Sunday, June 12, 2011

Paragard IUD Removal

A few days ago, I removed my own IUD. I did it myself.

Now, before I go into this, I'll tell you two things. First, this is most definitely not medical advice, and everyone's situation is different. This is simply my story. Second, this might get a tad bit graphic, so those of you who are still afraid of your own bodies should turn back.

I had my IUD placed almost 3 years ago after my second child was born. I had already known that hormonal birth control simply wasn't an option. I mean...I wrote my MH thesis on the dangers of synthetic hormones, specifically estrogen. I wasn't about to undo all the hard work I'd done just getting my personal hormonal rhythm as balanced as it is through cleansing, diet and herbs. My midwife, who is also a CNP, suggested Paragard, a hormone free copper and plastic IUD, and I went for it. And honestly...I never really had any major problems.

Well, if I'm being nit-picky...yeah, it does make your period a little worse. Instead of bleeding for a few days, I seemed to bleed everything in a 2-3 day rush, resulting in a very unmanageable flow on the second day that always seemed to coincide with family vacations/shopping trips/holidays/etc. Cramping is also an issue. However, if you've ever investigated birth control these are pretty small prices to pay for hormone free, totally reversible birth control.

So, why take it out? To put it bluntly: I had a dream. I dreamt that I took out my IUD, and when I woke up, I knew that it was something I already wanted to do. Sounds crazy, right? Let me explain.

Modern people, even health conscious ones, depend on someone else to tell them when something is wrong with them, many times someone they've never even met before. Parents take their children every couple of months to a doctor who they don't even see on a day to day basis to ask them if their babies are healthy. Mechanical tests and scans and X rays are so normal, so commonplace and accepted, that people have forgotten the most powerful form of health assessment: listening to their bodies!

Your body will tell you everything you need to know. It might not be able to give you blood work, but it will tell you precisely what is wrong. Unfortunately, when the body does it's job and communicates it's problems to you, you go to the doctor. "Doctor, something is wrong, can you fix it? Can you give me something?" But what you've done is look at the message your body gave you and asked a STRANGER to fix it! To make the message go away! You take pills and follow your doctor's orders, and finally the messages go away, only to resurface in a different form. Your body won't be ignored, and eventually sends a message so strong you can't recover.

Pay attention to your body. In my case, after I had the dream, I gave the subject serious thought. I was, and still am, pretty sweet on the whole copper IUD thing. But the idea of taking it out resonated so strongly on an energetic level that I began to wonder if having a man-made plastic device sitting inside my body wasn't causing some sort of disturbance in the force. As an Usui Reiki Master, I've learned through my practice that virtually ALL dis-ease and illness begins invisibly at first. It could be with an argument, a divorce, a death, a feeling of anger, a loss of hope, a lack mentality...mental, emotional, or spiritual. Your body, and all physical matter, are vibrating manifestations of energy. Something is tangible because the energy is vibrating on a particular wavelength.

So, if uncontrolled emotions and negative mindsets can create imbalances inside a person that eventually result in the energy shifting so far that the physical result is dis-ease...what sort of effect would placing a unnatural object in that body have? Could it cause blockages and stagnation? I believe so. Within the first 24 hours of removal I experienced several surges of raw emotion that passed within moments, yet were undeniable. On top of that idea, in a woman's body the womb is not only the source of her power of creating life but also creativity overall, for birthing new projects, new ideas, and new ways of thinking. Women are constantly transforming, constantly experiencing a new cycle of life, partially because much of their personal power resides in the womb area, the sacral area. To place a piece of plastic in it to stifle the cycle that is part of my personal power began to feel very wrong.



Before someone gets into a huff and starts spouting the dangers of IUD removal, I was advised by my health care practitioner before removal, and of course I advise all women to do the same. It's very rare, but an IUD could potentially begin to implant itself in the uterine walls, and might require surgery to remove. But in all honesty, when you ask your doctor to remove your IUD, what they will do is grab it by the strings and pull it out. There's nothing fancy about it: that's what the strings are for. Worse, I've heard some horror stories from women whose doctors try to convince them not to take it out or sometimes refuse, telling the woman to give it time and come back later. Thankfully, my midwife runs no such operation :)

Pulling it out was not painful. Yeah, it's uncomfortable, especially getting the T bit past the cervix, but I waited until menstruation to make it easier, and really, it was a piece of cake. Getting those stupid strings was the worst part. But it took me all of 30 seconds to get the job done, and I'm so glad I did it. The next day I created this new herbal infusion blend, a gentle woman's tonic that tones the entire reproductive system, gently supports the liver for extra hormone balancing, and is loaded with precious vitamins, minerals, and chlorophyll. I like this shot because it shows the many layers of herbs designed to support and nourish the many layers of a woman, all of them integral to wholeness.

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57 comments:

  1. This has been a very significant blog indeed. I’ve acquired a lot of helpful information from your article. Thank you for sharing such relevant topic with us. I really love all the great stuff you provide. Thanks again and keep it coming

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  2. This post has been very helpful. The whole blog is very instructive, interesting and informing in all. Very cool stuff, thanks for taking the time and sharing them.

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  3. You made a huge effort to express all that information so shortly in order to make it more comprehensive. Thanks a lot for giving us these useful tips and advice.

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  4. Thank you so much for this blog! I took my ParaGard out as well. I feel so much better!! I was an emotional wreck, I now know it is because of the copper!! I feel soo much better and it's only been a day. Thanks for the information! Also, I see you're an Etsy seller as well! I'll be following your blog. :-)

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  5. I just removed my ParaGard this morning! I have had it in for 6 years and had enough of the horrible cramps and blood clots I experienced with my periods. So I said ENOUGH! Then I pulled it out.

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  6. Thank you so much to everyone who has had the courage to post here. I know what a difficult subject this can be, so I appreciate your comments :)

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  7. i can feel my strings but i can not grab them to pull them out. haha. any advice? id really like to take it out asap!

