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So, I'm trying to figure out the post-partum birth control thing. Hormonal methods are out (not safe for breastfeeding except for the mini-pill, which is too schedule-dependent for my liking), and barrier methods are annoying. I've had the Mirena IUD recommended to me, but my gut reaction from reading about it is - not positive. (Visceral squick factor, I guess.)

Any women out there who have or have had an IUD? What do you think of it? Pros/cons, squick or pain factor?

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( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
vixenesque93
Nov. 9th, 2006 11:33 pm (UTC)
I had an attempt at an IUD insert that was a bit uncomfortable, but that was mostly because I was nulliparous and didn't have a local anesthetic.

Have you checked out iud_divas? There's lots of great information there.
mh75
Nov. 9th, 2006 11:45 pm (UTC)
The nuva ring is a safe (for breast feeding) method of hormonal birth control. Since you insert the ring (much like you'd insert an 'instead' cup), there is not an issue with schedule dependence for this low-dose hormone.

(Although, for that matter, i did not particularly like the low-dose schedule issues, but, the reality was that it was rarely a problem. I just took one every night when i brushed my teeth, which turns out to be within the three hour window.)
jnanacandra
Nov. 10th, 2006 12:08 am (UTC)
I looked into NuvaRing - unfortunately, it uses estrogen, which reduces milk supply. It may be safe, but it's not conducive to continued breastfeeding.
mh75
Nov. 10th, 2006 12:44 am (UTC)
My friend started using it after a few months of breast feeding and there were no issues, but, i guess it is less likely to cause fluctuation in milk levels if your production schedule has normalized.
(Deleted comment)
sjo
Nov. 9th, 2006 11:52 pm (UTC)
ravenrose uses the Mirena IUD and she loves it. She's my evil twin, so you can tell her I sent you to ask questions. :-)
amritamani
Nov. 9th, 2006 11:55 pm (UTC)
I have a Mirena IUD, works great :)
ariedana
Nov. 10th, 2006 12:28 am (UTC)
I'm getting a Mirena on Monday. I've known quite a few people who have, and lots of positive results. Less hormonal interference, it helps PMS, and eventually you stop having periods altogether. And since you've just had a kid, the insertion should be much easier for you.
antimony
Nov. 10th, 2006 01:11 am (UTC)
I have a copper-T IUD -- I've had it three years now, and I really like it. I had problems with migraines and depression with even low-dose pills, and I didn't like the idea of hormones to begin with. I didn't consider the hormone IUDs, since those seemed like the worst of both worlds. And I, too, find barrier methods annoying.

Side effects: I get PMS cramps now, which I didn't before, but they're not very bad. They were pretty awful the first month, but after that weren't a problem. Getting it installed was not especially comfortable, but it was quick and now it's done until I decide to have kids and get it yanked back out. It was fairly painful for a few seconds, and then I had cramps that evening and the next day that were like someone was hitting me in the stomach every half hour or so. I expect that when compared to childbirth it's fairly minor pain. The weird bit was that they like to put it in during menstruation, and I'm very, very self-conscious about letting someone poke me while I'm bleeding.

Now that I have it -- I bleed a somewhat higher quantity of blood, but my cycle is back to its natural length (35 days -- I think shoving my body onto a 28-day cycle was part of the reason the pill made me feel so blah). I get a little spotting the week before my period now, which I didn't before. It's a hell of a lot better than migraines as a heads-up that I should check my tampon stocks.

One thing I did read when researching -- the odds of your body rejecting it drop with a bunch of factors, one of which is how often the ob/gyn putting it in does it. So ask your doc if they do them frequently, and if they don't, whether or not he/she could refer you to someone who does a lot of them.

The little string (really some nylon fishing-line type stuff) hanging down past the cervix can, evidently, occasionally be felt by one's partner during sex, if it gets flipped up in a poky direction.
trueheart
Nov. 10th, 2006 01:48 am (UTC)
I have the Mirena. I love it. So convenient, no problems. !0 year lifespan. A little cramping at first.
stillraven
Nov. 10th, 2006 01:54 am (UTC)
*clueless*
I don't know why, but for the life of me, I can't even remember what I did after each kid!

:P

When I find out, I'll let you know.
jnanacandra
Nov. 10th, 2006 07:31 pm (UTC)
Re: *clueless*
I remember you saying you had stopped the pill a month before Bobbie manifested - so there's half of it!
stillraven
Nov. 10th, 2006 07:43 pm (UTC)
Re: *clueless*
Yeah, but I didn't take it when I was nursing Katy...
tavalon
Nov. 14th, 2006 01:38 am (UTC)
Re: *clueless*
Perhaps you weren't using any form of birth control. In a perfect body, breastfeeding is supposed to keep one infertile. Sadly, it isn't 100% effective so we don't recommend it as a failsafe.
azaz_al
Nov. 10th, 2006 02:00 am (UTC)
I had the non-hormonal IUD (some kinds slowly relaease hormones). It worked - I never got pregnant - but I had problems with the strings because they cut them too short and sometimes they would sort of vanuish into my cervix and reappear later. It also gave me cramps. But it did keep me unpregnant for a good long while.
shadesong
Nov. 10th, 2006 02:23 am (UTC)
I have the Mirena. It hurt like crazy getting it put in, and I had PMS-y symptoms for a few days afterward... but my period since has been very light, with zero cramping (used to get nasty cramps).
queenofhalves
Nov. 10th, 2006 05:36 am (UTC)
have you had a diaphragm or a cervical cap?

they may be annoying to use, but at least they don't reduce sensation like condoms.
kittybat
Nov. 10th, 2006 05:44 am (UTC)
I have an IUD. Mine hurt like hell to have inserted... but it was due to the fact that my cervix is really teeny. I had cramps on and off for a few weeks- but those went away. I totally love it now. My period has basicly disapeared... I spot on occasion, but that isn't too bad.


my vote- Best birth control method.
kittybat
Nov. 10th, 2006 05:49 am (UTC)
btw- I have a Mirena.
tavalon
Nov. 14th, 2006 01:42 am (UTC)
I personally like the female condom
Because I don't really care if I have an accidental pregnancy, I don't use spermicide so I don't have problems with the irritation that most spermicides cause.

Unfortunately, I seem to be the only American woman who likes the female condom. Fortunately, women in third world countries are keeping the female condom on the market.
nitemarehipigrl
Nov. 18th, 2006 02:14 am (UTC)
I had an IUD and I loved it. Its only downfall is that if your going to have a bunch of unprotected sex with a bunch of different people like I did, then you can get an infection that will become PID with an IUD in place. I ended up getting PID from an infection I had while the IUD was in place and had to have it removed. I hurt alittle removing it but nothing too bad. Like a menstral cramp. So, if your going to be careful and not get any infections while you have it in, I'd say go for it!
I was just recommended a birth control ring by the lady at the health department. (they like to get a head start) She knew I was going to be breast feeding.
I'm thinking I'll get an IUD again if I decide not to have another kid right away after this one.
nitemarehipigrl
Nov. 18th, 2006 02:19 am (UTC)
OH, I had a copper type IUD. I don't think I'd like a hormonal one. I've also had a diaphram. You've got to put them in like a half hour before you have sex, which sucks! My partner could feel it, also not cool. And it decreased my cervical stimulation because well, it covered my cervix.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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