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Non hormone BC (or should I get a copper IUD?)

So I'm seriously considering going off my BC. I'm taking generic Ortho Cyclen (sp?) at the moment and while for the most part it seems better than BC pills I've taken in the past, I seem to have a few annoying symptoms from it. Low sex drive, mood swings, occasional super intense cramps with and several days before my period, and the sudden appearance of super sexy spider veins. They appeared a few months after I started these pills and have gotten progressively worse over the last year and a half. I'm afraid the BC pills are somehow affecting my circulation and I may get a blood clot or something else equally horrible.

So here's my question, should I get an copper IUD? I'm really poor so it seems like $500 is a lot for something that may or may not work for me. I haven't have kids and don't plan on having kids for several more years, if ever, I'm in my mid 20's and have been in a stable relationship for 12 years. I've looked up info on the internets and it seems like about half the women that have them have a lot of trouble with intense bleeding and cramping and the IUD either falling out or getting embedded. Yikes! The others seem very happy with them.

Are there any other non hormonal birth control methods that work for you besides IUDs (preferably not condoms, we HATE them and I have super sensitive skin)? Thanks!

I had a copper iud and recently got it removed. lots of problems and i was paranoid about getting an ectopic pregnancy and having to kill it, basically (i would probably not get over that emotionally--ever. plus i'd be down a fallopian tube).. I went to FAM and love it. I really reccomend the book "taking charge of your fertility" by toni weschler. Since you hate condoms, you would have to abstain or use another barrier method for a few days every month.. but other than that you can have bc free sex. and it's free, besides a thermometer (you could probably check out the book at your library).

probs i had with iud:
heavy period
long period
cramping
diva cup leaked
any cervix bumping is terrifyingly painful
the whole scare about ectopic pregnancy
not having control over it

good luck :)

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i forgot to say, i think some abdominal issues i was having were iud related, as well.

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I had a copper iud and recently got it removed. lots of problems and i was paranoid about getting an ectopic pregnancy and having to kill it, basically (i would probably not get over that emotionally--ever. plus i'd be down a fallopian tube).. I went to FAM and love it. I really reccomend the book "taking charge of your fertility" by toni weschler. Since you hate condoms, you would have to abstain or use another barrier method for a few days every month.. but other than that you can have bc free sex. and it's free, besides a thermometer (you could probably check out the book at your library).

probs i had with iud:
heavy period
long period
cramping
diva cup leaked
any cervix bumping is terrifyingly painful
the whole scare about ectopic pregnancy
not having control over it

good luck :)

Thanks for the info! I never thought about it interfering with my diva cup. That would be a bummer, I love my diva cup.

I'll have to check out that book, I've heard a few people recommend the FAM method or something similar. It sounds interesting. I don't know much about it at the moment, so I'm a little nervous about it. I'm bad with numbers so I feel like I would screw it up. I could probably try it with a cervical cap and withdrawal as well.

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you don't need to be good with numbers, so no worries. you only have to temp in the morning and check your cervical fluid. the temp shift is pretty obvious for most people.

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I personally loved my copper IUD when I had it, I did have HEAVY periods, but found if I doubled/tripled my calcium intake during the flow days, I didn't have any cramps....

There have been a couple of threads started about IUDs/contraceptives already.

Here's the big one:
Club Contraceptives

And its precursor:
Birth Control

Leah's Shield VS a Diaphragm

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Ortho Cyclen is the worst! I also had blood clotting issues with it, I stopped taking it before it gave me an aneurysm or something. I know when I ovulate so we abstain during that time and then pull out til 5-7 days before my period when it's safe. It's worked for 6-7 years for me!

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I personally loved my copper IUD when I had it, I did have HEAVY periods, but found if I doubled/tripled my calcium intake during the flow days, I didn't have any cramps....

There have been a couple of threads started about IUDs/contraceptives already.