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  8. I feel a little less crazy now. I took out mine last night. It went very well. Basically painless. All along I wasn't too comfortable with having some foreign object inside me. The cramps didn't feel the same etc... I had a moment where I was like "OMG it's out!" and I felt both relieved and like "OH god what have I done!?" type of thing...ha. I'm mostly worried about my GYN freaking out or something. I had complained about it before a few times, stuck through it all. But even though I was married-in a stable relationship, she felt totally uncomfortable with letting me use barrier methods and let my cycles be natural. In summary, I'm happy I took it out now. My uterus feels more happy. :)

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    1. Haha!!! I just got mine out after reading this blog an hour ago.... And that is EXACTLY my thoughts... "oh thank God.... Oh my gosh what have I done?" LOL.... Oh boy!

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  9. After 5 1/2 years of torturing myself with insane mood swings, clotting, irregular periods, vaginal odor, spotting and more...I awoke this morning with a sadness and anxiety about the IUD. I read this blog, did some more research and I was very, very nervous to remove the Paragard IUD myself. I was bleeding again...(two weeks after my menstrual) so my cervix was softer...I prayed, washed my hands very good, took a deep breath, sat on the toilet and removed it. I felt absolutely NO pain and removed the invader that was blocking my feminine/goddess energy from flowing. I cried. My body even feel lighter. Thank you so much for starting this blog and all who posted. May Our Blessed Creator bless us all with long life, pure love, health, strength, the light of peace as we journey into a natural/holistic way of life! I am FREEEEEE!!!

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    1. Your post made me cry. After 5 1/2 years I went to the doctor to get mine removed and I feel so much better. I was tired of having that device inside of my body. I to feel free! ;)

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  10. I've been researching this for months and after reading this post decided it was time. I just removed my IUD after it being in for 16 months. It was surprisingly easy and I didn't even feel it. I've been so crampy and achey all day (1st day of my period), and IMMEDIATELY following removal I feel tons better! Like it seriously is a night and day difference! I am so glad I finally mustered up the courage to do it!! Thank you :)

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  11. I am so glad that you made this posting also. Up until now the only advice I could find was to absolutely not take it out yourself and go to a doctor. I would really love it if somebody could give me some advice about how to grip the string. Mine is very short and so incredibly slippery it seems impossible. Any advice?

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  12. I just pulled my paragard out after reading about it for a while. I have had it in for 2 years. I never had kids (but am married) so having it put in at 32 years old was torture, a lot of pain and sweating and feeling faint, but my Dr. had also failed to warn me and tell me to take ibuprofen beforehand. I only had 4-5 day long cycles before the paragard with one cramp the day before my cycle started and after I got the paragard they had gotten to the point where they lasted 2 weeks long with constant cramps like I had never felt before. Pulling it out hurt as well but the pain and sweating only lasted 2-3 minutes. I had a hard time with the strings as (time of month) they were slippery, so I sat on the toilet to allow my cervix to be lower and the strings were easier to find and pull , then I was able to grab them when I got the ends outside my body far enough with needle nose plyers, I took a couple seconds to relax and pulled slowly but surely and it was over before I knew it. I laid down in bed to stop shaking from the fear and stress of it all and 15 minutes later my horrible cramps have completely stopped. I feel no pain, there is no weird bleeding. I wish I had done this a long time ago. I did not faint, I am not sweating, and I just now took a couple ibuprofen just in case but I really don't think I need them. I feel like a farm cat who finally had that fishhook removed from it's tongue. I can almost feel the swelling going away that was so painful and now was so obviously caused by the paragard. My stomach actually is less swollen and I am feeling better every minute. Thanks for the info. I hope my experience helps others like me.

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  13. Thank you!!! I just took my paragard out this morning and I am so glad I finally trusted my instincts about my body. I have had a very long year of constant sickness, mood swings, insomnia, depression, sinus issues, weight gain, uncontrollable acne and extreme fatigue! All my symptoms started about a month after I had the paragard placed. I thought that maybe my symptoms were just the seasonal effects of Winter, but they continued into Spring and Summer and continued to grow worse this Fall. I was diagnosed with CFS by my GP but I continued to feel horrible. I complained to my GP, ENT, and Dermatologist that I felt the Paragard might be the cause, but was told they had never heard of such a thing.
    After researching again I finally found the condition Copper Toxicity Syndrome! www.drlwilson.com/articles/copper_toxicity_syndrome.htm
    Took that horrible thing out of my body this morning, made an acupuncture appointment , bought myself a bottle of zinc supplement and am researching a clean diet to aid in the removal of excess copper that has built up over the past year.
    I am looking forward to getting back to the healthy, happy and balanced person I was before the BC.
    I hope this helps anyone who has suffered from the same symptoms :)

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  14. i had mine removed yesterday after seven years. (wasn't brave enough to do it myself). had heavy periods and ovulation cramping but overall it wasn't too bad. i was diagnosed with a prolapsed cervix so will be having a hysterectomy eventually.

    ***my question : how soon did your periods go back to normal? immediately or a few cycles?***

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  15. JESSICA

    I am so glad to have found your account of IUD experience especially how it relates to energy and stagnation, as you said.

    I have had the Mirena IUD for exactly one year and tomorrow I am having it removed. I had it placed after waiting only 4 months after my daughter's birth which I don't believe gave my body enough time to balance back after pregnancy. I was also breastfeeding and that creates a lot of emotional and physical manifestations as well.

    The resons I am removing it are: migraines, weight gain, depression--have been very sucicidal at least 4 times in the past year, anxiety--was almost placed on anxiety medication but denied, bloating, excessive discharge, zero sex drive, and alienation from my cycle. I haven't had a period in probably 9 months, just slight slight spotting. I wanted to have my cake and eat it too--and not worry about intercourse and pregnancy and thought this little miracle would empower me to be a fuller woman.

    It wasn't until months later that I began to look up the info about the IUDs and how they affect you that I began to piece together the puzzle. My sister who has had 2 back to back placements of the Mirena in 10 years is on medication for anxiety depression and migraines and she does not see the link still.

    What truly made me decide to take the plunge and get it out was that I could feel my energy just stopping at my midsection. There is no flow...I literally can feel the energy flow through my head and all the way down to my womb and stopping. I feel the extra weight that has been put there, I feel the precense of the IUD, and I feel the lack of movement that my uterine muscles should have every month. I feel the energy just stop halfway down. It is almost like I cannot feel my toes.

