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The IUD: Intrauterine Damage

by drgangemi on February 4, 2014

IUD:Intrauterine DeviceI’ve been meaning for several years to write about intrauterine devices (IUDs) since it’s a very important and neglected topic. After all, over 200 million women worldwide use an IUD. In my practice I treat a lot of women for hormonal issues such as PMS, menopausal symptoms, problems with conception, as well as a host of thyroid and adrenal gland related disorders. I am not a fan of “the Pill” due to the unnatural hormonal influence it has on a woman’s body, and therefore only a few of my female patients use it as a form of contraception. These women would be extremely distraught if they got pregnant, so I yield and help them deal with the negative effects of the hormones. But I am adamantly against IUDs. Actually I will not treat a woman more than once, if at all, if she is using an IUD because it’s a certainty that it’s causing some, if not all of, her problems. I haven’t seen an exception yet.

The purpose of this article is inform women, based off my clinical experience as well as current research, regarding the prevalent problems associated with IUDs. You, or someone you know, may love your/their IUD and think it’s the safest, easiest, and most effective form of birth control. Hey, Mirena’s slogan is “Birth control for busy moms.” I’d agree with you that it is both very easy and effective. But safe it is not; actually it’s far from safe. It’s often not a question whether your IUD is causing some health problem but how much of a problem it is causing.

Types of  IUDs and Their Mechanism of Action

paraguardThe intrauterine device is the most effective type of reversible birth control, (reversible being a key word here). Simply put, an IUD is a ‘T’ shaped device that is inserted into the uterus as a form of long acting (5-10 years) contraception. Let’s first talk about the main types of IUDs and how they work.

Basically there are two main types of IUDs. There’s a hormonal type which is most commonly sold as Mirena and a lesser-used device sold under the brand name Skyla. Then there is a copper IUD which is sold under the brand name Paraguard. Some countries outside the US, UK, Canada, and China still use an inert IUD made of stainless steel but it’s not as effective as the copper or hormonal IUD.

Mirena releases a continuous low amount of synthetic progesterone which acts to thicken the cervical mucus to keep sperm from penetrating the ovum. As there is some hormonal influence with Mirena, some women use it to help with heavy menstrual bleeding. It’s effective for up to five years.

Paraguard uses copper wire around the stem of the ‘T’-shaped IUD which basically acts as a spermicide. This also increases copper ions in the cervical mucus as copper is being continuously released, and therefore there is evidence of some women having issues with too much copper causing health problems. I will discuss this more in a bit. To lessen the copper exposure, some countries are starting to use gold or silver wrapped around the copper wire. Another “advantage” of the copper IUD is that it can provide emergency contraception if inserted within five days after possible conception. While Mirena can help with menstrual bleeding, Paraguard has been linked with heavier periods and painful cramps. It is slightly less effective than Mirena but it can remain in for up to twice as long – ten years.

The Problems with an IUD

IUD PlacementYes, IUDs are very effective and they’re very user-friendly. If you don’t want to get pregnant then they sure beat having to chart your cycle, use condoms, or refrain from sex. But their problems, in my opinion, are far underestimated, reported, and realized. There is some evidence to support this, and I will share this with you. But there is much more clinical experience on my part, having seen many women with IUDs over my sixteen years in practice. It’s not a matter of if you will have a problem with your IUD, but when. And you might not even be realizing that you’re having such a problem. Typically when I explain to a woman the link between her health problem and her IUD she responds, “Oh, that makes sense now.”

An IUD is a foreign device in the body. Though the drug companies, researchers, and physicians say that the most common side effect is expulsion, (sometimes because of improper insertion by the doctor), a woman’s body is not meant to have a piece of metal constantly irritating her uterus – especially for five, if not ten years. Think about walking around with a small pebble in your shoe 24 hours a day. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) incidence is a risk factor as is infection and other complications. The IUD can literally implant itself in the uterine wall which can also become a problem during removal. Unfortunately, some women do die from this. A patient of a colleague of mine had a sibling die from such a complication. Many women experience “normal” discomfort, irregular bleedings, loss of libido, or mysterious pains which are never linked back to the IUD itself.

Excess Copper…

With Paraguard, copper is being continuously released. Some women can respond in strange ways to copper since although it is a necessary mineral it can also act as a heavy metal, much like iron. Although most studies point to only risk factors in women with Wilson’s Disease, (a genetic disease of copper overload), copper acts similarly as any other metal (mineral) when it is out of balance in the body. Copper is a main component of bile salts and therefore too much copper can greatly impact the health of the gallbladder as well as the liver. I discuss this more in my articles on the gallbladder and below I note a case history of how this can affect a woman’s gallbladder. Copper also influences estrogen and therefore as copper increases it is said that similarly estrogen does too. Estrogen excess is involved with a host of problems such as PMS, excess bodyfat, and certain cancers. There is also a fine balance between copper and zinc. Copper-zinc imbalances are implicated in hormonal problems especially those related to blood sugar handling issues. Finally, some note that the copper can erode, which obviously would be a major problem, if not an emergency, and there is evidence pointing to copper oxidizing and causing damage to the cervix and uterus. This is why some countries are starting to use other metals around the copper wire for added protection.

…Or Excess Synthetic Hormone

With Mirena, a slight amount of synthetic progesterone (levonorgestrel) is being released continuously at a rate of 20 mcg per day. As with birth control pills, this alone can be a problem as it suppresses a woman’s natural hormonal secretion and her natural monthly rhythm. After all, it is normal to have varying amounts of progesterone (and estrogen) secreted throughout the month – it’s not a constant level every day. Additionally, levonorgestrel is a synthetic hormone – it’s not the same type of progesterone the body naturally makes.

In my practice I use manual muscle testing as a form of biofeedback which helps me assess what is going on with the patient. The muscles of the pelvis – specifically the gluteus muscles, (maximus, medius, and minimus), the piriformis, and some of the adductors – are related to the health and function of the uterus, (as well as the ovaries). Therefore, anything which negatively affects the uterus will have a similar effect on those muscles. Essentially, an IUD causes a general inhibition (fatigue/weakness) in these muscles, which can result in back pain, hip pain, abdominal/core weakness, or essentially any weakness associated with pelvic instability. Since the pelvis is so vital in supporting the spine and everything below (legs/feet), then any instability in the pelvis can cause problems elsewhere too. Yes, I’m saying that an IUD can cause knee, foot, ankle, and even neck problems. It’s a lot more common than you may think.

IUD Clinical Case Histories

IUD ProblemsI’d like to share some of my more notable experiences I’ve had treating women with IUDs. I don’t get to see too many anymore, maybe just a few a year at most, as I won’t treat a woman with one in. If I see a woman with an IUD, then it is only for one appointment as it needs to be removed for me to help her with her presenting problems. Typically women coming to my practice have already had the IUD removed or never put one in the first place as they know my position on the matter.

Here are several memorable and significant cases I’ve seen with IUD use.

  • A college student I had previously seen in years past suddenly was having extreme bouts of depression during her fall semester. She had to drop three of her four classes by November. Upon discussing her situation, she revealed that her mood changed just a week or so after she had Mirena inserted in early September. She had the IUD removed and her depression resolved 100% over the next two weeks. There is a new study discussing Mirena affecting menstrual bleeding (the lack of) resulting in iron overload and depression. (Turok et al, 2013)
  • A woman presented in my office with right-sided hip and lower back pain that was much worse when she slept at night. Though she had her IUD in for many years, the pain was more recent. Upon removal, her pain resolved 100% after one treatment session. She also noticed that other “nagging” aches that she previously never thought much of were resolved too. It’s not uncommon for women to slowly develop health issues due to the IUD that are passed off as normal or age-related issues.
  • A woman came to my office complaining of lower back, hip, and left ankle pain which was worse when she ran. Many muscles in those same areas were not functioning properly and I suspected, due to the type of assessment I employ, that they were an issue because of her IUD. Although seemingly healthy, she had her gallbladder removed several years earlier at age 25 for unexplained trouble with the organ. Interestingly, she had Paraguard inserted just about six months before the gallbladder troubles began. Nobody had ever made the connection.
  • I recently consulted with a woman who was experience debilitating and unexplained pain in her entire abdomen, pelvis, and thigh areas. On her history forms she did not mention any use of birth control. I suspected an IUD to be the cause and rather surprised her when I asked such a direct question. She had Paraguard inserted two years prior, but the pain was more recent in the last six to seven months. She had the IUD removed immediately and surprisingly learned that it had dropped down towards her cervix – meaning it wasn’t even in the correct place and she was lucky as to not have become pregnant. Upon discussing her history she noted excessive bleeding problems ever since the IUD was inserted, (she was told this was normal), and problems with her libido.
  • A woman complaining of jaw pain (TMJ dysfunction) presented in my office. We discussed her history and the time at which it occurred which didn’t seem to correlate with her IUD. Though she did note intermittent bouts of lower back pain and significant cramping at certain times throughout the month, but she just took NSAIDs for the problems and didn’t think too much of them. I explained to her the connection between the sacroiliac (SI) joints to the jaw joints and the relevance of SI area to the uterus and therefore the IUD. Once the IUD was removed the TMJ problem resolved completely as did most of her monthly hormonal problems, (which were also dietary related).

Other Contraception Alternatives

contraceptivesUnfortunately, there are not many alternatives to contraception that are both safe and effective. Charting daily temperatures and noting signs such as cervical mucus as in the Rhythm Method can be effective, yet there are other factors that can influence these parameters and the window of time for truly safe, unprotected sex is narrow. Condoms, when used correctly, provide 98% protection, (Paraguard is 99.2% and Mirena is 99.8% – both though only within their first year of use), though many don’t like the feeling of condoms, may react to the material (including synthetic lubricants on most brands), or simply just don’t want to deal with the trouble of going that route. Of course, condoms provide some protection against sexually transmitted diseases whereas IUDs do not. Tubal ligation for a woman or a vasectomy for a man can come with side-effects and are rarely reversible.

Ultimately, it is up to the woman, not her doctor, if she wants to remove her IUD. Most doctors, in my experience, don’t want to remove the IUD unless she is having definite symptomatic problems (such as pain), with it in. Though I recently saw a woman who, upon talking to her OBGYN about removing it and how we felt it was causing some of her hip pain, mentioned that her doctor commented that she wasn’t very surprised that it was giving her trouble as it’s more common than what she felt was reported.

Of course, though it should go without saying, I don’t want you to remove your IUD and get pregnant. So if you decided to have it removed, you should do so based upon your own research and your individual health and situation. Most all doctors think IUDs are perfectly safe, and even a newer “improved” version of the IUD may soon be available, an IUB – intrauterine ball. Alternative forms of contraception should be used and your cycle could take some time to normalize once you removed your IUD; it’s impossible to say how long or what the scenario is for each woman. I’ve also seen some women remove their IUD and not experience noticeable relief immediately because of the way it was impacting their body for so long. It’s almost like if a circuit was tripped in the body, much like a circuit breaker in a fuse box providing power to your house. Even once the power is back on, the circuit stays off until someone goes and resets it. This can be the case for some women and can often be corrected through various body therapies, (ie: deep tissue release, acupuncture, chiropractic). In the case of hormonal imbalances caused by Mirena or copper toxicity or mineral imbalance problems caused by Paraguard, some hormonal, nutritional, or visceral (organ) therapies may be warranted.

