The IUD Debate: Experienced Providers Weigh In


With Slate.com declaring IUDs the best form of birth control, and the writers at RH Reality Check weighing in on their experiences with IUD insertion, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about IUDS as a birth control method. There seem to be conflicting messages being given out there – with some publications touting them as the saving grace of birth control even as many providers are calling them unsafe or refusing to insert them in women who haven’t yet had children. How do you know who’s right, and why are so many people telling you different things? Our providers at Planned Parenthood of New York City, who are experienced in providing IUDs, weigh in. 

The History

As many of you may now know, the original design of IUDs was, less than perfect. The devices, among other things, had strings that would act like a wick – pulling any infection a woman contracted up into her uterus. This had possible detrimental effects, one of which was infertility. For years, doctors would refuse to insert the device in women who hadn’t had children, considering the risk of infertility too great. 

However, the design of IUDs started changing about 10-15 years ago, giving it a non-absorbent string and refining the device to make it safe and keep it effective. While there are hundreds of different kinds out there (interestingly China has actually been at the forefront of the development of the device), the two main types are the ParaGard (contains copper but no hormones) and the Mirena (does not contain copper and releases the hormone Progesterone locally into the uterus).

What are the facts?

About five or so years ago, a series of studies were done on the new kinds of IUDs, to determine how great their risks were and what side effects women might experience. What did they find?

First of all, yes, it’s true if you contract Chlamydia or Gonorrhea and let it go untreated, it can cause scarring that will affect your ability to have children in the future. But, that risk is the same whether or not you have an IUD.  A large body of research has found that having an IUD in this day and age has no impact on whether or not an STD will cause infertility. What determines your risk of infertility is whether or not you let an infection such as Chlamydia or Gonorrhea go untreated. An IUD does not change that.

The most up-to-date evidence on IUDs: you are slightly more susceptible to contracting an infection for about three weeks after an IUD insertion – although after those three weeks your increased susceptibility goes away. There is always the minimal risk that the uterus will become perforated during insertion In most cases, a perforation will heal on its own , and your provider may give you antibiotic treatment. ParaGard, the type of IUD that does not contain hormones, will make you have heavier periods so might not be best for some women. There are other, uncommon, side effects as well – of your body rejecting the device and trying to expel the device, of not being able to locate the strings from the device, etc. Plus, IUDs don’t protect against STDs, so it’s important you still use a condom or other barrier method while you’re sexually active. But, the old beliefs about infertility or increased risks of Chlamydia or Gonorrhea are, according to the latest research, unfounded. 

So why won’t my doctor insert one?

Obviously, PPNYC can’t speak for other providers or to their reasons. It’s always possible that there are individual factors that have gone into their decision – depending on your health, circumstance, lifestyle and history. But if your provider has a blanket policy about not considering IUDs for women who haven’t yet become pregnant, there are a couple of reasons why:

  1. S/he might still be reading old research.. It’s possible that your doctor simply isn’t familiar with the latest research or is following older clinical protocols.
  2. S/he might think it’ll be too difficult. It’s also possible that your provider is under the impression that an IUD isn’t possible to insert into a woman who hasn’t had children because their cervix and uterus hasn’t yet had to expand for childbirth. This also doesn’t mean you can’t insert an IUD into a woman who hasn’t had children, it just means it might be a little more difficult. Plus, it’s different for every woman — our providers have sometimes had an easier time inserting a device into a woman who’s never had children than one who’s had four children.
  3. They might be worried about STDs. Since IUDs don’t protect against STDs, some providers might be hesitant to give them to women who aren’t married or in serious, long-term monogamous relationships. It goes without saying that while you should always be safe and protect yourself against STDs, this isn’t a reason for a provider to refuse an insertion.

So what should I do?

