My name is Angela, and I've decided to try the Paragard IUD. I've read a lot on the internet about the Paragard (including the many, many horror stories), and I thought I'd give a detailed account of my own experience to help others with their decision.
For those who don't know what an IUD is, it is a form of contraception - specifically, a little T-shaped device which sits inside the uterus. There are two versions of IUD birth control: the Mirena and the Paragard. The Mirena is a hormone-based method and the Paragard is a copper-based method with no hormones. I'm choosing the copper one because I've literally been on hormonal birth control for 10 years (since almost the very start of my periods) and I want to see what it's like without hormones. In addition, I'm hoping this method will be even more hassle-free than the ring which I'm currently on, and (if it works) it will cut down on my birth control expenses as I'm lucky enough to have insurance which covers the whole IUD cost. I'm also experimenting to see if it helps with my migraines, libido, acne, or anything else.
Let me tell you a little about myself. I'm 24 years old, and married to a 24 year old man. We are in a monogamous relationship. I have never had children or been pregnant, and I have almost no physical medical issues except for my migraines. The only prescription medications I'm on right now are the NuvaRing (birth control, which will soon be swapped for the IUD) and Imitrex (a migraine medication). I am 5'3" inches and about 125 lbs., of an average-to-skinny build. I've been told my reproductive anatomy is "normal" and I've never had any problems - not even a single yeast infection.
My doctor was pretty hesitant to put an IUD in for me, mainly because I haven't had children. She warned me that women who haven't had children or pregnancies to stretch out their uterus often find the IUD uncomfortable and have it removed more often than women who have had children. She also warned me of the common things you hear about the Paragard IUD: that it can increase period length and flow amount, cause more cramping, and that it often takes a month or two to get fully acclimated in the body, which can result in bleeding, cramping and spotting for that whole time. We talked about it extensively before agreeing to do the procedure. Because my insurance covers the whole thing, it seemed like a risk worth taking because if it works, it will be extremely convenient and hassle-free.
I'm having it put in on Thursday, June 28th, 2012 and will report back about the procedure.