45 answers

IUD Stories?

I am considering getting an IUD and am wondering what kind of experiences folks have had. I am debating between the 2 kinds but am nervous about side effects (esp. heavy bleeding and discharge with the copper one and migraines and weight gain with the mirena). When I look at side effect discussion boards there are a ton of horror stories so I thought here I might get a more realistic mix of good and bad experiences. Thanks so much!

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So What Happened?™

I ended up going with the copper IUD. I really didn't want to risk all the potential side effects of hormones with the Mirena (I have had headaches on the pill) and then be out $500 if I had to remove it. The first period was pretty intensely heavy and lasted a full 7 days, we're talking like change a tampon every hour heavy. The next few have not been as bad, though still a bit heavier the second and third day than before the IUD. But no real cramping so I am very happy. Incidentally I have found for the heavy days the best solution is the Diva Cup as it keeps me out of the bathroom for longer and has no tampon cost or waste. Thanks so much for all the stories and advice!

Featured Answers

I have had the Mirena for a year and a half now and have not have any negative side effects including no headaches or weight gain. It was recommended by my OB/GYN as the preferred choice and so far I am happy with it.

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I'm getting Mirena this week! I was intimidated by bad reviews but I have a feeling that only dissatisfied people write reviews. I've tolerated the Ring, pill and mini- pill just fine. My midwife had Mirena between babies and liked it. Her husband had tubes tied so she doesn't use anymore. I asked how many she's pulled because of discomfort and she said post-partum, very few. I also asked some local moms in my area (via a yahoo group) and got favorable responses.

I plan to pre medicate before insertion. I'm hoping it works out- I love the convenience and low hormone aspect. My insurance is covering it!

I hope to see some good responses to your post.

1 mom found this helpful

I got the copper one after my eight year old was born. (When i got it, the doctor said it was good for five years, but at four years, she said they had since extended it to ten years.) I had heavier periods and heavy (but certainly bearable) cramping for the first six months to a year (hard to remember now). After being on the pill-or pregnant-for so many years, it reminded me of how my periods were in high school. These days my periods last a full 7 days, but with only two heavy days. I hate how long they last, but other than that, for me it's been ten times better than any other method we've tried, and i would do it again.

I have had Mirena since November 2007. I've been generally happy with it. I had suffered with migraines on every hormonal birth control (pill, ring etc.) and while pregnant and breastfeeding (really bad ones with numbness, loss of vision, nausea and everything). I recently had my fist migraine since getting the Mirena and I think it was just from stress.

I have gained no weight since having the Mirena inserted. Actually I've lost a couple of pounds, but I don't think I can credit the IUD with that, I always loose weight in the Fall.

The greatest pro for me has been the VERY light periods. Since the initial bleeding stopped (like a slightly long period) I basically just spot for a day, sometimes two. No cramps, no back ache, nothing. It's great!

Hope this helps.


Hi G.,
I had a delcon shield before they were taken off the market and I had no problems at all. Many women in the 7o's had IUD's with no problems. It is an option you should consider for birth control, just ask your doctor about the IUD you are considering and know that not everyones experience was a bad one.

I think people always feel compelled to share horor stories. I had a Mirana put in last November and the only side effect I had was spotting for a couple of weeks following and light cramping. The insertion was no big deal, I was freaked out about it so I took some advil before I went. It was less painful than a bikini wax! From what I've heard most complications arise from the doctor not placing it correctly. If you have a great doctor, there isn't too much to worry about!

I would double check your insurance before you decide what to do. My insurance covered it 100%, but I had to pay out of pocket up front and be reimbursed. It was $600. This was in November and I just got a check last week. But I guess no one ever accused insurance companies of moving quickly on claims!

Good luck!!