Of course, only you and a trusted provider can make the decision if an IUD is right for you. But from what we’ve heard when it comes to IUDs, it sounds like some people are having trouble finding a provider they trust. Ask your friends who have one who they’d recommend, or you can always go to your local Planned Parenthood health center –we’re a national, IUD-friendly provider (go to www.plannedparenthood.org to find the health center closest to you). But if it sounds interesting to you, we’d recommend looking into it. IUDs are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy – making them one of the most effective non-permanent forms of birth control around. They’re a method it’s hard to screw up – you can’t forget to take it or not use it. Don’t you think you deserve an honest assessment about whether or not an IUD would be right for you?

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To schedule an interview with Erica Sackin please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • invalid-0

    Why does a non-hormonal IUD cause heavier periods?

  • heather-corinna

    Leila: the better question (since I don’t think we really have a solid answer per that why, but if anyone else does, I’d love to see it solidified!)  might be why the Mirena causes lighter periods.  The localized hormone was added to it primarily to prevent that typical side effect — heavier, crampier and/or longer periods — many women using the copper-T experience. 

     

    But, for plenty of women using the copper-T (Paraguard), that side effect also isn’t a constant, but only happens in the first few weeks or months.  Too, some women still have that effect even with the Mirena.

  • invalid-0

    Thanks Leila and thanks Heather. By placing the IUD inside the uterus, the uterus views this as a foreign object and cramps to try to get it out. This is true for both IUD types, but the Mirena, which has hormones, acts locally on the uterus to prevent this cramping. The ParaGard doesn’t have these hormones, so it tends to make periods heavier and crampier.

  • heather-corinna

    Thanks for this update, full-stop!  I’ve been updating out IUD info at Scarleteen lately, so this was really helpful. :)

  • invalid-0

    Another point about Mirena–as a user with 2 pregnancies–is that not only may it lead to lighter periods, it may cease periods altogether. My provider informed me of this possibility and sure enough, this is what has happened to me. I made sure I wasn’t pregnant when my period did not come and honestly, have no complaints about not having a period.

  • invalid-0

    Heather – we love Scarleteen! Thanks for all you do!!

  • progo35

    As I’ve said before, I am pro contraception for the people who want to use it. But, whenever I’ve discussed birth control with someone, I’ve always strongly advised against the use of an IUD. My mom used one after she had my brother and her dreams of bearing more children were shattered when the IUD caused permanent damage to her reproductive system. She almost died from several operations that attempted to reverse the damage, to no avail. This was in the 1970s, and the company responsible for producing the IUD sold it even though they knew that there was something wrong with it. I realize that that isn’t usually the case, but with all the other birth control methods available to women in this day and age, I wouldn’t risk it. This isn’t "fear mongering," it’s my opinion based on my Mom’s heartbreaking experience.  "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    • http://www.vaginapagina.com invalid-0

      … with all the other birth control methods available…

      I’ve tried every other method that I know of (and I know I’m not the only person with a similar story). The results I’ve had with them include substantial allergic reaction, a hemoglobin level of 7.3, and unintended pregnancy. I certainly understand that an IUD isn’t an appropriate or an appealing method for everyone, but for some of us, it’s nothing short of a lifesaver.

  • invalid-0

    Your mother’s issues occurred over 30 years ago and with a device that is no longer available.

  • progo35

    With all due respect, anon, that doesn’t make them irrelevant, and your post seems kind of cold in response to a story of a woman whose heart was broken when she couldn’t conceive any more children and almost died going through operations to reverse the damage. My point is that an IUD involves placing a foreign object into the uterus that has a higher rate of fertility-related complications than other birth control methods, so while you should certainly be free to choose an IUD, why not choose some other form of birth control?

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    • invalid-0

      The anecdotal evidence of your mother’s experience is completely irrelevant and that was my point.
      I certainly wasn’t soliciting advice about contraceptives from you.

  • http://www.mirena-side-effects.com invalid-0

    Mirena causes thousands of women side effects I have read too many side effects,I also had bad side effects caused by Mirena and started a help site for women to leave their Mirena stories so it may help other women,feel free to have a look….
    Warning some GRAPHIC photos and Video.

    http://www.mirena-side-effects.com

    • http://www.vaginapagina.com invalid-0

      While I don’t disagree that Mirena is capable of producing negative side effects — can you name a type of contraception that doesn’t cause bad side effects for a subset of its users?

