My Birth Control Journey/Paraguard {Product review}

**I am definitely not a medical professional. This article is based on my personal experience. As always, please talk to your doctor before making any medical decisions for yourself**

“The best way to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy among women who are sexually active is to use effective birth control correctly and consistently……..”

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BK#1 was conceived with combined oral contraceptive. That “typical failure rate of 9%”, yeah that is me. I took my pill daily, and had alarm set on my phone so even if I was busy, I couldn’t forget. She is a blessing, we adore her, and in no way is she an “oops”, “accident” or many other things I have heard. The pill simply didn’t work for me.

After she was born I went on a progestin only pill (because I was nursing BK#1) AND we used condoms!

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8 months later I found out I was pregnant with BK#2!! >>> Insert chaos here<<<<

Okay CDC I got you…I am the 9% and apparently in the 18% also?!?!

Our babies are our WORLD and we wouldn’t have it any other way!! Birth control, in general, just infuriates me and scares me. Why spend all this money, if planning your life for your children doesn’t work! God obviously wanted these babies, and they better become lawyers or the president or something.

For those who have a very hard time TTC, or can’t I am truly sorry. This post is not to make you feel bad, but to make woman aware of the stats, and the reality of birth control failure.

After BK#2 was born we made the decision that I would get an IUD. We were not ready to get anything permanent, and make the decision to be done having babies, but SOMETHING had to be done! My body is still recovering 6 months later. A pregnancy a year is not easy on the body, at all. Doctors say it takes a woman’s body 18 months to completely heal…..well BK#1 and BK#2 are only 17 months apart. So, even though I was scared of getting an IUD because of the risk factors, I chose to get one for my health, and sanity!

After months of talking with my  DH, doctor,  and midwife, we decided that I would get a Paragard.BurritoBuzz Paragard2

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Pros: Its more than 99% effective! I like those odds a little better. The string is a cotton string unlike most IUD’s. It is still stiff at first, but it does soften up after a few weeks. Even though it caused a little discomfort at first with my husband, after a week or so it was fine! It lasts for 10 years.  No more alarms going off to take my pill, no more counting days and checking the calendar to see if I missed a day, or if the pack is right, and no more taking pills!!!! YES PLEASE.

There are no hormones, because it is a copper device. >>> No weight gain, mood swings, etc. that come along with a hormone based birth control.

I have had no spotting, or periods since the initial spotting after insertion. I don’t know if that is due to still breastfeeding, or the IUD.

I had no “adjustment time”. No cramping or pain later. BUrritoBuzz Paragard.png

6 months after being pregnant, and I’m not pregnant!!!!!!

My insurance paid for it in FULL! We don’t have that great of insurance either, so be sure to contact them first!

Cons: It hurt like you wouldn’t believe getting it put in! I had two natural births , and I was crying while it was getting put in, I almost passed out, I puked after she was done, and I sat in the office for 30 minutes after it was done to calm down so I could leave.

There are a lot of horror stories about IUD implanting in the uterus etc., but never did I read anything about how I felt that day.

When you get it put in after birth you have to wait a month or so. I scheduled my insertion promptly after delivery, and my midwife and OBGYN insured me that it would be super easy to insert, because of just delivering a huge baby.

IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN EASY FOR THEM!

Honestly, I felt bad for my doctor. I was a mess, but I couldn’t help it! When they dilated my cervix and inserted it I could have swore she was trying to rip out my uterus.

I suggest asking to be numbed, and some valium if you are getting it!

There are the horror stories of IUDs, but that comes with anything. There are even  horror stories for the pill. Its really how you take care of yourself, and making sure you go for your regular checks, and are checking yourself!

The pain of insertion is the only bad thing I have to say about Paragard!

Would I do it again?  Maybe? If they could drug me up, or knock me out! I think its worth it for 10 years.

Be sure to talk about all of your options with your doctor, and educate yourself before putting anything into your body! I hope my experiences can help you!!