Hi G.,
I have had 2 IUD's and loved them both each time. I have only used the Mirena. The only complaint that I have had is that I cramped pretty bad for about a week but after that I have not had any issues. I do not have abnormal bleeding, extra weight gain or headaches. I started having headaches at the end of my pregnancy and they have continued but they do not think that it is still related to the IUD. I love the IUD because I do not have to remember to take a pill around the same time everyday and we do not have to worry about having a condom, plus they are good for 5 years. They say that you should maually check the strings once a month but I never check mine and have no problems. My husband doesn't even feel it during intercourse (belive me he would tell me if he did). I recommend that IUD to everyone. Good Luck.

I got pregnant on one. However, that was 30 or so years ago, and maybe they are more effective these days.

I would second everything all the other Mirena uses have said. I have had mine since Feb. 2007 and have had no problems either. Only small amounts of spotting here and there and crampoing when it was placed. The benefit in my opinion is that it lasts for five years but if you change your mind you can easily have it removed to have another baby. It is the best birth control I have ever used.

Dear Gabriella L,
I had the mirena 5 year put in about a fews months after my second child was born. I had cramps for a few hours after words but I felt fine. The next day I had heavy bleeding and severe cramps and called my doctor and she said it was normal. The 10 day out I was doubled over in pain and took a warm bath to see if that would help it was around 6am. It felt like giving birth all over again and in the bath tub the iud came out. I called my doctor and I was the .001 percent that was allergic to the iud. I chose depo provera for 3 years and went to the pill soon after. I hope this helps. M.

Hi, I can tell you that I did not like the Mirena in the least bit. It made me EXTREMELY moody, depressed and about the only good thing was lighter period after a constant 6 month period. I had it for a year then had it removed and I'm glad I did. I know of about 5 other women who have had the same reaction I did, but also know of some women who just love it, so it sounds like one of those things that just have to be tried to see if it works for you. Good luck!!

I have had an IUD since my twenties. I am now 50. I have never had any problems with it. There was some cramping when the IUD was inserted, but they passed after a day or so. Since then, I have had absolutely no issues. I use a copper T.

I love that once it is in, I don't need to worry about birth control again until many years later when it needs to be replaced.

I love mine. It is by far the best birth control I have used and I have tried birth control pills, the sponge, a diaphram, and condoms and foam.

Good luck with your choice.

i got Mirena in mid Jan. I think... anyway I did have a lot of bleeding for the first 6 weeks or so and it just ended last week. Other than that it has been good, and I hear that periods only get lighter and lighter so I think it was worth the bloody few months

My best friend is on the Mirena and loves it with no side effects. I am also trying to decide on birth control (after baby ) and thought about using the IUD - but after these responses I am too scared to try it! I have been on the nuva ring for four years and may just go back to that - I loved it and had no side effects whatsoever. You may want to consider it too........

If I were you I would stay on the pill or something tried and true. Also, if you are married, why not have your husband get a vasectomy?

This is probably very rare, but I had a friend who actually got pregnant using the IUD! Just thought I'd pass along this info.....

My sister got an IUD (not sure which kind) and had terrible issue's with it. She started getting regular yeast infections. She gained a lot of weight and had some crazy mood swings!! When it came to her period-she stopped having them and spotted off and on. When she got it taken out she said she felt like a new person and started dropping weight. I really think it depends on the person as to how they react. If anything, just give it a try and if you start having problems-take it out! Good Luck!

Good Morning G. ~ I tried the Mirena IUD - and I absolutely loved it! From what I was told by my Dr., the hormone in it is topical and shouldn't be entering your blood stream. I had no weight gain, no mood swings, and no bleeding after the first month. I had it removed to have another baby and got pregnant right away. We are planning to have one more, but after that I will definately have another one put in. If you have ever been on the depo-provera shot, I believe it is the same hormone in the Mirena IUD - so if you had trouble with one, u might have trouble with the other. I had no problems with either one of those. Just some food for thought. Hopefully that will help you out some! Good Luck!

Hi - I have a Mirena IUD and have suffered no negative consequences. Well, the one thing I would change if I could (though many wouldn't!) is that I no longer menstruate, but that is because I got mine shortly after giving birth and before my cycle started up again.

