Birth Control..yikes!

bearsmama's picture

I have a new partner these days, and have been wondering to myself which avenue for birth control to take. I (ashamedly) will admit that I am always so effing terrible with condoms. I don't really know why. I have a tendency to get lost in the heat of the moment, I guess. Irresponsible, yes...but honest.

I have a Mirena IUD up in my drawer that I had gotten not long after Bear was born and still never had it put it. I have an appointment tomorrow to go have it inserted, since it will be day two of my period...but I'm TERRIFIED. I have read a lot of horror stories about them...and I really don't want to have huge cramps from insertion and a lot of bleeding this weekend because I am going out (one of the rare Mama nights *grin*). I am also a little wierded out by the hormone idea.

Pre-Bear I had used a pill, which I forgot to take half of the time, anyways(ohhh, those old stoner days..)...but they sent me for a real loop. I was grouchy ALL the time and had no sex drive whatsoever. At all. NONE. And I am a sex lover. So I'm counting pills out.

What have you ladies tried?? What would you recommend or not recommend??


Just Lucky's picture
Submitted by Just Lucky on

I have a copper IUD, and honestly, the insertion was no biggee, at all. Not something I'd want to do every day, but really bearable.

I took some magnesium tabs and a multivitamin to help cut down on the cramps, and 2 advil about an hour bfore the appt.

Afterward, as I recall, I spotted really lightly for a couple hours, mild cramps that afternoon, and the end.

Of course everyone's different.

As far as the hormones, I think it's important to remember that even though there are some risks, the risks are NOT THE SAME AS THE PILL. The hormones are concentrated in one area, directly affecting the parts they need to, as opposed to you having to take enough in orally to work.

My very best friend in the wide world has a Mirena, after having had a copper one, and absolutely LOVES it. with the added benefit of having little to no period, it certainly beats the hell out of copper!!!

I've never been a fan of condoms, due to a latex allergy, unless absolutely necessary. Especially if I was in a commited relationship. Was one the pill for years before having the twins.
so far, even with the negatives the copper IUD, this is SO VERY my best foray into birthcontrol!

Two reasons-
You really don't have to think about it.
and you really, REALLY don't get pregnant. I am a huge fan of that.
Have fun!

miss phoenix's picture

and i have no complaints about it. i got it when DD was 4 months old. insertion wasn't fun, like JL said, but it wasn't terrible. it was over very quickly, and i was a little crampy for the day, but that was it. there was no bleeding at all.

i can't comment on how it effects periods because i never got my period back after i had the IUD put in (i was nursing when i got it, so somehow my periods just never started back up after i weaned; it's been four years now since i've menstruated!), but from all the information i've ever gathered the mirena iud tends to make periods lighter and shorter, but the copper iud can in some cases make them heavier and crampier.

i'd definitely recommend mirena to anyone. just make sure you check your "strings" (they feel like short pieces of fishing line hanging out of your cervix) and if they ever feel longer you'll know the IUD may have become dislodged from your uterus; don't have unprotected sex if you're ever worried about it being dislodged!!

another option is Nuva-Ring, which is a soft rubber ring that you put against your cervix and leave there for three weeks, and remove for your period. like the mirena iud, it has hormones in it that are absorbed by the body to prevent pregnancy. you have to get a new one every month though (there's only 21 days worth of hormones in one ring) and you MUST remember to put it back in after your period! i used it for a few years, it's not noticable during sex, and never caused any complications for me. i stopped using it because it does have more hormones than the IUD does, and since i get migraines my stroke risks is increased by using combination hormone BC. (the mirena only has a single hormone in it, progestin.)

anyway, i'm totally rambling now. good luck, whatever you decide to do, and i don't want to sound preachy but...don't forget that BC doesnt prevent STDs!


ps-- have an *awesome* weekend, lady!

.shady.lady.'s picture

umm-i have a copper one? and it's fabulous. easy, no keep up, and it lasts ten years (!) i'm not huge fan of hormones, but i do know my periods last a little longer these days. the ease and hormone free-ness of it's worth it, though. i had mine put in 10 weeks after giving birth. i didn't even know she had done it. it's pretty fabulous. and pretty reliable.
i dig.

earthgarden's picture

I'm deeply considering going back to Natural Family Planning, as it worked for me for nearly 11 years. but after my horrendous miscarriage last year I am scared...also scared to try any hormonal stuff, as I have gotten pregnant twice before on those (I'm so fertile I got pregnant on the depo shot). at any rate I really can't do hormones as I am 38, have a mild heart condition, have a history of blood clots, and so forth. I might get an old school cap. After the miscarriage Mercury Man kept insisting he'd get cut, but so far has yet to even make a consultation appointment. I understand as I don't want to be permanently sterilized either...anyway for now we're using condoms, which is sooooooo ultra yuck. bleh. but Mercury Man is very good and consistent about using them even though he really dislikes them as much as I do.

My periods and other assorted cycle stuff have been regular the past 3 months, and if I go another 3 months regular I'm strongly considering going back to NFP. it worked beautifully for me for just years and years, my getting pregnant was totally my error and laxness in following my cycle and body fertility signs, not the method. if you are in a long-term monogamous relationship it's great.

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Love is, above all else, the gift of oneself.
~Jean Anouilh

earthgarden's picture

I just looked up some info on those and I'm psyched. no hormones, yay! I think I might try this. I see my gyno next month so could get it then, hmmmmmm.

biz & etsy & books
Love is, above all else, the gift of oneself.
~Jean Anouilh

turtle's picture
Submitted by turtle on

I'm in such a similar place! Thank god the Wee Papa is really good at remembering the condoms cos if it was up to me...I would forget every time and then die a thousand deaths worrying that I got pregnant.... But I still worry since condoms are not perfect...

This thread has made me feel a little better about a copper IUD. I'm going to talk with my midwife about it next week, I have my yearly exam. We've been tossing around the idea of a vasectomy for the Wee Papa, which really makes the most sense for us since we are done having kids. But that's not really useful advice for you, huh?! :D

Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough. -- Emily Dickinson

You want to do what you think is right and what matters to you, and if other people don't like it, as my father would have said, they can go fuck themselves. -- Amy Bloom

sebsmom's picture
Submitted by sebsmom on

I've got the Mirena... it was inserted about 2 months after DS was born so that's more than 3.5 years ago. I love it! I know that it was a bit unpleasant going in but not enough that I even rememeber it to be honest.
I have a similar experience as miss phoenix in that I haven't had my period since before I got pregs with DS. Well... mostly. Every few months I'll get some cramping that are like menstrual cramps and some very light spotting that lasts 1-2 days but that's it.
Before DS I was on the pill. Then I got pregnant so you see how well that worked out (for YEARS I'd miss a pill here and there & never thought it was an issue but you've really got to take them religiously so if you're forgetful like me then it's not as reliable as a form of bc).
I say go for the Mirena. If you don't like it or are having problems then you can get it taken out. I think the IUD horror stories are mostly from years ago - what is available today is much better and safer.