I typically don’t provide references when I write articles, (“blog posts”), for my site but for this one I decided to due to the both the sensitive and very important nature of the subject. Below are several studies I referenced. Please feel free to leave a comment as I always reply, though I am unable to provide you with individualized advice in such a manner.


Haliloglu B, Celik A, Ilter E, Bozkurt S, Ozekici U. Comparison of uterine artery blood flow with levonorgestrel intrauterine system and copper intrauterine device. Contraception. 2011 Jun;83(6):578-81.

Beltran-Garcia MJ, Espinosa A, Herrera N, Perez-Zapata AJ, Beltran-Garcia C, Ogura T. Formation of copper oxychloride and reactive oxygen species as causes of uterine injury during copper oxidation of Cu-IUD. Contraception. 2000 Feb;61(2):99-103.

Arnal N, de Alaniz MJ, Marra CA. Alterations in copper homeostasis and oxidative stress biomarkers in women using the intrauterine device TCu380A. Toxicol Lett. 2010 Feb 15;192(3):373-8.

Patai K, Berényi M, Sipos M, Noszál B. Characterization of calcified deposits on contraceptive intrauterine devices. Contraception. 1998 Nov;58(5):305-8.

Imani S, Moghaddam-Banaem L, Roudbar-Mohammadi S, Asghari-Jafarabadi M. Changes in copper and zinc serum levels in women wearing a copper TCu-380A intrauterine device. Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2013 Dec 5.

Turok DK, Jacobson JC, Dermish AI, Simonsen SE, Gurtcheff S, McFadden M, Murphy PA. Emergency contraception with a copper IUD or oral levonorgestrel: an observational study of 1-year pregnancy rates. Contraception. 2013 Nov 22. pii: S0010-7824(13)00732-4.

Baram I, Weinstein A, Trussell J. The IUB, a newly invented IUD: a brief report. Contraception. 2014 Feb;89(2):139-41.

From → Health Concerns


Leave a comment
  1. Kerry permalink

    Hi Dr. Gangemi,

    Thanks for posting this article. This is timely for my wife and I– she’s just had her Mirena IUD removed. We’re deciding what to use in the future.

    Interestingly, she developed and is being treated for hyperthyroid (not hypo-). After reading the article, I’d have to suspect a corollary, if not direct causality– diet, stress, and exercise are largely under control, following SockDoc and Maffetone principals.

    We’re considering vasectomy because we do not desire children; I’m 45, she’s 36, so I consider this a reasonable choice. I’d be curious to hear your perspective on the possible unanticipated side effects of vasectomy and tubal ligation.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks for all your work on this site, as well as the SockDoc site. I refer to them both constantly.

    Kind Regards,

    • Thanks Kerry. I have unfortunately heard several horror stories from women who have had tubal ligation, (a few of them recently posted on my FB page under the IUD post). Personally, my wife and I think it’s too risky to go that route.

      I’m also still a bit skittish on the vasectomy procedure. There is a case for immune issues as your body will want to kill off old sperm after some time; so some say this could provoke an autoimmune disease or a compromised immune system. I’ve also seen a couple guys who have had complications from vasectomies (constant pain).

      So for right now, we stick with condoms and cycle charting.

      • Kerry permalink

        Thanks for the reply, Doc! I’m thinking we’ll avoid the surgical procedures, stick to something that’s not likely to tax the autoimmune system. Thank you for sharing the method you and your wife use– that’s probably the route we’ll use too.

        Kind Regards,

  2. Clare permalink

    Thank you for taking the time to share your observations and expertise. I am so grateful for the thorough explanation and references provided. Incidentally, I have had chronic issues with my right tensor fasciae latae (in addition to the “normal” IUD side effects)- seems like you have plenty of evidence, but here’s one more case in support of conclusions. I also wanted to recommend “Taking Charge of Your Fertiltiy” by Toni Weschler ( This book has been a great source of information to me. Thanks again!

  3. Very thought provoking post.

    It alway seemed to me that the basic principle of how the IUD works (chronic irritation to the body) was not such a great idea.

    Perhaps those that really want to use IUDs should do 2 yrs on / 2 yrs off (e.g.) rather than continuously year after year.

  4. Megan permalink

    Great article! I’ve been reading your other articles with special interest in the ones on the gallbladder. I started having chest pains 4 months ago and during these episodes my whole body seemed out of whack (they would come and go all day long). Long story short, after tons of tests the dr’s ruled out heart problems, muscular skeletal problems, and the only GI problem found was from a HIDA scan showing my gallbladder at 10% but no gall stones. I had a baby that was 6 months old at the time and had the Mirena inserted after he was born. I was the one that thought my problems might be due to the Mirena even though my OBG said it wasn’t but I insisted on having it taken out.

    After the IUD was removed a lot of the weird side effects disappeared but I still have the chest pains and a pain in the center of my back which the dr said was from anxiety. I’m a low stress, easy going person on no medications. I asked if it could be from my IUD and gallbladder but he said no. I get burping and I feel hormonal with it still as well so I’m wondering if you’ve seen a similar story to mine? And if so do I just need to wait until my body normalizes after having the IUD out? (it’s been 2 months) and is it possible that my gallbladder will go back to functioning normally? Could the chest pain be from my gallbladder and hormonal interactions? I know you can’t answer specifically but my other Dr doesn’t seem to know and I think it is right up this alley with IUD’s. Thanks!

    • I’d say your situation is more than common. Of course, the general MD isn’t going to associate problems together – they’re trained to focus on one area and not figure out how one organ influences another which in turn, another. Of course I can’t say what is going on with you w/o seeing you, but as I note in this IUD article and the gb articles, hormones have a huge affect on the gb. And they (the MDs) love to scare their patients with the HIDA scan results. If you figure out what is causing the gb problem then it’s irrelevant whether it’s at 5%, 10% or 30% or whatever the number.

  5. Iris permalink

    Thank you for posting this on IUDs. I insisted on having the non-hormonal one removed after 4 months of constant infections and pain since the insertion. Unfortunately, prior to that i was on birth control pills for over 10 years and the depo-provera shot for 5 years. It has been 4 years since I stopped using birth control, and my husband and I have been having trouble holding a pregnancy. I still have faith that in using diet, excercise, and natural remedies and allowing my body more time to heal, we will have our baby. Thanks again.

  6. Karen permalink


    I’m considering getting the Mirena IUD removed. I’ve had it for 2.5 years now. I believe it to be causing the slight iron overload recently in my blood work results. It was suggested that I go on Mirena because I had iron deficient anemia caused by heavy, long and frequent periods and I had refused “the pill” because of extreme moodiness that it caused fights so bad we were going to divorce. I hadn’t thought Mirena could be causing any problems. I also have a right knee that hurts sometimes like arthritis might (it runs in my family though). The iron overload and Rosacea that I have does not run in my family. I would not be surprised that the Rosacea is caused by Mirena or the iron overload due to Mirena (periods are reduced to next to nothing these days, which is nice to deal with but not if I will suffer from complications of the iron overload). The removal of the Mirena sounds scary too. I also do not know what to do about the heavy periods and the iron deficiency anemia when it comes back. What are some suggestions? I’d gotten my results back from my GP and have not called him yet to discuss that it’s due to the Mirena. He sent a requisition to repeat blood work and additionally to test for hemachromatosis in 3 months. If I get the a Mirena removed, I’d also want a good solution for the original problems that the a Mirena was supposed to be a “patch” for – the iron deficiency and bad periods (also hoping the Rosacea would disappear completely – is Rosacea caused by blood and iron problems? I know when I have facial flushing it is blood that rushes up and causes the “beet red” face coloring). Thanks for any suggestions!!

    • With hormonal problems like you’re having it’s best to find a holistic doc who can help you sort through the problem and find a solution best for you. Here are a few other docs I have trained:

    • Felicia permalink

      I’m late to the party, but I have to second the Doc’s suggestion here. Bio-identical hormone replacement is a life saver but something you have to see a Natural-path doctor about. I had some period issues in my 20’s and went on the pill, not knowing any better. Things still got worse and when I went off the pill to try an conceive, things got a LOT worse. Bio-identical progesterone has changed my life. Well worth looking into.

  7. Carolina permalink

    Such an excellent and timely read! I had a copper iud inserted a year ago, and over the last few months have had numerous body issues. Right side low back pain, extremely heavy periods, and what feels like a uti but my urine culture comes back clean for bacteria.

    Have you had any women complain of bladder issues with a uti? Do you think copper iud’s could cause bladder irritation?

    • I personally have not but wouldn’t be surprised as copper toxicity can cause many other issues.

  8. Kaylin permalink

    I’d be interested to know your thoughts on the the new IUB developed by Ocon which has just started instigating sales in Europe.
    It is still a copper-based device so any possible physiological contra-indications I may have linked from having a copper IUD may or may not be ‘solved’ through choosing this new ball device.
    I’ve had pain down my left leg (almost like sciatic pain), pelvic area and lower back area for 18 months. I’m going through physio now to strengthen the core muscles. All issues you have addressed in your article and case studies.
    I’d be interested in your thoughts.
    Many thanks in advance.

    • Kaylin – I mention the new IUBs in the article and I’d recommend staying away from them just like an IUD. Are you saying you have an IUD currently in and are going through PT for your pain? If that’s the case I sincerely hope you consider the possibility of the IUD causing this as noted in the article.

  9. Kaylin permalink

    Yes I have an IUD at the moment and am planning to have it removed in a few weeks when my doctor is back from holiday. Even if it’s not the main contributory factor to my pain,for he it’s a necessary step in the process if elimination of causes. I was just wondering if the IUB was considered by you as a less invasive / safer alternative to the IUD as a longer term option to avoid an unwanted pregnancy whilst in a relationship.
    Many thanks for any advice.

  10. Heather permalink

    Ok, my husband sent me this site. Here is my problem, I’ve had heavy monthly cycles for a while, but after each child it’s gotten much I was bleeding out at one point. My tubes are already tied. My mood swings were crazy too. Do I got on a pill to stop my monthly completely. I loved it, no mood swings, heavy flow. I felt great. About 10 months later I had for surgery, 3 weeks after that I ended up having blood clots in my lungs. I was put on blood thinners to help with that. I was told I could no longer take the pill. I freaked, thinking I was going to bleed out for sure now I was on blood thinners too. So the options I was given were partial hysterectomy OR the Mirena iud. I opted for the iud. After a few weeks I had horrible stabbing cramping. It started to go away a month later. But I’ve gained weight, my hair is thinning allot, I get really depressed around that time of the month and have had back acne when I’ve never had pimples hardly ever, and Bloated. I’m off the blood thinners now since they thought it was because of the got surgery and pill together. I’ve had all my tests, mri and ultrasounds to clear me of clots. I felt fantastic before the surgery, lost weight and everything. Now I feel terrible. What do I do? Do I go ahead and do the partial hysterectomy? Leave the ovaries? I’m 38 years old and very frustrated.

