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birth control- IUD/IUC

have any of you women ever used an IUC (also known as IUD) as birth control. as i understand it, the copper (hormone-free) one just squeezes the tubes together and is very effective at preventing pregnancy.

any thoughts?



  • Wow! I am so glad that you were so bold…bold enough to post this topic, because I was wondering about what I would do in the future. I’m not married or sexually active at this time, but I’ve always wondered what I would do when I get married. Sorry to take up space wth my non-helpfulness, but I just want to thank you for the post and thanks for the information on hormone-free IUDS. I will monitor this post to see what other helpful advice people post.

  • Harmonylia, does it hurt when they insert it?

  • I thought it would lol, I had just given birth to my daughter and was ready for it to really pinch me, but it was the slightest little bit of a cramp and it was done. (They normally have to do it when you are on your period so the cervix is open a bit more) There was some cramping afterwards and then that was it.

  • I have an IUD—we have a love/hate relationship (often hate, to be honest). I got it 5 years ago because none of the other options were practical for me. (Hormones, even if I hadn’t been against them for other reasons, make me completely crazy, diaphragms exacerbated my at-the-time chronic UTIs, the more disposable one-time-use options just weren’t reasonable financially in my live-in monogamous situation, etc.)

    I will say that it is great not having to worry about pregnancy. Ever. That’s obviously a huge plus. I have a bit of a high-anxiety personality, and natural planning methods just make me too nervous (plus the fact that I am very reckless and enthusiastic around ovulation, which seems a poor combination). But I have almost never worried with the IUD, so that’s great.

    However, I always had terrible cramps, and the IUD made them absolutely nightmarish. (Pre-raw and post-IUD, it wasn’t unusual for me to take six advil every four hours for at least a week out of the month – and even on that insane dose I was barely approaching functional – I still usually had to adjust my workload for several days to compensate for how terrible I was feeling, and at the end of my period each month I’d actually go through withdrawal from the ibuprofen.) My cramps have improved tremendously on raw, but I’m certain I wouldn’t have them at all without the IUD. I’ve also been very active about seeking out alternative pain relief solutions, and usually I can now get away with 3 or 4 advil for the whole duration of my period, which is obviously a huge improvement. It’s still not ideal, though, but the pain with the IUD is really intense for me. And some months, particularly when I’ve been eating not-so-cleanly or when I’ve been under a lot of stress, things still get kind of nasty. I’ve been on the verge of going to the hospital a few times. So there’s that. (Though again, I’ve always had difficult, very heavy periods, so I wasn’t a great candidate for an IUD to begin with—it was just the only choice for me at the time.)

    Also, there are some concerns regarding copper imbalance and toxicity. See Ann Louise Gittelman’s “Why am I so tired?”


    Finally, I’m pre-kids, and do want them some day. I’ve heard that there can be issues getting pregnant after an IUD—I think they’re not hugely widespread, but it is a concern.

    All that said, I still have mine. Even though my partner and I are currently living in different states until June, so I won’t really have a regular sex life for the next nine months. I’m a thrifty person, but if it was really so terrible, I’d take it out and get a new one next summer. I guess after all this time I’ve kind of made peace with it. But another terrible period may still change my mind…

    Hope my rantings give you some perspective! I know lots of people who love theirs, but I’ve definitely had some issues with mine. And because all I heard before I got it was how fantastic they were, I just wasn’t prepared for any other result.

    PS-Kendra, I was really uncomfortable after mine was put in. I couldn’t got to work for a few days. But perhaps I just have an extremely low pain tolerance!

  • Thank you Harmonylia, thank you Jenny! There’s so much to consider and it’s nice to hear the pros AND cons so that I’ll have an idea of what COULD happen. Can IUD’s be removed at any time, or do I have to see a doctor in order to have it removed? (how inconvenient if so). Oh and Jenny, I can totally relate to what you said about birth control pills. I took them when I was married and they absolutely made me crazy! I was depressed a lot, highly emotional and touchy and easily upset by my ex-husband. But I probably woud have been that without the Birth Control…lol! One thing’s for sure, I will not be taking BCs again…too much harm to the endocrine system.

  • I have the plastic IUD- I was going to get the copper, but learned that the copper can increase cramping and mine already had me stuck in bed 2 days out of every month, so I decided ultra-light hormones were an okay trade off for not making my cramps worse.

    I LOVE MY IUD!!!

    My 2 days of severe cramping has been reduced to about 2 hours of minimal (more like a stomach ache) discomfort per month. I had had pretty severe reactions to every other birth control (tried about 5). It took about 3 months for my body to accept it (I was a bit worried for a while) but eventually my body and the IUD found a nice balance and I haven’t thought about birth control for 3 years other than to be grateful I don’t have to think about it.

    Another positive- I haven’t had to buy a feminine hygiene product in 3 years either- my periods are so light, there’s practically no spotting to deal with.

  • Kendra, yes, we clearly had the same reaction to BCPs!