~Amanda~

 

 

 

 

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Product Review: Mirena

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**I am most definitely not a medical professional. This article is based on my personal experiences. As always, please talk to your doctor before making any medical decisions for yourself**

I have had a lot, a LOT of issues with BC. I have tried several different brands and forms with mostly negative results. Before I was married and interested in having children, I wanted a BC that treated strong cramps and heavy, long-lasting cycles. The types of BC I tried before TTC include:

  • Yaz– This daily pill made me feel like my heart was racing and have spells of lightheadedness at random times (the pill was later found to cause severe blood clots and actually does not treat any symptoms of PMS like it claimed).
  • Lo Loestrine Fe– Also a daily pill. This did not treat my heavy, long-lasting cycle and painful cramps.

At this point, my gyno decided I need a constant stream of hormones with no placebo time (like many pills have) So then I tried..

  • Ortho Evra– This is a patch that you place on your waistline, back or rear. It was disgusting. It was like a band aid you wore for one week and then replaced. It left a nasty ring of stickiness (like a band aid) and skin irritation wherever I placed it. It also would come off occasionally in the shower, which left me in constant fear that I was not being protected. I
  • NuvaRing– This is a vaginal ring you replace yourself after 3 weeks in and one week off. This was by far, the worst of all BC I tried. It slipped out constantly and was very gross to put back in myself. But worst of all, it gave me a SEVERE vaginal infection that took two drs (one of which was a urogynocologist) to diagnose and treat. Horrible. Just horrible.

After that horrendous experience, I just dealt with my discomfort and we used the trusty ol’ condom until we were TTC. So after the birth of my LO, I was extremely hesitant to go back on BC but knew it was necessary because I conceived very, very easily and we were certainly not ready for another LO. My gyno suggested Mirena.

Mirena is an intra-uterine device that can stay in for up to 5 years. It slowly releases low levels of progestin into the uterus. The device is inserted by your gyno and small strings are left hanging that are supposed to allow you to check and make sure it is still correctly in place. This BC is recommended for women that have had a child.

imagePROS: When I had mine inserted, my gyno said to me, “pick a four letter word to say now because you’re going to need it when I put it in.” I honestly had to ask her if she was done because I felt nothing other than the usual discomfort of her messing around in that area. It didn’t hurt me in the slightest. I love not having to worry about taking a pill everyday. I have heard some people say that they can feel the strings that are left hanging. I have never had any discomfort. I’ve had the device in for over a year now and (now) I can say that my cycles are short and very light. I still have some cramping, but nothing like I’ve experienced in the past.

CONS: I bled. I bled every single day for almost 5 months. I’m talking several heavy flow pads per day. Mind you, I had a C-section. So this was strictly related to the BC, not from giving birth (I had no bleeding in the 6 weeks after giving birth and before getting Mirena). It was horrible. My poor DH. Not only was my last trimester a painful nightmare, I finally have the baby and we still can’t be intimate because I’m disgusting. Sexy.

It finally got so bad that I was concerned it was not inserted correctly, so I went back to my gyno. She did a full exam and said it was inserted correctly and to just hang in there. My symptoms were not uncommon and if I held out for one more month, it could go away. And she was right. A few weeks after that, my bleeding subsided and I finally began to have a recognizable cycle again. Still, it was quite the ordeal.

In the relatively near future, my DH and I will be TTC again. I am planning an extensive article series on TTC and (God willing) my subsequent pregnancy. I do have a fear of having difficulty conceiving after removing my Mirena. DrugWatch.com states that 80% of women can successfully conceive within one year of removal. Fingers crossed.

I hope my experiences can help you make a better choice on what is right for your body. I can’t say I am a strong proponent of BC after my dreadful experiences, however, it’s a necessary evil in my personal opinion. I’m constantly doing research on what is safest and best for my body. I strongly encourage every woman do the same. Meanwhile, I’ll be continuing my earnest prayers for the development of the male BC pill… *please Jesus, please*

-Chelsea