    I will update about my IUD removal so hopefully I can assure other women out there that they are not alone. I was so nervous about getting pregnant again after the birth of my daughter that I would have pretty much stuck anything up there that would have prevented pregnancy. But now, after all these mainfestations of the backwards feedback loop of energy my body has, I am ready to be done with hormones. I had never been placed on hormones before, and quite frankly would have rather had the copper IUD but my periods were semi-heavy to begin with so my OB recomended the Mirena. I have had a period every month since I was 11--other than the IUD's last year and pregnancy--and now at 26, having always felt so connected to my period and the earth and taking the monthly time as a time to gain strength from the cramps, I know more than ever that our bodies are spiritual and we cannot ignore the way it makes us feel and operate just because we want the easy way out.

    THANK YOU for also recognizing that a foreign object can disrupt your entire balance!!

    Good luck ladies.

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  16. HELLO

    I posted above about my IUD removal reasons, and I got it out yesterday, and I have so much to tell all of you.

    It was painless, and quick, and I'm pretty sure I could have done it myself but I am glad that I went to a doctor for it because my annual pap was due anyway.

    It was a lot cleaner looking than I thought it would be--not sure what the doctor wiped off before he showed it to me, though.

    I felt no different for the first 10 mins after removal, and then wham! I was dizzy. I felt dizzy but no need to sit down, I still drove myself home. It was about halfway through the drive home I noticed I was just looking around at the trees while I was at stoplights and I noticed how calm I felt.

    I went home and relaxed the rest of the day, but this pervasive calm that descended upon me is very unusual. I havent felt this calm in many years. It was almost like I took a sedative, but I didn't.

    I have had no bleeding and very slight cramps yesterday only. I am able to urinate a full stream now!!!!! This is MAJOR. I thought I had ruined something with my urinary system after the birth of my child because for pretty much the past year I couldn't get a full stream out. I would think I was done, then stand up, and get this overwhelming urge to push and I would be up and down on the toilet many times before I finaly felt relief and sometimes I never got that relief. I know now that it was the IUD pressing on something, or perhaps I am urinating all the excess water Ive retained for months? I seriously hope it stays like this!

    So all in all, doing well! I can't believe that I am this calm and that it happened so quickly. I know I have a long road ahead of me as my hormones balance out and my body makes its own progesterone again but so far so good.

    You wont know how much it's affecting you till its gone.

    Good luck!!

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  17. THANK YOU for this well put together, brave, informative blog. It's a needle in the haystack of referrals to "see your health care provider for removal". I'm still on the fence about taking it out, but this has definitely been helpful. It's also nice to see so many other women who've shared my thoughts on this. Much love to all you ladies <3

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  18. THANK YOU for this well put together, brave, informative blog. It's a needle in the haystack of referrals to "see your health care provider for removal". I'm still on the fence about taking it out, but this has definitely been helpful. It's also nice to see so many other women who've shared my thoughts on this. Much love to all you ladies <3

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  19. This is SO confusing! I had just decided to get the copper IUD and now I read here how much better everyone else feels without it?!! But I suppose the IUD is better than an unwanted pregnancy right??

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    1. Yes, there are many stories here of the negatives of an IUD, but there are also many sites where people share many positive experiences. I am one of those people who has had a very, very positive experience. Birth control containing hormones was one of the worst things in my life for years, causing depression, mood swings, weight gain, etc and going without it meant a constant fear of getting pregnant. Now that I have a copper IUD (and have had it for 5 years), I highly recommend it. I stumbled upon this article because I am considering taking it out to get pregnant. I am not saying that these aren't people who have had bad experiences (obviously, based on the stories above) but, I feel that in all of my research via the internet, dr's and friends, the good outweighs the bad for most people..... And knowing and understanding the risks and side effects is also important. I cramped and had strange periods for at least 6 months, but for me, that was better than the alternative of being depressed or in constant fear of being pregnant..... For some, that might not be. Also, some people here may be talking about Mirena, which DOES have hormones in it, and I would never use. Anyway, the only reason I am considering taking mine out is because I want to have a baby. It is seriously one the best choices I have made in my life. I hope that helps a little bit..... Also, there are a ton more stories (good and bad) here: http://iud-divas.livejournal.com/

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    2. Thank you so much for this reply!! It made me feel so much better! :) Thanks for the website- will definitely check it out! Good luck with your future pregnancy!

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  20. Hello,

    I had a Mirena IUD for 7 years. Had it removed two days ago. The past 7 years have been for me, what I call "the dark ages" - dark, heavy, serious. I had a significant event happen in the same time frame so I assumed I was still processing emotions from that event.
    15-20 minutes after I had the IUD removed, I felt a rush of energy - a mix of elation and the sense that I was free. That continued until last night and now I feel like I'm in "the angry uterus" phase. I feel more aggressive and irritable but still the energy feels clear, not murky as I've felt for 7 years.
    I think you very well might be on to something when you said that the IUD might create a blockage or stagnation. Makes sense on an energetic level.
    With it being out only 2 days, I'm curious as to what will be the progression of these feelings and if I'll continue to feel free. I sure hope so!
    Best to you

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  21. I am 20 years old, never been pregnant, my husband and I just wanted to wait to have a child. I got the Paragard placed in late August 2011, and I just got it taken out yesterday 2/22/12. I had been feeling increasingly worse month after month using this BC. I had gone to see a doctor about many symptoms (bloating,cramps during sex, breast tenderness,irritability, anxiety, depression, low back pain) I thought there was something seriously wrong. After two doctors visits and a bunch of blood/urine tests my husband and I suspected the IUD.
    Then the past two weeks my symptoms worsened, I seriously felt pregnant. And after reading a bunch of online forums about Paragard and seeing how many women get pregnant on this IUD I was extremely worried. My breasts went up a cup and a half, bad cramping,light headed-ness,headaches, nausea, low back pain, and discharge (which I never get). I took two home pregnancy tests and both were negative. Yesterday I had horrible cramps (9 days before expected period date) and then I started spotting brown blood which is not normal for me I have never spotted in my life.
    I rushed myself to the doctor and begged her to take it out, she agreed so as long as her pregnancy test was negative, it was so she removed it. Just a little pinch, no problem.
    Today I just feel exhausted, this thing has been causing me so much stress. I wonder if half the symptoms were from that. I just started spotting, so I'm merely hoping I get my full period and am in fact, not pregnant.

