16 answers

Birth Control Insight?

My daughter is going to have my first grandbaby in a couple of weeks. She is looking into birth control for afterwards and is considering either Mirena or Paragard, she used pills before but had CRAZY mood swings! Has anyone used either of these methods? I'm looking for some pros/cons to each to help her decide. Thank you

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Thanks for all the input! She hasn't made a definate decision yet but I have let her read all your responses.

Featured Answers

I have a Paraguard now, and am going to switch to the Mirena. I have very heavy periods - still, after 3 years - and even spot mid month. I find my PMS is worse than it was before, and my (new) doctor believes that is the culprit. She says she has had very good luck and gets the opposite to what I see i.e. lighter periods and less PMS, with the Mirena.

I had great success w/the Mirena...no side affects, and I did have side affects w/the pill and most medications. Good luck!

More Answers

I use paragaard because it has no hormones which is the most important factor for me.
Intercourse is uncomfortable with it, but I had the strings cut which helps.

Hi K.,
Sorry, I didn't have time to read the other responses, so I apologize if I repeat! I don't know if your daughter plans to breastfeed, but if so, she might want to stay away from the hormone birth control altogether. They decrease milk production. My doctor put me on the mini-pill while I'm nursing and we'll switch to something different when I'm done nursing my daughter. Just thought I'd throw that in there so that you have that info too. That's pretty much all I know about birth control! Haha... Good luck. :)

If she has had a bad experience with hormones in the past then she should probably not use the Mirena. My experience with it was not a good one, even though two doctors reasured me that the hormones would only affect my uterus. Women with hormone issues should really try to find something else. I had the Paragard for about 2.5 years. Worked well as birth control, but I did have some residual pain during my periods. Honestly the only way to know for sure is for her to try it out and find what works best.
Good luck!

Hi, K..

I've tried both the Paraguard and the Mirena and currently use the Mirena.
I had the Paraguard in for one month and a VERY heavy period (It was NONstop and NO relief) and a wierd pinching on my side. (I'm not sure if they're related, but the pinching stopped once it was out.)Although I didn't give it much time, I just couldn't stand all the bleeding.

I really hated the Paraguard and was hesitant to try the Mirena, but I'm SO glad I did. I do NOT have the same issues with the hormones like I did on the pill (the pill made me feel CRAZY!). The Mirena was a great choice.
Also, the periods are light. I've only had the Mirena in for a few months. I had some light bleeding over a few weeks when it was first put in, but haven't had a period now for almost 2 months. I can't complain about that! :-)

I would highly recommend the Mirena over the Paraguard. Tell her good luck and congratulations to you both!
- A.

I had the Mirena for 14 months and hated every minute of it. Naturally I'd had 5 day long periods with little to no cramping, only the first day was heavy and the remaining 4 were rather light. With the Mirena I had horrible cramping off and on the entire month (rather than just menstrual time), and breakthrough bleeding that was very unpredictable. Not to mention that my husband complained about the strings. I went in several times begging my doctor to remove it and every time he refused telling me that I wasnt' giving my body a chance to adjust (he said that it takes up to a year or longer for ones body to adjust to the Mirena). So I was stuck. Following removal I had longer, heavier periods than I've ever had in my life, with debilitating cramping. Where I had no fertility problems before...it took us 6 months to conceive then lose a baby at 9 wks. I would recommend a non-hormonal birth control method. If she is planning to breastfeed then a non-hormonal method is the only method that will not affect or be secreted (even in small amounts) into her breastmilk. If she will not be breastfeeding my personal choice would be to learn her signs of fertility and track them, using a barrier method (cervical cap or condoms) during her fertile times. Look into "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" by Toni Weschler (www.tcoyf.com). TCOYF can be used if she is breastfeeding but becomes a bit unreliable especially for someone who is just beginning to learn their fertility signs.

I have a Paraguard now, and am going to switch to the Mirena. I have very heavy periods - still, after 3 years - and even spot mid month. I find my PMS is worse than it was before, and my (new) doctor believes that is the culprit. She says she has had very good luck and gets the opposite to what I see i.e. lighter periods and less PMS, with the Mirena.

I have used the Mirena for the last 6 years with great success. I love it as the hormone are local so I don't feel like I am introducing them into my whole system. I stopped getting my period each time I used it (I have had two pregnancies). I spotted for the first four months after having it inserted on my last pregnancy which was kind of a hassle, but then my period went away all together. I don't every have to think about it. My doctor told me that it's success rate is better than a tubal ligation if you can believe that. I highly recommend it for women who have given birth already. I hope that helps.

I had great success w/the Mirena...no side affects, and I did have side affects w/the pill and most medications. Good luck!

I love Mirena. I also had issues on the pill and was hesitant to try it, but I have no side effects whatsover and the Mirena did not effect my milk supply at all (I got it inserted 8 weeks pp and nursed for 19 months).
The convenience is also unbeatable, in no way would I have been able to take the pill at the same time every day during the first months of my daughter's life.

