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Paragaurd vs. Mirena


I went to the doctors today to dicuss getting a paragaurd IUD. He was fairly persuasive in his preference for Mirena. I was under the impression that Mirena was a hormone bc like the pill and therefore wanted the paraguard. the doctor explained that Mirena was a hormone but very minimal and only effected the uterus. Anyhow. I have till the day I call and get it put in (two weeks/when I'm on my period) to decide which one I want.?

Opinons please!!!
Baby In My Belly!!

Re: Paragaurd vs. Mirena

  • I had the Mirena put in at the beginning of this year & didn't experience any lasting discomfort. (It was about 15 seconds of awful while it was put in, but after that no pain so I went back to work, so IMO, totally worth it.?

    My dr recommended the Mirena over the pg also due to the success rate and feedback from his other patients.

    Send me a PM if you have any questions that might be TMI. Wink?

  • I've had the Paragard for about 10.5 months now.  I had it inserted after the birth of my second child and really loved the thought of a non-hormonal method of BC for many reasons. 

    Things were great in the beginning...mainly because I didn't have my period back after giving birth and breastfeeding.  Then in April it came back and things have gone downhill since.

    (Just a warning, this might be a little TMI for you).  My flow has gotten excessively heavy and I've had some pretty uncomfortable cramping.  Both of which I didn't have when on no birth control at all.  I knew this was a 'side effect' of the Paragard, so I dealt with it.  But I've had about 5 periods on the Paragard and it's not getting better yet.  As a matter of fact it's getting worse, as I'm now spotting before and after my period as well.  For a person with only 24 day cycles, this sucks.  (Just a note, 24 day cycles for me are normal when I'm not on hormonal BC.  My short cycles have nothing to do with the Paragard.)

    I actually went and saw my doctor about it last week.  She thinks my issues may still be related to hormonal changes after stopping breastfeeding, and recommended I give it a little longer before I throw in the towel.  I've also heard from others it can get better.  You just have to patient and deal with it for a little while.  I suppose the price to pay to be without hormones!!

    I'm going to give it a few more months, and if things don't get better I'll be switching to the Mirena.  My doctor also made sure to explain the hormones in the Mirena are localized to the uterus, so I'm becoming more and more comfortable with the idea.  Especially when my period comes around and reminds me that the Mirena can actually lessen my period to almost nothing.   Right now, nothing sounds better!

    I know my issues with the Paragard may not apply to you or anyone else, especially if you haven't had a child recently or are breastfeeding.  But this has been my experience, so I wanted to put it out there.  Other than the issues mentioned above, I love the Paragard and would love to keep it.  We are about 99.9% certain we're done having children and since the Paragard is good for 10 years (versus the Mirena's 5 year life) we don't have to think about our 'next step' for pregnancy prevention for a long time!  Very convenient!

    As for success rates mentioned by the PP, if this means success as in preventing pregnancy (and not success as in remaining happy with it and keeping it) I can say the Paragard has done a fabulous job keeping me not-pregnant!  I got pregnant with my daughter our first month without birth control.  With my son, it was the second month.  I am definitely fortunate in the fertility department and get pregnant easily with no protection.  I haven't had so much as a scare with the Paragard.

    I had a hard time making the decision, but when it came down to it - I feel like I spent so many years of my life on hormonal BC.  I was ready to be done with it once and for all.  I really want the Paragard to work, so I'm just trying to make it past this rocky point and hope things smooth out soon!

    Good luck with your decision...

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  • I went with the Paragard (I've had it for about 6 months or so) and I am very happy with my decision. I have never had children (and don't plan to). I had the same thoughts as you...I didn't want the Mirena because I didn't want any hormones. I know that the hormones go directly into your uterus so theoretically the rest of your body isn't effected like it would be on the pill. But I had such bad experiences with the pill I just wanted to get rid of the hormones altogether.

    Mirena will give you lighter (perhaps even nonexisitant) periods while Paragard will most likely give you heavier periods. I actually didn't really want to get rid of my periods...while I don't exactly love having them, I feel like it gives me reassurance that I am NOT pregnant (which I am paranoid about). I felt like I'd be stressed out all the time and taking pregnancy tests every month if I didn't have a fairly normal cycle. But I'm weird like that.

