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IUD experiences?
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After being on the pill for over 7 years, I decided to make the switch to an IUD. The IUD was placed on November 22, 2016 and I had very minimal pain or bleeding, as least in hindsight. Everything was fine for the first several weeks and then on December 11 I started having some spotting and some fairly significant cramping pain, that was sharp and severe enough to cause me to feel dizzy and nauseous. It only last for a few minutes at a time, but went on an off for a few days. This happened again last week. I also have basically not stopped bleeding since 12/11, and have had heavier bleeding in one day than I've had in an entire 3 days of menstruation since I had been on the pill. Since I started getting more serious in training in 2013 I more or less did not get a period for the better part of 3 years, so maybe this is payback for that.

Also of note, it has been really challenging to workout. I am fatiguing very easily and my heart rate goes through the roof on very easy efforts. Not fun. I honestly care less about the non-stop bleeding than I do about the fact that it might be messing with my training.

I have had two ultrasounds done, one before placement to rule out ovarian cysts, fibroids, ect. And one after placement because of the pain. Both were normal, and the IUD was in place during the second one. Also of note, I have had iron studies done several times over the past 6 months and everything was normal, and I supplement with iron daily. I am in medicine and my mother is a family doc, so I consulted her about all of this and she was not all that concerned.

Mostly I am wondering if anyone has had a similar experience and if so, when can I expect things to get better!

Emily Sherrard
@EmSher1
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Re: IUD experiences? [EmSher] [ In reply to ]
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I see nothing in your post about hormone level testing. Since the pill was setting your estrogen/progesterone levels previously, I would look there first. Getting those levels back to a pre-bleed-every-day level will probably make you feel better ;-)

Good luck; I hope you are able to find a doctor who is willing to take on the challenge. I find my options are few because insurance rules have a cavernously wide range of what is "acceptable". As an athlete, I am looking for "optimal" and they are not the same thing at all.

To find better health, be prepared to pay cash for what you are looking for. Good luck!

Wag More, Bark Less
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Re: IUD experiences? [EmSher] [ In reply to ]
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No experience with IUDs but am training in the medical field. You didn't specify whether you got the hormonal or copper IUD. The copper IUD (paraguard) is notorious for causing cramping and bleeding. It's supposed to resolve within 6 months. If you haven't been checked for anemia post-IUD placement, I'd suggest doing that. If you got the hormonal IUD, things are also supposed to normalize around 6 months. Best bet would be to put a call into your PCP or whoever placed the IUD and check what's normal.
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Re: IUD experiences? [EmSher] [ In reply to ]
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I've had a Mirena IUD since it first came out for dysmenorrhea and have experienced none of what you describe. As a physician I agree with other replies, in that you might want to look into other etiologies for your symptoms. Good luck.
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Re: IUD experiences? [EmSher] [ In reply to ]
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Hi Emily
Yes, I had something similar. After my IUD (copper coil, not Mirena) was fitted about 7 years ago the first few periods I had were extremely heavy. I recall going back to the clinic where it was fitted and showing them the blood literally dripping down my legs, and asking for it to be taken out. They persuaded me to wait to see if it settled down.

Well, it did settle down. I had several good years with the coil with no problem, just regular periods. I got it taken out because it was due to be replaced (I was told it should be replaced after 5 years) and I thought at that stage I probably didn't need it anymore.

Alex
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Re: IUD experiences? [EmSher] [ In reply to ]
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I don't have anything to add beyond the other suggestions. Just wanted to give you my (admittedly very positive) experience with IUDs. I am in year 2 of my second Mirena. I had a bit of cramping and spotting for a few days after each was placed but nothing after that with either one.
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Re: IUD experiences? [SallyShortyPnts] [ In reply to ]
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I think there is a doctor in my area who would be willing to take on the challenge, but she only takes cash and as you can imagine is not cheap. I cannot go through my insurance for anything except a PCP or medically necessary stuff, so I might have to wait and see what my tax return kicks back before I can see her.

I am curious about my hormone levels, but have never been able to convince a doctor to test them since I was on the pill, then hadn't been off for the requisite three months.

Emily Sherrard
@EmSher1
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Re: IUD experiences? [dukolbe!] [ In reply to ]
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Fortunately things have seemed to normalize a bit, but I have not yet hit the days where I was having the most discomfort yet this month (previously it was the 10-12th) so I am kind of waiting and seeing. If it happens again I'll try to follow-up again even though things have already checked out as normal when I went in to my follow-up visits since the placement of the IUD. With new insurance, I'll be limited in what I can do and likely won't be able to get another ultrasound, but another exam can't hurt either.

Emily Sherrard
@EmSher1
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Re: IUD experiences? [alexxm21] [ In reply to ]
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Thank you for sharing your experiences Alex. Hearing this is reassuring. Since I posted, things have seemed to normalize a bit, so I am hoping I am heading in the right direction. Fingers crossed!

Emily Sherrard
@EmSher1
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Re: IUD experiences? [EmSher] [ In reply to ]
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i'm on my second Skyla IUD and its much better. The first 3-6 months on my first one were rough but the pain and bleeding did settle down. I have a heavier side and a lighter side so i know what is coming every other month and to be prepared. Good Luck!
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Re: IUD experiences? [jeannemuskat] [ In reply to ]
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I might be needlessly chiming in as another Mirena user. I'm on my 2nd one. Over my entire useage span (since ~2012) I've weighed 140-117 lbs (in case that plays a roll) and I don't menstruate. Personally, I find this the best feature ever and that it makes this IUD worthwhile even if birth control isn't necessary. Other options (eg oral contraceptives) tend to be contra indicated for me since I have naturally wickedly high cholesterol (that I take medication for). No abdominal pain beyond the insertion, and extraction of the 1st one at its end of life. Warning: who ever says that proceedure is only mildly uncomfortable is duping you - it's positively aweful (n=1, have never given birth).

Hope everyone has success with whatever they chose...

To breathe, to feel, to know I'm alive.
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