If she had mood swings before...I'd stay away from the Mirena...since it's the same hormones. More localized, yes, but anyone who reacts to oral pills can have similar reactions.

The benefit for a Mirena is that for MOST people they shorten or eliminate periods all together. Not true for everyone, some people get the opposite effect. Some people experience weight loss, some weight gain, some stay the same...pretty equal in groupings. Same problem as the pill that most people take a year+ to conceive after removal. Takes some time to become effective. Doesn't work when someone is on antibiotics, and then takes time to become effective again. Good for up to 5 years. NOT to be used by anyone with a history of abnormal paps/cervical cancer (the hormones can make it worse/more aggressive).

I've had the copper iud (paraguard) for 7 years now...and am in the 'looove it' category. Benefits of the Paraguard; no hormones, good for 10 years, is effective the minute it is placed and is effective while on antibiotics...no waiting period ever. Downsides...first couple periods are gnarly (2-3 typically). Usually no change in menstral flow/cramping after that...although a small percentage go lighter and a small percentage go heavier. No associated mood/weight changes (no hormones). NOT to be used by anyone allergic to copper. ;)

BTW...last person I know who got one at planned parenthood (Paraguard) got hers last year for around 150...I had mine done by my OB (covered 100% by insurance) seven years ago. If I'd paid out of pocket, it would have been 750. Anyone on Pregnancy Medical through the state can get one for free. I have 3 years to go, but as of writing it's still covered at 100% by our insurance. I have no clue the out of pocket expense for Mirena (more, less, or the same), or out of pocket through an OB for Paraguard. Anyone?

i LOVED mirena. since the hormones are localized in your uterus there are few side effects, which worked for me since i have a mood disorder. it didn't effect me in the slightest, whereas birth control pills...let's just say, it wasn't pretty. the biggest plus for me was what it did for my periods. i've always had super heavy periods, and with the mirena mine dwindled to nothing, and i no longer had the bone crushing cramps i used to. with the copper IUD (paraguard) there is an increased instance of bleeding and cramping, so if that's something she's concerned about she should avoid it.
insertion was a little painful, and i had cramping that lasted a week. i had it taken out so we could try for another baby. it was a piece of cake, and we were pregnant within 2 months.
i highly recommend mirena. i have 2 friends, a cousin, and a sister that all use it and they love theirs.

I have the Paraguard as well and haven't had any issues with it. My periods can be 7-9 days, which is longer than they were before, and REALLY heavy for 1-2 days, which is my biggest complaint. But at this point, the convenience of it outweighs the cons.

I LOVE my Mirena! I have had it just a few days shy of one year and have had no problems! I had a moderate period when I got it for a few weeks, then have had mild periods since. I started with periods every 6 weeks, then every 8, now about every 10-12, it is SOOOO nice! With the pill I would get moody and very emotional on either side of my period, but I am SOOOO even keel with the mirena! My husband and Mom even noticed how much more calm I am with little to no emotional changes when I am on my period, if which only lasts a faw days and is nearly nonexistent! tell your daughter good luck!

I am still paying off hospital bills that resulted from the Mirena IUD. I realize my situation is very rare, but as I describe it to people I always get a "I know someone who that happened to!" or worse, "I know a woman who DID die."

I ended up with an ectopic pregnancy (which is a risk of the IUD) and my IUD left my uterus and became embedded in abdominal tissue. I also almost bled to death (internally) from the ruptured ectopic pregnancy.

So I am not a proponent of Mirena or any IUD, but as I said statistically what happened to me is rare.

i use mirena and its so great! no periods or side effects and you can breastfeed with it. just a little cramping the day you get it


I personally used the Mirena for 3 years & it did the job of preventing pregnancy. The one thing she might want to consider though before choosing either one is that she may have some side effects to it, which she may with any other birth control as well. After I delivered my 1st I wanted to make sure we wouldn't get pregnant again so I chose to get the Mirena. Shortly after I started to gain weight & my skin got really bad but I couldn't figure out why. Finally, this past August, I decided to take it out since my weight gain & bad skin started around the time I got the Mirena inserted. After I got it removed, my skin cleared up & my weight started to drop almost instantly.

I would recommend the Mirena but let your daughter know that she should pay attention to her weight & her skin & if she has problems with it, it's probably the Mirena. I was fortunate enough to NEVER get a period on it so she might be one of us lucky ones too. :) For other women, they might never have any side effects so... tell her to chose the Mirena. She won't even know it's in there... oh & make sure she asks them about the string that hangs down... mine was snipped a little too short & my hubby didn't like that much... i guess it would poke it & the string is kinda of rough he said... ;) I didn't notice anything. Anyhow... good luck & congrats on the new addition to your guys' family!

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