  11. Claire permalink

    This was a very helpful article. I have had the IUD for a few weeks now but for the past few days I have had lower back pain, left hip, groin and leg pain and my knees hurt more then normal. This is all worse at night! At first I put it down to my normal back pain but knew it felt different. After a few internet searches I have found lots of evidence to support this. I have my follow up appointment in a few days and a going to discuss all this.

  12. Maree permalink

    Dear Dr Gangemi,
    My friend has died of uncontrollable systemic sclerosis. It became dramatic the day after the removal of the device. The progression of her disease confused specialists so much there is an autopsy.

    I also have autoimmune disease, which became increasingly problematic after I removed my Mirena
    myself. Plagued with uterine inflammation so bad my cervix was permanently shifted I refused to wait eight weeks for an appointment to have it removed. Your article mentions iron overload and I certainly had many of the symptoms, but I could not get doctors to listen. Many of those symptoms are easing – several years later. My autoimmune condition is also mysterious – my specialist says it is a disorder of the elastic tissues. It is currently untreatable due to my drug reactions. My antinuclear antibodies titre is consistently 1:2560.

    My medical history indicates an underlying, preexisting condition well managed through diet and lifestyle. I have this in common with my dead friend, who had previously had trouble with ulcerative colitis. It had been in remission for many years prior to Mirena insertion. Her diet and lifestyle had been developed to ensure it didn’t return.

    I believe these are two cases of underlying conditions aggravated by the Mirena. I asked this question years ago and the response was negative. My friend’s case appears much clearer as her decline was so obvious. My decline is continuing. My theory is the hormones acted as a trigger for our diseases but the diseases were unstoppable once in progress.

    Is this information useful to you, or a current researcher? My friend’s family is distraught. Some answers would be helpful. I am not particularly happy with my own state but I try to remain happy and accept my condition as there appears to be no solution. I am told I am already doing what I can to help myself.

    I think at the very least there should be a warning to doctors about inserting the Mirena into a woman with previous history or indicators of autoimmune disease.

    Interestingly, I was surveyed by a woman on behalf of Mirena manufacturers about twelve to eighteen months after it was inserted. She became bored when I was listing my symptoms, many of which were not listed in the product information leaflet, and she cut the interview short. I think the drug companies know.



  13. Sue permalink

    I’m a mommy of an autistic son and toddler daughter. I just want to get back to my old self. I enjoyed reading your article.

    I’m on a quest for information because in the past two and half years I’ve had a number of unusual medical issues wrong with me. It all started after I had my second child and decided that the IUD was a great choice for birth control. My OB assured me the IUD was a SAFE practical choice which he highly recommended to mothers like me.

    April of 2012, the IUD was put in. That winter, I ended up getting very sick with a common cold and an ear infection. I was prescribed amoxicillin. No big deal, because I have taken amoxicillin and never had a problem before. But this time after I took the amoxicillin, I felt the sensation of a lump in my throat getting bigger and bigger. I thought I would eventually be suffocated by it. I went to the doctor and he switch my antibiotic which did not heal the sensation. Even long after my sickness had pass I had a lump in my throat. I was scared and saw the doctor three times. He said I had anxiety problems and tried to give me anxiety pills. No thank you! So I changed my diet and exercised more and ignored my throat. Eventually it went away. I thought maybe I was stressed, and a prescription to a healthy lifestyle was the cure.

    However, once again a couple months later, while I was in great health, I was prescribed amoxicillin for a root canal. The throat thing came back with a vengeance! This time the sensation was extreme, and it hurt to eat and to swallow. Certain pitches in my voice could not be reached, yet I was able to talk fine. I saw an ENT and a GI and they both suspected I had gerd, a problem amplified with amoxicillin. An endoscopic exams confirmed my gerd. I was baffled because I didn’t even suffer from indigestion when I was pregnant. My GI told me I must be wrong, and I just did not know it because gerd can be silent. Now I’m taking omeprazole daily. I’m also not suppose to use amoxicillin. Following my gerd, I started to develop an orange film on my tongue. My ENT says I have a probiotic imbalance. Well I drink kefir and eat yogurt daily, and I’m now taking more probiotics. Yet I still have an orange tongue.

    Three months ago, I started having unusual vaginal discharge. It smelled like morning breath. Weird and embarrassing! I tested positive for BV and it was treated with an oral flagyl. YUCK!!! However a month after my treatment the smell came back. They tested me twice for BV and the test were negative. Furthermore, my periods have stopped and I’m cramping. My bladder hurts sometimes, but I don’t have a UTI. In the last three weeks, I have had serious lower back pain. I’ve seen both and OB and Orthopedist who both don’t address my cluster of symptoms as related even though they have appeared somewhat together. So here I am, 31 in physical therapy, riddled with back pain, gerd, and a mysterious orange film on my tongue. Reading your article makes feel maybe some of this could be the IUD. Maybe its not, and its all a coincidence. I’ve wanted to take out my IUD, but I’m afraid of antibiotics like amoxicillin. Maybe I just need to do it. At least I’ll know.

  14. Stacy permalink

    I am 22 years old. I got my paragard in the middle of June 2014 when I was still 21. For the first two to three months I was fine. My period was regular lasting from 4 to 5 days. Then when September came along I was experiencing knee joints and sometimes aches in my feet. About a week prior to my periods, I would feel really bad cramps and very horrible knees, legs, and feet aches throughout the day and even at night. When my period do start, it lasts for a week or even more! I hate this because my periods usually last only 4 or 5 days before I ever got the paragard. On top of the week long period, it is really heavy periods! My usual periods is not heavy. I am so disappointed in Doctors who doesn’t necessarily tell you both the negative and positive outcomes of getting the paragard. I did do some research online before I made the final decision, but there was mostly only advantages instead of disadvantages. I really hope more women use other birth control instead of the paragard or the Mirena even. I hate it, I am so busy with school and work that I don’t have any time for an appointment to remove the paraguard. But because my aches are getting really irritating to the point where I cannot focus during the day or even have a good sleep at night, is really frustrating. I am calling in tomorrow to make an appointment and if I have to miss one class just to remove that darn paragard I would gladly do so.

    Thank You so much for your blog, this was very helpful.

  15. Natasha permalink

    Thankyou for this article. I too am beginning to suspect the Mirena coil as the root of my problems. 2 years ago I had the coil insterted due to heavy bleeding. It caused continual bleeding for 6 months, which on investigation fibroids were found. The coil was removed. A year later an operation to remove the fibroids and reinsertion of the coil. It has certainly worked this time.

  16. Natasha permalink

    … periods for a year. But what started as occasional hip pain every month or so, has turned into daily severe pain in the hip joint and over the SI joint. I have had to stop running swimming and now walking is becoming a problem. On a really bad day I can not lie down sit or stand without pain and is had completely changed my life. 2 years ago I was incredibly fit and active. I now struggle to go for a walk. Only recently have I wondered about the coil being the cause. The timing of insertion, the timing of the first onset of pain. I have seen massage and recently a manipulation therapist who has given me feat relief from the pain. But only temporarily has the joint seems to move again and the pain comes back. When I orignally had the coil inserted I had a severe skin reaction too which still returns every month or so and I have become allergic to most skin soaps. (No previously allergies). Is it really possible it could be the coil? I have made an appt with my GP to discuss this with her. I have also contacted my gynaecologist but no reply as yet. I’m hoping that I may have finally found a cause and that it can be reversed. Thankyou

  17. Melinda permalink

    Wow…thank you so much for writing this article Dr Gangemi.
    I have had a Mirena for 2 years and slowly but surely my health has spiraled, extremely fast in the past 6 months. I have been training in Karate for 7 years I was very fit to now basically immobile. The pain that has been shooting down my left side was a 10… My knee just seemed to lose all ability to hold my kneecap, not to mention back pain shoulder pain, fatigue, feeling absolutely miserable. I had been to see just about everyone. Prescribed Celebrex that did nothing. Something on Sunday made me look up Mirena and Side effects regarding bad urine smell I was getting, so unrelated to the joint and muscle pain.
    I found your article, Monday morning I booked in to see a Dr and Within 30 mins had it out.
    4 days on all the pain I was experiencing has gone, my knee is still troubling as I hyperextended it as a result of no muscle control earlier. I’m feeling my old self well on the way now anyway. I am so happy but so angry as I trusted….I want to spread the word! Thank you again.

  18. Layal permalink

    Firstly, I would like to thank you for taking the time to write an article advising women NOT to use hugely marketed device .
    A very long story short. I am a 36 mother of two who has suffered low back, muscle and body aches since I gave birth to my second child. I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia 2 years ago and have since been taking alternative therapy, homeopathy, Progesterone therapy ( pill form). Coincidently I had the paraguard inserted shortly after my second delivery. Never had and health issues, mechanically. I am told that I am in great shape. I do therapeutic yoga and eat well … But the muscle pain persists. I came across this article And it made me think, could the paraguard be behind l this? Please note, I had it replaced with new one this past summer with doctor removing and replacing on same day? Do u think I should do the mineral hair analysis before I remove it or just go ahead with removing it. ? I do feel like at times, I am hanging by a thread.. It’s so saddening and frustrating to have something affect your life and not have an explanation why?
    Many thanks.

    • Hair analysis won’t necessarily show a problem, (with copper I believe you are specifically asking), and of course there is more to the issue than just copper as I write in the article.

  19. Bronwyn permalink

    Thanks you for writing such an informative article. I had a copper iud insert two years ago and felt I had no issues with it.
    Over the past 4 1/2 months I have had continuous vaginal irritations to the point it is now really driving me nuts!
    It follows a cycle of me being symptom free during my period but as soon as my natural vaginal discharge starts the irritation, stinging and burning comes back to anywhere the discharge touches the vaginal tissues.
    I have had lots of tests with my doctor, all coming back negative! I asked at my most recent visit if the iud cold be causing this only to be told she highly doubted it and taking it out would be a last resort as it is doing its job!!
    As the vaginal mucus discharge naturally comes from inside me I feel there is something in it causing all this irritation possibly the cooper ions being released?
    I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
    Many Thanks

    • I think that’s bold of your MD to think it’s most likely not an issue. Of course it may not be, but you read my article.

