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Birth Control Options - IUD Vs. Depo?

Good morning, ladies. My husband and I have two children & at the moment, we feel our family is complete. I'm currently taking the mini-pill (Micronor) but I'm having some problems with it and want to switch. Also, we want something that is very effective as we've heard of 3 people lately who've gotten pregnant while on the pill! I know that is rare & likely user error, but it can happen. Plus, I'd like something that I don't have to remember to take every day. While a vasectomy is an option for my husband, we're not sure we want to shut the door 100% on future kids. So, I've been considering getting an IUD (like Mirena) or possibly start Depo Provera (the shot). I've heard pros and cons on both & just thought I'd gather your opinions on both options, hear your experiences or see if you have any other suggestions. Thanks so much for your help!

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So What Happened?™

Thank you so much for all of the wonderfully helpful responses! Not only were they helpful for me, but my husband read them as well so we could make a decision together. After reading the responses, I immediately decided against the Depo shot. I decided to try the Nuva Ring, but after 2 months I didn't care for it. So in early June I decided to try the Mirena IUD & so far I'm very happy with my decision. Thank you all again for your responses - it really helped to read all of your advice & suggestions!

UPDATE JULY '09: After 11 months with the Mirena, I had it removed. I had spotting for 4-6 months, as I expected, but then at about 8-9 months the spotting returned. It was to the point where I was bleeding nearly every day. My doctor said the Mirena was keeping my uterine lining TOO thin, which was what caused the spotting. After having an ultrasound to make sure there was nothing else going on, I decided to replace my Mirena with a Paraguard IUD. I've had that for two months and am so much happier. Of course my period has returned (was nice to be without one on Mirena!) but I'd rather deal with one period every month instead of spotting every day. I've learned that the side effects of IUDs are different for everybody & some have none at all!

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I would say go with mirena. It has fewer side effects and can be removed at any time . The shot is not reversible. Mirena can be used for up to 5 years and with easy removale overs great flexability. I use it love it and think it is perfect for me. Mother of 3 who needed a break before we have more.

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I strongly recommend Natural Family Planning. There are no pills or devices, but rather complete union between you and your husband. You just have to become aware of your fertility signs. These signs let you know when you are ovulating (i.e., increase in cervical mucus) and by recognizing these signs you know when to/avoid having intercourse depending on whether you want to achieve/postpone/avoid becoming pregnant. My husband and I have been using NFP and it has been 100% effective for us. Another added bonus - couples who use NFP have a divorce rate of less than 1% -- for obvious reasons -- you are in constant communication and when engaged in the marital act, it is just the two of you with nothing in between! This is a beautiful method!! Check out www.ccli.org or www.woomb.org for more info and instructions.

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Good Morning E.!! I truly understand your feelings. We have twin daughters and I really feel like the family is complete, but my husband doesn't want either of us to get anything permanent. I decided to get an IUD last year. I opted not to get Mirena because it has hormones and with me that leads to extra weight gain. i have Paragard (no hormones); and it's great!!! It can easily be reversed and it can stay in for a maximum of ten years!! Research it online and then call your ob/gyn abotu it. Hope this works.

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Hi E.,
From what I know, any hormones that you are putting into your body (pill, depo shot, etc.) can have adverse reactions (weight gain, decreased libido, mood swings). I have had a few friends on depo and they have all had horrid side effects. I have never taken it, but I wanted to share that.

I have a paragard IUD (copper wrapped, no hormones). I am very happy with it. I have also heard good things about Mirena, but again, that releases some hormones. I have friends who have the Mirena IUD and are very happy with it as well.

I also have a 4 year old and 1 year old . . .not sure if there will be a 3rd, but as you said, its nice to keep the door open. I had my IUD put in at my 6 week check up after my youngest was born and have had no problems at all - its been since Oct 2006. The ParaGard is good for 10 years and the Mirena is good for 5 years.

I love that I don't have to think about it. I am very happy with our decision to use this form of birth control. I'd be happy to answer any other questions that you might have.
B. :-)

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Have you looked into NFP (Natural Family Planning)? It is more effective than the pill, doesn't mess with your hormones and strengthens your relationship with your hushand. We use the Creighton Model, but there are different ones out there. There is a learning curve and it takes a time commitment, but can be a good investment in your health, marriage and family.

