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Thinking about IUD - Mirena or Paragard?

So I'm 22 years old, never been pregnant (so obviously no kids!) but would really like to be on some sort of birth control. My fiance and I always use condoms but I just want to be safe because accidents can happen! 

I've been on and off BC since I was 16. Started with a few different pills and either they really messed me up cycle wise, could never tell when I was going to get it, and one time even had my period for 30 DAYS (terrible), or I would forget a pill at least once a week (I'm always here there and everywhere and SUCK at remembering to take pills, wish I didn't!).

Also tried the Depo-Provera shot and OMG. I got one shot and I've been SO messed up ever since. Zero sex drive, period is even more irregular than it was before. I get my period like every 3 months now, freaks me out! I haven't had it since the end of August, I'm getting ready to take a pregnancy test (even though last time fiance and I had sex it was like 6-8 weeks ago and with protection).

So I'm thinking IUD may be my best option. I am not sure whether I should go with Mirena or Paragard though. 

Re: Thinking about IUD - Mirena or Paragard?

  • If you don't want to be on hormones (which is what I'm gathering from your post), Mirena isn't for you.  It has progestin in it (bcp and nuvaring are a combo of estrogen and progestin).  Depo is just a shot of progestin (no estrogen).

    Paragard does not have hormones.

    I'd discuss with your doctor the risks/advantages of having an IUD.  I was offered one several years ago because I had to be off of estrogen for a time.  I turned it down for a variety of reasons.

    IUDs are excellent for long term birth control, but some women have problems with them (cramps, prolonged bleeding).  Some think they are awesome (no need to worry about a pill, sometimes no periods either).  The upfront cost is high (but lower overall in the end over pills).  It's easy to "undo" when you're ready to get pregnant, but it does require an office visit.

    Just some things to think about.


  • It's definitely something you should discuss with your doctor.  Like the other poster said, Paragard has no hormones and that is the big difference.  Some women have more bleeding and cramping with Paragard than Mirena, so that can be a drawback. But everyone is different and only your doctor can really help you decide.  Good luck!  Also, if you have health insurance, the new health care mandate requires that they provide all birth control (including IUDs) free of charge to patients.  So call your provider and see when they will cover it.  Good luck!
  • My paragard cost me 650 up front (yikes) 
    After insertion, I spotted none stop for an entire month till my next period. I also cramped every day that first month between 2-5pm. (2 was when my shift started, so im assuming my physical job was pissing off my uterus)
    the next 3 months or so I had really sucky cramps a week before my period, but my period was not any heavier or longer than it normally was. 
    now about 6 months after, its pretty much back to normal.
    It was totally worth it for me, and I love that i'm not screwing with my hormones.

    From what i've read, people react differently to insertion. I read all kinds of scary stuff when I was reading up on it about how women would pass out and throw up and scream and cry during insertion. Some women it seems have a weird reaction to their cervix being messed with, which causes your blood pressure to drop and you pass out. I didn't experience that, though I can't say it was fun by any means. I felt two very strong menstrual crap-like sensations (and by very strong, I mean it felt like my whole abdomen contracted), and for the next two days I felt like absolute crap. I tried to go back to work that same day, which didn't work out very well. Some women have an easier time than others. I had a pretty icky reaction as far as cramping goes, but it was by no means unbearable. All I wanted to do the first day was lay in bed with a head blanket on my tummy, and pop Ibprofen. It gets progressively better. 
  • I called my insurance provider a couple weeks ago and they said that I would just have my copay to pay which would be AWESOME. I really don't want to drop hundreds of dollars. I am leaning more towards Paragard because the hormones in other bc methods really screwed my sex drive - it's totally non existant. With getting married in October I don't want that! 
  • Love my Mirena. No period, no cramps. Cost $14.18 to get the last one inserted. I've had them for just over 5 years now.
  • I have had the Paragard IUD for about a year and a half, and I would recommend it.  I got it for the same reason you are considering it - I wanted to get off hormones.  The insertion was quite painful for me but bearable I guess.  I love not being on hormones though, as well as not having to worry about BC.  My periods are heavier than when I was on the pill, but no heaver than they were before I started BC.  Biggest downside for me is cramps - even when I'm not on my period I can have pretty uncomfortable cramps sometimes. 
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  • Mireya is cramps, no period fo 41/2 years. The amount of hormones is very low in Mirena. I would get Mirena again.
  • I also have a mirena and I love it - like PPs have said, no period and I rarely get cramps (every once in a while for like an hour I'll get some cramps, but they're never as bad as the ones I got before I had the IUD).

     My friend had the paraguard IUD and bled constantly for 6+ months. She had it removed and had the mirena put in and loves it. 


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  • The likelihood of getting pregnant is very low with both options.  Mirena's hormones are local, meaning they stay only in the cervical area. That means you won't get the systemic effects, like weight gain, irritability, etc. However, with Mirena, your periods will decrease (I have had two in 2 years) because of the hormones.  I have and would recommend Mirena.  

  • Just a heads up, not everyone can get an IUD.  I've never had kids, and had an IUD inserted at the end of October.  I had no issues with the insertion, or too much pain afterwards.  However, about a week and a half afterwards, I started having terrible pains.  By day four of the pain, it was so bad I couldn't even function at work.  I went to the dr that was covering for mine and he had to remove it because my body was basically rejecting it.  The dr told me I was having labor pains as my body tried to get rid of it.  He also told me that in his 25+ years of experience, about 30% of women he's treated that had not had children could not have an IUD.  


    I wish I had never gone through it. It was a nightmare.  So, lots of people have success with the IUDs, but it's not for everyone. 

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