I struggled with choosing a contraceptive method b/c I really wanted to stay away from altering hormones, but I spoke with my midwife about considering a copper IUD, and she told me her personal horror story of heavy bleeding. She also told me that in her opinion based on her experience of working with clients who tried more natural methods of contraception (and whose babies she subsequently delivered), hormonal contraceptives seem to be the only really reliable method apart from surgery. So, after consideration, I went with the Mirena and have had no problems!

Good luck with your decision!

I had the Mirena and had absolutely no side effects, other than a REALLY light period. I did bleed for about 6 weeks after having it put in, but once that period was over, it was smooth sailing!

Hi had the Paraguard Copper IUD for a year and a half and loved it. It really didn't hurt at all putting it in. I expected it to be much worse than it actually was. The only issue I had was during my first period after it was inserted. They insert it during a period and that was fine. Four weeks later on my next period I had unbearable cramping and stabbing pain. I went in the OB and they did an ultrasound. Everything looked normal. After about 3 or so days the discomfort passed and never came back. For the remaining year and a half it was awesome. You don't know it's there and you don't have to do anything to prevent pregnancy. When you are ready, it comes out easily, quickly and painlessly.

For anyone who cannot take hormones this is almost the only solution other than condoms and tying your tubes. I could not take the pill, the hormones were just horrible for me. So this was the best choice. And it turned out to be great. I did have a longer period on it than I would without. Normally on no birth control my periods were about 3 days. On the copper IUD they were about 6 or sometimes 7 days - which is actually more normal. But other than that no issues. When I had one, I kept recommending it to people wholeheartedly.

I just got Paragard (copper T) in October and I'm having a great experience with it. I experienced heavy bleeding and cramps for the first month, but it has gradually subsided for me in the last 4 months. The level and duration that my flow is at now is totally livable for me and my doctor assured me that it wouldn't get worse from this point. I'd say that my flow now lasts day longer and it's just a little heavier than my normal, non-IUD cycle. I do experience some cramping now (I never had cramping pre-IUD) but overall the cramps are fairly mild and easily alleviated by ibuprofen or a heating pad. I also have increased discharge between cycles, so wearing a panty liner some days is a must. For me, it's worth it to have a long-term birth control solution that doesn't involve hormones.

It's important to note that everyone has a different experience with these things and most times people who feel strongly one way or the other, are going to be the most vocal ones. Your doctor should have sound advice for you about weighing your birth control options.

I just had the Mirena put in on Friday this past week. My doctor told me this was a great form of birth control and other woman I know use this and they like it with no bad side effects so that's why I chose it. Having it put in wasn't bad at all. It was a little uncomfortable with some cramping at the time and the cramps lasted for about 3 days with some spotting but now I'm fine. I don't feel a thing. Go on their website and read about it (if you haven't already). Don't let all those horror stories freak you out. Of course the negative is always brought front and center because people are better at being negative than positive. Just remember, you can always have it taken back out if you don't like the way it works for you and then go on/use something else for birth control.

i just had Mirena removed It was causing me more cramps 2 weeks out of the month Turns out it did not extend correcting in my uterus This should not deter you you should try it if your insurance covers it I have hear good and bad things about it Since the iud was not working i cannot say whether or not weight gain had happened

I had the mirena for 2.5 yrs. It was painfull putting it in. I could feel it all the time, even had it checked to make sure it was in right. Only spotted for a couple of months and then only once in a while, which was great no period. I did gain about 20lbs and the acne and mood swings were horible. I have always had migraines but the did increase with the mirena. I couldn't take it anymore so I had it removed. My acne is gone as well as the mood swings, still working on the weight. I has lost all my baby weight and then some but gained it all back with mirena. Hope to loose it soon
This just wasn't right for me. Good luck

I had the Mirena IUC, and had a horrible experience! My problems included MIGRAINES (3-5 a week for the entire year I had the implant), weight gain, bad back pain, acne, etc.

I've had mine in since October and haven't had any problems at all. The only "issue" I had was some light spotting during the first two months after intercourse, but that has since gone away. I also had a little additional cramping when my period was starting during the first two months, but that also has gone away. I chose to go with the non-hormone IUD (the hormones make me crazy, literally).