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They are finding it medically unsafe for a woman to be on depo for more than 2 years. I was on it for 6. I am now having to go through hormonal replacement theorapy at 31. I now have an IUD.

C. R.

I had the paraguard-10 year and had issues (heavy bleeding, up to 10 days) and cramping 20 of the 30 days of the month. I had it out after 2 years. We pondered too long on our next method and are expecting in Sept :) I have friends that swear by it and have none of those issues. It was easy in and easy out. My sister had the paraguard for 10 years, loved it, then after, had the mirena and just had it removed after 6 months. She was not getting her period at all anymore and she was so bloated and gained a lot of weight. She went back to the paraguard. I am sure it is different for everyone but thought I would share some different stories.

E. - I used the Nuvaring people mentioned for several years before hubby and I tried to get pregnant. If you don't mind putting it in and taking it out, it's great! So easy, and about the same cost as bc pills.

After giving birth to my daughter I had a Mirena IUD put in. There were a few issues at first - mild cramping for several weeks, spotting, and a little stinging from the nylon threads before they finally settled into a crevice somewhere, but after a couple of months of minor irritations, it's not noticeable at all. I don't really have periods either, just periodic spotting, v. light (although I'm also still breastfeeding). If you are serious about avoiding pregnancy, IUDs are one of the most fool-proof ways of avoiding it.

I've heard the copper IUD is not for women who already have heavy periods: it can intensify the bleeding and cramping so if you already have troublesome periods it can make them much worse. Of course, for some women it works like a charm.

Hi E., I have used both actually. I did the Depo shot after my first son was born. He is nine now. When we decided to start trying for the second, it took me over 2 years. The depo shot stopped my ovulation completly. I had to do all sorts of infertility treatments. It was very exhausting. I do not recommend the depo shot for anyone. Just because of my own experience. Now after my 4 year old was born I did go with the Mirena IUD. I have had it for 4 years. I love it. It is the greatest invention in the world of birth control. I never think about it and it is supposed to be good I do want to conceive again. It starts ovulation right away. I do not have monthly periods so if you feel that is not normal then that is not for you. I don't mind or miss the mess every month. Occaisionally I will bleed a little. Hope this helps. Love the Mirena. Highly recommended.

Depo is really really really bad for you. Doctors are required by law to have you sign a waiver stating that you are aware of the risks in using this method, and many doctors will no longer prescribe it anymore, or allow their patients request it. I have a girlfriend currently involved with a malpractice lawsuit against her old OB because he never warned her or had her sign the waiver. She's getting a huge settlement, and apparently there was a class action lawsuit which made this possible. Unfortunately, my girlfriend now at 27 is in the beginning stages of Osteoperosis. NOT GOOD! Very hard on her, and now there will also be complications when she decides to have children. She only recently married.

Personally I am getting the Mirena placed as soon as I can after I deliver this baby. I have taken Depo, the pill (almost all of them), Nuva Ring, and have found none that Im pleased with. The best so far was the Nuva Ring, however after working great for 6 years, I became pregnant with my first baby while it was in and not a user error. They sent it in for testing and it apparently was a faulty one. OH Well, it worked out for the best in the end. Then once my son was 9 months old, i forgot that with the pill antibiotics cancel the effects, and whoops...here we are again. Nuva Ring doesn't have that problem. As much as I love it, my husband and I are now too leary to go back, and no pills for me. Too complicated to take the pill same time every day. Im not wired to be that organized...LOL. So Mirena seems like the best option because it still gives us the freedom to decide when and if we should add to the brood. With many other IUD's it can take a while for your body to readadjust and for fertility to kick back in, while the Mirena seems to have the fastest turn around time.

I don't know about the IUD, but I've heard bad stories of side effects from Depo. Once that is in your system, it takes a while to get out. My cousin had really bad side effects from Depo and said she'd never get it again and I've heard this from other ladies,too.
I think that the pill is just as effective as long as you're taking it on time.

Hi Eliane- I used the Mirena IUD between my 3rd and 4th babies. I was not sure if our family was complete after 3 and once removed we were preg within 2 monthes. I was happy with the mirena and had it inserted while nursing my 3rd daughter. Hope this is helpful. PS After #4 my husband did get a vas (of course the procedure wasn't great but we were definitely done with babies!) and we are thrilled with that as well!!
gOOD lUCK
bETH

Go Natural-don't put anything unnatural in your body. Do the ruthym (spelling) method. Pay attention to your body signals that will tell you when you are ovulating, then avoid sex at that time. We have been doing it for many, many years. Good Luck.