    Sorry for the long rant, but it's definitely good to get it all out. Wish me luck ladies!

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  22. I just got my Paragard removed yesterday (02/22/12) I had it in for approx. 6 months. I was having many issues, I have never been pregnant so I thought that might have had something to do with it.

    I have been feeling symptoms for a while now, but the past two weeks it grew increasingly worse. I felt seriously pregnant (went up a cup size, very tender breasts, low back pain, severe bloating, and white discharge [which I never get]) I took two home pregnancy tests, both negative.

    Yesterday I had severe cramping (9 days before period) and then brown spotting which was extremely concerning, I never spot and my period is always consistent 28/29/30 days apart. I got into the doctors appointment and got checked out. I had been to the doctors 2x already trying to figure out what was wrong. I read a bunch of online forums with other women having problems, a lot said they got prego on the Paragard. My doctor thought I was pregnant, I begged her to take the IUD out, she gave me another test it was negative so I got the damn thing out of me.

    It's the day after and I'm bleeding brown, only a little bit. Simply hoping I'm not pregnant and just on the mend from this evil BC.

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  23. Hello, I’ve been searching blogs, forums etc. for the last month. I almost feel like I’ve got a degree now in Paragard 101 or IUD. I had mine put in October 2010. I immediately noticed weight gain and I could NOT exercise it off, nor use diet(s), or fat burners etc. 15-20 lbs over weight. In the past I have had normal periods and on time. With the Paragard it just increased to more flow and cramps. In May of 2011 I got really big in the stomach and rapid weight and my boobs were huge. I ignored it because you know they tell you 99.9% effective. Well, the furthest thing from my mind is being pregnant. So, I got on the treadmill and increased my running to 40 mins. 2x's a day. It wouldn’t come off. My period in June was really heavy, clotty, stringy, dark brownish/reddish icky. I thought wow heavy period this month. I kept ignoring my body because of “99.9% effective”. December 29th 2011 I had a gusher of a period for about 4 days. After this period ended on Jan 2, 2012 I had break through bleeding on January 21st and a VERY CRAZY CRAZY emotional down swing like I’ve never ever had before. I was crying and angry and shaking and freaking out. I thought my period had arrived 8 days early but no it didnt'. I had 8 days of light if anything brownish, pinking discharge and only 2 days of a period which didn’t fill a pad either day. I checked the internet. All the while my boobs are huge again, and felt like I had flu like symptoms, totally exhausted, falling asleep everywhere at work, etc. etc. 10-15 lb. weight gain within 3 weeks and weird cravings. 2 Negative tests later ~ I booked apt with the M.D. to do a blood test and Dr. checks me my breasts and tells me my test is negative and that I’m checking way to early. I called my OB/GYN Doctor and made an appointment 1 ½ later. My symptoms didn’t stop. I kept eating and just being completely emotional. ‘What’s going on body? I am listening.’ I go to the OBGYN Dr. and she orders a blood test because of my symptom’s and checks out the Paragard and says, well it’s still in place and the strings are right here. I had not made an appointment to remove it so I had to come back one week later. Symptoms increased and my blood test came back negative got to get this thing OUT. I went in 1 week later and she went to pulled it out. I felt dizzy. I drove home too and rested and was just relieved it was out. I didn’t have any cramps until 2 days after with red blood. It was not like a period it was like peeing blood for just 2 days. It didn’t concern me at all because it wasn’t a lot and she mentioned I may start a period afterwards. Okay so that’s over didn’t feel like a period just felt like a little trauma. I told her before I left just so you know I still feel pregnant. She says okay Friday, 24th of February I had two Ultrasounds one external and one internal. I go in thinking they are going to find of course a baby. No, my test were all normal except for a thickening of the endometrium. Like I was going to start. I have not started yet and I am still having pregnancy symptoms. My boobs swell in the shower but do not hurt then they go down, I’m bloated with no cramps, and when I lay flat my belly is a bit poochy. I have been feeling nauseous early in the morning hours and then when getting up then sort of throughout the day. My reason for commenting…is this Paragard is deceptive, 99.9% effective. 1) Its not. 2) Nothing is 3) it’s a sperminator but also if conception occurs it supposedly doesn’t allow the baby to attach to uterus because it thins it out. Okay I’m not a doctor but I saw this on another forum so don’t mark my words. I appreciate this site and will start a cleanse once I find out if I am or if I am not pregnant. Sounds like an awesome idea to cleanse after getting it removed.

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  24. Thanks for the post, I thought I would share my story. I just took out my Paragard on Saturday after suffering through a year of bad periods and killer cramps (like you, I choose Paragard because I didn't want hormonal BC.) The removal was quick (about 30 seconds) and painless. I did it very slowly, while on the toilet, with exam gloves. I was lucky that there was very long string and the gloves helped e grip them. There was a huge blood clot embedded in the coils of the device, so much that I thought, "I wonder if this is why I have so much clotting during my periods, because it blocks the cervix?"

    I felt very relieved, as I was so tired of feeling it inside me, it caused the worst sharp cramps!

    The day after removal I started bleeding very heavily, and it has continued now for 2 days with the largest and most frequent blood clots imaginable, with only slight cramping. Reading other women's experiences on this and other sites it seems heavy prolonged bleeding with large clots is the norm, not the exception.

    The bleeding has finally started slowing down (soaking one super duper tampon and super pad every 3 hours instead of every 1!) so I am hopeful it will cease in the next week or two (based on others' stories).

    Thanks again, hope your removal continues to bring you joy and relief!

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  25. I have had my paraguard for almost two years. During that time I have put on at least 25 lbs(after losing all my baby weight with little effort in the 4 months before). I have had extreme cramps & pms like never before. I have never put the connection together till now but I have started anixety meds in the last 12 months and although I've never admitted it till now experienced a few deep suicidal moments never felt before. I paid out of pocket for this because I get pregnant on everything else. I figured even with all the bad symptoms its not pregnancy so its okay. I'm 36 & have 5 children...happily...but that's enough. Here's the issue. Although I have been a few days late never this late. My normal 30 day cycle w the IUD consists of spotting with cramping & the horrible long periods. Now....I'm 40 days into this cycle with horrible cramps and not a spot of blood. I have reached up & can feel the strings. I tested even this morning and it was negative...much to my surprise. After reading this whole thread, as well as much of the internet on paraguard in the last few days...I want to go in my bathroom and pull the sucker out. If I am pregnant it seems to be most likely what the Dr would do anyway, if not, probably would help bring on this needed period. I have no idea what I would use to keep me from getting pregnant but I'm pretty down with these horrible cramps. Any advice??

