've had it for just over two years. I can't feel the treads unless I check for them with my fingers and my boyfriend says he can sometimes feel the treads but it doesn't hurt or bother him (if this is the case with you your partner can get them trimmed). It can make periods longer, heavier and more painful. Out of these my periods only got longer but went back down to their original length after about a year. I've also been more prone to thrush and had a more irregular cycle since I had it fitted. It works by killing sperm. The sponge isn't available in the UK anymore. Is she only looking for non-hormonal methods?

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Angelbee
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I'm considering the IUD at the moment as well, so maybe you can give me some advice too, gemmam ?

My boyfriend and I have been using condoms, but obviously this is somewhat less than ideal. I did consider the combined pill, but I'd really rather not go with a hormonal method (the mood changes and side effects are something I can live without!).
So, the IUD.. I've read some real horror stories (of course, it's always the people with bad experiences who end up on forums ), especially about how painful insertion is and how cramps and constant bleeding can go on for months, as well as periods being unbearable afterwards, which has obviously scared me a little bit...

Can I ask what the first little while was like for you? Also, if your cycle is now quite irregular, do you not worry about it having shifted and being pregnant? I imagine that I would, seeing as I'm quite the worrier I'd probably have the same concerns if I had the strings trimmed so he couldn't feel them and it were harder to check them.

Any help would be appreciated
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gemmam
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(Original post by Angelbee)
I'm considering the IUD at the moment as well, so maybe you can give me some advice too, gemmam ?

My boyfriend and I have been using condoms, but obviously this is somewhat less than ideal. I did consider the combined pill, but I'd really rather not go with a hormonal method (the mood changes and side effects are something I can live without!).
So, the IUD.. I've read some real horror stories (of course, it's always the people with bad experiences who end up on forums ), especially about how painful insertion is and how cramps and constant bleeding can go on for months, as well as periods being unbearable afterwards, which has obviously scared me a little bit...

Can I ask what the first little while was like for you? Also, if your cycle is now quite irregular, do you not worry about it having shifted and being pregnant? I imagine that I would, seeing as I'm quite the worrier I'd probably have the same concerns if I had the strings trimmed so he couldn't feel them and it were harder to check them.

Any help would be appreciated
Yeah of course

After I had it fitted my periods were longer (they were four/five days then went up to ten) but after a while they got shorter and after a year went back to their original length. They didn't get anymore painful or heavy but the pain was a bit different for the first few months; a stabbing pain that'd last for a few minutes rather than a constant dull ache. The fitting was painful but over with quickly. I had pretty bad cramps for the rest of that day (I recommend getting it done on a day you don't have any commitments so you can relax the rest of the day if you need it) and had spotting and period type pains which were managble with paracetamol for nearly a week after. I did use to worry about being pregnant when it arrived late but after a while I got more used to it; I bought a pack of cheap pregnancy tests off Amazon and do them when my period is late to put my mind at ease.

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Angelbee
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(Original post by gemmam)
Yeah of course

After I had it fitted my periods were longer (they were four/five days then went up to ten) but after a while they got shorter and after a year went back to their original length. They didn't get anymore painful or heavy but the pain was a bit different for the first few months; a stabbing pain that'd last for a few minutes rather than a constant dull ache. The fitting was painful but over with quickly. I had pretty bad cramps for the rest of that day (I recommend getting it done on a day you don't have any commitments so you can relax the rest of the day if you need it) and had spotting and period type pains which were managble with paracetamol for nearly a week after. I did use to worry about being pregnant when it arrived late but after a while I got more used to it; I bought a pack of cheap pregnancy tests off Amazon and do them when my period is late to put my mind at ease.

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Thanks so much for your help! I'm still not entirely sure, so I'll have to think about it a bit more, but you've reassured me, so it's definitely an option now
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gemmam
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(Original post by Angelbee)
Thanks so much for your help! I'm still not entirely sure, so I'll have to think about it a bit more, but you've reassured me, so it's definitely an option now
No problem I recommend going to speak to someone at Brook or Family Planning if you're still unsure.
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Anonymous #2
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(Original post by gemmam)
Yeah of course

After I had it fitted my periods were longer (they were four/five days then went up to ten) but after a while they got shorter and after a year went back to their original length. They didn't get anymore painful or heavy but the pain was a bit different for the first few months; a stabbing pain that'd last for a few minutes rather than a constant dull ache. The fitting was painful but over with quickly. I had pretty bad cramps for the rest of that day (I recommend getting it done on a day you don't have any commitments so you can relax the rest of the day if you need it) and had spotting and period type pains which were managble with paracetamol for nearly a week after. I did use to worry about being pregnant when it arrived late but after a while I got more used to it; I bought a pack of cheap pregnancy tests off Amazon and do them when my period is late to put my mind at ease.