I had issues with several other options, but good luck with the Depo. I was lucky & went without a period during the time I had the shots, and felt terrific. The one risk I wanted to be sure you know about with Depo is bone loss. Recent studies have shown (and a friend experienced) that more than 2 years on Depo can put you at risk for osteopenia. My personal decision was to limit the Depo to 2 years, with supplemental calcium/magnesium and bone density scans before and after. Another thing to be aware of is how the shot is administered - Even when I had a friend with experience administer the shot once (instead of the OB/Gyn nurse) to avoid an office visit, I had to have a negative pregnancy test before that office would resume the rest of the shots. So I had to pay either way :-0 Just educate yourself on your options & good luck!

I love my IUD. I had Mirena put in about 8 months ago. It did cause some serious cramping when they inserted it, but that all went away. I also have stopped my period almost entirely. It's mostly one or two days of VERY light spotting. Otherwise I don't have to remember anything...they do say you need to check for the string to still be there. So if you are not comfortable with that it may not be the way to go.

Without meaning to offend anyone who has chosen one of these bc options, I just want to offer another solution: Natural Family Planning. I personally am unwilling to incur the risks of the side effects of any of the bc options you mentioned, so we've taken classes at local catholic churches (they seem to be the easiest way to find teachers) to learn both the Sympto-Thermal method and the Billings method (the latter is working better for me right now, because I'm nursing and my cycles are irregular). Anyway, it takes some discipline and commitment, but we love that we can make love without having to "suit up" or have my body subjected to hormones/devices. And at any time we can change our mind if we're open to the possibility of more children. Good luck!
T.

Personally hated the Depo shot. I spotted every day while I was on that and it did not make for a very good love life with my now husband. Every three months I went back in for the next shot and complained to the doctor about the spotting and discharge and she said to try it again because sometimes it takes a few shots to get it completely in your system. Sorry, but after 9 months of not wanting any type of fooling around because I felt dirty and unclean no matter what I would do - I couldn't take it any longer. Just my experience; I know not everyone has this side effect but no don't know until you try it.
My sister, however, has been on the Nuva Ring and loves it. But, you have to be okay with inserting it and taking it out in three weeks.
Good luck!

After I had our daughter I got the depo shot every 3 months. It really screwed up my cycles & I had difficulty getting pregnant a second time. Then I had our son & got the iud. It works a whole lot better than the shot. On top of all that you don't risk going sterile. I also heard that with an iud it can cause miscarriages while your using it. I don't know if that is true, but look up all the info before you decide. then choose what you & your husband think is best for both of you.

Hi E., I have 2boys and 2 girls and also felt that my family was complete. I just had a mirena put in last August. The only side effect that I am experiencing is erratic bleeding. My doc told me that this will eventually work itself out. I hope so, my last period was around for 3 weeks, on and off ! The mirena was quite expensive and insurance did not cover it. The device itself and the insertion fee was 1,200 dollars. The best thing for me would be my husband getting a vasectomy but I am still working on that one !! Good luck to you !

I would steer clear of depo, myself... but what about that new product essure? It's like an IUD that works until you take it out, but you can leave it in forever and have no more babies unless you change your mind.

I use a diaphragm myself, but am not so good about remembering it all the time...

good luck.

Mirena IUD is a great option. The major downside is that many women will haves issues with spotting after insertion. This generally goes away within a couple of months and most women will report very light periods or no periods at all. A special trick to get rid of the spotting if you choose Mirena and have issues is to take one month of birth control pills after insertion and that will help regulate your cycle and prevent spotting. Although it's relatively new/uncommon in the US it has been used in Europe for years and I think something like 70% of women who use BC use the IUD.

Depo is a very good method for short term use. It is not recommended for use for more than two years. In fact I believe it has an FDA "black box warning" on it that it causes osteoporosis. I would not recommend Depo-- although it is good for certain situations like women in abusive relationships who do not want their partner to know they are using BC.

Good luck.

I wanted to add after reading some other responses that Essure is totally permanent- there is no hope for reversal because it causes a build-up of scar tissue in the fallopian tubes, so please do not think this is a temporary option. It is more permanent than having your tubes tied, which can sometimes be reversed.