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  26. I just wanted to follow up and let you know I got my period the following day. The cramps and pain was very heavy and more painful then usual I guess due to me being so late. So today...I took it out myself. It really wasn't that difficult. I now hope that was the right decision because I'm pretty sure I'm not talented enough to put it back in...ha. Thanks for everyone's stories...they helped me a lot... :)

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  27. Hi everyone,

    I had my paraguard inserted almost a month ago now. my period is due today and instead of bleeding, i have just been cramping and spotting on and off ever since the device was inserted. PMS hit me about a week ago, and the cramping got worse, so i have been anticipating a period and nothing is happening. the only thing that has changed is that i am feeling some particularly intense anxiety. however, i am confused and stressed out by this because i just made a major move/change in my life so I don't know if it is the IUD or the move that is causing this anxiety, but i am beginning to feel very depressed. I have also been experiencing really intense nightmares. I don't like the feeling of needing to bleed and nothing happening. I really don't want to get pregnant and hormonal bc is simply not an option for me. but yesterday I had a serious breakdown, because my body is totally freaking out..my entire back, neck, and shoulders are in extreme pain. i am more paranoid than usual and i can't tell if its the move or the copper. i don't want to be a hypochondriac or a paranoid hippie, but i am experiencing anxiety and depression that has been different than the anxiety and depression i have suffered in the past. this time its like a hormonal feeling. i got pregnant and had an abortion in december and the only other time i have felt so emotional was when i was pregnant. can anyone give me some advice? I am really , really confused about what i should do...since i have only had this thing in for less than a month, i don't want to be hasty about removing it already, but i also don't want to keep it in if copper is just going to be accumulating in my body and making things worse as time goes on.
    any help or advice is appreciated,
    thanks

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  28. Had to say thank you!!! this has been such a big help and now it is out pain free and no more crampy yucky feeling

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  29. I have a question about *when* to have an IUD removed. Let me elaborate...

    I am getting ready to remove my IUD (paraguard), and I want to know the ideal time of my monthly cycle for this so that there is the least amount of pain possible.

    I know that IUDs are often scheduled to be removed during menstruation, but why is this? I've read that the cervix is hard and closed at this time; wouldn't it be better instead to remove an IUD when the cervix is soft and open such as during ovulation?

    I have never given birth before and insertion was THE most painful thing I've ever experienced. I know everyone says removal is much easier, but insertion sucked so bad for me that I guess I'm just a little "gun shy" about it. I want to make sure I do everything as ideally as possible.

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  30. Great to find this blog! Paraguard was removed yesterday after two years...I didn't take it out myself...and the energy shift is astouding. I also had many of the above mentioned symptoms. My cycle continued to extend further and further until I was on my ninth day of my period and it was flowy and crampy and I was done with the iud. What I am trying to research today is what kind of cleansing can I do for my body as it shifts into more of a balance? ALSO what kinds of birth control can you honestly recommend. I'm 45 and I know my sex drive will return here soon and my husband doesn't want children...and I don't do well on hormones although I was given a progestin only birth control pill (a year's worth) I'm a little overwhelmed about what the next steps are.

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  31. Well, I did it. I removed my paragard IUD. :)

    After being on a low dose BC pill for nearly 10 years, I had my paragard inserted about a year and a half ago. Ever since then, I've had horrible ovulation pain and ovarian cysts. I gave it a good try hoping that my body would adjust after a year, but no such luck.

    I'm so glad that I found this blog post. Reading your original post along with all of the comments that followed really encouraged me to remove it on my own rather than pay my doctor $200 to do it.

    It took me a little while to find and get a hold on the string, but once I did, I very slowly pulled it out. The first tug was a little painful because I was nervous and therefore clenching my muscles. I had to consciously relax everything after that, and it went very smoothly and practically painless from there on.

    I feel such a sense of relief now that it's out of me. I'm going to try a month or so without any kind of birth control methods to see if I have any less pain associated with ovarian cysts. I'll then get back on the pill since I'm not yet trying to have a baby. I'm testing it this way because the pill would definitely get rid of those problems, and I just want to see if it was the IUD that was the cause all along.

    Thank you again for inspiring the confidence in me to do this myself. <3

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  32. Had Paraguard inserted after a medical abortion(health risks). I am blessed with 2 beautiful kids already thankfully and Paraguard was my only option not a choice for me. I also had years of abnormal Paps, 1 LEEP & conical biopsy 10+ years before and all had been fine until Paraguard. Never stopped bleeding in 2 years. It was always more than spotting. Every time I urinated, the toilet paper was covered in blood and always 1-2 clots of tissue that was tinged with blood. Often I had to use a tampon as I had so much blood. I had only a couple days of being "clean". I stuck it out because I had no choice. Honestly, my periods were never regular again. I could not time them and often because of the bleeding all the time, unless it was heavier, I could not tell them apart.

    Well, this past Dec. I bled for 3 weeks straight and then straight back to what was my norm. Bleeding, but not period that could still fill a tampon a day or more. Finally went to the GYN after 2 months with NO real period and I need a PAP. I was also sent for Ultrasound. Well Pap came back with endometrial cells on it and Ultrasound showed cysts on ovaries and in uterus. Wonderful.

    Next came the IUD removal and endometrial biopsy. I must be unlucky. IUD REMOVAL WAS INCREDIBLY PAINFUL for me and seconds later I had biopsy which hurt the same as removal did. No joke. They felt the same. Biopsy shows cysts also so now I am on to specialist to see what the heck is going on.

    I have to say that I have underlying health problems so my experience may not be like others. I am 45 yr old also. Since removal I have felt crappy. Very tired, lots of nausea and headaches. I literally don't want to even move, but it could be the trauma to my body that causes this as it's just a week.

