I m going to write down my experiences with the Paraguard, which is the brand name for an IUD made out of copper. I think more women need to know it exists. And i haven't found enough sources speaking from the view point of a woman who has not had children. So here is my little contribution. Here is a link to the paraguard website:
And now some back round information:
I do not have children
I cramp A LOT when menstruating
I have been told by a doctor that i bleed heavy
These are supposed to be the factors that should have made me run screaming for another form contraception. But i fear hormones! So I chose this form over hormones as added protection.
I should have been able to have the procedure done at the doctor's office. But i think due to the fact that i have not had children, i had to be sent elsewhere. Not all nurses/doctors will insert a copper IUD for you if you have not had children. This is because it will give you heavier cramping and bleeding plus you are more likely to expel the IUD then someone who has had children. Mine stayed in place but from what has been written on it, expelling it does not seem to be a terribly painful process:
However 1/3 of pregnancies that occur with IUD use happens when the IUD gets expelled and goes unnoticed. They speculate that women might accidentally flush it down the toilet. So be sure to check your string after menstruation to ensure its still there.
I actually can't even feel the string myself, but it seems to poke at my boyfriend and that is how i know its still in place. I have been told that i can have the string trimmed so that he doesn't have to suffer the occasional poke back from my cervix, but it gives me peace of mind since i can't seem to find it myself.
The procedure was very painful but short-lived. It took maybe 10 minutes-15 at the most. I read in the pamphlet they gave me AFTERWORDS that I should have taken some type of painkiller before coming in. They neglected to tell me that important detail. When they measured my uterus, i experienced what it was like to have labor pains for about 30 seconds. The actual insertion is much less painful, but still hurts. When all was said and done, i was aloud to rest for a moment in the gyno's office before venturing outside. I think i stayed put for only another 10 minutes before i put my clothes on and went home.
Now i am a pedestrian and walked the four miles home that day. That might not have been the best idea. I should have called a taxi or had a friend pick me up. The bleeding was kinda bad and might have been less severe had I not walked home. The cramping was not as bad as i had expected afterwords however. But that did not remain during my next period!
I think i experienced the worst pain in my life during the first 5 periods after my IUD insertion. I am not a drug person by any means, but i definitely took painkillers when ever i could for my cramps.
And i could go through about 2 or 3 super-sized tampons within an hour or less on my first day of menstruation. I would get woozy from the loss of blood until i started to take prenatal vitamins and wolf down a couple of cups of Greek yogurt a day. I remember that i had to take care to stay within the proximity of a bathroom during the first day or so of my period. No concerts for me!
I was told that my body would go back to normal within 3 months. It took a year for my period to slow down to something closer to my normal. In all fairness i found i started getting better within 6 months.
I made quite a few sacrifices for my IUD. But I don't have to get the thing changed for a decade! It lasts ten years. So i figured suffering through a year of hellish menstrual cycles was worth it.
I think might have had a slight allergic reaction to the copper as well considering all the itching i did when i first got it put in. The itching was all over with no rash or clear sign as to why i was itching. I took zinc supplements for a while to counteract the copper and now I'm fine. Taking extra zinc also helps if the copper causes you any additional zits.
And that has been my experience. Take from it what you will.