    • http://thewelltimedperiod.blogspot.com invalid-0

      There’s a difference between what one thinks are side effects caused by Mirena and actual Mirena side effects.

  • invalid-0

    Progo, you have a terrible habit of projecting your experiences onto others. The issues with IUDs have been solved, and the likelyhood of what happened to your mother, as tragic as that was, happening to someone using an IUD today are so low as to be barely worth considering. As for why not choose something else? Lemme see….virtually no maintenance unlike almost everything else on the market, easily reversible with no wait for fertility to resume, and you don’t have to mess with your horomones if you don’t want to. Sounds like everything I want in a contraceptive.

    • progo35

      And you are free to use it. All I am saying is that I would not use an IUD, nor would I advise someone else to do so.  Moreover, if there were no risk, doctors wouldn’t be divided on the issue of whether it is okay to provide them for women who are still planning to have children. I don’t see how that relates to projecting my experiences unto others, as I’m just sharing my perspective, and people who read it can do with it what they want.

       

      "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    After having three children in 39 months, one conceived a year after my husband’s “successful” vasectomy; I had the Miena put in. I love not having to worry about taking a pill every day or changing a ring. I have experienced some acne and light spotting in the year I have had it, but the fact that I do not have to think about it and if I really wanted I can have it removed at any time, make the IUD the right choice for me! Women need options and the right to know what is available to them! Keeping women in the dark and giving out dated info is not being an advocate Miss “Well Behaved Women…”

  • invalid-0

    Regarding the point about the use of IUDs in non-parous women, at least one manufacturer’s prescribing information specifically states that the IUD is recommended for parous women only. If a doctor inserts one against the manufacturer’s guidelines (which are approved by the FDA and can only be modified after submission of documentation that the modification is accurate), s/he runs a huge risk of being sued should something go wrong (more so than s/he otherwise would). As an example:

    http://www.mirena-us.com/mirena_right/index.jsp

    Paragard doesn’t include this in their PI (and in fact, they do recommend theirs for non-parous women).

    I wonder why the disparity? The composition and functional basis, perhaps? Mirena has hormones, but the Paragard doesn’t. I can’t imagine that alone being the reason.

    • http://thewelltimedperiod.blogspot.com invalid-0

      Is a legal document, not a medical one.

      Since nulliparity is not a medical contraindication for IUD insertion, I suspect the discrepancy you mentioned has to do with the fact that the two manufacturers have legal departments with different philosophies.

  • invalid-0

    Mirena also has the well-known disadvantages of causing weight gain and leaving the woman unable to conceive, often up to a year after having it removed…

    • http://thewelltimedperiod.blogspot.com invalid-0

      Excludes the medical literature, you need to support your assertion with some linky links.

  • invalid-0

    I had a Mirena IUD after the birth of my second son and I loved it….until I got pregnant! My only problem with the use of an IUD is no one explains to you what the outcome can be if you do concieve! I would have choosen another form of birth control had I known how stressful the removal of the device was once I had become pregnant!

    • think4urself

      I got my Mirena IUD in June. My doctor fully explained what could happen if I were to get pregnant or if I was pregnant at the time it was inserted. While the insertion was painful for me (I have horrible cramping with periods and experienced the same with insertion and the day after) but since then have had very little cramping or bleeding. I might have had 5 occasions of spotting since insertion and they stopped as quickly and as painlessly as they started. I had 1 period following insertion and none since the first month. Considering how heavy and painful my periods have been since I began having them at 12 years old (I’m now 33) I am greatly relieved not to have to deal with those problems on a monthly basis! I would recommend it to anyone that is seeking advice on birth control.

       

      ~Never let others do your thinking for you~

  • invalid-0

    Mirena doesn’t cause heavier periods because the hormone is a progestin.