Secondly, Mirena is associated with a delayed return to fertility. After about 1 year after removal the fertility rates are even for IUD users and non-users. If you want a quick return to fertility the Paraguard IUD should be your choice.

After I had my son ( I was on the pill!!) my doctor recommended the nuva ring. I had some hesitation about it, but I tried it and LOVED it. It was very easy to use, and easy for me get pregnant after. Then I had my daughter, and we felt our family was complete. My husband was very against a vasectomy, so I thought about tubal ligation. These days they don't like to burn or tie them. Now they laproscopically place clamps on your tubes. It was done outpatient and I have no regrets. Best of all, I can remove them if I change my mind, and don't have to do anything if I don't!!

I've never done the shots but everyone I talk to said it is just like taking the pill except you don't have to remember it. You still have the same symptoms.

I have used the IUD. I really liked it since my endometriosis symptoms lessoned greatly. Seemed as if having a normal period really helped. I know that contradicts the medical theories but it was beneficial for me. I really liked it. It took one year before it paid for itself. I had to pay $400 up front to get it because of some insurance issue. Don't think my husband's insurance would pay for birth control at that time...but after a year it was the same as buying birth control every month. I wore it for a little over a year and then had it removed to try for our first child. Got to start right away I do believe and there were no side effects for me at all.

Hi!

Like you, my husband and I decided we were probably done with kids after the birth of our second child. I spoke to my OB/GYN and we went over all the options. I went with the Minera IUD, and like many women reponding here, I love it. You don't feel it, your periods are shorter & lighter (~20% of women stop their periods completely) and best of all, you never have to think about it, remember to do anything, or interrupt anything! I have had little to no side effects. I highly reccomend it!
-E.

I would persoanlly avoid depo. It messes with your hormones and is not easy to reverse (you just have to wait it out). It can affect your libido, bone health, etc. Personally, I'd go with an IUD (it's what I'm planning once I have my second baby this summer). If you don't want any hormones go for a copper one (like paraguard). If you like synthetic hormones (I don't) you can do Mirena instead. The nice thing about the IUDs is that if you DO decide you want to get pregnant again, it's as easy as yanking it out and you're good to go.

I had a great experience with Mirena. Had it in for 18 mo and no complaints. They indicate that you may have reduced periods; I actually had none (though I tend to be somewhat light anyway). I had it removed in Sept, and by January was pregnant again. So for me, the stats that you return to normal fertility within a year are accurate - if this is a concern for you.

I don't have any experience with Depo, but I do like that Mirena is readily reversible (with a Dr. visit). I've been sensitive to hormones in the past, on various Pills, so I was concerned about my reaction to a more or less non-reversible (once injected) shot.

Best of luck in your decision...

I have been using the 'Nuva Ring' it's a ring that is inserted once month. You take it out during the 4th week so you can get your period. I have had problems with BC pills with migranes ect.. and forgetting to take them. Since I have switched 4 years ago I haven't had any problems. I love it!!
B. R

I love my IUD. I've had it for 4 1/2 years...actually going in May to replace it. It was a wonderful option for me as I wasn't sure I wanted to "finalize" the process either! The first few months as my body got use to it I spotted for a few times a month...but since about the 4 month mark, I havent even had a period!!! It's wonderful! I would recommend it to anyone! Good luck! B. W.

E.,

I was supposed to get my tubes tied upon delivery of our second son in August. Pre-eclampsia prevented me from having that done. So, I called after to schedule the procedure and I couldn't do it. I cried. I wasn't ready to make it THAT final. I was on the mini-pill for awhile as I'm breast feeding and about 7 weeks ago I had a Minera IUD inserted. I love it.

The insertion was a little uncomfortable and I cramped for a day. Some spotting here and there, but overall nothing major. I haven't had my period back (since I am BF-ing) and the doctor told me there is a good chance I won't get it back again with the IUD.

Good luck!

T.

I have an 15 month old and had an IUD(Mirena) placed on my 6week post op visit I love it. My periods are way less and I don't have to remember to take a pill every day. Hope this helps!

M. S

I recommend the Fertility Awareness Method. It's not the same as the Rhythm Method. You just have to track your waking temperature and cervical fluid to know when you're ovulating. There is a very good book about this, Taking Charge of Your Fertility. They also have a website so you can see if it's something you're even interested in http://tcoyf.com/ .