  20. Bronnie77 permalink

    Thanks you for writing such an informative article. I had a copper iud insert two years ago and felt I had no issues with it.
    Over the past 4 1/2 months I have had continuous vaginal irritations to the point it is now really driving me nuts!
    It follows a cycle of me being symptom free during my period but as soon as my natural vaginal discharge starts the irritation, stinging and burning comes back to anywhere the discharge touches the vaginal tissues.
    I have had lots of tests with my doctor, all coming back negative! I asked at my most recent visit if the iud cold be causing this only to be told she highly doubted it and taking it out would be a last resort as it is doing its job!!
    As the vaginal mucus discharge naturally comes from inside me I feel there is something in it causing all this irritation possibly the cooper ions being released?
    I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
    Many Thanks

  21. Tina permalink

    I wish I had read this before I got a Mirena. I recently had one installed and only lasted four days with it in before I ended up in the Emergency Room begging them to remove it. From the first hour I had it I experienced cramping, bloating, constant abdominal ache and shooting pains that just wouldn’t let up. I felt immediately better after removal, but still had a feeling of soreness and inflammation in my lower belly. I saw my gyn the next day and he was concerned about potential infection, so he put me on two very strong antibiotics which are usually used to treat pelvic inflammatory disease. This was over a week ago and I still don’t feel right! I ended up back in the ER several days ago, where they took a urine sample, did blood work and ultrasounds (including a transvaginal ultrasound), and said everything was normal and healthy – no elevated white blood cell count, nothing to indicate what is wrong. I was told that perhaps I’d had an infection that the antibiotics had cleared up and to keep taking the antibiotics until they’re done.

    I started to feel slightly better over the weekend, and returned to work on Monday, only to end up feeling worse. I have pain in my right side that radiates to my back – it feels like a “stitch” one would get from running that just won’t go away. I also get sharp twinges of pain in my abdomen that seem to be located in my ovaries. I seem to feel worse when I move around a lot, and in fact if I twist my torso a certain way or sit up too fast I get a sharp pain in my right side/lower back (where the “stitch” feeling is). Last night I couldn’t sleep because my entire lower back was aching so badly.

    I’ve searched around on the internet and I haven’t found anyone with these symptoms after having the Mirena for such a short period of time. I don’t understand what is wrong with my body and why I don’t seem to be healing from whatever trauma it is under. Any advice or recommendations would be very appreciated.

  22. Rosemary permalink

    Hello, I need some advice for my 27 year old daughter who is currently having serious issues with her IUD. She recently went to her doctor with abdominal pain (she has had an IUD for a few years now) tests/ultra sound were ran and it was confirmed that her IUD had lodged itself in her uterine wall. Surgery was scheduled for yesterday morning, they went in thru 3 incisions and could not remove the had fused itself in the uterus. The hospital where she was at does not have the means of conducting an operation so they are sending her to a larger hospital in Boise Idaho also advising that she must now have a hysterectomy. The uterus has also fused itself to her abdomen due to her having a C-Section during her last pregnancy. Does this sound true? She is only 27 and told she must have a hysterectomy because of this? Please advise….

    • Oh wow. I am really sorry to hear that. I hope she gets a second opinion before the hysterectomy. Hopefully there is a doc who can removed the IUD by another method.

  23. Jessica permalink

    I had the copper IUD after never using birth control and it ruined me:( I got it removed after 8 months, when symptoms started and I figured out that is what it was. Raging insomnia, heart palpitations, mood swings, cystic acne to name a few. I have been healing for the last 1.5 years but I am still not right. I feel like Sherlock trying to get to the bottom of my symptoms. I have had adrenal spit tests, hair analysis. I know that my hormones are off. I have read a ton about the copper effects on hormones. I feel like I am estrogen dominant now. I just got a blood draw with a hormone specialist that prescribes bio identical hormones. After reading this article and your replies, it makes more sense. The stress the IUD had on my body shot my cortisol levels up and my body had to use progesterone to make it. Makes sense why I couldnt drink a glass of wine, or even when I eat sugar it triggers insomnia. My question is now that all is said and done, how do I regulate my cortisol after the fact? Is it all hormone now due to the domino affect? Or can I do something about the cortisol? I feel like ANY adrenaline situation triggers symptoms. Strange. I just cant believe Doctors arent taking this more seriously. Bottom line. Women, follow your intuition and listen to your body. Thanks for your article.

  24. aelis permalink


    I had a copper IUD in november 2013, and one month after i started to have frequent urination with no bacteria, and later, symptoms of endometriosis. I never had problems before, so i suspect there is a link.

    So i had my iud removed the 26th of november 2014, but i see no change for the moment (2d of december), and maybe it is a little bit worth.

    So my question is: how long could it take, in your opinion and if the iud was the cause, for recovery?

    Thank you

  25. Kymm permalink

    I had my mirena inserted 1 week ago and ever since I’ve had it inserted I’ve been having left hip pain, only at night or when I’m laying down. I don’t understand why. In your article you mentioned that hip pain slowly developed over time, I’m just wondering why I’m having this pain only having it a week.

    • This is often the connection of the uterus affecting the gluteus medius and other hip muscles. Although I can’t of course say for sure, that is more than likely not a coincidence.

  26. Sarah permalink


    I read this article in its entirety and there is only one part that I did not like. You said every one has a problem with this form of birth control (not verbatim). I had the Mirena inserted at the age of 18 loved it! I had it removed 5 years later at the age of 23. I then went on to have my son and decided to go ahead with the paraguard. I have now had it for 2 years. So far I have no issues with this one. Not to say for sure that I could develop them down the line. I just wanted you to be able to hear from someone that has not had any medical complications from using these devices. I know a few of my friends have had issues leading to removal. I personally love them and think they have been the best decision I have made as a form of birth control. I will be bookmarking this particular article. I plan on keeping the paraguard for the remaining 8 years. I will definitely be posting an update if I start having problems. Thanks again for the article.

  27. mini permalink

    I had my iud removed after5 years and had to be removed surgically as it was embedded.I have hypothyroidism n irregular periods so my doctor kept me on pills to regularize my post periods I’m on pills and get periods on due date but it only spots for a removal my flow has stopped.pls guide .

  28. shelby permalink

    Hi drgangemi

    So I had the iud for almost two years now. I ‘ve been loving it the first year. The second year I’ve notice alot of changes in me. Depression, Lower back pain, mood changes, lazy, tired, annoyed with e veryone, eating like crazy, and gained weight and crazy cramps. I dont like non of these symptoms but I love that I cant get pregnant. I might give it another year and see how it goes because my mood is no good especially when raising a toddler. Over all I do like the iud just dont like the symptoms I have sometimes. As we speak i am having lower back pains and cramps. Should I continue this iud or have it removed?

  29. Laura permalink

    Dr. Gangemi
    Thank you so much for validating the symptoms that many of us had with the Mirena IUD. There are hundreds of women who are suffering unnecessarily because of these IUD’s. It is so refreshing to hear a medical professional validate our experiences. I went to 2 obgyns and confided in them only to be told that the Mirena was safe and that the hormone did not leave the uterus, the other told me i needed psychological help. Mind you these were people that delivered my three children and who I saw for my annual check- ups. It took 1 1/2 years after removal to start feeling somewhat normal. I am so mad about all the times I went to different doctors only to be given anti-deppresant medications. I like many women are Mirena victim survivors. You can find them on Facebook under Ban Mirena or I hate Mirena private groups.

  30. Mel permalink

    Ive had the mirena on and iff for the past ten years. In sept they removed the device as it expired. I was going to have another inserted yet had to wait till nov 10. I had it inserted and well developed horrific leg pain muscle twitching joint pain and all doctors i have seen say there is absolutely no connection yet i had none of these symotoms before this ordeal started in Sept. Im being tested for autoimmune diseases still waiting on results. Ive been deppressed nervous anxious and i have muscle twitching on my butt. I have no idea what to do. Will this go away do i need to do a detox? I need help. I appreciate any input

  31. Amber permalink

    So i just went in 4 days ago and had my iud removed after having it for 5 years never had a problem with it until i go for an ablation and to have a tubal ligation after doing my ablation and removing my iud i wake up from the anesthesia and was told they couldnt get my tubal ligation done because it was like cellophane and he couldnt get ahold of them could this be from the iud? I do not go back for another week to see my doctor.

  32. Natasha permalink

    Hi Dr Gangemi,
    I have taken your article to my manipulation therapist as we were both interested in what you had to say. I live in the UK. I had the coil removed 4 weeks ago. My skin allergies and soft tissue problems appeared to have cleared up. The joint problems remain an issue though I have only had one treatment post removal. I have been researching all of this to try and find a solution. I did not believe I could go from feeling 40 to 70 years of age in the space of one year. From what I have found I suspect the joint problems will take a long time, if ever, to subside. My GP has had X-rays taken and they are all clear, no blood work done. So we believe it is definitely a mechanical issue with the joints. In your article you don’t mention the affects of silicone, which the Mirena coil is made of. Do you have any info on this? I see the side effects listed describe everything I have had. I worry that an auto immune reaction has been triggered in my body. I hope not and remain positive about the next year ahead. Thankyou.

  33. Chrissy permalink

    Dr. Gangemi,

    I’m so glad I found this article! I had the mirena for 6 years and during that time my health started winding down. I did not realize it was caused by the IUD. I was diagnosed with celiac, had tmj and unexplained neck muscle spasms for which I took Xanax daily. I got the mirena removed in January or this year and decided to get the paragard instead because I thought the progestin was the problem. After 6 months of intense sugar cravings, brain fog and rapid weight gain, I pulled the paragard out myself. Since then I have continued to have severe water retention, bouts of hair loss and numerous symptoms of hypothyroidism. I am currently on 180mg of armour which has helped some of my symptoms, but my skin is still tight with fluid and it drives me crazy because it affects how well I can move. My question is if so many women have healed after getting the mirena out, why am I still struggling? Thank you.

    • I’d suggest you find a holistic doc who can help you figure this out. I’m also happy to do a consult.

  34. Hi Dr. Gangemi,

    Thank you for your article. I currently do not have an IUD but my PCP wants me to consider it. I am 31 now and I started having very heavy bleeding when I was 28. I started seeing an Acupuncturist after this because I didn’t want to take birth control. My Acupuncturist was able to get my periods to a manageable place but wasn’t able to help with the pain. My OBGYN suggesting an ultra sound which showed that my endometrial lining was very thick. My OBGYN suggested a Laprocospy to check for Endometriosis and a Biopsy to make sure there were no cancerous issues. After the surgery my periods got worse, my hemoglobin dropped to 6 over the course of 4 months and I had to get a blood transfusion. Following that I have to get an iron infusions every week for a few months. I started doing my own research and found a natural supplement called DSM. It has worked but I still have one heavy day and still need to get iron infusions every other week. I have also changed my diet, started juicing and started I am working on decreasing meat and dairy. Though my periods are better they are still heavy and it’s weighing on my body. I am so tired of the Drs only suggesting birth control, and I am not sure what to do at this point. I know you’re not in my area but I could really use some guidance. I live in MD, and I hope you can help me.