I'm on round 2 of Mirena use. The first time I had the Mirena put in 2 1/2 years before deciding it was time to get pregnant. When I had it removed, I got pregnant within a month. The second time was about 2 mos after my baby was born (now 21 mos).

The first couple of months are rocky: bleeding almost non-stop, finally tapering off by month 3. The first time implantation was difficult and painful b/c I had some cervical scar tissue. The second implantation was a snap.

In both cases, for the first few months I felt like my body was unpredictable and without the familiarity of my monthly cycle, I was constantly a little anxious. It felt a little like when my periods first started--always wondering, "Am I going to be bleeding now?"

But it is really worth it. Over the years (my husband and I have been together for 17 yrs), we tried pretty much every BC (condoms, diaphragm, many BC pill types, Spermacide foam, Spermacide Gel) and this has the fewest downsides. Most methods were effective, but messy. We had 1 accidental pregnancy (diaphragm/miscarriage).

The Mirena IUD is great in comparison: no remembering, extra low hormones, reduced periods (spotting lasting maybe 3 days), no cramps, no water retention, and no sticky, messy, stinging, stopping to put it in, on, or reduced sensation (although the string can be felt by him if not trimmed enough). But there is a little weight gain maybe 5 lbs, if you aren't really vigilant. And the first few months are weird. You might have irregular periods leading to a little "am I pregnant?" anxiety during the first year. I take a pregnancy test when I worry.

Stay with it at least until 3-4 mos. It may be the best BC you'll ever try.

I have had the Mirena for a year and a half now and have not have any negative side effects including no headaches or weight gain. It was recommended by my OB/GYN as the preferred choice and so far I am happy with it.

I had Mirena for about 9 months before I finally had it removed. It was a little painful putting it in and taking it out (like a contraction), and I had cramps for a few days after having it inserted. However, I'm 33 years old, and I developed worse acne than I had as a teen. It was so bad. I also suffer from depression and take medication for it, and I acutally had to increase the dosage (with my dr.) in order to balance myself out. It caused my depression to worsen a great deal. I also (and this may just be coincidence) had been losing weight regularly, and after having Mirena put in, I could not lose weight no matter what I did. Anyways, I went back to the pill, and since (it's been about 3 months since I had it removed) my acne is almost entirely gone, my depression is much better, and I have begun to lose weight again.

I had the same dilemma. The deciding factor for me was that Mirena has hormones. If you were prone to achne when you were younger, these hormones can flare that back up. I didn't want to deal with adolecent type achne ever again, and went with the copper IUD. Had minor cramping for the first few days, that went away. Do get a discharge from time to time, but besides that, it has been terrific! Have had it almost 2 years, without issue. Best of all, no achne! :)

Hi G.,
I am on my second Mirena IUD. I got the first one 2 months after my son was born. It was a little painful to have it put in, but I never had any problems with it at all. I had it removed less than 2 yrs later because we decided to have a second baby. My period was really regular right away after having it removed. It took me about 8 cycles to get pregnant. I just had my daughter in Oct and got Mirena again in December and am having no problems with it at all. I really like it.

Hi G.
I have Mirena right now and am loving it. I had it inserted in May 2008 as I was on NuvaRing and it was bringing about huge hormonal effects to my life and weight gain was non-existant, as I was trying to lose weight and it just wassn't happening. If you have had a child and are going to be comfortable for the next 5 yrs in not having another child, then get Mirena or the other IUD that is 10yrs in length. My blood flow has actually decreased quite a bit since Mirena has been put in and I don't even notice it. If you were having problems with other forms of birth control, then you might want to try this. I was having problems with the patch and NuvaRing. I can't do the pill everyday. I don't always remember to take my multi-vitamin and potassium pill, so how do you think it would be if I were on the pill; missed days and a potential for getting pregnant again.
I haven't had mine tied, but others might have. I hope this helps.