    I do believe that IUD may have been reason I gained weight and gave me nearly intolerable pain shooting into my right hip as it is gone now. Do I think my problems come from IUD? Most likely. Only time will tell. But one thing's for sure, I haven't had more that a mere spotting since removal.

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  33. I removed my Paragard IUD this morning. This blog and all it's replies gave me the courage to do so.
    I did this because I have had it for 11 years. Six weeks after the birth of my second child, it was placed. I lost my AHCCCS due to the new laws in Arizona, and my husband and I can only afford insurance for the two girls.
    I had no pain what so ever. I couldn't grasp it with being on my period and all, so I boiled a set of my eye brow twizzers, and used them. They worked perfect. I never had the string trimmed, so it was more then long enough to grab.
    Thank you for the blog and the replies.

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  34. I just pulled mine out about 15 mins ago! Thank you so much for all these posts. They gave me the courage to do so. I was pretty nervous. I just found the strings gave it a gentle tug and there it was! No pain or bleeding at all. I've only had Paraguard in for about 5 months now but about a month after having it I noticed that I started to break out horribly on my back, like cystic acne type pimples. This is something I have never experienced before. I thought it was due to the stress of school but after doing a little research I am almost certain it is because of the IUD. I have also been having some mood swings lately and the heavy bleeding during my periods has been ridiculous. I'm so glad I took it out. From the sounds of it I could have had more problems down the road. Hopefully my back begins to clear up again soon. Thanks ladies!

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  35. Ok. I am getting ready to remove my paraguard nightmare. I have all the signs and symptoms of copper toxicity but no one will take me seriously. My ob will charge $140.00 to remove it, which, quite frankly, could be better served putting into our family. I am shaking, but I also cannot wait for this thing to be out of me.

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  36. IT is OUT!!!! I found the strings easily, as I'd never had them trimmed. I was on the phone with the hubbz who was freaking out, begging me to wait so I would not be alone if something inopportune did happen. "I have a phone," I said... "I'l call 911 for heaven's sake. But I am NOT going to need to." Still he was freaking. I grabbed the strings, relaxed and pulled, lost them and tried again, 2 more times... then there it was. NOT inside of me, anymore. I started laughing out loud!!! "Babe, it's out!!", I hollered to my stammering husband.
    I now feel this amazing lightness of being. I also feel a bit crampy, but holymoly it is WORTH IT! Now... the paraguard looks blackened and sickly and... well, sinister, frankly. It even felt ill and sinister in my hand. (I wish I could post a photo of the little monster) What was I THINKING having this thing put in, in the first place?!!? I should know better... Nevermind that, now. It is time to heal and I feel well on my way, already. Thank you for this post and all the encouraging comments! You don't know me, but you have helped me more than you will ever fathom!! My heart to yours... All of you.

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  37. Update from me above: Not even 1 full day without the paraguard and the debilitating muscle aches and spasms and joint pain I have suffered with for 3&1/2 years are reduced by at least half intensity. I have a tremendous headache, but I am smiling! I have felt joyless for 3&1/2 years!! No more, man! I am ecstatic! From the adrenal fatigue and copper toxicity, I have a systemic candida issue that will, going forward, be far easier to deal with now that the copper issue is being cleared. I have felt like a firefighter with my arms bound behind my back fighting a wildfire with a straw broom. I think I evened up the playing field yesterday, finally. Rebuilding adrenal function and beating back the candida is now viably, workably on the agenda.

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    1. I have to say that after reading this post, and especially your reply, I haven't found a better way to express the way I've been feeling both before and after removal of my paraguard. Its exactly as you say- fighting a wildfire with a straw broom. I had the paraguard put in when I was 22, and had it for 5 years, without too many issues. I have been in a steady relationship now for more than two years, thus, a more active sex life than before, and found that the paraguard started acting up because of that. I had several times where I had UTI symptoms after having sex, but those didn't last for too long, maybe 1-2 days max without treatment. The big problems started about 2 months ago when I had my first candida yeast infection. I was also feeling extremely fatigued, distant and spacey- which now I find are potential symptoms of copper toxicity, which may have also come from the IUD (also I've been a vegetarian for 2-3 yrs). The yeast just wouldn't go away- treatment after treatment, oral and OTC drugs, you name it. And then I realized that it was probably due to the IUD, because many of my friends had had the same problems or knew of someone with the same problems that wouldn't go away until removal of the IUD. As Jessica writes in this post, me and my body, we somehow together just knew that that was the right thing to do- to remove the foreign invader. I can't really explain it but deep inside me, I really had a feeling that it was what my body wanted most, and I had little to no hesitation in making the decision to remove it. Its been out for almost 2 weeks now, and I haven't experienced any problems with late or missed period yet (mine came 1 day after I expected it to come after removal). I am noticing a little spotting after my period, but its only been one day since my menstruation finished. I would like to say that I also experienced an elated feeling upon removal- really like being free, and that I had given myself a wonderful gift, listening to my body and taking out something that shouldnt have really been there in the first place. I do believe that the problems with the candida will be easier to treat now seeing as how copper leads to an over growth of yeast and it has been shown that yeast clings to foreign bodies. In any case, I plan to also do a cleansing of my system, and I suggest anyone who is having similar feelings or problems to really listen to your body. Have a look at the copper toxicity syndrome and research beyond the medical websites the side-effects of the IUDs that maybe doctors don't often admit too. Mine, who is a wonderful doctor, didn't really even mention or think to tell me that the problem with the yeast infection could be due to the IUD, but when I finally wasnt having any relief of my symptoms, I suggested to remove it, and he confirmed that the symptoms I was experiencing could very well be from the IUD. If you feel like this too, it may be because of the IUD and how it was placed- the uterus and the bladder are super close to one another, and if it is positioned in a certain way, it could lead to a similar discomfort. I agree with others who have mentioned the advantages of having the copper IUD- no stress for pregnancy and no hormones- however, is it worth the sacrifice? Is convenience really worth the health issues you might probably be introducing to your body? To me, the answer was no. I am deciding to follow the fertility awareness efforts (search in wiki, you'll find that it has the same rate of success as copper IUDs if it is used perfectly). There are no health side effects, and you learn alot about the way your body functions- and let me tell you, we women, we are amazing creatures! The way our hormones work together to make this monthly cycle work and flow together is truly amazing... and BC methods mostly just brutally overtake those natural mechanics. I look forward to a healthy new beginning, sans external chemicals or devices, and wish you all the best of luck on your future endeavors!