Hi! I have a 5 and 6 year old and I'm on my second IUD. I got the first one after my son was born and back then they only had a 5 year IUD. When I had that one removed, I had another one put in. It's fabulous! I rarely get a period, and when I do, it's so light. I never have to think about it, which is fantastic. And ya can't even tell it's there. I was one of those people who got pregnant on the pill, so I highly recommend the IUD if you're pretty sure you're finished, but not positive! I hope this helps.

I used the Depo shot years ago and had problems with it making me so dry that it hurt to have sex. Great birth control b/c we cut way back on having sex. I know this can happen with any kind of pill/shot, it just takes a while for this to get out of your system. Good luck.

I work at a Crisis Pregnancy Center. Many of our clients are or have been on the Depo shot, and I have heard LOTS of bad things that have happened. I don't recommend it.

Have you thought of the Nuvaring? It is the lowest dose of estrogen and you only put it in once a month, very convenient and cost friendly. I wouldn't go with the shot, I've heard too many drawbacks to it. IUD is another good option.

Hi E.,
I currently have the Mirena IUD and love it. Certainly check your insurance options before you go with it...but, depending on how long you want to be on it, I'm pretty sure it's worth the cost compared to the pill. I love the fact that I don't have a full blown period, only very light and that is on occasion. The only con I can say is that it was a little uncomfortable going in, but it was worth it. As for Depo, I've heard some oons about it and I know that for a friend of mine it was a bit mood altering. I don't have those problems with the Mirena IUD. I, like you, don't want to shut the door...but, I'm pretty certain we are done. Although, I would love a girl..a family of four certainly suits us just fine.

Hi E.,

I have the Mirena IUD. I spoke with 3 different OBGYN's before I did it, & all of them said it was a great option. I'm very happy with it & I have had no complications. It is so nice not having to take a pill every day & the mirena only has a fraction of the hormones that are in the pill. I will warn you that the implantation is a little painful, but it was worth it.

Hi- I read your post about possibly gettign an IUD. I have one and it's ok. it hurt like crazy getting it put in, but after giving birth, who cares! I like it, however, I kind of miss having a period... I feel like the body should cleanse itself like that so thats kind of weird. also , you spot a lot. but if you can deal with that... I have had a couple friends who didnt like theirs at all... one got hers taken out the other day and has never been so relieved... so?

My experience w/ BC is that I would always forget it. I never really noticed the common side affects. I used the depo shot and hated the every 3 months appts along w/ the needle poking. (I hate needles and pain). Long story short I used the IUD(Mirena) for the last 5years and as time went on my periods got lighter and lighter along w/ menstrual cramp symptons. To the point that I couln't remember when I last had to buy Tampons let alone panty liners. I loved not getting a period. I know every doctor has his opinion of whether that is normal or not, but I did have 1 or 2 doctors say it wasn't and I also had 1-2 say it was normal. Normal or not when I decided that I wanted to get pregnant I had it removed and used the nuva ring for about 2months and as soon as I went off of it I got pregnant the next month. And with Twins!!!!!! Now I dont know about you but the whole thing of waiting months after you go off of your birth control before trying... Well I dont know but It worked out just fine for me. Im 37 weeks now and waiting to go into labor at anytime now. Mind you I did not use any fertility drugs. Im so amazed!!! But anyway, I love the Iud versus any other Birth Control Method.

I have the paraguard IUD and have been very happy with it. I wanted a hormone free method because I was still nursing. It was a little uncomfortable at insertion and it does causes heavier cramping/bleeding the first few months but for me that went away very quickly.

I am planning on doing Implanon after I give birth in July. It's a small rod of hormones that is inserted in your upper inner arm and stays in place for 3 years. It's been shown highly effective in europe for the past ten years but just recently (the past year or 2) has come to the US. I know of people who have become pregnant on Depo and I know of 1 person whose IUD peforated through her uterus and was floating around in her pelvic cavity for 2 years causing pain (and not preventing pregnancy) before it had to be laparoscopically removed.

I used the Mirean IUD after we thought we were done with kids, betwen our second and third. There was some breakthrough bleeding for a couple of months, but then lighter and lighter periods...finally no period at all! It was great! No hormonal dangers, no need to think about it, easy to put in. When we decided on another child (which we had not been planning at first), I had it removed and got pregnant the very next month. (Someone commented that it takes a year to get preg on Mirena, that is not true according to the package insert, we got preg immediately).