In the last two and a half years, I had two daughters. My husband and I do not want any more children, and during my last C-section, I had the Mirena IUD implanted. Since this procedure 8 months ago, I have experienced minimal side effects. Prior to the Mirena, I experienced painful cramps during my monthly cycle and that has diminished significantly. In fact, the cramps are so light now, and only occur for about an hour or two, I have often mistaken them for gas. My periods last about two days and they are very light. For me, the Mirena has been fine. I can not respond about the weight gain because I just had an 11.2 lbs baby and gained 65 pounds during my pregnancy. However despite this, I have managed to lose nearly 60 pounds. If no more children are in your future, I would recommend the Mirena. Hope this helps.
- T.

I had a Mirena IUD at my 8 wk appt after my second child was born. When I went in for a 4 wk check-up, my doctor couldn't find the strings. They couldn't find it after several ultrasounds, but confirmed it was still in my body with an x-ray. My doctor performed a D&C to remove it, but couldn't find it. A CT scan finally showed the IUD had perforated my uterus and was embedded in my upper bowel. A orthoscopic surgery was finally performed to remove the IUD, and tie my tubes. I never had any pain from the IUD or hormonal side effects. I have friends that love their Mirena, and I understand my experience is not common. I have had no issues with having my tubes tied. Yes it is permanent, but carefree and no side effects. I tell people about my experience not because I want to scare them but because you should make an informed decision knowing what could happen.

I have had both. the copper one made my cramps and bleeding a little worse - but my periods were shorter than when I was on the Pill. I was also able to lose weight quicker. I did get a slight allergy to cheap jewelry.
I used the hormone one after my son was born - it was great to not get a period anymore! BUT - I did get the PMS moods and zits and random spotting - very slight. I ended up taking it out because it made me feel very blue all the time and I developed headaches after about 8 months. BUT - I got the same problems with the Pill, so I should have known better and just used the copper IUD again. I did have an ectopic pregnancy after I had the copper IUD removed - however - it runs in my family and I got pregnanat with my son right away after recovering and I've had scans that show there is no scar tissue, etc. from the IUD.
I would say go for the copper one if you've had any issues with the Pill before. I never noticed a discharge with either one.

I had my first IUD (mirena) implanted about a month ago. Soon after, I didn't have the "spotting", but a normal period for about three weeks. It wasn't heavy...it was just inconvenient. I also experienced some cramping, but I have had horrible side effects with pill birth controls ever since I had my daughter (who now almost 3). Now I feel fine and am anticipating a normal cycle and, eventually, no period at all. So, my experience has been better than that with pills, but I know every woman's body reacts to these things differently. I can say that the slow dose of hormones going directly to the uterus seems to be more stablizing (mentally and emotionally speaking:)
Hope this helps and good luck!

Hi Gabriella,
I have had the Mirena since August of 2007. I went with the Mirena because I have had problems with other birth control, so my doctor recommended it. I had heavy bleeding the first month and light for the 2 cycles following, since then I have not had any bleeding. The only thing that I have noticed is that even though I don't have a period, I get bloated, irritable and crave sweats terribly once a month for about 7-8 days. It seems to get progressively worse the longer I have it in. I havn't had migrains, but I do get mild annoying headaches quite often. I don't want anything permanent,but dont want another baby "right now" so this is my best option. Hope this helps

I had the Mirena put in about a month and a half ago and have to say that I love it. I had some bad cramps after they put it in, but they only lasted a few hours and then nothing. I am still bleeding here and there, but not that bad. My doctor told me that it could go on for about three months and after that my periods could either go away or be very light. My husband can not even tell that it is there either which is good. If you have any other questions, please let me know =)

I don't want to scare you, but let you know that the side effects they mention are very real and you should be aware. I had mine put in 2 months after my son was born and it tore through my uterus and implanted in my pelvis. I had to have it surgically removed. This is very different from my sister-in-law's experiece-she had it implanted and loves it, no problems. I now get the Depo shot-I refuse to go through the pain I went though again. Before doctors realized where it was in my body, they tried to fish around and remove it vaginally. It was very painful. I don't want to scare you, but just tell you that what they say can happen actually does happen sometimes.
Best of luck to you!