  35. Brandi permalink

    Thanks for this article. I have been doing some of my own research on the iud and it is nice to hear from a doctor who tells negative too , not only positive. I’m 39 and pregnant and have other children, and it’s not likely that me and my partner would want more. But even if we did since this is his first child it wouldn’t be for a couple years anyway. My OB/GYN recommended iud medina bc I had had bad symptoms on my seen ties from birth control pills. I told him I don’t want hormones at all so it irritates me that he still pushes more a bc even though it is very low, it is still a hormone. So I found out about the copper iud and thought maybe that could be an effective alternative. But now after reading your article and some other studies about both iud types and copper toxicity and iuds attaching to the uterus and hip and back pains, it doesn’t look so good. Especially when I already have a hard time with my hips hurting sometimes from an old car accident with hip fractures and sacrum fractures. When I’m not pregnant and Excercise my back is manageable. But these iud side effects sound unappealing and it does Semmelweis to make sense that a foreign metal object would irritate the uterus and cause other problems bc the body is all interconnected. But I don’t know what to use. Condoms suck, foams are not very effective, anything hormonal for me is not going to happen and now the para guard seems to have things happen that I don’t want to deal with, especially while taking care of a new born. And I saw you you seem to be against tubal ligation and vasectomy. I am Leary about it too just bc I don’t like being cut open and organs altered unless it is life threatening. But what are the sside effects that have occurred from them for men and women?

  36. Jolly permalink

    I came apun this site after searching what to expect after having removed the IUD. (My apt is today). First I have to say I’m scared to death from all this reports. Hope I won’t have any complication after removal.
    And another question dr. What birth control do u recommend to avoid pregnancy ?

  37. Rach permalink

    I had the paraguard in for about 4.5 months and I was miserable and in so much pain … Got it out 2 years ago this feb and still have pain In my lower abdomain constantly .. Chronic uti and have to pee a lot and my uterus area kills after I do …. Is there anything I can do now

  38. Rhoda permalink

    I have had a copper IUD since AUGUST 2014. All was ok except a metallic smelly discharge that everyone says is normal. This has yet to go and the only time i do not experience it is during my period. The period is a lot heavier but i have managed to retain my usual 21day cycle very timely.

    Over christmas i had my period and ever since i have thsi itch that just will not go. Any manner of pressure on my skin is causing pink bumps and lumps. Worse if i scratch. They are so lumpy sometimes, it feels like i got hit by a golfball at max speed.

    Anyway, i am considering it having it removed. Mainly because the discharge is really affecting my esteem. I am on pantyliners all day everyday i am not on my period. My vaginal area has become so sensitive – probably due to overusing liners, that i twitch while peeing, showering..etc.

    I also experience some irritation during sex. what would you advise?

  39. Celina permalink

    Hello i loved this article it really helped,but i still have some questions. I was fifteen when i got Paragaurd. The instant i got it my lower back was in utter shear pain. As bad as i wanted the doctor to take it right back out i kept it because the doctor said the pinch was normal. My periods were awful the cramps so painful. After three years i was having reallybad pains in my lower abdomin i was in and out of the er for three months at one time they said it was a cysc and gave me meds well one night i sat on the toilet and felt like i was having a baby! But i was pushing out clots of blood so i was rushed to the er() my mom was horrified. The er doctor said it sounded like contractions. So the doctor layed mye down i told him about the cysc he got all my paper work faxed and said no thats no cysc and opened me up and it was black blobs it relieved all the pressure but i was so scared! He said it could have been a misscarriage but it was too late to tell. I hadthe paragaurd removed the next dayi still dont know what happened. But its been two years and im still having back pain and horrible cramps. What do i do?

    • Cases like this ideally need to be figured out with a doc who understands these types of issues.

  40. beth permalink

    Dr. Gangemi,
    I was wondering if you know of any good doctors near salem oregon, I realize it’s a long shot since you are in the east coast area. or Do you have any suggestions on how to find a holistic doctor. I have been having health issues some probably related to the iud which will be getting removed, and some that may be unrelated.
    Thanks for your time and your knowledgeable post.

  41. jayne permalink

    Can you please expand on the Turok et al, 2013 article wrt iron overload and the IUD. Is there a way to get access to the full article that you cited?
    thanks much….i think this has some relevance to my daughter’s current health issues.

  42. I’ve had the IUD for about 4 1/2 months now. I got it in the middle of October and my gynecologist told me that I would bleed for about three months straight. So I blead for literally three months straight. I would get slight cramps about everyday, but they would come and go. I stopped bleeding in the middle of December. After that I had absolutely no problems. For about a week now I started bleeding again. But I’ve never blead this bad. And I have cramps that are so bad they will stop me in my tracks and I can not do anything. I will be in class at school and get these cramps so bad that they make me cry. They come and go all the time. I will probably get them no longer than 5 minutes and only about 10 minutes apart. I don’t understand why this is though? Because I was told that after my three months of bleeding I would be done for three years until my IUD is up to remove. So I was wondering if you had any suggestion on what this could be.

  43. Jade permalink

    Dr gangemi
    Thank you for this article. Im having a few problems at the moment and I’m not sure if its normal or not if I should be concerned or not,
    I had a mirena coil fitted about 6 months ago I’d previously had a copper coil my Dr knows I’ve pollycistic overys had PID also have sacrolilitus I was advised to change to the mirena as I suffer from acnie and was told this would help reducev it .
    I started getting a bad smelling discharge and sore uncomfortable feeling.on checking strings I noticed the tip of coil pressing out . booked to see my Dr .nexed day had long fleshie bits hanging out me , so I pulled it away and attached to the end was my coil coverd with flash I assume , i was checked at the drs by nurses an told all is OK . then a day or two later the bleeding started and smelled like rotting meat I had a course of antibiotics and tablets to stop the bleeding . well the bleeding never stopped I’m getting clots falling out every day its been over a month of heavy bleeding and I fill exhorsted cold and at times my head fills giddie how long do you think this will last for is this normal and should I be concerned about the bleeding?
    Sorry if my speling is rubish i cant help that.

  44. britt permalink

    I have had my mirena for 6 months now I had my gall bladder removed 4 weeks ago I’ve been have serious issues with cramps abdominal pain along with bloating and feeling deprived and depressed I have also passed clots and have a urinary track infection every time I turn around I bled for almost 5 months straight I’m curious is this what is really wrong with me I feel like it is but not sure I’m suppose to have it removed Thursday any advice please thank you!

  45. carlotta campbell permalink

    I have had paraguard for a year and i had no issues until a few weeks ago. I ended up in the er due to sever cramping to the point that breastfeeding my daughter became too painful due to contracting. And once again my periods are heavy as in a super plus tampon can not control it this month. And my body overdoses on the added hormones in pills and any other birth control that contains hormones. My pms is horrible and the depression gets crushing around my period
    ive never had these issues until a year of paraguard being put in.

  46. Ursula permalink

    Hi Doc, last night I had severe cramps that was traveling from my stomach to my back down to my butt. It hurt so bad it woke me up out my sleep and I could barely walk to the bathroom. I had the IUD (mirena) inserted in April after the birth of my second child. Sometimes I have stomach pains but I do like the IUD because we don’t have to worry about pregnancy. We’ve (my husband and I) had two babies in two years. I would hate to believe this is what causing this pain. I mean I really felt like I was about to push a baby out last night it was so painful. Your opinion is needed. If I remove it what is the next best thing. I don’t know if I want more children or not. But I do like the idea that I could if I decided to try again.

  47. Mimmi permalink

    Hi Dr. Gangemi,

    Thank you so much for writing and publishing this article! I come from Sweden, and here no/very few of the side effects of the copper IUD are known/acknowledged. I had a copper IUD for 2.5 years and suffered from various side effects, many of them mentioned above. When I consulted health care with my problems I was ignored and treated as “another hysterical woman”, and when I approached the question if the IUD could be involved with my troublesome symptomes I was almost laughed upon, and got the answer that I had to understand that a copper IUD has no hormones and could not possibly affect my hormones, my PMS, give me depression of mood swings, nor could it make my head dizzy or give me “brain fog”. No, I was silly to even suspect such a thing.

    Thank you for publishing this article!
    / Mimmi

  48. Sandra permalink

    Hi Dr Ganemi

    I have just come across your website & thought I’d let you know that you may well have saved another Gallbladder! I am having an ultrasound scan on Thursday to see why I have a swollen Gallbladder? My story’s long but I’ll try as briefly as I can to fill you in. For the last 2 yrs I’ve been experiencing a lot of pain in my hands, I’ve had Carpel Tunnel release on both to no avail, I’ve had one thumb joint replacement which has now got a trapped nerve that needs removing, (the other needs doing) a Nerve release Op on my cervical spine, to no avail & steroid injections at the base of both thumbs, brilliant for 4 days got all my Xmas Decs up, kissed my hands every 2 mins cause no pain for the 1st time in 2 yrs but it was just the anaesthetic

  49. Sandra permalink

    Sorry only half finished..

    I’ve also had continuous urine infections & have a scan on Thursday for a swollen Gallbladder! I’ve just read your article’s on some of the side effects of the mirana coil & having too much copper in your system can cause! I have all of these symptoms baring peeling palms although I do have it underfoot. I read only the other day that painful hands could be down to hormones, I am 55 next month & have the mirana coil but I’m experiencing symptoms of peri menopause except I still have a regular monthly cycle, so decided to have the coil removed at the end of this week. After reading your information I am convinced that the Mirana coil is the cause of all my problems but hopefully hasn’t caused any permanent damage, if this is the case can I keep you posted as I’d like to share this with as many people as possible as this has not just had an impact on my health but my whole life. sincerely Grateful, Sandra

  50. Jessica permalink

    I thankfully just came across this web site. I am 45, 4 kids and had the Merina inserted about 3 years ago. All was great – no periods, no weight gain and I felt fine. BUT almost 2 years ago I had to stop jogging because my right leg became extremely heavy after running for 10 minutes or walking 40 minutes. It was the strangest thing. I could hardly lift it but there is no pain. It is affecting my tennis and skiing too. I thought maybe it was from too many spin classes (5 a week) and not enough stretching. My glutes and quads – specially the right side were/are SO tight. I’m having IMS on them. I’ve stopped my spin classes (which makes me so sad) and I’ve gone to a chiroprator, physio, massage, and an osteopath. I’m feeling like i am 90 not 45. I have just made an appointment to remove the IUD. Sure hope it solves my problems. DR. – thanks very much for posting this article.

  51. Maneesha Sharma permalink

    Hi Dr. Gangemi,
    Very illuminating to read your views on the IUD. My doctor had me get one to treat the extra thick (17 mm ) lining on my uterine wall. But I have been in tears for the past week. Pain in my lower back on the left and in my left thigh and leg has left me almost unable to function. Just started to explore the possibility and came across your article. Thank you very much. Any suggestions on my condition? Other options my gynecologist suggested were Novasure and Hysterescopy. The former is quite scary, and unsure about the latter.