    My periods have been heavier on Paragard, but nothing that i can't handle. My cramps are slightly worse, but they weren't bad before and I can deal with it. I have maybe a day of spotting before it starts and maybe a day once it ends, and I have 1-2 days of VERY heavy flow, then the rest is normal. Overall it lasts about 7 days (including the spotting), so it's not great but I deal with it.

    To me it's been the best thing ever. I don't have to worry about taking pills every day at the right time, I don't have to worry about the human error factor. It allows us to be spontaneous, which is nice. I would recommend it to anyone. The insertion was painful but again, nothing out of control. I'd say there's no reason not to go with the Paragard unless there's some medical reason your doctor is pushing the Mirena for you.

    Good luck with your decision and everything after!

  • You've gotten some good feedback, but I wanted to throw in my 2 cents...

    I have Mirena (have had it for 4 months), and I haven't had any side effects that I can tell are hormone-related.  I am extremely sensitive to hormones, which is why I had to change from the pill.  On BCPs, I had mood swings, depression, weight gain, acne, etc.  But with Mirena I haven't had any of that.  The only complaint I have is some cramping and some spotting, which I think is typical for both Mirena and Paraguard.

    All that to say, if you're concerned about the hormones in Mirena, my experience is that they don't have much (if any) of an effect.


  • I had bad experiences with the pill and Nuva Ring. Moodiness was the biggest thing about the hormones that I didn't like.  Without hormones my periods were so heavy and long that I had to stay home at least one day during my cycle because they were so heavy.


    I researched both IUDs.  I really wanted no hormones, but I didn't know if I could handle possibly even heavier periods than I had already been experiencing.  My doctor actually tried to sway me toward the Paragard.  I chose the Mirena with the hopes of the hormones (which does not contain estrogen) not effecting me.


    I LOVE my Mirena.  I've had it for two months and the only side effect I'm having is my acne is worse (I get cystic acne without BCPs and it's worse with the Mirena). No moodiness and my periods have been extremely light spotting for about a week.  So light that I don't even need a tampon and usually not even a panty liner.


    Based on my experience, I would highly recommend the Mirena.

  • My experience with Paraguard is virtually identical to sarahsmiley's --from not wanting kids, to not reacting well to hormonal BC, to the actual paraguard experience.  I love my Paraguard, and would definitely recommend it.
  • I've had my Mirena for 3 years now & I love it- just the first few days were rough with cramping and whatnot. I switched from the pill b/c of hormone concerns relating to my migraines. I have no period anymore which doesn't bother me- I understand how it works. It freaked me out at first, but now I like it. It really is not like any other "hormonal" method. Good luck with your decision!
  • I went to the dr's totally sure I would get the paraguard. They we talked about all the pros and cons of each, and we decided the mirena would be a better fit for my situation. Here are a few reasons I remember:

    1) I plan on hopefully having kids in the next five years. Either can be removed early, but I felt the Mirena being a 5-year IUD was closer to my timeline.

    2) My periods were already heavy and crampy without bc, and the paraguard has been known to cause heavier and more crampy periods.?

    3) I have difficulty with hormones, esp estrogen, in bc. The mirena has such a low dose of hormones being right there and no estrogen, that my body has had no adverse effects with it (as pp mentioned)

    My dr actually used paraguard after her children were born, but she said had it been around back then, she definitely would've gone with the mirena.?

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  • Wow, thanks for such great feedback everyone. I do forget my pill a lot so that will be great to not worry about. I think I will go with the Mirena after reading up. More cramping and heavier periods does not seem fun (Paragaurd). My biggest concern was having hormones in my body. But since Mirena is only exposing hormone to the uterus I feel much better about that. My doctor said you keep ovulating as well.?
    Overall it sounds like everyone is quite happy with getting an IUD.?

    Baby In My Belly!!
  • great feedback on this thread!

    I too have the Mirena and I can say that the hormone effect is virtually non-existant for me. my sex drive and lubrication went through the roof when I came off the pill and onto the Mirena.

    the only bad things I've heard about Paraguard are the excessive cramping and heavier periods. Mirena is supposed to be a b!itch for the first few months with spotting but after that its supposed to level out. good luck!

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