    It’s very convenient to get IUDs taken out. The only requirement is that you go to the doctor when you have your period (again, its when the cervix is more open) and I think it just takes a couple of seconds. Though I have known a few women who got so frustrated they just pulled them out themselves, that is not exactly “recommended”!

  • thanks you guys. i haven’t ever noticed this mentioned in other forums about birth control, so i was just wondering if there was a reason.

    i haven’t had kids yet though (the idea is NOT to right now =) ), so i’m wondering if this is going to work, but i guess it’s worth a try.

    are they expensive? is there a better company to buy from?

    kathrynL—what sorts of hormones are in the plastic one? are you totally raw? i think i’d be a little worried that my diet is so freakin clean that a “little” hormones would go a long way… but i’m open to more info.

    thanks you guys!

  • I dream of someday being totally raw. I’ve managed to cut the meat and coffee and that in itself has been pretty huge for me. Honestly when I first got the IUD my diet was horrible, but I was quite concerned about hormones because I had serious reactions to all other birth controls I tried (psycho-bitch mood swings, one hormone even left me spotting daily for over a year). Ultimately I weighed my options and decided to try the one with hormones because my cramps were already near debilitating.

    My body did not like it at first, I had some body energy work done a couple months after getting it and the woman knew something was really out of wack around my pelvis before I even told her I had recently had it inserted. But after about 3 months my body finally accepted it and I’ve felt really hormonally balanced for the past 3 years.

    If I were making the decision today, I might make a completely different one, but for now I’m just grateful that I’ve found balance with birth control. It’s quite a struggle.

    It’s called the Mirena, you can google it to research exactly what hormones are in it.

  • Wow, Heavy bleeding? Copper implant. Sounds so scary! And quite contradictive to the whole point of this site-not putting things in our bodies we don;’t need! I understand the importance of birth control and it’s one I’ve struggled with too .Tried everything, and now condoms really are the safest and healthiest things out there. My husband takes neem for birth control, actually it’s widely used in other countries(search it) and kills sperm on contact if you can vaginal suppositires!

  • if you haven’t had kids, most gynecologists won’t insert them. the uterus before kids in some folks (such as myself) is too small to fit even the tiny iud. i asked about it and was very disappointed when he showed me how big my uterus was versus how big the iud was. they can be very dangerous in such a situation. but if you’ve had kids or your uterus is bigger than mine AND you can find a doctor who will insert it for you, go for it. i’m jealous. :) s

  • jeshuabrown—i completely agree. it’s just the whole thing is a little frustrating. i thought the IUD might be a) less wasteful than condoms, and b) more pleasure-ful. BUT, heavy bleeding and cramping doesn’t sound all that cool. of course my mom had one for years with no problems.

    samesofam- yeah, i guess there’s only one way to find out. don’t envy me quite yet!

    kathryn- thanks for the info. =)

    ok… now onto NEEM. i’ve just blackled it and am wondering if it is really as magical as it appears… JESHUAHBROWN—i’m curious why you use condoms as well. also, where do you purchase this stuff?

  • pianissima, I think mine cost between $300-350 at Planned Parenthood. No one even mentioned to me that not having had kids would be an issue, but maybe that’s part of why I’ve had so much trouble with mine?

  • I got a copper IUD because I did not want to take anything with hormones and I ended up getting pregnant so I have no faith in them. Not to mention, doctors can’t even explian how they work, they just do.

  • i’m too scared of it, but others seemingly have loved them. one of my cousins loves hers. less fuss.

    I am also curious about neem. i would love more info. we have been looking for a male birth control for awhile.

  • Pianissima,

    Thanks for posting this topic. I am always searching for more options besides birth controlpills, or any method that wouldnt screw with my cycle. I want to be as natural as possible. I’m currently not engaging in sexual intercourse with anyone as I plan to wait until I am married, however, I feel the time is around the corner so any posts reguarding birth control I pay serious attention to. A friend even once told me that if I was planning to be so strict on what methods of birth control I use, I should only have sex when trying to concieve a child. Which honeslty, I definitely don’t think I can do. First of all, I do not plan on having any biological children and very much wish to adopt. Second, I have a very high sex drive. Even more now that I am raw. Thirdly?...I am a total hottie. There I said it! I appreciate and enjoy my body and I want someone else to do the same. Sex (by yourself or with your significant other) is just one of many ways to connect with God, despite all the negative views a lot of people have about it.

    I was planning on just having sex when I am not ovulating. And during ovulation, do “other” things to have fun, or use barrier methods like condoms, (Only if they are vegan). Other than that, I may be all out of options. We live in a world now where having an unplanned baby is dangerous for you and the baby. So I may even have to make some sacrifices.

  • http://www.altcancer.com/neemsup.htm


    I use condoms because I am deathly afraid of becoming pregnant. I can’t say I’ve tried the suppositories, but will soon. I’ll let you all know if anything happens!