  52. amandadonahue permalink

    Thanks for posting this article. I learned alot. I do have some other questions though. I had my Paraguard in for approx 5 years before removal. (I’d have to check my medical records,) Anyway – I would say I had it removed in March of 2014 (ish). In June, I had a very early miscarriage. What I thought was a heavy period became alot of tissue and a warning to go see my Dr. They advised me to take a pregnancy test, which showed an HCG level of only 14. After some blood tests and some time, it went back down to normal levels. Fast forward to around Christmas 2014, and I had another heavy period and extra paid that led me to believe I was miscarrying again, but I never got a positive pregnancy test. (Those things are pricy!) Now – It’s February 6, and I used an ovulation kit to try to conceive. My husband and I had sex for three days around the correct timing. I know there is a chance I’m pregnant and am trying to do what I can to be “healthy” in hopes my body won’t miscarry. If I do however – would now be a good time to have my Dr. check me out to see if pregnancy is possible? Also – before, when I miscarried and again when I suspected my second miscarriage, there was large sheaths of tissue rather than just a heavy blood flow. What was that? Why? Is it possible my uterine lining is just getting rid of residual copper from the IUD? If so, how long is that going to take?

  53. Dr. GANGEMI, you are a rare gem!! I am desperate for your thoughts regarding sexual function and copper iud. I have researched for yrs only now to have my thoughts possibly affirmed. I have had suspicions about my copper IUD for the past 2 years, and have nott had it removed because several ob/gyns have confidently told me it is not the problem and is in perfect position as well.I had one for 10 years with no loud symptoms. Had a second one put in and the procedure was very difficult and painful. Since then I have had brand new symptoms that never occurred with the first I u d. My OBGYN has examined me and said everything seems normal, but I have gone from 18 yrs of normal and enjoyable sex life with my husband, to much less sensitivity, feeling and tightness it seems as though collagen and muscle tone has been affected with no other causes. I was toned and snug even after 2 vaginal deliveries. Why the big change now. I m only 37 and in shape. I wanted to believe it was the IUD so that symptoms may improve upon taking it out, but all three doctors have said it wouldn’t cause this and have also told me the pelvic area appears normal to them. I know that I know that I know that things are so different despite what they say. My main question for you is, in your professional position and experience, how strongly do you feel that the presence of a paraguard IUD could cause pelvic and vaginal muscle tone loss???? In all my research I have never seen it to be true, except in researching dairy cows that have ovarian cysts, lose tone. This could be a connection. My symptoms kind of coincided with the finding of a 3 cm ovarian cyst which quite possibly came about because of the iud and perhaps some confusion in the reproductive system. To summarize, I am just asking you how you feel a copper I u d could affect muscle tone and tightness in the whole vaginal area? Second question is do you think the ovarian cyst is the culprit to the changes I have experienced. Much thanks!

    • LMA permalink

      I too believe that the IUD caused the elasticity of my pelvic area to grow weak. I had been very healthy with no problems. I have had physicals every single year and from April of 2012 when I removed the IUD to October 2012, a 6 month difference and I had this issue come up!!!

  54. Kirsten Henry permalink

    Hi Dr. Gangemi! Thanks for all the great info! I have had the Mirena for about a year and a half now and I am suspecting that it’s causing some immune suppression problems for me. Since I got the mirena I’ve had to have two sinus surgeries and a tonsilectomy to “cure” my illnessness. However, I still get sick all the time, despite eating an extremely healthy diet of mosty vegetables and cutting out sugar and grains, and taking a lot of naturopathic immune supplements. I know that by know the antibiotics I took also compromised my immune system, but I am starting to wonder if it all started with getting the Mirena. I never had problems before recovering from colds or flus, now they last two months minumum if I’m lucky. I also have started to get sharp lower back if I am sedentary a lot, which seems kind of normal? But I never had this in any of my office jobs before. Have you heard of cases of the hormones in the Mirena causing immune problems?

  55. Natalie permalink

    Thankyou for sharing your stance on this particular contraceptive .I had the copper coil fitted last year , since then I have had problem after problem , thrush at least twice a month , heavy bleeding , stomach cramps and bv. Whatever happened to the oath of first do no harm !! Clearly the medics that fit these coils must know of possible side effects yet failed to tell me when I asked.. furious is not the word.

  56. Allison Dooley permalink

    Dr. Gangemi,
    Thank you so much for speaking this truth regarding the harmfulness of IUDS AND HORMONAL BIRTH CONTROL. The medical community at large has failed women horribly in this regard. I find it ironic that many women care very much about eating organic fruits and vegetables and animal products raised without the use of hormones or antibiotics yet they use high levels of artificial hormones daily for family planning. There are natural options available that are very reliable. The local organization in NC that trains women and couples in a natural methodology is You should check it out. There are OB/GYNS at UNC Chapel Hill, Winston-Salem, Shelby and Raleigh that are trained in this methodology and support its use 100%. Woman deserve better!

  57. Deb permalink

    This is my 2nd mirena and since the insertion 12/2014 and I’ve been having these issues… Pain on my left side(ovaries) and bloating. It only lasts for a few hours and comes and goes– sometimes once a week. I’ve also been having pain right below my chest and back pains– once a month. A week after the insertion, I also had this weird rash all over my stomach. It finally went away but my left side puzzles me. I didn’t have any side effects before w minera. Why is my body rejecting it this time? I’m 44 divorced and don’t want anymore kids. I’ve been on the pill til my kids were born and a little afterwards then IUDS. I don’t like my period and don’t want anymore kids. What can I do to protect myself? Another side note – my mom has stage 4 ovarian cancer but not a carrier of the gene. Thank you.

  58. Doc
    I had the mirena removed on dec 10 i had lost mobility of my legs my knees and ankles hurt. Ironically recently thyroid nodules showed up. My legs sloely get better but i still feel off although much better than in december. How long to see results also is there a nutrition diet you recomnend? I notice my symptoms when i ovulate each month? Any advice would be greatly appreciated

  59. steph permalink

    I had the Mirena iud put in Jan 26. 3 weeks later I started having feelings of anxiety and panic out of no where with chest pain. I went to the hospital where they couldnt find the problem. This lasted about 5 days. I went and had the iud removed even though I was told that it couldn’t be the problem. The same day of removal I felt sick and chest hurt bad. Could this just be the iud hormone coming out of my system?

  60. Irina permalink

    I had Skyla inserted in November and I just had to remove it two days ago. I’d gone through cramping that got more and more common until I would be in pretty intense pain every second day or so. I finally had to remove it when the cramps got so intense I couldn’t really get up and walk properly. I think it would have fallen out on its own (the strings were over an inch longer than usually), but I just couldn’t really take it any more.

    The reason I’m writing here is that I found your point about weakness in the muscles of the hip area very interesting. I used to lift heavy weights a lot and recently got back to the gym, only to notice that I’d developed new compensatory mechanisms that weren’t there before. I was surprised to notice that I had a somewhat posterior pelvic tilt and a rather hunched, stretched upper back, whereas when I’d previously taken off with heavy weights, I’d had an anterior pelvic tilt. I also do a lot of hula hooping and I noticed a lot of general core weakness and an annoying poking sensation that accompanied activation in transversus abdominis, and over time I finally I realized I’d been compensating for the pain from the cramps with the hunched over posture and the pelvic tilt. So it was very interesting for me to read about your findings regarding posture and instabilities resulting from IUDs.

    Unfortunately for me, hip alignment issues and abdominal weakness result in difficulties reaching an orgasm, so consequently, my sex life was also not as satisfying as it was before the IUD. I’m happy it came out and I’m already enjoying my old, pain-free life.

  61. chiomz permalink

    Thank you Dr Gangemi. Your article explains a lot . I was eager to avoid Paraguard due to heavy bleeding and choose mirena 5mths ago. Now I have extreme back pain, painful knees and I’m gaining weoght.. taking it out tomorrow

  62. Dawn permalink

    I had the copper IUD in for a few years. First I was on Depo for about 2 years after my son was born (1999, I was 22), then switched to IUD because I wanted the possibility of future kids. (I had a friend on Depo for a few years, when she went off it, took several years to finally get pregnant again). I basically went through a second puberty… restarting period, debilating breast pain. I had the IUD in until late 2008, which I had removed because my finance (now hubby) wanted to try for a kid (we are still “trying” to this day, early 2015).

    While I had the IUD in I started to experience some horrific pain in my uterus area during my periods. So severe I would be cry. It was worse when I had to take a poop… so badly that I was afraid to make a bowel movement. It even hurt at times after peeing. Physical muscle pain, almost directly above and centered above the pelvis bone/vagina area (hope that makes sense).

    When I had the IUD removed, I continued to feel the sharp pain for several months. I still get bad cramps on day one of my period, sometimes bed ridden because I try to avoid medications when I can. If I have to work, I take a few ibprophen, since I’ve discovered a lot of my health issues/aches seemed to be relieved most with iBprophen which targets inflammation.

    A few years ago I did end up pregnant, but miscarried at about 6 weeks. Ultrasounds (external & internal… first internal ever done) revealed 2 embryo sac… one with out a vaible embryo. They also discovered polyps, a few about golf ball sized. Before this, I’ve never had ultra sounds done except when pregnant with my son. I had a D/C years ago at 17 for another miscarriage, but no mention of polyps.

    I often wonder if the IUD cause the polyps to form and if these polyps are the cause of my monthly pain on the first day. I haven’t had them removed do to lack of medical coverage.

    Oh… also while on the IUD, I had several headaches a month, almost daily. Often were migraines that put down for several hours, worse on the last day of my periods. Since removing the IUD, the headaches have subsided, but I can still get that end of period headache or get one from high stress level… but they are all localized on the left side of my head, right behind my ear/eye area… almost like being stabbed with an ice pick. If I feel them coming on and I have the time (no work or school). I can treat it with hot washcloth or submerging my head in hot water in the tub (leaving face above water level), then taking a nap in a dark, quiet, cool room. Sometimes to help the process some ibprophen. These headaches can be so bad, I’m crying. There have been times it was like being punched and dropping me to my knees.

    Before my IUD, my periods where a breeze for me… no wonky PMS, no bad physical issues (I hardly knew when it started). During the IUD I developed lots of physical issues and bipolar like PMS. After, I still have some physical issues and I have to be aware of my moods during PMS (depression, sudden hate, etc).

    So yes, I agree with your assessment. I tell people not get an IUD unless they feel it’s their only resort. Thankfully I’m on no birth control since I’m still married to my husband. I’m 38 years old and hoping years of birth control free life style will help with an easier menopause when the time comes.

