IUD stands for Intrauterine Device and it is a small device with a T shape made of plastic that is inserted into our uterus as one of the available contraceptives.
There are 2 types of IUD: copper which is non-hormonal and Mirena or similar which are hormonal. They have a string which is supposed to be inside and if you are using a cup, make sure the doctor cut the strings short.
The procedure itself can be uncomfortable and sore but quick and it may be sore for a few days after, or more. With the Mirena, there will often be some bleeding for a few weeks or months, after which doctors will say it is normal. I would ask why?
A few words about the copper IUD, which you may find online too but I will also add things that we often don’t hear about and it is important to know so that you get the full picture.
How does it work?
The copper IUD releases copper inside our uterus and copper is a toxin for sperm that impairs sperm mobility. Also, simply by having a foreign device in our uterus it prevents a fertile egg from implanting. It has a 99.4% efficiency rate and can be inside your body for about 10 years. Another “benefit” it has, is that it doesn’t mess with your hormones.
Now, let’s have a look at this information again. The copper is toxic to sperm, which are human cells. It is released into our uterus but doesn’t affect us? It is there all the time! Also, copper is a heavy metal and we know that heavy metals are not good for us and there is such a thing as copper toxicity. How much is too much for your body? Another point to consider is that copper might create zinc deficiency since it competes for absorption and that is bad news for your body. Lastly, a research paper I read indicates that it can affect your estrogen levels because the copper binds to the receptors that estrogen is supposed to bind to in order to be cleared out of the body and this is the short version. We then stay with excess estrogen, but hey, they say it doesn’t mess with our hormones. This is all before we have discussed the fact that it can migrate to other parts of the body and since it is a foreign object, our body attacks it and that can create inflammation.
The Mirena Hormonal IUD
The Mirena is a small device that is inserted into the uterus and it releases small amounts of progestin levonorgestrel which lasts 5 years before the progestin runs out. Its main action is to thicken cervical mucus, inhibit sperm survival and prevent the uterine lining from growing so that implantation won’t be possible.
Some will say it is the better one of all the HBC because it does not aim to suppress ovulation. In fact, it does suppress ovulation for at least 85% of women. Some side effects include weight gain, acne, bloating, depression, hair loss, irregular bleedings, loss of sex drive and that is the short list. A huge problem with it is that the side effects usually don’t come immediately; they built up slowly and when they do present themselves, we tend not to make the connection.
The Mirena can fall out of place and another serious problem will be that it can cause an inflammatory reaction. Again, it builds up with time and when you begin to feel the symptoms, you don’t make the connection. While our hormones fluctuate during the day and different hormones are present in different doses during the phases of our cycle, using the pill or Mirena pumps the same dose of synthetic hormones into your body every single day, with no change. There is a huge importance for estrogen and progesterone in our body and even more to the ratio between those two. You don’t get to enjoy those beneficial hormones and instead end up with artificial hormones who do more harm than good and we see many women with the Mirena have excess estrogen due to hormonal imbalance. Our body, like anything in nature, seeks balance.