  • If you don’t ever plan on having kids I highly recommend surgery. I got ‘fixed’ when I was 21 and never once looked back. If I had to do it all over again I would.

  • I had a copper IUD because the pill messed with me too much hormonally. I HATED it! It really messed up my periods – made them heavier and a lot longer. Then after I had it removed, my periods were super light and short. Raw cacao helped heal a lot of the problems, but I don’t like the copper IUD, for sure.

  • I am beginning to use this device, the lady-comp

    Feels great to be drug free after 4 years on the pill!

  • This issue is how I came to the raw diet. I was on the shot every 3 months but then read about the hormones and decided to stop that. I read up on all the options and was no happy. I don’t want hormones but also do not want another child. I talked to my husband about the copper IUD but he was against it (our daughter has mercury poisoning so poor detox ability runs in one or both sides of our family). So it has been 2 months and we are using condoms and hating it. We have talked about surgery but neither one of us really wants to do that.

  • Winona: Thank you so much for the lady-comp website! I just read through it all and am so surprised that it is so reliable. I will talk to my husband about this tonight!

  • i also read on giveittomeraw about the honey cap, which is like a diaphragm that lives in a honey jar until you take it out and use it… the honey is a natural spermicide i guess.

    anyway, the lady comp sounds like a great idea since it seems like (correct me if i’m wrong) it isn’t dependent on your period, right? that is what makes a lot of the natural solutions hard for me… i don’t usually bleed since going raw. (that’s a whole other topic)

    p.s. i bought some neem oil the other day. omg does it smell atrocious. but it is supposed to be a miracle anti-bacterial… maybe the bacteria just run away from the smell. ;)

  • The Lady Comp sounds awesome! Thanks so much for posting that link! I love the nuggets I find in groups like this – fabulous! I will definitely be talking to my darling husband tonight. After 7 munchkins, this is definitely a topic of conversation between us lately! LOL

    pianissima what is neem oil for?


  • Babycat-How did you get a doctor to do surgery when you were 21?!! I’m 20 and NEVER want children of my own, but I didn’t think any doctor would do it for someone so young. I’m jealous!

  • I was just going to ask the same question! Why don’t doctors hesitate so much to give a guy the ol snip snip?

  • Hi, I could also use some help/support with this question.

    I have been taking kariva pill for the last 10 months. It’s been awful. We didn’t figure it out until a couple months ago, but I have been so emotional, mood-swinging that I don’t even know how my boyfriend has put up with me. I rarely want to have sex (is that how b.c. works, just makes you celibate by lack of desire?) and when I do it just hurts. Unfortunately I have been traveling all summer and couldn’t make it to the doctor, and was so scared to stop taking the pill that I just kept doing it.

    I didn’t take my pill today. And already I feel better, or at least more in control. I called to make a doctor’s appointment today, and was told that the Nuva Ring might work better for me. Does anyone have any experience with it? I just want my body back, and am very scared of the rhythm method. I am a student, so a baby is definitely not an option for me!

    I am so glad that this resource is out there. I just wanted to say thank you all for existing.

  • Lindsaylou – I had two friends that used the ring. One of them loved it and the other hated it. If BC pills were making your crazy and loose libido the ring had a good chance of doing the same thing. Its uses hormones like the pill to prevent pregnancy.

    I looked into the ladycomp that Winona posted it and it is actually more reliable than the BC pills. I ordered myself one. It is very expensive although you can make payments.

    I also tried to get an IUD but because I haven’t had a baby and wasn’t in a monogamous relationship the doctor said no. I am in the military and they love to follow “the rules.”

    I am on BC and have been for almost 9 years. I have never had any problems with it, but I really would like to get off the fake hormones. I am really excited about the lady comp.

    I too am NOT ready for a baby although plan to have many in the future.

  • eastcheetah—well, after the neem pill suggestion, i did a little research on neem. apparently (and through no actually conclusive research) it kills sperm in the vagina. so it can be used as a natural spermicide. AGAIN, no HUMAN evidence that this works! (they’ve done tests on animals that show this to be true FOR ANIMALS). But, since it’s used in ayurvedic medicine for tons of stuff, i thought i’d buy a small bottle and try it out for its antibacterial use. YUCK. i’ll stick with hydrogen peroxide thank you very much.

    there is a great thread on giveittomeraw in the women’s section on birth control methods. they mention a lot of things i’d never heard of…

  • I’ve actually got a doctor’s appointment for an IUD tomorrow, so wish me luck! I hope it won’t hurt too badly- I’m quite young (well, kinda- I’m 19, but I haven’t had “the experience,” if you catch my drift) and terribly unfortunately, I am not on my period- it’s supposed to make it easier, but it’s not completely necessary. Actually, I haven’t had my period for a while, but the doctor explained that it won’t make much difference with the IUD, as long as I keep trying to get my period back for other health reasons- more protein, etc, I suppose- I’m not quite sure how to go about getting one’s period back… I might post that on another thread, though, I’ve seen one or two. Anyway, holds breath hope it goes ok!

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