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  38. Omg... don't hop on a paragard-self-removal bandwagon over one or two bad days. It seems as though some readers discover this blog and have some insignificant reason they can relate to Jessica's story. 'Copper as the cause of negative emotions'...WHAT...Really? gtfo. Truth is that Jessica is correct in stating that not everyone's experience is the same. Her lengthy portrayal was meant to reach a specific group of women with intuitive senses to remove foreign objects from their body for the sake of a more pure all-natural body.

    Ladies, like every other birth control out there, ParaGard has side effects. You're not impervious to them. I have paragard and i experience most of the common ones. ParaGard is perhaps the most effective birth control out there! No hormones! Can't do much better than that. If it's not for you then there's no need in ranting about how much negativity it released into your atmosphere, and there is certainly no need for every sad woman on paragard to bind together and pull them out over this blog post.

    Chill out and recall why you're on a birth control, specifically paragard, before you go making a regretful mistake. (gonna cost $$$ if you decide you want it back in too!)

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  39. Thank you so much for this!! I got my Paragard in 6 weeks after having my son (got in in Feb 2011). I thought it would be perfect since I can't tolerate hormone birth control. I did not feel a THING when it went in. Well, the first few months I had SEVERE cramps, similar to contractions, and I almost passed out a few times because of it (which is notable since I had a 46 hour natural birth just fine!). I figured it was a combo of getting my cycle back plus my body getting used to the IUD. After a few months of misery, the intensity calmed down, but I still have had HORRIBLE cramps from about 1.5 weeks before my period on and awful PMS. It just felt like something was not right. I have also been very run down and stressed but just attributed it to having a fulltime job and raising a kid too. But reading all these things, I think the Paragard has something to do with it too! Anyway, my cramps all day yesterday were so awful that I thought I was going to throw up, and I'm not due to start my period for another week! I looked up self removal online and watched a video too which showed that the arms of the "T" fold down coming out, which made me feel better. I finally got so miserable yesterday that I told my husband I just might go ahead and do it, and he encouraged me to. Like everyone said, getting hold of the strings was the hardest part. I have never even tried to feel for the strings before in the 15+ months I have had it. Once I got them, I pulled gently and it seemed like the string was coming out more and was easier to grab but it didn't just pop out like I envisioned (no pain though!) so I got nervous and stopped. I relaxed for about 5 mins, prayed and meditated, and tried again. I kept just very gently pulling and then it was out!! So amazing. I'm still just so in awe that I actually did it!! And unbelievably, my cramps stopped IMMEDIATELY. I have not had them since, and that was yesterday afternoon! I am so amazed. I guess hubby and I will just be using cycle tracking and NFP from now on. Thank you!!!

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  40. Yes,I've had issues with it too.did u know that copper binds to estrogen receptors,increases estrogen,clogs up the liver and this causes estrogen to build up in yr body with each cycle,so interesting,esp as its non hormonal?

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  41. I just joined this site to say, thank you, you beautiful women for your experiences and support! I had the Paragard Copper-T (until last night!!!) for almost a year and it was the worst thing I have ever put into my body. As soon as I had it put in, I started having unbearable menstrual cramps, to the point where I could not move or get up without feeling like I was going to collapse from the pain. My poor husband had to listen to me crying and basically whimpering from the pain EVERY MONTH. Eventually I went in to the Dr.'s office to complain about the Paragard and get it removed, when they magically found an ovarian cyst that just so happened to have grown the same time I got the IUD put in. I did not read ANYTHING about cysts being a side effect of the IUD, but I never had one before I got it put in, so I just want to put that out there for anyone considering this device; there are lots of things that can happen to your body after you put something foreign into it that doctors won't necessarily know about or tell you about. Anyway, I dealt with that for 8 months! And my periods went from 2-3 days in length to 7-8 (ugh) leaving me just exhausted, bloated and nasty feeling for way too long. (Not to mention those wonderful cramps!) My bleeding didn't get a TON heavier, but it was very uncomfortable somehow in an aching way I had not experienced before the IUD. Also, I sometimes felt stabbing paint in my uterus, not totally sure what that was all about. So yesterday, my cyst finally ruptured, and, after going to the ER since I wasn't sure if maybe I had started an ectopic pregnancy and I was frankly terrified by the intense pain, I decided I was DONE with this whole awful experience. SInce I am a poor college student, I was very upset at the thought that I would have to shell out another $200 for this thing to be removed (WHAT A SCAM) after I already paid the $700+ out of pocket to get it put in (What the hell am I even paying for insurance for, anyway?) So I searched the Internet far and wide to see if I could take it out myself, in desperation last night. I found this thread and I am SO GRATEFUL to everyone who shared her experience, you gave me the courage and sister-strength :) to pull this thing out! My strings were very slippery and I had a hard time getting two fingers up into my vagina to pull it out, but I found that squatting over a towel was the best position for me. I tugged and tugged for about five minutes before I got a good grip on the string (singular--one had somehow disappeared, eek!) and yanked it halfway out at my first go. That was slightly uncomfortable, since I could feel the very bottom of the IUD at the entrance to my cervix, but my husband sat with me and cheered me on and said "You can't stop now!" since I was kind of shaking due to nerves at the thought of what I was doing, and on the second tug the whole little contraption slid right out! I did feel a little crampy but there was no pain (and I am on my period so the cramps make sense). I AM SO HAPPY! Thank you, thank you thank you, all you brave goddesses before me :D I am so pleased that I don't have to go see the doctor and try to convince him to pull this thing out and then PAY him, ugh. I slept so well last night, and I nevr can sleep when I am having my period due to the discomfort of the IUD, so ahhhhh. Yes, thank you all. Now on to condoms and checking cervical fluid....but that will be better than dealing with something so completely unnatural in my womb. I wish the medical profession could actually figure out a BC solution for women that was SAFE and convenient. Maybe once Patriarchy ends! :) Peace and love, ladies. You are wonderful, strong and brave.

