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Thread: Paragard: What your Doc doesn't know or doesn't tell you.

  1. #1
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    Default Paragard: What your Doc doesn't know or doesn't tell you.


    I've recently discovered some things about Paragard that I'd like to share with everyone. I've done some research on copper and my findings have been somewhat shocking to say the least. You may not have the same reaction to Paragard as I have but I think some of you may be able to relate.

    I have had my Paragard for two years this month. I've found that the one "pro" is that I don't have to worry about a pill everyday.

    My personal "con" list:
    -Severe cramps (doubling over, having to lay down, cramps similar to beginning labor pains)
    -Heavy Bleeding (going through a heavy flow pad every hour for the first two days of my period)
    -Irregular bleeding/breakthrough bleeding
    -Discomfort/pain during sex (my boyfriend is not overly "large" but my overly-tender cervix is being bumped) ouch!
    -Spotting after sex
    -Acne (I've never had so much acne and in weird places)
    -Weigh gain (I've put on about twenty pounds since Paragard fitting)
    -Extremely tender breasts almost two weeks before my period
    -Extended PMS (usually I experience 2 weeks of PMS)
    -Increased migraine (I've been a migraine sufferer for 3 years and since Paragard they have become more frequent and intense.)
    -Increased arthritis pain
    -Anxiety
    -Decreased appetite
    -High blood pressure (mine has always been very normal)

    I originally chose Paragard because of the non-hormonal aspect but after doing some research about copper my mind has definitely changed.

    What your doctor doesn't tell you about Paragard -

    - Copper Toxicity - (not all are listed here, I didn't want this post to be novel-sized)

    Raised copper levels decrease zinc in your body.
    Zinc is necessary for the following:

    -Wound healing and tissue repair
    -Healthy skin
    -Aides in the release of digestive enzymes
    -Neurotransmission
    -Ability to feel relaxed
    -Zinc has a natural anti-histamine property that helps combat allergies

    Raised copper levels in the body cause the following but are not limited to:
    -Acne
    -Allergies
    -Anemia
    -Anorexia
    -Arthritis
    -Depression
    -Anxiety
    -Neuralgia(nerve pain)
    -Insomnia
    -Hypertension
    -Fatigue

    Increased copper levels are especially detrimental to women because of our natural estrogen. Estrogen facilitates the retention of copper which leads to the symptoms I've listed above. So those of us who thought that getting the Paragard was a good choice because of it being a "hormone free" birth control, we've really just created a paradox for ourselves.

    -Paragard and weight gain-
    Increased copper levels also lead to a decrease in cortisol levels in the body. When cortisol levels are low we are at a higher risk of hypoglycemic attacks and at risk for developing diabetes. Since our cortisol is lowered from high copper levels, our bodies crave sweets and carbs. Eating to satisfy these cravings then quickly raises cortisol. When our cortisol levels are raised quickly, like after eating a big piece of cake or a plate of pasta this signals our bodies to immediately store these sugars as fat, hence the weight gain associated with Paragard. My doctor has tried to convince me that Paragard has nothing to do with my weight gain.

    My arthritis pain has become worse, which can be contributed to raised copper levels. Again, it goes back to cortisol, the body's #1 natural anti-inflammatory, and when cortisol is decreased by copper, arthritis is aggravated.

    I could go through each symptom of copper toxicity, but I think you may be getting the picture as to why I think Paragard is really detrimental to my body.
    I think I'll go back to the pill. Personally, I'd rather have the inconvenience of taking a pill everyday than to live with all of these horrible side effects.

  2. #2
    APRIL 2011 POSTER OF THE MONTH Array ItsASecret's Avatar
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    Just a side note to anyone who is terrified of seeing 'copper toxicity'....you eat and drink more copper in your diet than is released on a daily basis from this IUD. Researchers know this which is why they designed the IUD the way they did. The actual amount of copper that is released does not impede on your bodies natural copper concentration (it is produced naturally). You need copper in your body if you want an immune system, you need it if you want to keep your blood, you need it to intake iron into some of your bodies systems, you need it to digest food and so many more things. There is no life without a good portion of copper in you. To get to the serious condition of copper toxicity one would actually need to ingest huge of amounts of copper in your diet, like cooking with a junk copper based frying pan for 10 years, have a severe disturbance in your copper metabolism due to disease, or have a serious genetic condition to really raise your copper levels to threatening levels.

    There is really nothing to worry about, copper wise, when it comes to the Paragard IUD. The list can be so much longer for side effects just with the initial implantation due to it being surgery. Countless millions of women can swear by the effectiveness of this method because they have tried the hormonal variants before with no luck.
    There are those who believe that dictionaries should not merely reflect the times but also protect English from the mindless assaults of the trendy.

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    I respect your opinion and rank here on this forum, let me say that first.

    But can you tell me why I have these coincidental "side effects" if it's not the Paragard?

    Maybe only certain women are negatively affected by Paragard.
    How can you be sure it isn't causing all these problems for me?

    Sincerely,
    Newby

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    WH Head Moderator Array WildChild's Avatar
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    Holly,
    First keep in mind that this is a chat forum, we are not doctors, nor any kind of medical professionals. We share thoughts, feelings, ideas, insights, experiences and sometimes research we have done into various areas. It is up to you to weigh the value of responses and make your own choices. While the internet can be a wonderful resourse, it is largely unmonitored. That means pretty much any indivdual, organization, or business with internet access can create and put out into the world whatever they want to at virtually no cost to themselves and with little or no accountability.