I have the Mirena IUD and have never had any problems with it. I feel like I am a little heavier than normal, but nothing too serious or unmanageable, and I REALLY like having the shorter periods. I do get the occasional migraine, or bad headache, but I am still able to be active with my two little ones, so it's not terrible horrible.

the good thing about the IUD is that it can be taken out should you have the side effects, so I say give it a try and see.


I hate the mirena. I had such horrible acne on the mirena. My body did not respond well to it. I had some pretty painful cramps every once in a while which I never had with out one and I haven't had any since being on the copper T ( had the copper T for a month so far). I had horrible bleeding the first week, but after that things have been pretty normal. I am expecting a heavier then normal bleeding monthly but nothing crazy like the first week after having it inserted. All I can say is that i had NON STOP disfiguring acne around my mouth and chin and cheeks that I HAD to have it removed. After only 2 weeks of having the copper T my face is clearing up. It has a few more weeks of healing to do but far better already.

saddly enough my copper T came out the other day. I had it fully removed and am on birth control pills. Perhaps I'll stay on that for now. Until I have a baby. I don't want to risk preforation of the uterus just yet.
Good luck. - Go with the Copper T. Paragard.

HI G.,

I have had quite the opposite result from my Mirena as everyone else. I had the Mirena "installed" at my 8 week appointment after my daughter was born and I felt homefree not worrying about getting pregnant, in this regard its been wonderful. However, my girlfriend and I both got it around the same time. She has recently gained 4lbs since not having her menstrual cycle and I was losing my baby weight but since my cycle stopped I am gaining as well. I know how to diet as I've done weight loss competitions and came out a winner but this time I entered the competition and I haven't seen any weight loss yet. I usually lose about 2lbs a week with my diet but I didn't lose not even a pound. I think my diet was just working against the weight gain. I gave up dieting and since have gained 4lbs myself. It was too hard for me to eat clean and when I say clean you I mean plain only chicken and veggies with whole wheat pasta or brown rice and egg whites..THATS the diet and I lost NOTHING! I am contemplating having it removed but I am afraid of the risk of getting pregnant with anything else. Just thought I'd provide the other side of the coin for you here.

I read below and someone mentioned its the same hormones as Depo Privera and I did gain 12 pounds on that when I was younger.

I am in great shape and you can't tell I had a baby if you didn't know me but I can gain weight easily.

I hope this helps you?!

I have had the Mirena twice and am VERY happy with it. The first time around I had it removed after 2 yrs because my husband and I were ready to have a baby. I did occasionally have some side effects like feeling like I was pregnant (some nausea and sore breasts), but the convenience of it far outweighed the side effects. As for weight gain, you'll find that's the same for the pill or the Depo shot so if you've been on either of those then you will know how you'll react with the weight gain. I didn't find it to be more than a couple lbs. One of the greatest things though is that my period went from a full 5 days down to 2 days. This time was not quite as easy. I had back cramps off and on for the 1st month. Also I do have spotting which was never an issue before. I am finding that weight gain is not an issue this time around as I have just lost 25lbs. All in all, I am really glad I have it. I don't have to worry about taking something everyday and my periods are lighter. Good luck with your decision making!

I have had my copper one over two years now and love it. I did not want any more hormones in my body. I always recommend the copper one to people who inquire.

Hi G.,

I've had the Mirena for about 2.5 years and for the most part it's been wonderful! I did experience some weight gain and mood shifts for a while, but I can't say I've noticed anything significant for the last year or so in that regard. Also, I pretty much stopped getting my period. I have been experiencing spotting after sex so my doctor sent me to have several ultrasound exams to be sure that it was nothing serious. Tests came back fine so we're assuming that it has something to do with the IUD and not having a regular cycle anymore. That all being said, I'm super happy to have the IUD and the freedom that comes with it!

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