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  42. This blog may have saved my life. I've had ongoing headaches & dizziness for 1 1/2 years, worse over the last 3 months, so extreme I've missed 5 days of work this month. Intense abdominal pain every month, so extreme at times I could not move for hours, giant blood clots, cystic acne I haven't had since I was a teen, systemic yeast infections leading to chronic sinus issues, crazy mood swings from NEVER feeling well, etc...I've been to every doctor & specialist you can think of & even Hospitals this week, the dizziness and head pressure were so unbearable. I could no longer function, even at home.

    I was up at 3:00 am yesterday in pain when I found this blog. The previous comments in this blog gave me the strength, encouragement, and validation to have my Paragard removed. I went to my obgyn first thing in the morning and had my iud removed.

    The procedure was painless, about a minute of slight cramping after, but that was all. Similar to some of the other posts, I felt instantly calm. I felt muscles relaxing as if I had just ended a 20 month workout and was now recovering. On the drive home, colors seemed so much more vivid...like I had been living in a dream state or in a fog the whole time I had this horrible thing in. I got out in my driveway and just stared at the trees and lawn. The constant dizziness and head pressure were GONE and I went right back to work the same afternoon and got more accomplished in hours than I had in the prior week bc I was finally able to think clearly again.

    I can feel my uterus adjusting and recovering and it will take some time to flush yeast out of my system from extensive antibiotic use trying to relieve symptoms.

    I cannot THANK everyone in this blog enough bc now I have my life back. Copper toxicity is something to be taken seriously - trust your body and don't get discouraged by providers that are condescending and don't listen. They can help treat you, but sometimes you really need to push to get an accurate diagnosis (sometimes, unfortunately, you have to come up with your own diagnosis). Also, tell your providers when your health improves so that they may be able to help others in the same situation.

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  43. Hi ladies--
    I just also had an interesting experience with my copper IUD, which I had inserted because I have had severe reactions to oral contraceptives like the pill. I read up on blogs and concentrated on research involving what I should expect in the first few months after my IUD was inserted. All was too be expected. Longer periods, cramping, and some abdominal pain. I was fine with all of these symptoms as I knew they would occur and take the heat for a hormone free birth control. After six months, I began to feel quite hormonal even though the copper IUD does not replace hormones. I also began to profusely break out, but not normal breakouts. Parts of my skin began to become infected and peel off much like a staph infection, which is what the infection turned into. Many people are carriers of MSRA's and when I broke up, the infestation took on another form. It took me over a month to connect this too the fact that my IUD may actually be putting my hormones into overdrive. Everyone is different and your IUD doesn't give you these symptoms, than that is wonderful. In my case high levels of copper being released from the IUD put my immune system at an all time low to overcompensate for zinc deficiency. After four weeks of being on an assortment of antibiotics such as Kaflex and Bactrim (two very heavy duty antibiotics), I realized that the IUD had to be removed in order for my skin to calm down. I went in and got the IUD removed and now 48 hours later, my skin has calmed down. Those these features happened independently of each other, it all related back to my IUD and this is a very individual case. I am just posting so that if anyone else has a copper IUD and think that it is affecting their hormones, this can happen, and it did happen to me. Thanks

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  44. Read these stories, went to the toilet, pulled it out! I have my period and I didn't even feel it! I am soooooo relieved I barely know what to say but thank you! I have had every side effect in the book and I am tired of feeling like a crazy person! Yay!

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  45. Thank you so much!! I got the paraguard a year and a half ago and have been on my period most of the time since. At LEAST 85% of the last year and a half, I've been bleeding. I've been miserable. Everyone said to have it out, but it was so expensive, doc said I'd "even out", and I honestly didn't have the money to see a doctor about it. I just took it out after reading this blog. Yay! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

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  46. Hi people!
    I am just going to pull my paraguard out and have an abortion every now and then when the "monitoring my cycle method" fails me.
    Thanks!

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  47. I knew I'd likely have side effects and tried to give Paragard as long as I could but having searing leg pains, hair loss, severe anxiety, and weeks of cramping (without a day off) did not allow me to function. I suggest instead of telling people to "chill out," you deal with our negative reviews since it's helpful to read that other women are experiencing the same horrible symptoms your doctor tells you are part of having this device and it is what it is. No hormones are great, but not being able to work for a day without having to down many Ibuprofens or waking up daily with cramps that made me want to stay in bed all day make it hard to "chill out and recall why I'm on birth control."

    I ask other women to please continue to post their experiences- good or bad, but that others not tell me to calm down and deal with chronic pain and extreme anxiety and depression I suffered from this horrible device.

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  48. THANK YOU SOOoo MUCH for this wonderful information! i've had my Paragard in for nearly 3 years now. after reading your blog And strongly considering removing it myself for some time, i just went in the bathroom and just pulled it out. i washed my hands, squatted on the floor and very gently pulled to get an idea of the sensation and what would happen. Well i felt nothing, so i moved forward. Seriously it took NO effort at all hardly and with my second gently tug it was out. *literally, just like the other ladies mentioned, it was easier to pull out than a tampon! I felt no pain at all, only some very mild cramping right after and a tiny bit of spotting.
    I agree that it could potentially cause problems for women who arent aware that their IUD is embedded into their uterus, which is specifically why i started with a gentle tug first.

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  49. Has anyone else experienced pituitary gland issues with the Pargard?

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  50. I just removed it all on my own :) it wasnt difficult/painful as I thought it would be. Ive had it for about 5 mths with the heavy, long bledding,and very painful cramping. I do feel lighter than what I was I feel better. Thanks for posting all those comments. I read all of them thought of it for a while and made the decision.

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  51. I am so glad that I found this blog. After 4 years I removed my Paragard this am with the assistance of my boyfriend. I had all of the symptoms that was listed and more. At first it was a little uncomfortable but once I relaxed and he was able to grip the string it come out with a breeze. I was very disappointed to find out that the copper had rusted. I almost became emotional. Just think I have been walking around with rusted copper in my vagina for who knows how long. Now I feel a sense of relief. For anyone that does have one and you're satisfied please check to see if it has rusted.

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  52. I'm gonna take mine out right now! This thing is not worth all the trouble it's caused me and so many other ladies. Maybe this is the paragard-self-removal bandwagon. I'm proud to become paragard-free. --Leclia

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