    Health issues can be tricky under any circumstances, there are so many factors which can contribute to a reaction or situation that we have to become detectives acting in our own behalf to have and maintain good health. I'm multiple chemical sensitive and have allergies, things that millions of people use without noticing any negative responses can create a health disaster for me. I have to stay aware on my own behalf and cannot judge based on other's experiences. I have found more than once that conventional treatments were not in my best health or financial interests. For example I dealt with apnea without any surgery, machines or drugs. I did my research, talked with appropriate health care providers to confirm some information, lost 40 lbs and do regular exersizes to strengthen my soft palet and throat muscles. In this case the doctor didn't tell me what I needed to do. I researched and told him and he confirmed that would, "probably" resolve the apnea. When asked why he hadn't presented this option, he responded that it was, "too difficult" and "no one would do it". I pointed out that they certainly wouldn't do it if they didn't know it was what they needed to do.

    You have to be proactive. It's your body. You live in it. No one else knows what it feels like, how it responds, what you experience in it. It's good that you are trying to seek information and get input. That is part of the process. Know what others have experienced can, at least give you some ideas of what may be affecting you. In many case you will have to experiement and see what responses your body has. Some things like poison or carbon monoxide gas, we don't need to try on ourselves we can accept that they are universally unsafe to expose ourselves to. But with many other things such as possible allergies or nutritional deficencies we may have to test by removing something from our lives and seeing what happens when we introduce it, or by taking a good supplement and seeing how we respond. I have to take vitamin D3, I have found that even though I spend a good deal of time working outdoors my body doesn't get what it needs without help, someone else might do fine to just get outside more. I have to do what works for me, not them.

    What was your reproductive health like before you got the Paraguard?
    Why did you chose it over the pill? Was because you believed the hormones were causing you problems?
    How old are you?
    How is your weight?
    Your diet?
    Exersize habits?
    Stress levels?
    Could you have apnea?
    Could you have hypersensitivities?

    If you really believe that the Paraguard is responsible for your symptoms, the simplest thing to do would be to have it removed and see what happens. Removing an IUD is a fast, simple procedure. When I had mine out it was completely painless. Why not start there? You can use condoms or some other method while you let your body readjust.

    I strongly encourage you to look hard at your diet and at the possiblity of systemic yeast and to get all non organic beef products which could contain BGH out of your life. BGH (bovine growth hormone) acts as an artificial hormone receptor in the human body and has been linked to early onset of menstration in girls and it is only logical that it would cause problems in adults, both female and male, as well. Personally I suspect it likely to be found to cause early menopause (we get women in their 20s here reporting symptoms) and to negatively affect male libido. But that is just my gut feeling. Removing it from your diet certainly won't hurt you in any way and just might help.

    Some books you might find helpful:
    If You Love Me Don't Feed Me Junk by Sandy Gooch
    Food and Mood
    The Yeast Connection
    The Woman's Advantage Diet ( a really overlooked gem)
    Last edited by WildChild; 09-18-2010 at 08:23 AM.
    We can only learn to love by loving. - Iris Mudoch, British writer

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    But can you tell me why I have these coincidental "side effects" if it's not the Paragard?
    Everything from diet to genetics can explain everything happening in anyone's body. The difference is in how differently we react to everything in our environment. Your side effects can come with a mega long list of diagnoses since you suffer from many things that many other woman have the misfortune of enduring. Migraines...reoccurring major problem in medicine, high blood pressure is absolutely everywhere, arthritis happens to many people simply due to age...you can take all your symptoms and attach it to X medical cause.

    Maybe only certain women are negatively affected by Paragard.
    Absolutely, the same applies to hormonal variants only affecting certain women negatively.

    How can you be sure it isn't causing all these problems for me?
    I cannot be sure for the same reason that anyone else cannot be sure it is the Paragard causing the problems. The only way to possibly know for sure is to have a talk with your doctor about getting it removed and seeing where it goes from there. Heck it could very well be the problem and you could notice an improvement right away or it could be removed and nothing happens. There is no way to predict the result without going through with it.
    There are those who believe that dictionaries should not merely reflect the times but also protect English from the mindless assaults of the trendy.

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    The Paragard has no hormones in it at all. I agree that it does suck, but....the level of copper in it is actully so low, the website says we eat more foods with copper in it on a daily basis. SO i have no clue how it would cause that many issues... but who knows i am not a dr..

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    Default Holly, I am having the same syptoms

    Hey everyone, I just joined this sight & found this thread. I am 20 and have had my paragard IUD since June. I kinda wanted to get some peoples opinions on some of the symptoms I am experiencing...

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    I have had no problems with Paragard (inserted 9 years ago) and will soon go to have it replaced.

    I am one of those who cannot use any hormonal method, and I am allergic to nickel so Essure is out. Since pregnancy at my age and with various health conditions would be risky, dh and I have decided that our one wonderful daughter is definitely it. He WILL NOT get snipped and I don't particularly want to go get my tubes tied (nor does insurance pay for this), so it'll be a copper IUD again. It may be that the original poster does in fact have a copper allergy--you'd have to check with your doctor. I would think, too, that zinc supplements would help if you're concerned in about that (I'm not a doctor so take my words with a grain of salt).

    I'm disturbed by all the misinformation out there on how IUDs work. If you look at the website of the National Libraries of Medicine and go to their journals records and type in IUD mechanism of action, you'll find that there are studies demonstrating that the copper IUD (1) makes the vagina and cervix inhospitable to sperm (2) affects the ability of eggs to be released and fertilized in the uterus, in addition to it not allowing fertilized eggs to implant properly. It is NOT an abortifacient in my opinion, as it prevents the two things necessary for pregnancy to be clinically confirmed: (1) fertilization and (2) implantation (you can't be pregnant if the egg isn't implanted!! yes, all those IVF embryos are POTENTIALLY pregnancies, but they require successful implantation to really be a pregnancy).

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