What are the pros and cons of long-term birth control options?

For moms who are through having kids, or who want a definite pause between children, many consider various types of birth control to manage their fertility. Inserts like IUDs provide long-term birth control with little management; what are your thoughts on their pros and cons?

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19  Answers

3 1

On my second Mirena and love it. Had one put in after my first baby for about a year and then got pregnant with my twin boys. I have had the second one in for almost two years. No bleeding means no tampons or pads to worry about! It's wonderful.

7
0 20

just turned 40, had my first in for about 3 1/2 years. thinking about another baby, and then back for another. lots of money saved on feminine products!!!!

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2 22

We looked into chemical birth control, and I had several issues with it. One, our family has a history of mental illness so anything that has the possibility to mess with your mental state (which it does) I'm very hesitant with. We also had some religious issues. I'm not against birth conrol by itself, but am against early abortion methods like the morning after pill (even though I'm iffy about exactly during pregnancy the soul begans, I like to err on the side of caution). Looking into the pill and IUDS I discovered that there was ambiguity on how they worked...they could work EITHER by preventing sperm from meeting egg (something I have no problem with) or preventing the fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus (something I consider an early abortion method and am not ok with).

We did natural family planning between our 2nd and third child. this is NOT to be confused with the rhythm method. In NFP you chart your waking temperature and or cervical fluid and position so that you can tell when you may be fertile (the third option means getting really cozy with feeling inside your vagina...sorry folks if that's blunt). I had problems with waking temperature because I was still nursing during the night and you need to have been asleep for a certain amount of time and then wake up at the exact same time...both of which were hard to do. So, we tried just charting cervical fluid and position and using condoms if we had sex during times we might be fertile.

It worked for about 2 and a half years, but either a condom failed or we made a mistake on our charting and we had an accident (which turned into a blessing!).

We don't want any more kids, but if another came we can take care of it and change our plans...its a preference, not a need (for some its a need and I know). We now use condoms and thats worked for 3 1/2 years...so far so good. If it became a need we would go the surgical method but not now.

6
6 0

hi! there..
being a mum/nani/gr8 nani... have my concerns about the hormones over the years since the 60's
being given to us..put in our food etc and used to prevent babies... that dont mix with our natural body hormones... hence why
is there so much cancers now!!! think twice..if you want to grow old with all ur female bits..and see ur kids grow up and their kids.....think we need to start questioning just why!! all this cancer is happening..when our gr8 grand parents..went to their graves with all their bits and we are not...
TIME FOR THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT WE ARE GIVEN AND WHAT DOES IT REALLY DO.. TO OUR BODIES???????????????????????

2
9 0

I have been using natural family planning for the last year, and it has worked (modern NFP uses the sympto-thermal method- this is NOT your grandma's rhythm method that gave her 8 babies! It is over 99% effective when used properly). Pros include not having to go to the doctor or wait several months when you decide to conceive, feeling more in control of my body and aware of it (for instance, I was able to identify a short luteal phase in my regular, 28-29 day cycle and correct it with slight diet modification.. when it comes time for our next baby, I won't be wondering why I can't conceive because I corrected this myself with the advice of the NFP literature!), and not having to deal with side effects of hormonal birth control (I had terrible mood swings and migraines on different pills, and the migraines didn't go away completely after stopping them =( .. I had osteopenia by 23 after using depo-provera shots without supplementing calcium. I would have taken calcium if I had known I should, but nobody told me and I didn't think to look for that kind of advice online; I thought the doctor/nurses would have told me.) And with IUDs, they can perforate your uterus! I know it works for some folks, but that frightens me, and I'm also bothered by the fact that you have to go get it removed if you accidentally become pregnant and the baby does implant, though it generally works by changing the uterine environment to prevent implantation and the wings provide some physical barrier to prevent fertilization. Another pro is that NFP is free, aside from the initial cost of the book and thermometer, and replacement thermometers (a couple dollars a time or two each year). You can take classes from couples at Catholic churches for free. Someone would probably even give you a book if you really need it. I got mine for free.

Cons to NFP include: effort to get to know your body and the technique, though it's just like learning to tie your shoes- you get up, take your temp, chart it. During the time of day when you feel your cervix and check your cervical mucus, you wash your hands and do it, chart it as appropriate. It really becomes second nature if you are devoted to doing it. The other main con is periodic abstinence, though some people just use condoms during that time.

