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turtleduck

IUD and weight gain -- positive/negative experiences?

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Dear community,

 

I have just had my second child and do not want to get pregnant again for the foreseeable future. I'm not 100% sure that I'm done having kids, so I don't want to get my tubes tied yet. Pills and natural birth control are too much work/I am too likely to screw up.

 

The IUDs (1 copper, 1 hormone) I've had in the past were very effective for contraception but I did gain weight while on them. The thing is, I don't know for sure whether it was the IUDs or too much food/too little exercise. Am trying to decide whether to get another one now.

 

There are many posts around the Internet by women who also experienced weight gain with them, but I know we are more likely to spend time reviewing something bad than something fine/good. Can you share your experiences, whatever they may be?

 

Thanks!

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I'm on my second hormone (Mirena) IUD and for me it's been great (no periods is the best thing ever!). The only weight gain I've experienced has been from eating too much. :P 

 

But even if it's ok for me, it is still messing around with hormones and you might react differently. Unfortunately no poll on an internet forum will tell you that. :) The only way to find out is to try it and at the same time make sure you're still eating the same amount of calories and keeping your activity levels the same. The copper IUD really shouldn't lead to weight gain though. Did you experience other side effects that perhaps lowered your energy levels or something like that?

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On 5/24/2018 at 4:02 PM, Mad Hatter said:

The copper IUD really shouldn't lead to weight gain though. 

 

It doesn't, not directly, because it doesn't do anything to your hormone balance. It does make your period a bit more painful by making the cramps worse, and it makes the bleeding more, well, bloody, but that's all due to the fact that there's an object in the uterus, and the female body doesn't like that very much and needs time to get used to it. (More info here and here, and weight specifics half-way down the page here.)

 

I've had copper IUDs for nearly two decades now, and any and all weight gain I've had in that time was due to other factors. Personally, I think it's the best form of birth control ever. Once it's in there, it's there and does its job with zero effort on my part - set it, forget it, get the benefits for 10+ years. I looked into the Mirena IUD before deciding on the copper one, and I picked copper because it has none of the side effects of hormonal birth control, and that list of side-effect just looked scary. And now I'm used to the copper IUD and love the convenience of it. :) 

 

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Thanks both of you for your input! I am leaning towards the copper one. I vaguely remember both of them made night exercises a little uncomfortable (occasionally), so that is the only thing still holding me back a bit now.

 

On 5/24/2018 at 6:02 PM, Mad Hatter said:

Did you experience other side effects that perhaps lowered your energy levels or something like that

 

I don't remember :/ I mean, having a toddler lowers my energy levels (and also decreases my ability to remember things clearly).

 

 

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I tried the Mirena a few years ago. It was terrible. Within a month I started having constant spotting, after about 3 months, I was diagnosed with depression and put on medication for that. And within a year I went from 170 pounds to 240 pounds, still with constant spotting. I finally convinced them to remove it.  I was able to go off the depression medication, and I have since lost all the weight plus some. I'm not sure the weight gain was due to just the Mirena or a combination of that and the antidepressants, but everything started going wrong almost immediately after getting it, and then resolved shortly after having it removed. I do however have a history of problems with hormone based birth control.

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4 hours ago, turtleduck said:

Thanks both of you for your input! I am leaning towards the copper one. I vaguely remember both of them made night exercises a little uncomfortable (occasionally), so that is the only thing still holding me back a bit now.

 

 

 If by that you mean what I think you mean, that's never really been an issue for me (us). Everyone is different, obviously, but given a couple of months to settle, ther's a good chance that sorts itself out on its own as well.

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4 minutes ago, scalyfreak said:

 

 If by that you mean what I think you mean, that's never really been an issue for me (us). Everyone is different, obviously, but given a couple of months to settle, ther's a good chance that sorts itself out on its own as well.

And if it doesn't you could probably go back and ask them to cut the threads a little shorter.

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20 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

And if it doesn't you could probably go back and ask them to cut the threads a little shorter.

 

No. Shorter made it worse. Short threads stop bending and start acting like needles... Longer and out of the way is better.

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3 minutes ago, scalyfreak said:

No. Shorter made it worse. Short threads stop bending and start acting like needles... Longer and out of the way is better.

Oh never mind me then! In my head I imagined excessively long threads, but didn't think about the opposite scenario. But now when you mention it it makes perfect sense. 

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22 hours ago, AudShap said:

resolved shortly after having it removed

I'm glad things got resolved! I lost a bunch of weight after having the copper one removed, but in my case I can only thank/blame morning sickness for that.

 

 

Hmm yes now I do remember the doctor once mentioned coiling the thread(s?) up and out of the way. Ok, I think I'll go for it again. Now if only my period would start up again so I can be sure I'm not pregnant before getting the IUD. Although I'm not complaining about not having to deal with the period :D

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12 hours ago, turtleduck said:

Hmm yes now I do remember the doctor once mentioned coiling the thread(s?) up and out of the way. Ok, I think I'll go for it again. Now if only my period would start up again so I can be sure I'm not pregnant before getting the IUD. Although I'm not complaining about not having to deal with the period :D

 

1. That one single incident where they were way too short, is the only time in 15 years the threads have interfered in our relationship. Longer, but not too long, and they coil up and out of the way.

 

2. Copper IUD has the following effect on your period: More blood and more cramps. Because metal object inside uterus. After nearly two decades of them I'm obviously okay with these side-effect. In fact, I very much prefer them to the very unpleasant list @AudShap posted.Tales like that are why I shun hormone-based birth control. Having my period is a normal thing, and I really don't mind dealing with it. It's a normal bodily function... I just wish now and then that it was less messy.

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Probably a little too late but I love my Mirena (hormone) IUD - has not had any impact on my weight gain or loss. 

 

I see a lot of patients who like both Mirena and Paragard (copper) - and most of the complaints with them have to do with spotting or excess bleeding during menstruation (respectively). No weight gain issues like with the pill. 

 

Wishing you the best with whichever you choose :)

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+1 here for copper. With no hormones in it you can be completely sure that it's not interfering with other systems in your body. +1 for worse cramps too, but nothing terrible. I've had mine for a few years now and will never try anything else. Also, I LOST weight when I switched from BCP to Paragard (copper IUD). I got some other stressors in my life figured out too though, so correlation is not always causation.

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On 6/1/2018 at 5:28 AM, scalyfreak said:

Having my period is a normal thing, and I really don't mind dealing with it. It's a normal bodily function...

Even if I don't suffer from side effects it does weigh on my mind that it's messing with my hormones, even if it's relatively low dosage. From a more objective/philosophical point of view I'd rather not do that to my body, but man is it convenient. :P 

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