    Progestins are naturally produced after ovulation. Without a constant stream of them you have a period and then estrogen takes over and replenishes the uterine lining in preparation for ovulation in the next cycle. If you have Mirena introducing more progestins, there isn’t enough estrogen to significantly increase uterine lining, so you don’t shed as much during your period. Therefore you have a lighter one rather than a heavier one.

  • invalid-0

    The ParaGard is a good alternative for women who can’t tolerate hormonal birth control, like me. I’m also allergic to latex and would really rather not mess with condoms, latex or not, – I’m in a monogamous, married relationship. I had some discomfort the day of insertion, but have had no change in my periods, and I’ve had the IUD for 7 years. My only concern about the IUD was that I would be unable to have MRIs (I have a connective tissue disorder) but my fears were unfounded. I have had 5 MRIs in the last few years, with no problems at all.

    Thanks for putting this info together. I’ll certainly pass it along.

  • invalid-0

    Thanks so much for this — I’m considering asking for ParaGard at my next appointment after 12 years of hormones (via the Pill). Just wondering (I’ve seen conflicting info on this): is there an age after which this is not a good idea? I’m 34 and if we have kids it’ll probably be in 2-3 years. Would you say it’s worth it/a good or bad idea for that period of time? Thanks for any insight you can offer (and for the service you provide with this site)!

  • invalid-0

    I also chose to use an IUD as I have yet to find a good BCP that doesnt make me ill (with the exception of the minipill but it is not as effective)

    My experience with it so far has been less than satisfactory. I got a copper IUD and although the insertion was not as painful as i expected I kept bleeding (not spotting, full on bleeding) for the entire month with a few days break after the insertion.

    I was told at PP where i got it that it was normal and to stick it out.

    I also got a Yeast infection AND a UTI, twice! since the insertion 6 weeks ago. Again PP tells me it is not related to the IUD.

    On top of that I’ve gotten severe headaches, lightheadness,nausea, no actual period for 6 weeks (not pregnant as the bleeding didnt allow for any sex) and sharp pain in my lower stomach when exercising. Ive gone 4 times to make sure it is not dislodge or infected and I always get the “its ok, just takes time” response.

    I did some reasearch and looks like a lot of the issues im having have to do with the copper in the IUD. My body is not handling the extra copper causing copper toxicity, causing the yeast infections, the headaches and irregular bleeding.

    Im taking this thing out as soon as I can and hopefully Ill be able to figure something else.

    If you want to try it out, be aware of the side effects!

  • http://www.ppnyc.org invalid-0

    Hi everyone,

    In regards to the questions about the Mirena IUD:

    1)Every woman’s experience with birth control is different, but the main side effect of the Mirena is irregular bleeding. As for any other potential side effects, you should speak with your health care provider to weigh the risks and benefits and see if this is the right method for you.

    2)Yes, Mirena’s informational website states that Mirena is recommended for women who’ve had at least one child. Their reasoning is that “most of the medical research conducted on Mirena for FDA approval was among women who had at least one child.” The manufacturer is always going to be more stringent with their labeling especially when obtaining FDA approval but the medical community usually follows a safe course of action based on the most recent evidence, which explains the “off label” use of prescribing the Mirena for women who’ve had no children.

    3)While it is true that the hormone progesterone may increase appetite and therefore cause weight gain if a woman begins to eat more, the Mirena only emits Progesterone locally on the reproductive system and should not result in an increase appetite.

    4)Having an IUD does not increase your risk of contracting an STD. However, IUDs also do not prevent STD transmission – because of this you should also always use a barrier method of protection to make sure you’re safe.

    Of course no birth control method is perfect for anyone, and you should always discuss options with your health care provider to make the decision about what’s best for your body, health and situation. Our intention with sharing this information is not to convince anyone that an IUD would be best for them, however we do want to make sure that women have all the accurate and up-to-date information so they can make informed decisions and take advantage of all possible birth control options.