  63. Lisa - IUD MIGRAINE permalink

    I had my IUD (Mirena) in for a year, in that time I was chronically ill with insane migraines. I would just lay in bed for days with stroke symptom type migraines, couldn’t even remember how to talk or understand what people were saying during my migraine episodes. I had my Mirena removed 2 months ago and haven’t had any migraines since. It’s been two months since the removal and I can’t get the bleeding to stop….any suggestions?

  64. ECJ permalink

    Hello, I was wondering if you had ever seen the merina causing polyneuropathy or neuropathic pain?
    I am 31 years old & had the IUD fitted at the end of October. within two weeks I started getting transient, but quite frequent numbness in fingers & toes (3-4 hrs a day). This then spread to pins & needles/ ‘electric shock’ type feelings in my arms, developing into what I can only really describe as a something akin to an immune inflammatory response; burning all over my torso & pain across my chest, back & arms akin to acute flu inflammation. It is incapacitating. Like being set alight. The problem is that I also have Lyme Disease (undiagnosed for 17yrs) so the natural inclination for any Dr is to to lay blame at Lyme’s door or neurotoxicity from the abx, however I have NEVER experienced this as a symptom of lyme in my 17yrs of being unwell & it started two weeks after having the IUD fitted. My overall health has spiralled downwards since then & whilst the evidence may be circumstantial I’m inclined to believe that the coil has in some way contributed.
    In your opinion, could this be possible?

  65. sam permalink

    Wow thanks for this article.  Doctors made me feel like I was going crazy. Had mire na for 2 years terrible mood swings and rash on face. Had it removed and had a copper one. Was told it will stay there for 10 years. I am now 45 and had it for 5 years. Removed last week. Terrible constant itching behind knees after a year. Itching became a lot worse and more regular. Apart from discharge and 7 day heavy periods and severe back pain. The worst years of my life. I’m so glad I’ve had it removed and am looking forward to being normal again. Still itching but discharge gone. Just wish doctors had not convinced me to keep it in. Especially for another 5 years! Wish more people knew about the side effects. I live in the uk.

  66. Clair permalink

    Dear Dr g. 9 years ago I lost a thread to my flexi t coil. The coil was removed and another put in. In November I had an emergency laparoscopy for an abcess on my Fallopian tube. I have intense pain in my gall bladder and have a dialated pancreatic duct. I feel that the thread is in my gall bladder but it doesn’t show on scans. The consultant says its pancreatitis. I had my coil out at the time of my laparoscopy but the pain is worsening. I’d love to know your thoughts.

  67. Sarah permalink

    Thanks for a great article!

    I was wondering have you had women complain of other symptoms such as a bad odor, increase in bv, facial hair, acne, and/or hair loss.

    When I called my dr office to ask if mirena could cause a bad odor (can’t describe the smell but it is not yeast or bv smell). The office told me no the smell is not from iud, but test are negative for any infections or stds. Wondering if others have this complaint or if it’s just me


    • Well hormones can cause those symptoms so although the bad odor wouldn’t be directly from the IUD it could be as a result of the hormones from it, as well as though hormones provoking other issues in your body.

  68. melinda jarnutowski permalink

    any correlation between paragard and anxiety issues/ panic attcks?

  69. Letigre Haywood permalink

    I tried to leave a comment earlier but I don’t think it did. Anyway, I just got a Mirena IUD inserted today. They told me that spotting would be normal. They did not, however, tell me anything about tissue falling out being normal. There were two tissues on the toilet paper, one being blood red and the other being a light pink, almost skin colored. Should I be worried?

  70. Colette permalink


    I just got the paragard two weeks ago. Now, I am experiencing lower left back pain that radiates down my left cheek and the left top & bottom of my thighs. The back pain was so intense the other day, that I couldn’t stop crying – I could stand or lay, but sitting (rather getting into the sitting position) felt like I was being stabbed in the back –
    Do you (I am assuming you will say yes) think the two are related? I am not overweight and I didnt do anything to warrant such pain. Now, I am sitting at work with a heating pad like an old lady!!

  71. Lisa Bernard permalink

    I am 53 and experiencing menopausal symptoms like night sweats, etc.

    My Mirena IUD was inserted 7/2011 due to heavy menstrual bleeding. It solved the problem and stopped the bleeding entirely.

    I just started having smelly urine and sharp lower back pain.

    Wondered whether this could be the Mirena, and whether I should have it taken out.

    Question: Once the Mirena is out, what should I do about the heavy bleeding?

  72. sara permalink

    Hiya I had the merina fitted about two weeks. I have had a constant headache so bad my whole head feels like it’s going to explode ! it’s been a week since I have felt refreshed and awake. Also for about 3 days now iv had a sore tounge and throat almost like burning sensation. Before I had my children I had a implant but had that removed due to weight gain depression and bad moods !
    Could all these be side effects of the coil already or something else

  73. Ashley permalink

    Hi there !

    2 years ago I had the Copper IUD inserted. The first night I had terrible pain on my left side /left ovarey. I didn’t bleed after the first day and the pain did go away . NOW, 2 years after the first IUD … The OBGYN said that the IUD slid down , causing it to hit my cervix. She took it out and put another copper IUD back on . Now I’m experiencing constant bleeding , spasms in my uterus and left groin hurts…. What does this mean ? Are these symptoms normal ? And how can an IUD slide down ?

    Thanks –

  74. jennifer permalink

    I had the paragard inserted a little over a year ago. Last summer I started seeing my MD for high anxiety. I have been on and off numerous medications including Xanax and ativan. Neither of which helped at all. Started counseling but just couldn’t seem to get the worried feeling off my chest. I happen to google something relating to paragard, and saw a lot of threads of women talking about anxiety/panic attacks being caused by paragard. Looking back, my uncontrollable anxiety started soon after I had my paragard inserted! I am hoping I can find the time to get mine removed.

  75. Hallie permalink

    I Have the mirena and ive had it in for almost 2 years now. I havent had a period since ive had it in and recently i had to go into the ER because i woke up with the worst pain ever it was almost as painful as child birth (i had an unmediated birth so i remember the pain). When i was in the ER they did an ultrasound and found an ovarian cyst. Now im having more pain this past weekend i had a weird color discharge which my mom said it was my period and i had really horrible cramping and all this week the cramping is constant and painful. What do i do?

  76. Theresa permalink

    Thanks for posting your article! I recently spoke with my OB regarding believed side effects of the Mirena…left his office totally deflated as he assured me my issues were completely unrelated to the Mirena. I have an appointment with my GP tomorrow morning and after reading this and other articles related to side effects of the Mirena I am sure now I will have it removed….hopefully I will finally go back to my regular self. No more back pain, mood swings, weight gain, chest flutters and tiredness! Wish me luck
    Thanks agin, Theresa

  77. Lindsey permalink

    Thank you for this article. It is the most honest article written by an experienced doctor that I have been able to find. After reading this I have made up my mind to remove my copper IUD.

    I had mine inserted 1 year ago and had severe cramping for the first 30 days. I constantly called my doctor during this time, because it seemed very abnormal, to which she always told me the cramping was normal and to give it 4-6 months. I had a follow-up appointment 6-weeks after insertion, my doctor checked the IUD, she said all was clear, and the cramping between periods eventually stopped to weakened. I have had the typical symptoms of severe cramping and heavier periods, which got better every month in the beginning and then they got worse. I went back to the doctor 6 months ago, had the IUD checked again, and it turns out I had a rare fungal infection. I was prescribed Doxycycline and the severe cramping between periods weakened again and almost disappeared after I took the medicine.

    Now I’m sick with a terrible cold, I’m halfway between periods, and I’m having severe, debilitating cramping again. I’m concerned that the cramping is related to a PID because cramping seems to be worse when my immune system is down.

    Every time I talk to my doctor she just tells me severe cramping is normal and never seems to think I need an ultrasound or seems very concerned, but I’m in too much pain. I have cramping in my uterus, but also sharp pains that seem to shoot through my colon and the walls of my vagina.

    Thank you very much for this. I would love to find a doctor that accepts my health insurance that is as honest and concerned for patient’s health as you are!

  78. amy permalink

    1 week with paragard and im calling to have it removed. I cant sleep, pain under left breast, heart palpitations, leg spasms, arthritis in right hand resuming (after 7 years ago experiencing only briefly post partum), headaches, vertigo, cold hands and feet. This is not me. Depression and anxiety, uncontrollably sobbing are the worst of it as i am a recovering alcoholic of 1 year. Suffered 2 miscarriages in 2014. I was doing well emotionally, now-i feel tricked, lied to and ashamed i didnt research. I am a researcher…a bit too late, but grateful for this article and those who shared. I dont know where to go from here, afraid of miscarrying, but more afraid of poisoning the delicate balance of my body. Holistic acquaintances are getting phoned tomorrow.

  79. Mely permalink

    Greetings, I want to know and share my experience . Two years ago I got Paragard was extremely painful , uncomfortable, to the point that I lost consciousness. Ok my cycle is very regular, 24-26 days . My gynecologist gave me an order from a pelvic and vaginal sonogram to see how the IUD was, the result is that I went out with a cyst and Paragard had slid my cervix. My doctor call me to make appointment for removal. Now I have a dilemma , my last cycle was March 3 and right now April 3 I don’t have my period since I took out (my doctor removed the Paragard on March 10), I did three pregnancy tests , urine tests , and they all came out negative, any suggestions ?

  80. Bob permalink

    Hey, great article. But what about a diaphragm? I see no mention of that in your article or replies. (Sorry if I missed it)

    • Well I don’t believe it to be harmful but not practical or ideal for pregnancy prevention.

  81. Kate permalink

    Thank you for posting this article. I had the Nova-T copper IUD inserted 6 months ago. I had been on the pill for several years prior but my migraines were suddenly becoming more and more frequent (after having them pretty well controlled for the last few years). My doctor suggested the copper IUD as a means of birth control while avoiding synthetic hormones (which he suspected was my biggest migraine trigger). If it were to work, it sounded like a win-win. I’d avoid pregnancy and my migraines frequency would decrease. I’m happy to announce that my migraine frequency has decreased dramatically. Unfortunately, that is the only good side effect I’ve experienced from the IUD. I’ve had very heavy bleeding, severe cramping even when I’m not on my period, a constant sharp pain that favoured my left side, and was treated for bacterial vaginosis. I chalked all this up to my body adjusting to the IUD. For the last three mornings though, I’ve woken up with a terrible pain from my lower back, into my right gluteus muscles, all the way down to the toes of my right leg. I’d describe it as if my leg was dead but still attached. I decided to Google this on a whim, assuming that I was losing my mind and this couldn’t have anything to do with my IUD. This article was the first link that appeared. Thank you for making me feel validated with my concerns about the IUD. I’ve known something didn’t feel right. This article has described many other things I’ve felt physically that I never would have associated with the IUD. I’ve been debating having it removed for the last month but this confirms it. I’ll be booking my appointment asap.