I now have a new Mirena IUD, could have unprotected sex immediately, and I think its a great form of birth control, I highly recommend it.

Good luck!

E.,
I've used Depo the shot for over ten years...went off of it at 35 and eight months later, my period returned and I got pregnant..I now have a 21 month old/and a 6 week old. We're struggling with the same thing. My husband will do the v. but we are thinking also about not completely shutting the door (although we're 99% sure) I had a wonderful experience with depo. I think it depends on how your body responds....good luck. m

good afternoon E.,i am a depo user and have been for years i think it is the best.i have three kids and i used the depo between the first 2 kids which and 4 years apart i had no prob getting pregnant when i wanted to then got back on it for6 and a half more years and now have baby 3.i like depo because you go once every thrree months get a shot and your done.all you have to do is remember the app.and the bonus is you dont ever get a period.with my first shot i do spot but once i get my second one its gone i have been on it now for 16 months. i also have a friend who has the iud and she has been with it for awhile now and she spots every month and she can never schedule when its coming she also said her cramps where worse now then before the iud.well i hope i have help you out alittle with your options.let me know what you choose and how it works for you

My sister had a friend that took the IUD method. She was very happy with it until one day she wound up with an infection that almost killed her. I didn't trust that for myself and chose the pill. he new pill that my daughter uses works for months. She loves (she's a teacher) it...very convenient she says. Vascetomy is the final route my hubby went and a nephew. We were through having children but the nephew had his reversed and had another child with my niece (and his next wife). Hope this has been helpful.

Just say no to Depo. That should be their slogan really. That stuff is evil (not like I am biased or anything...).

Seriously though, there are major studies (even from the company that manufactures it) that state that NO ONE should be on depo for longer than 2 consecutive years. It causes bone mineral depletion (calcium loss= brittle bones). From 18-22 y/o I was on it. I went through withdrawal coming off it. I ended up with a host of really strange side effects, all of whice no one believed were related to depo. Ovarian cysts (that burst causing 6+ months of pain) intestinal problems mimicking IBS, ulcers, and a bunch more.

Depo works because it inhibits the production of estrogen This will also make your sex drive plummet. What good is birth control if you are not having sex. It also causes vaginal secretions to dry up making sex painful.

Basically, depo was designed to be used in sex predators so they wouldn't have a sex drive, thus no molestation of unsuspecting women/ children. Also, if in the future you ever decide that you want more kids, Depo can make this extremely hard. I was off all birth control for over 2 years before my daughter was conceived. And this is in my early 20's when I should have had no problems at all.

Get the IUD. It can be removed really easily and fertility returns very fast once it is gone.

Edited to add:

With Depo there is a standard amount in the shot. No consideration of your weight and therefor body mass. It is approved for women weighing between 100-200 lbs. I am 105 lbs. I really think the dose was way to high for me, but no one would adjust it. I also know women closer to the 200 range who had very little issues getting off it, but also usually were spotting for most of their time on it or got pregnant while on it.

Good Morning E.. I'm turing 45 in October an have 2 childern 17 an 22yrs old and have 2 grandchildren 3 an 2 weeks. I was on the depo for 7 yrs with no problems. I got the depo shot every 11 weeks without missing a appointment an never had no problems. The best thing about it was I had no cycle and only had to remember to go to doc 4 to 5 times a year an the depo works within one week from injection of it. I did have lower back pain ( not severe ) for about 2 weeks.I did not loose hair at all it actually grew. I did gain weight some not much but it was ok.

I have the Mirena IUD and I love it! I got it after my 3rd child 2 years ago. I haven't had any problems and acutally get my period a lot less often. I did spot for awhile after I got it and then sometimes I spot here and there. Nothing too bad and my periods are so much easier and they don't come that often. I love it. The pill always made me sick so this was the best option for me.

You should look into the Nuva ring which is a small plastic ring you insert and leave in for 3 weeks. Take out for 5 days and have your period. you do not have to think about it for 3 weeks. Check it out! i have used both the pill and patch and find this to be the most user friendly for busy moms.

