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IUD if you haven't had a child? And compared to the pill/shot/whatever?

VirumVirum regularRegistered User regular
edited November 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
My lady and I have been discussing various forms of birth control since she really does not like how condoms feel... While we're experimenting with different kinds at the moment, we are also giving thought to using a different form of birth control with no "doubling up" as it were - so it needs to be highly effective so things like cervical caps and sponges aren't going to be considered.

Up front, neither of us have health insurance nor a lot of spare money - I'm not sure how big of a deal that is or not but I'm sure that means the stuff will be a lot more expensive.

I know the pill is the most common method, but I've seen what the pill can do to some of my family, so I really don't like the idea of hormonal based contraceptive. I was looking at the Mirena IUD - it seems like it'd be more cost effective for us, I like that the hormones are a very localized small dose and don't have nearly as many side effects, however the website implies you had to have a child to consider this. Planned Parenthood did say that it was more likely to slip out of women who never had a baby, but didn't say anything besides that. I realize it's a large upfront cost, but considering how long it lasts I am willing to pay that.

Any women or boyfriends/husbands with sexual partners that use it? Any feedback on it, is it worth it compared to other forms of birth control? Any thoughts would be helpful.

Virum on


  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I know someone who got an IUD, and she had never had children. However, she said that if she could go back in time, she would stop herself from getting it because it was one of the most painful experiences of her life and she would never recommend it to anyone. I have no idea whether her experience is unique but that's one perspective.

    I've been on the pill for years and have never had any problems. It cleared up my skin and stopped my cramps entirely, and my cramps were so bad that older relatives of mine used to get morphine injections for them. However, if you don't have insurance, I believe the cost can get a bit steep.

    Quoth on
  • PheezerPheezer regular Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2008
    IUDs I think have probably improved over time. A lady friend of mine has one that's never bothered her. Insertion might be a little rough, but that's a one time deal and the dollar savings are nice.

    Pheezer on
  • bsjezzbsjezz regular Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    my girlfriend had an iud in for what, 4 years? she said it hurt like hell to put in (and was uncomfortable to get out), but other than that, it was pretty much excellent. she never noticed it, we didn't even have to think about other protection and there were none of the horrible hormonal side effects that can come up with other methods.

    i know there are different versions though (copper and plastic? hormonal and non-hormonal?) - i don't know much about them, i just know my partner's was the non-hormonal version and it worked out really really well.

    edit: i'm reasonably sure she's never had a kid, for what it's worth

    bsjezz on
  • XyzzyXyzzy Registered User
    edited November 2008
    First off, I have had a Mirena IUD in for a little over a year, and it's my new favorite birth control method. I switched to this after being on the pill for quite a while, and I've had much fewer problems with mood swings. Also, my skin has cleared up spectacularly. It's a pretty significant cost upfront, but it's wonderful to not have to worry about birth control as much.

    That said, the insertion hurt like all hell, but was over really quickly. The doctor also said that removal/inserting a new IUD would be less painful than the first insertion. The entire appointment took ~10 minutes, and the actual procedure is probably about two or three minutes long, total. It was also a bit difficult to find someone to do the insertion; I visited three doctors who told me that they wouldn't give an IUD to anyone who hadn't had at least one pregnancy yet. Apparently this is because there is a slightly greater chance of rejecting the IUD in nulliparous women, even though the likelihood is still incredibly low.

    Altogether I think it's completely worth it; I paid about $300 for mine without going through health insurance, and since the IUD lasts 5 years that's all my birth control expenses paid for. Paying the $20 per month that the pill was costing me would add up to way more than that. The ParaGard (copper) IUD is also an option, I'm not sure exactly how it compares for cost but it's effective for longer than 5 years.

    Xyzzy on
  • VirumVirum regular Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Well these are good stories to hear. I keep reading all these horror stories on the internet (but it makes sense because people don't go posting about something they aren't thinking about).

    Anybody with a bad experience, or only good ones here?

    Virum on
  • HK5HK5 regular Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Two of my friends have these (Mirena specifically). One of them experienced just some mild cramping from the insertion and nothing negative since. She got the Mirena on top of having her tubes tied, because the efficacy rate of this particular IUD is actually higher than tubal ligation at preventing pregnancy. My other friend had an apparently unusually bad experience with the insertion that involved some pretty intense nausea. She's had no side effects since then. I'm thinking of getting one myself given how well it worked out for them. Neither of them have had children.

    Oh and the other really nice side effect is that it completely stops the period for a large percentage of women. Happened to both of my friends and according to their doctors, it's not at all unusual.

    HK5 on
  • RainOPainRainOPain Registered User
    edited November 2008
    I knew someone who had a Mirena one put in that her body rejected about a week after. She didn't get another one because she said it was the most painful thing she'd ever experienced and she wasn't about to go through it again.

    Insertion is also about as painful as actually having a kid, I've been told. So, just something to consider, especially if there's a chance it'll just slip back out and it'll have been for nothing.

    RainOPain on
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger regular Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Don't rule out hormonal birth control because it was bad for YOUR family. Since she is (presumably!) not a blood relation, her entirely different set of genetics will react differently. I personally have had nothing but positive side effects from the pill. It's brilliant. No pain, no hassle. You have to remember a pill every day, but I believe there are long-lasting injections that get rid of that problem.

    CelestialBadger on
  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity regular Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I'm on the Depo shot. I get a shot every three months and it's the most wonderful thing in the world. I haven't had my period in over a year so no cramps from ovulation or my period. That being said, it's about $90 a shot if you don't have insurance that covers. Planned Parenthood does a sliding scale payment based on your income for both the shot and the pill though.

    VisionOfClarity on
  • mullymully regular Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I have a couple of friends who swear by it -- and I have more than 2 friends who had to go back within the next week to have it taken out, it hurt them so badly - in one case, one of them had their uterus scraped or ruptured or something terrible like that.

    I was supposed to get one in, but the clinic tried -- and couldn't -- then the gyno tried, and I hit the roof it hurt so badly (worst pain i've ever felt - mentally and physically) that they opted to send me for anesthesia to put it in (1% of people need this, I was told) ... I couldn't go the first time they tried to schedule it, and they haven't called back since -- and frankly, I think I am going to tell them "no" when they do call back.

    Cost-wise, though, the Mirena is the way to go. And yes I do know people who swear by it. But you ought to really talk it through a lot with your lady, make sure she's being honest about how she feels about it -- it's a very, very personal procedure and I know a lot of women wouldn't be comfortable with the idea of something being inside of them constantly.

    mully on
  • TrowizillaTrowizilla regular Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Everyone reacts to hormonal birth control differently, so don't let your own family's experiences keep her from trying the pill out unless, of course, you're boinking your cousin or somesuch. I am a much nicer, more stable, less miserable, more active person when on hormonal birth control, and my only side effect is a little nausea if I don't remember to eat something before I take it.

    Has she been to the Planned Parenthood? That's Step One for reproductive health care for people who don't have insurance or lots of money. They'll also talk with her about various birth control options and probably send her home with something to try. I got a year's worth of Nortrel from there for about $30, so it's very cost-effective.

    Trowizilla on
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