2
0 0

I wouldn't even call learning about tour body a con. Its an awesome benefit to truly understand your body. It also brings couples so much closer when they learn together.

2 0

If your body does not tolerate hormones well, Mirena is not a good option. Paragard is the other IUD option that doesn't have any hormones and it lasts 10 years. Mirena lasts 5 and still relies on hormones to prevent pregnancy. Paragard uses copper to prevent your body's eggs from attaching to the uterus wall. The only drawback is that when you start getting cramps, if you don't immediately take anti-inflammatory meds (ie Tylenol or Advil), you will be doubled over in agony for a while. It may not be the perfect solution, but it is a lot more freeing to let your body chemistry be what it's supposed to be, rather than messing about with your hormones. I am on my second decade of a hormone free, pregnancy free lifestyle and it's really good to feel like I'm in control of my body and my emotions. I hope this helps!

2
2 0

I started using Paragard in August and love it! I agree with the cramping...it's a pain. And I find that my periods are heavier. But this is something I am willing to deal with. I also know that if and when my husband and I are ready to have a third child it is just a matter of an appointment to have it removed. I feel very in control. I am also a migraine sufferer, so additional hormones would just make them worse. Now that I am using a hormone free birth control my migraines have also been more controlled and less frequent.

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2 10

I loved my mirena until earlier this year. I found out the mirena only works 3 years not 5 like I was told. I had a miscarriage and had to have surgery because the iud caused cysts on my ovaries. I was in a great deal of pain constantly. I cannot use any pills, patches, shots, etc due to the estrogen in them. Now I watch my cycle and use condoms.

2
0 0

We have successfully used NFP (natural family planning) for 10 years now. It has strengthened our marriage and it is wonderful to know exactly what your body is doing and when. If you are struggling and want to stick with the NFP, look for a Couple to Couple League teaching couple who could assist you in identifying issues you may be having. If you really are struggling with the temperatures, Creighton is another all natural model that uses just mucous observation, without a temperature read or cervical position. There are only a limited number of fertile days each month. I urdge anyone who ones a healthier body and marriage to learn NFP or the Creighton method.

1
0 0

Mirena has messed up my hormones & periods completely! It has not taken away my periods & made them more irregular & longer. It was over the top with mood swings & most recently hair loss. I also finally tried to get it removed and that is even an issue :-( I would suggest no IUD....A foreign object secreting synthetic hormones doesn't seem to be the way to go! Since having mine for well over a year, I have encountered MANY women with issues with this IUD. Look to a diaphragm which is no chemical, or something less permanent. I have had a hell of a time & found very few others to find it a success. Good luck.

1
711 9

At age 19 I began taking birth control pills (that was the mid sixties) and I continued for 4 years as that was the prescribed length of time for usage.

As I am a fertile soul, as soon as I came off of the pills I was pregnant within the 2nd month. Thereafter I used a diaphragm and anti-sperm cream. After my divorce I didn't have a lot of sexual contact, but the few times I did I used condoms

During my second marriage I used nothing and because we were both fertile, after the birth of my third child my husband agreed to a vasectomy as I wanted to breastfeed.

Since my 2nd divorce I use condoms. I totally stay away from IUD's as my Mom warned me against them. As she was a RN, I listened to her and I am happy because I have heard so many stories about the problems women have with IUD's.

As for the shots and other new methods of birth control, I am a bit leary!!

1
60 0

after taking the pill for years,and often forgetting to.....I dont take anything!!!...but I am trying for another,i think the pill can cause so many side effects after taking for too many years

0
0 0

I had a IUD between 2nd and 3rd child and it was awsome - I decided to get a IUD after my 6th child but found myself pregnant with number seven and IUD in perfect position! IWe ended up having a still born due to heart problems - in this time frame I got hubby to have a vasectomy but now comming up two years later we would love another child to fill the gap our daughter left - so left with expensive decisions!!! any ideas?

0
20 0

I am sensitive to BC most make me sick. I can only do 2 kinds. the mini pill and the Depo shot. I don't like the idea of an IUD because I am not sure what my plans are, and it is a lot of trouble for something that I may not react well to. I am also not sure about the way in which they prevent pregnancy. I am more comfortable with the ones that prevent ovulation.