  • progo35

    Honestly, anon, I’m not sure what your reason is for being relatively hostile, ie, the "i wasn’t soliciting advice about contraception for you" comment. Um, duh. It’s not like I said that no one should ever use an IUD ever again, I just responded to this discussion by sharing my concerns about IUDs. So, cool off! :D

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    My mother’s a doctor, and she confirms for me that the prescribing information they get form the mfg states that it is not recommended for women who’ve not had one birth. That is a medical document, actually, not a legal one.

  • progo35

    Also, the more I think about it, the more placing a foreign metal object into my uterus creeps me out. No, thank you!

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    My comments on the other IUD article, but I have Paragard, and I LOVE it. I had to go through some static with my local family planning (not planned parenthood, a state clinic) clinic about not having kids, and being (at the time) unmarried, but it was well worth it. I have had slightly heavier periods, but nothing terrible. Just an anecdote, but I am glad I researched the option myself, because I definitely would have been dissuaded by the clinic staff. But my ob/gyn was awesome, and after 2 years, I couldn’t be happier with it.

  • http://thewelltimedperiod.blogspot.com invalid-0

    In case I wasn’t clear, here’s a restatement of my point from Contraindications to IUD and IUS use:

    Given that product labeling often reflects the requirements of regulatory agencies or the concerns of the legal departments within the pharmaceutical companies rather than scientific evidence, practitioners turn to practice guidelines to provide them with more current information not available on product labeling.

  • invalid-0

    I had a copper IUD put in by PPH about 4 months after the birth of my daughter and it expelled almost exactly 2 months later, the night before I was going in for my 2 month check actually. I waited about a year and decided to have another one put in by my new OBGYN. They seemed convinced that the first one just hadn’t been put in right- don’t get me wrong, I love PPH.

    I’ve had my second one in for about 2 years now. I decided on having the copper one put in, in spite of the warnings of heavier periods and cramping. My periods since have certainly been heavier and much more painful. Something close to labor pains actually. My periods are almost an entire week long and VERY heavy. Sometimes I wonder if my body is trying to expel this one as well. The thought crosses my mind that maybe something is wrong with it. Like maybe it’s perforated my uterus. But that’s all probably paranoia. Overall I’m very happy with it. It’s that extra assurance that if a condom breaks or if willpower fails that I have some back up. I recommend it to all of my girlfriends.

    I’ve heard that it’s long been a preferred method of birth control in areas of Europe not only because it’s effective but because it’s cost efficient. Something you would see promoted in a country with nationalized health care, right? In America it seems to be some big secret and I’m convinced that’s just because pharmaceutical companies would rather promote to doctors a method of BC that keeps you coming back monthly giving them money.

  • http://www.shannondrury.blogspot.com invalid-0

    Every body reacts to every contraceptive differently. I hated hormonal birth control and LOVED my Paragard. Since I fit the preferred patient profile (monogamous, one previous childbirth), I had no trouble securing one from the Fairview Riverside Women’s Clinic here in Minneapolis. Unlike some commenters, my periods changed from intense but short, to easy but long. Eight months after I had the Paragard taken out, I became pregnant with my second child. The IUD is a great contraceptive option for disgruntled Pill-poppers–I highly recommend it.

  • invalid-0

    Also, the more I think about it, the more placing a foreign metal object into my uterus creeps me out. No, thank you!

    I hope you never need to replace a heart valve.

  • invalid-0

    That’s unfortunate, but at least you were able to figure out the problem! I’ve read about that happening in a low percentage of women with copper allergies. It’s probably a good idea to go to an allergist beforehand if you have reason to suspect you might be.

    Also, weirdly enough, there was totally a House episode about that…not quite the same situation. I believe the character was a nun who’d forgotten she’d had the old form of an IUD inserted as a teenager, and kept having all these reactions they discovered later was a severe copper allergy.

  • invalid-0

    Just had mine inserted this past Monday. It was an unpleasant process, probably made worse by the fact you know a little bit of pain is coming your way and are tensed for it. Still, it was over quickly and my ob/gyn was very efficient and calming.