Before having kids I was on the shot for a year, in that time frame I gained 14 pounds and turned into a real witch with severe mood swings. My hubby suggested my problem was the shot (and for once he got a female problem right:)) so I switched to Ortho Evra (the patch). I have been able to keep my weight down and do not have the meanness and mood swings. You have to change the patch once a week for three weeks and are off for the week of your period. I have never had a problem with remembering it as having a sticker on your body is a pretty good reminder and plan to stay on it until my husband gets his v-sec. Hope this helps.

I got pregnant on the pill! My children are 14 months apart. I was on the pill and it obviously did not work because I became pregnant and didn't realize until about 3 months into the pregnancy. So after I delivered I asked my doctor about my choices. I went with the IUD. I have had it in for 3 years so far and my periods, if I get them at all, last about a day or so, if that. I have the Mirena that lasts five years, there is another one that lasts for 10 years. We are still not sure if we are going to have another child, so we opted for the 5 year one. I would definately recommend it!

I would say go with mirena. It has fewer side effects and can be removed at any time . The shot is not reversible. Mirena can be used for up to 5 years and with easy removale overs great flexability. I use it love it and think it is perfect for me. Mother of 3 who needed a break before we have more.

Hi, I also have 2 children (boys 23 months and 5 years) plus a step-daughter who is 10. Needless to say, we feel at this time we are done having children. I went on birthcontrol pills after the birth of my youngest. I hated them! My periods were never regular, and sometimes I would spot for an entire month. Not to mention, I got pregnant with my oldest son while on pills. In between I've tried the depo shot (which I loved, never got a period), but my doctor will not give it to me now because of the increased risk of osteoperiosis - she said she had a 19 year old who was already showing signs of this. I chose Mirena, which I am very happy with. I've had it for just about a year. The only downfall with that is once you initially switch your periods can be very heavy, with strong cramps (which I experienced). It wasn't very pleasant, but every month since then they have been getting lighter and shorter. It's also good for 5 years, and if you decide to have more children, it's a simple visit to your OB/Gyn to have it removed. There is no waiting to get pregnant. It took me 18 months to get pregnant after stopping the depo shot. I definitely recommend Mirena, even if your insurance doesn't cover it, it is still cost efficient. My insurance did, but even if you pay out of pocket it comes down to $13 a month, although you will most likely have to pay upfront. Mine had a total cost (with my doctors charges of $800).

I never used the UID, but I did take the Depo shot. The pros from my experience is that there was not a period every month and only had to remember to "take it" every 3 months. Cons, not sure if caused from the shot, but I did shortly later, discover that I had Endometrosis. It hurt really bad and I still to this day, 13 yrs later have problems with my ovary. I had a partial hysterectomy shortly after having the Endo scraped out and having my youngest. If you are not sure which route to go, do some research on the UID. Good luck

I have to say that I hate birthcontrol. I am well educated in the area and I am not fond of depo at all. There aren't many really good option out there. At least for me. I tried the IUD and I loved the idea of it, but it didn't work for me. I had excessive bleeding for over a year. They kept saying it would stop and it never did. My body just didn't do well with it. Though I have had many friends who swear by it. As far as depo goes. I don't like what it does to your body. I have read that once you stop taking it the hormone fluxuation can throw you into menapause premiturely and it really messes up your hormone levels and can cause things like hair loss and some other things. Check out side effects on line. The sound of it just scares me.

Hi E.,

I was on Depo for 8.5 years with no complications except no periods (if you consider that a complication!) I went off of it for a year, and the first time we tryed to get pregnant, we did. Now, I did go off of if becuase there was a lot of concerns in the medical field of its use. I and a few of my friends had no probs, but please read everything on it before you make your decision.
A.

I LOVE the NuvaRing!!

I have used the pill, the shot and the patch. All methods had some positive and negative effects. It was easy to forget the pill, and the shot was a rather negative method for me, as it all but killed my sex drive. I have been on the patch for about two years, and it seems to be the most convenient, however you must not be too overweight (your doctor will tell you whether or not you can use it.) As a 40-year-old on this, I have noticed some minor leg cramping and some moderate headaches during mensus. Good luck with your choice.

I definately have to agree about the mood swings while on the shot. About two weeks before I would be due for my next shot I knew it by the change in my hormones. My sister was also on the shot and had the same symptons. As far as weight gain-I gained none, but my sister did. I was on it for about 5 years and all in all I really did love it-super convient with no worries about forgetting. I just want to add that the mood swings didnt turn either of us into raving lunatics or anything, just messed w/our hormone levels. Good luck!

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