Here's the big one:
Club Contraceptives

And its precursor:
Birth Control

Leah's Shield VS a Diaphragm

Thanks for the links to those treads, I'll read them soon. Before I started taking BC pills, about 10 years ago  :-\, I found that massive amounts of calcium seemed to help with my cramps too. I'm a little nervous about heaver periods with the IUD since without my BC pills my periods last 10-14 days with heavy bleeding the first 3 days. I hope they wouldn't last longer than that, 14 days is way more than enough for me.

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umm yeah i wouldn't get an iud if i were you O_o

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I've had a copper IUD for almost 2 years.  I've been pretty satisfied with it.  There was A LOT of cramping at first.  It was inserted on a Monday evening and I missed work on Tuesday and Wednesday.  It was like a really bad period!  They tell you to take ibuprofen before the insertion to help ward that off, but I didn't.  Maybe I should've.  Anyway, for the first 6-8 months I had it, I had some cramping during my period and much heavier bleeding.  However, I was on BCP continuously for nearly 12 years prior to the IUD and the cramping was similar to what I experienced in high school before I went on the pill.  In the past year, the cramping has lessened, especially if I watch my diet and up my exercise right before my period starts.  I also use a diva cup and haven't had any real problems.  I just have to empty it more.  A lot more.  The bleeding is really heavy (changing the diva about 3 times/12 hrs) for usually 1-3 days.  I bought cloth pads for back up on those days and it's not really a problem.

I also have the book Hespy mentioned.  I record my temperature each day, but obviously I'm not using it for birth control.  I like learning about FAM so that I can know more about my cycle, so I can track mood swings and more easily predict my period (I miss knowing exactly when I'm gonna have it like I did on BCP).  It's a great book and I recommend it, if for nothing else, just to learn more about how your body works.   

Anyway, I'm not saying you should get an IUD, but that's my experience.  I will never go back to hormonal bcp and right now, I'm not comfortable enough with FAM to use it solely.  The IUD isn't perfect, but I really like it. 

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a co-worker of mine just got on iud and just texted me asking about taking charge of your fertility because of the cramping being so bad.

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I've had a copper IUD for 1.5 years. For me, insertion was painless (I've had a baby and I did take 600mg of Ibuprofen beforehand - don't know if those made a difference). I had no cramping then or ever. My periods got heavier and lasted longer for about a year. Over the last 6 months, they've returned to normal. Use of the Diva is about the same as it was before the IUD for me. Sex seems normal.

I also like Taking Charge of Your Fertility, if for nothing else than a deeper understanding of your cycle. I used it to help get pregnant, but wouldn't personally be comfortable using it for birth control - I felt like my fertility signs were too hard to read (my cervical fluid seemed to be all over the place, and it was almost impossible for me to take my BBT at the same time every day). I'm positive it works well for those who are comfortable with it and whose fertility signs are easy to read.

Anyway, it seems like everyone has different experiences. As for me, I love my IUD. I really can't tell you if you'd love it or not, obviously.

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I've had an IUD for about 8 years (after my daughter was born). I have never had a single problem associated w it, & love it! Not that I need it currently...sigh... but that's another subject! ;)

Nonetheless, I love that thing. Really hassle-free. Most of the negative associations are w the old kinds of IUDs or hormone-based ones. The 10-year ones I highly recommend if you're in a monogomous relationship (or otherwise unconcerned about STDs).

Good luck! :)

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umm yeah i wouldn't get an iud if i were you O_o

I am on my second Mirena (ultra low hormone levels) and LOVE it.  It actually stops my menstruation.  

eta: and stopped all of my other hormonal problems - mood swings, acne, migraines, water retention...

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I also have a copper IUD and I love it! No problems after 4 years, and I use a Diva Cup during my period with no issues either.

Just like with all forms of BC, there are risks and benefits to each.  Different strokes for different folks!  Since you're not insured, the $500 is steep- have you tried calling around to other places to see if you can get it cheaper?

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