    I was previously on the birth control patch last year and experienced a severe blood clot in my leg, pieces of which traveled to my lungs and hospitalized me for the beginning of November. As a young, fairly active woman just turned twenty-six the month before, that was pretty shocking.

    Given the amount of clot caused by the patch (my doctors theorized the patch was the catalyst, and I still have to get some blood tests to determine genetic factors for clotting that I may carry – but I don’t smoke, I get regular exercise, and there’s no family history of clotting disorders) my doctor didn’t recommend any other form of birth control other than the IUD.

    Naturally, there are condoms, but if I have to go back on Coumadin (a blood thinner) and a condom breaks? That’s bad news, even for someone in a committed monogamous we’ll-probably-be-engaged-by-next-year relationship. So I and my ob/gyn agreed that I needed a reliable backup.

    There are just extra steps involved – they can give you a prescription for a drug that will dilate your cervix, you take that eight hours prior to the procedure done on your period, and then they get all up in your junk with the metal doohicky, which does *not* feel good.

    But it’s like ripping off a band aid. Or jumping into the ocean – you know it’s gonna suck for a minute, but then you’re totally relieved that you did it.

    I’m just crossing my fingers it doesn’t make my period that much worse. It’s already pretty heavy and crampy as it is…

  • invalid-0

    My OB/GYN made the insertion of my Mirena nearly pain-free with the use of prostaglandins to soften the cervix. I took the pills when I checked in for my appointment a half hour early, and it worked. I only felt a pinch. Have other providers tried this option that anyone knows of?

  • invalid-0

    I’ve had a Paragard for a little over a year and it was an excellent choice for me and my husband, after 10 years on the pill (I have never been pregnant, and have no plans for children). My GYN in NYC had no hesitation about the insertion – he wanted to give me Mirena, but I wanted to get rid of the hormones. I’ve battled some acne and intense cramping, but the slightly heavier periods don’t bother me. My sex drive increased as well – I had no idea the hormones were suppressing it.

    A great resource is the Livejournal community called IUD_divas. My general impression from following this community is that everyone’s reaction is different, but on the whole people are happy with their IUDs.

  • synrge

    in july of 08 i had the paragard put in because of multiple reasons. 1 i have a family history of heart diease 2 hormones make me sick and give me really horrid migraines 3 i didnt want children for at least two -5 years if ever again. so it made paragard the perfect choice for me!!

    upon insertion i was amazed at how quickly it was done and all the things iread about being dizzy ect didnt happen so i was thrilled!!

    however i ended up with multiple infections, on an almost monthly basis, horroble pain and awful bleeding( for up yo 14 days). to make matters worse, my normal dishcarge changed from clear and rarely happening to all the time and pastey and sticky and smelled like metal. (ruined my sex life ) i also had migraines so bad that i was hospitalized. everytime i went to the dr they said it was normal and would eventually subside. so i just kept on dealing with it.

    the line in the sand was when i had my regular period and then 3 days later i started to bleed like a stuck pig. this continued for about 10 days and then i started cramping. at first i just rotated tylenol and advil thinking this would stop. i woke up on morning and the pain was so bad i was close to vomiting. upon my visit to the dr they said they no longer could see the strings (she look 3 times that day) she told me she would have to check for it via ultrasound to make sure it was still in.(she ordered this stat) she also stated that it could have expelled or was trying to expell and thats what all the pain and blood was about.  she sent me home with a script for vicodin and an ultrasound and a monady am appt.

    at the ultra sound they found it was still in place (big releif that it wasnst floating around inside my randomly)!!

    at my next appt they still could not see the string and made me an appt to see another dr to remove it.

    i spent the next 10 days popping vicodin to function.

    at the dr visit they still could not see the string but after lots of pain and deep breathing they removed th iud. the srings had moved completely in to my uterus!!

    i am so glad they finally got it out. i have not had to take anymore vicodin since the removal.( although i was sore for a couple of days after)

    i definately reccommend the paragard to everyone its a great bc method.

    just be sure you read up on it and be ready for what comes.