I am VERY fertile I have gotten pregnant within a week or two of going off BC 3 times with condoms. so i don't trust natural methods for me.

I like the Depo shot the best because I have no periods. I am undergoing some medical treatments right now that make that a HUGE asset. It is mild and a lower dose of hormones than other options. and much easier than a pill that I have to remember to take.

it is the best option for long-ish term. short of an IUD.

0
11 9

I was on deprovera off and on for 6 years, when I wanted a second child it took me 2 years to get pregnant. After my 3rd child I tried the mirena, I bleed for 4 months and then it slipped out of place. I was so afraid I had gotten pregnant again! I do not trust them.

0
10 9

I have had the Mirena in for almost 4 years and love it. No ill side effects and no more periods. My sister had it before she had any children and it only caused her problems. However, after she had her daughter, she got another Mirena and she loves it. I plan on getting another Mirena next year when I get this one removed.

0
1 2

I had Mirena, and I loved it--no periods, didn't notice any hormone/mood swings--until the 5 years were up and I went in to have it removed, and my gyno said, "Uh-oh..." My uterus had grown around the device, and I had to have surgery to remove it. Now, I have some pain and scarring in there--it's a good thing I don't want any more babies, because I am pretty sure the scarring would make my uterus unstable and I would be risking miscarriage. Yes, I am probably one in 1000 that this happens to, but, FYI...

0
0 21

I chose Implanon and used it for a year with no major issues. I was leery about using a hormonal birth control and I didn't like the unknown feeling of when my period was going to hit and how long it would last. My husband actually thought I was having mood swings and wanted me to get it out. So, I ended up getting it out because I just didn't feel right not getting my period.

0
0 0

I use Implanon also and love it! I have very short periods once a month. I am on my 2nd one. I can't take regular birth control because of the hormones in it. I have a blood clotting disorder, but I can handle the hormones in the implanon.

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0 1

I had the ESSURE procedure dont when my youngest daughter was 9mths and she is now 8 1/2. Its was so easy!! I was the 19th in the state of Illinois to have it done and I have had no problems. It is permant like getting yout tubes tied but let complications and less recovery time. Its outpatient and I was home that afternoon. I was able to resume normal activities the next morning including nursing my daughter.

0
0 0

Do you still get your period as usual or has that lessened at all? I have the mirena now and don't get my period now and would like to have ESSURE done, but don't want to get my period back. Any comments would be appreciated.

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5 28

Im also on my 2nd Mirena had my 1st one in for 3yrs never had a problem. Got it out had another baby and had my 2nd one in for alittle over a year. I must say the only problem I have had is this time around pretty much everytime I have intercourse I bleed for a day or two afterwards. Nothing heavy but Im getting alittle annoyed with it. Sorry I know TMI but just wondering if anyone else is having the same problem. I have the 5yr Mirena.

0
0 10

I have the same issue with spotting after intercourse.

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23 30

I love my mirena. I have always had issues with birth control. I tried the pill, it made me sick if I didn't take it the same time every day. I tried the patch and bleed the entire time I was on it and scarred where the patch was on my skin. The mirena I haven't had a single issue with. I love knowing I can forget about birth control and not get pregnant before we plan too. It makes my periods lighter, don't get cramps anymore, and haven't had a single complication. Will be going back to the minera even after we dicde its time for baby #2.

0
12 33

OMG!! It's the first time I am hearing about this mirena. I have no idea what it is and its sounding pretty good. Sounds like something I might be interested in. Nevertheless I use to used the pill (the only birth control I ever used) but after my 1st child who is 4 now, I never used any birth control pills. I just had my second child who is 4 months now and again I am not on any birth control. Me and my partner just know how to control ourselves. But looking at mirena, I am not thinking about preventing getting pregnant. I'm thinking getting ready of my periods. I too would like to not have to think about pads!!!! But I do not understand....is this something they put inside of you? And when you want to get pregnant they take it out? This sounds very scary to me and I would probably be afraid to do it. I wonder if it hurts? Well, I'll do someone research on it later....Again this is not about preventing pregnancy but preventing that thing call menstrual cycle!!! LMAO!!

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