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I am also quite interested in getting the IUD because of the non-hormonal aspect, but I'm also quite scared about having a foreign object in me! heard quite a few horror stories about the IUD getting imbedded/disappearing into the womb and having to get it surgically removed or the copper making your uterus inflame etc.. is this likely to happen even if you can feel the strings etc? Also do you know why it caused you to have irregular periods as it isn't hormonal?
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carajayne
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I had the iud for all of an hour haha. The insertion process wasn't really painful, it just felt like cramping really! However after it I had extremely bad cramp, almost fainted and was sick, I was taken back into the nurses room for observation. Due to this the nurse recommended it be removed on the same day as I wasn't feeling any better after a while. I wish I was able to keep it in as it would be great to not have to think about contraception! I was told that not everyone would be able to feel the strings, but you'll get a checkup to make sure everything is still in place! I was worried about the horror stories the above poster mentioned too, but I was told although it's possible it's very rare. It's definitely a good idea to go to your doctors or local clinic to enquire about it, they'll be able to help you in your decision
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Anonymous #2
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(Original post by carabroadley)
I had the iud for all of an hour haha. The insertion process wasn't really painful, it just felt like cramping really! However after it I had extremely bad cramp, almost fainted and was sick, I was taken back into the nurses room for observation. Due to this the nurse recommended it be removed on the same day as I wasn't feeling any better after a while. I wish I was able to keep it in as it would be great to not have to think about contraception! I was told that not everyone would be able to feel the strings, but you'll get a checkup to make sure everything is still in place! I was worried about the horror stories the above poster mentioned too, but I was told although it's possible it's very rare. It's definitely a good idea to go to your doctors or local clinic to enquire about it, they'll be able to help you in your decision
oh god! Do you know what caused you to have the reaction/how come she didn't let you wait for a day or so and see if it calms down? I am going to my clinic today to discuss it. did you get yours from a clinic/hospital?
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carajayne
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(Original post by Anonymous)
oh god! Do you know what caused you to have the reaction/how come she didn't let you wait for a day or so and see if it calms down? I am going to my clinic today to discuss it. did you get yours from a clinic/hospital?
I'm unsure, my blood pressure dropped really low that they brought in an oxygen tank, probably in case I fainted I'm not too sure. We waited about an hour to see if the reaction and pain lessened, if it did I think she was going to let me go home with it to see if it calmed but because it got worse instead of better, so she recommended it be removed! I went to the clinic and got it inserted the same day, I hope you get on well!
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gemmam
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I am also quite interested in getting the IUD because of the non-hormonal aspect, but I'm also quite scared about having a foreign object in me! heard quite a few horror stories about the IUD getting imbedded/disappearing into the womb and having to get it surgically removed or the copper making your uterus inflame etc.. is this likely to happen even if you can feel the strings etc? Also do you know why it caused you to have irregular periods as it isn't hormonal?
I'm not quite sure but I read that its believed it can make them irregular as the womb isn't used to having a foreign body in it (although the nurse at my follow up said it only can happen due to withdrawing from hormones and getting back to a natural cycle; although I knew this wasn't the case for me as I'd only ever used condoms prior to getting it). Embedding isn't that common and I was told that the treads would disappear/become a lot shorter if this happens.

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Anonymous #2
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(Original post by gemmam)
I'm not quite sure but I read that its believed it can make them irregular as the womb isn't used to having a foreign body in it (although the nurse at my follow up said it only can happen due to withdrawing from hormones and getting back to a natural cycle; although I knew this wasn't the case for me as I'd only ever used condoms prior to getting it). Embedding isn't that common and I was told that the treads would disappear/become a lot shorter if this happens.

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okay thanks, I'm really keen to get the IUD because there could be a breast cancer risk due to my family history and I'm on the pill right now. I went to the clinic today and the doctor just said "no there is no increase in risk that was debunked a year ago", but theres so much online to argue against that.

Do you know if you can have the IUD fitted whilst still being on the pill/ just stopped? Also, before you got yours fitted at the clinic did you have to have a consultation before or could you book an appointment straight away to have it fitted?
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gemmam
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(Original post by Anonymous)
okay thanks, I'm really keen to get the IUD because there could be a breast cancer risk due to my family history and I'm on the pill right now. I went to the clinic today and the doctor just said "no there is no increase in risk that was debunked a year ago", but theres so much online to argue against that.

Do you know if you can have the IUD fitted whilst still being on the pill/ just stopped? Also, before you got yours fitted at the clinic did you have to have a consultation before or could you book an appointment straight away to have it fitted?
I'm not sure but I imagine that you can. I went the clinic to discuss getting one (I'd previously been to the nurse at my GP but she refused as I haven't had kids) and was told that they could fit it later that day (had to do an STI and pregnancy test first though); I think you can just book an appointment.

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Anonymous #2
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(Original post by gemmam)
I'm not sure but I imagine that you can. I went the clinic to discuss getting one (I'd previously been to the nurse at my GP but she refused as I haven't had kids) and was told that they could fit it later that day (had to do an STI and pregnancy test first though); I think you can just book an appointment.

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I thought it was a long gone myth that most doctors knew that its fine for IUD for women without children? what was her reasoning?
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gemmam
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I thought it was a long gone myth that most doctors knew that its fine for IUD for women without children? what was her reasoning?
She just tried to convince me that they weren't for women who haven't had children and tried to get me to have the injection instead.
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Anonymous #2
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(Original post by gemmam)
She just tried to convince me that they weren't for women who haven't had children and tried to get me to have the injection instead.
oh right. do you ever experience bleeding after sex/random cramping when not on your period?
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gemmam
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(Original post by Anonymous)
oh right. do you ever experience bleeding after sex/random cramping when not on your period?
No never experienced bleeding after sex. I did get random cramping for the first week or so but haven't since.
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DancinBallerina
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I have the copper coil. The fact it's non hormonal is the reason why I went for it. Indentation was a bit painful, has cramping for a while & spotting. Periods went from 3 days to 6/7days & very very heavy. But flow isn't too bad nowadays.
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gemmam
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Useful resource for those considering the IUD/IUS: http://iud-divas.livejournal.com/
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