     

  • cardigansrule

    I had found out that I was allergic to nickel and possibly many other metals around February 2008. The allergy all of a sudden hit me and ever since then I have been a nickel mess.
    I wanted to be responsible and take the best contraceptive which I thought was an IUD. I was only 19 at the time, and I had heard that IUD’s are not especially for women who have not had children so I was a bit weary, but I wanted the most effective tool.
    I asked two doctors in my town who volunteered at Planned Parenthood (the location of the implant) if I could even get the copper IUD because it might contain nickel. And they assured me that it didn’t and one even said that they looked it up before my appointment and said it was 100% nickel free. Both doctors told me that only women who have Wilson’s disease cannot get an IUD, and they assured me that I did not have this disease. I got it done the morning of July 2nd 2008. It hurt so much!!! There was a nurse who even held my hand when the doctor put it in. Horrible. And I had to walk down the street to where my friend was (horrible walk). My cramps were still going high-strong after at least six hours of the placement.
    The whole day I lay in bed. I felt sick and vomited later that night. I ended up not going to work the next day and began vomiting bile. I was by myself, and wanted to run a bath but on my way walking to the bathroom I passed out, for who knows long. I was dizzy, delirious, and puke central. I couldn’t communicate to my friends when they asked me questions that afternoon. They luckily called the doctor who gave the IUD, but he didn’t answer the phone. They waited a few hours and by 6pm they finally ended up taking me to the ER.
    The ER doctor, who was one of the Planned Parenthood volunteer doctors demanded that I tell her what was wrong with me (this is what my friends in the ER told me, since I was delirious) but since I was so out of it I couldn’t answer let along comprehend her, she said "FINE, I won’t help you until communicate with me", and she began to walk out of the ER. My friends were shocked! They told her "She’s sick! It’s the IUD, you need to get it out!" And the doctor told them it was none of their business and told them to leave and said it was impossible that the IUD was making me so sick since I did not have Wilson’s disease.
    Finally the doctor took my blood, and injected some medicine into me, three injections. Finally after the third injection I could talk and understand what was going on.
    My doctor came back and declared my red blood cell count was sky rocketed and that it was defending itself from the IUD, which my body rejected. She took it out right after she told me and said it was essential that she take it out.
    I felt 100% BETTER WHEN SHE TOOK IT OUT! I FELT LIKE I WAS BRAND SPANKING NEW! –Except for some cramping. And like that, I was let free to go, after spending almost 5 hours in the ER.
    I never recieved a follow up for which I asked for…
    I even told Plant Parenthood about it and asked for them to look into it, and no reply…
    I have even called Plant Parenthood up in Anchorage and Fairbanks asking for them to look into this, and still no response.
    My doctor who put in the IUD said this was a rare case and he doesn’t know what happened. Of course he left my town not even two months after this all happened, so I didn’t get to talk to him more.
    I believe it is because I am highly allergic to nickel, or possibly copper. I don’t even know if I have Wilson’s disease.
    At the ER they never bothered to do blood tests to see if I had Wilson’s disease, of course….
    My body swelled up
    I was itching
    I was puking non stop, dizzy, dry mouth
    it was a nightmare.
    And I hope this helps someone out there, who is allergic and is wanting an IUD…
    I don’t think it’s right to tell people it’s safe when it’s not.
    Plus to top it off, the hospital violated a HIPPA right and sent my billing to the wrong people who opened my mail. And I’m trying to fight my ER bill by saying they violated but they keep telling me that they won’t reduce or even drop my bill.
    Health care is pretty ridiculous.
    I hope I helped someone!
    –Since then I have changed birth control two times. I took of Ortho Tri-Cyclen and that made me an emotional wreck. I was crying constantly, was mad all the time, and I just felt worthless. I changed and I’m on a Ortho-Cyclen…which I mean I’m a lot better than I was before. I wish I didn’t have to take these silly pills. But I don’t want depo, the patch, or a diaphram cup thing. Pills aren’t that bad, they are just a pain.