  82. jennifer permalink


    I just read this article and the comments and now I’m more confused on what choice is the healthiest best choice in the long term. I have tried diet, exercise, massage, acupuncture, shots, pills.

    I am done having children, I am 42, I have had bad endometriosis since age 14, I have been on the pill, had the shot, and several laperscopic surgeries. I get anemic about every 3rd period, I also have a history of depression and anxiety. My family has a history of strokes (more the males than females). I have been given the choices of IUD (mirena), ablation (no thanks), and a partial hysterectomy. I worry about all and all have risks. I have been told I am now in perimenopause (had tons of tests to figure that out), and every month things get eorse. I have great blood pressure, slightly high cholesterol, I had a uteran ultrasound that looked fine, I had 3 cysts over the winter.

    The quality of life kind of sucks as the pain, the extreme bleeding and clotting, depression, and mood swings are taking over.

    I’m having a hard time finding real pros and cons to all of the options I have been given.

    Not quite sure which route to take as I feel pressured to try an iud, but now I really wonder. Are there any articles to read or other options to help with this?


  83. Darcy permalink

    I had the paragard IUD inserted in January 2015. I began having nausea acne abdominal pain and shaking a month ago. I’m having it removed tomorrow. I am 21 years old and have had to miss work and school because of how awful I feel. My doctor prescribed beta blockers which don’t work. I’m scared based off of reading how long it takes to go back to normal I mean will I ever be normal and healthy again? I’ve lost weight because I’m too sick to have a decent appetite. I’m always cold. I want my life back. And i can’t wait 1-2 years for that otherwise I’ll lose everything. My life had just begun but I can’t believe how the IUD ruined everything in 4 months. It is awful

  84. Emily permalink

    Hi there, I stumbled upon this article and it sounds like you really know what you’re talking about, after all the lady doctors Ive seen maybe you can give me your two cents – I am a woman who is constantly on her period. Every 16 days, on the dot, I have a heavy, horrible week long period. I keep track of it, I’m 21 and it has been this way all my life, except when I was on the pill – which made me gain 25 pounds, even while being active and healthy – and I just had the mirena IUD for two months and got it taken out because I am always in pain and cramping. What else can I do? As you can imagine bleeding this much every month is not only difficult on my life but I get very tired, dizzy, etc. (my iron also tends to be on the low side, I assume because of this). Would really love to hear your opinion on how I can treat this without birth control – all my doctors don’t have a clue.

  85. Shannon permalink

    Thank you for this article. I got an IUD after my son was born and had it for 5 years and no problems. That IUD was removed and a new one was inserted. For the last year and half since the second IUD was inserted, I have been experiencing many of the problems listed in this article including weight gain, aches and pain, depression, etc. Then about 3 months ago, I started having horrible pains in the lower right side along with horrible pain in my pelvis and lower back. Many nights I could not sleep, would have to get up and move. I went to my OBYN and he ran test, did an ultrasound and stated “everything looks fine and the IUD is right where it should be.” I came home discouraged and decide to do some research and found this article. Many of the issues listed in this article was just like I was experiencing. I made another appointment with my OBYN and told him I wanted the IUD removed. That was Tuesday and this is Thursday (two days since he removed the IUD) and I have no more pain, can sleep through the night and no horrible pains on my lower right side. Thank you for posting this article, I really think with out it I would still be experiencing pain like I never had experienced before.

  86. claire genney permalink

    Thank you so much for this, I have had my coil for two years and had gradually increasing back pain ever since. Having being told that the coil didn’t have side affects and when I have seen the doctor about my back was told it was from having my children close together I just didn’t have a clue it could be my coil. I only started to investigate over the last few days due to an article flashing up on social media regarding the coil and a slight mention of back pain. I can’t wait to have this removed and hope there will be no long term damage. Thank you again for writing this article and I will be making my own decisions on what method I use next. X

  87. Angel permalink

    Hello Doctor thanks so much for this arcticle. Have you seen any cases or know if the Paragard IUD causes blood pressure issues? I am young 26 and have never had issues with my blood pressure not even during pregnancy and my daughter is now 5 months old. I am now experiencing high blood pressure could it possibly be related to the Paraguard I had placed at my six week post partum checkup?

  88. kelly permalink

    Thank you for this article. It’s nice to see a doctor’s perspective on this. I feel like it’s more reliable and true as opposed to forums. However, the forums make me feel like i am not alone!! I am a 36yo triathlete and have been having a lot of problems for almost 2 years now. I had the IUD put in 4.5 years ago, after the birth of my second son. I had one put in after my first son, but never really seemed to have had side effects from it. I have had what i thought was an upper hamstring issue, but also could have been piriformis/sciatica problems, and now i have been battling IT Band/runners knee symptoms for a year. My whole right side aches, from the hip, knee, and even down to the outside of my right leg. Time off has done nothing, PT has done nothing, all imaging from X-rays to MRI’s have shown nothing. No one has really diagnosed anything b/c all my symptoms are atypical of injuries. It could be this, or that, but not sure. I am so frustrated. I used to run for as long as i wanted, i used to be happy, high energy, etc. Last year my primary actually mentioned the fact that IUD’s are being known to cause sciatica and joint pain, after seeing the IUD in a pelvic X-ray. He said it wasn’t his expertise, but that i should talk to my OB. I never talked to my OB and i blew it off b/c my family, in the medical field, thought it was ridiculous. However, I am now taking my primary doc’s advise to heart. I am seeing a doc and getting the IUD removed next week, and i cannot wait. I am hoping that this device is the cause of all my aches and pains that will NOT go away no matter what i do and try. I am so tired of hurting. For being as active as i am, i loved not having a period. They were terrible before. However, i guess if that’s the price i have to pay to be able to function, then so be it.
    Thank you again for this article!

  89. Stephanie permalink

    After having the paraguard IUD for a few months, I began having issues with what seemed like bladder pains/UTIs. I’ve had the IUD for 4 years now and still have these issues. I used to randomly having lower abdominal pains, sometimes in the middle and sometimes on a side, but now I seem to have those and UTIs the week before and following my period. Sometimes when the pain is really bad, it radiates to my lower back and thighs. I’ve seen my dr about these concerns and she tells me the IUD is in perfect position. We’ve yet to find the reason for these changes but I’ve always been convinced that my IUD is the cause for all my trouble and pain. It has been debilitating and has kept my husband and I from enjoying activities together since I just want to lay in bed when I’m hurting. After reading this article, I’m convinced that my IUD has been the problem. I would be interested in more research on the connection between IUDs and urinary issues. Have you seen many cases where the bladder was affected by the IUD?

    • I personally have not but if you want my opinion I’d go with your gut feeling on this. Worse case scenario is you take the IUD out and your bladder issues continue but at least you’ve taken out a possible factor of the equation.

    • Amanda permalink

      I had an IUD inserted in May. The month of June was fine but in July the week before my period I also exhibited symptoms of a UTI. I used to get them frequently so I am well versed in their symptoms unfortunately. My initial results showed a very high white blood cell count so I was given antibiotics. When the full urinalysis came back I was told that I did not have a UTI. Eventually the symptoms went away (whether from the antibiotics or not I’m not sure). Now I’m coming up on my period again and having the exact same symptoms. I too am concerned it is caused by my IUD and I’m really hoping I’m wrong. If anyone has any information on this, please let me know. I’m scheduling an appointment for another urinalysis now.

  90. Marbel permalink

    Hi doctor,
    I have a question, I had the mirena placed 2 months ago and I started losing hair like crazy. Today I went to my doctors to get it removed and I am feeling dizzy, fatigue, tightness in my chest area. Is this normal after getting the mirena removed? Also, will my hair grow back after all my hormones normalize? Thank you so much

    • That is odd (the feeling post-removal). I’d obviously keep an eye on your symptoms and let your doctor know if they persist. Hopefully your hair does grow back; sometimes there is a need for hormone support for a bit.

  91. Christina permalink

    I am glad to see there are doctors out there who care enough to write articles like this. I only wish I would’ve read it before I got the Mirena IUD. I never had too many problems with it while it was in (other than some painful cramps and bacterial infections), but when my 5 years were up, getting it removed became a whole other problem. After 3 attempts by three different OBGYNs, not one of them could remove the darn thing! After getting an ultrasound, it was determined that the device was embedded in my uterine wall, which required surgery to have it removed.

    It has been two weeks since the surgery, and I am still spotting a dark, thick blood accompanied by the worst cramps I have ever had. At times it feels like I am going into labor. There is an acute pain in the area where the Mirena was lodged (I could feel what area it was stuck in when they were trying to yank it out). It feels like I am being stabbed from within. On top of that, I have severe bloating, and pain in my lower back and pelvis. Headaches, mood swings, horribly tender breasts and anxiety are among the other problems. It is as though I have been in constant PMS mode for the past two weeks. This whole experience is a nightmare!! If only more doctors cared enough to make sure these poisons were never put into our bodies!

    I commend you for writing this article, and I am sharing my story with as many women as I can. My doctors made it sound as if these problems were “rare” but through my own research, this does not seem that rare at all. I have not decided on another contraceptive yet because it appears they all have dangerous side-effects and complications. I am not a fan of condoms, but me and my partner are using them now, as the only other option is risking my health and sanity.

  92. Rhonda permalink

    I just had Mirena IUD put in. I’m 40 yrs old with two young children since my husband and I waited later in life to have kids. I was told aftery second child which was also my second C-Section that having another child could be life threatening to me. This is why I decided to have the IUD put in. I can’t do birth control pills they make me very sick. The Depro-Vera shot was the worse, lost all sex drive and was moody for a year. I went off all bc for about 6 or 7 years and only used VCF vaginal insert film. I love the film however my husband and I wanted more spontaneity but no more kids. One day after insertion which doc used sonogram to make sure it was inserted properly, I had mild chest pains. This has never happened ever. I’ve never been on any medication for anything, I was a virgin when I got married so Ive only had one partner for 14 years same as my husband. I am very excited about Mirena because the doc really explained it so well and I researched it before and for me seems to be the best option. Now that I’ve read this article after typing in chest pains with Mirena I wonder if I can just do two years then have it removed since I will probably start menopause. I will keep a journal if I have any problems and if I do I will sue the company. After reading this article my concern is the IUD getting attached to my uterus. I literally watched him insert it deep in my uterus or wherever it goes and had no pain no problems no bleeding. I can not get pregnant again and I don’t want to do any kind of charting. I’m a busy mom with two small ones plus I work part-time and a very shall I say (ready at anytime for sex) husband. What other options other than charting do you have for a woman that can’t get pregnant?

  93. Laura permalink

    Hi Doc

    I had the paragard inserted 2 months ago, that first week my bowels changed- I was using the bathroom 4-5 times a day. The next week things were ok but then I started experiencing pain when using the bathroom. For the next three weeks there was blood and pain whenever I used the bathroom. I went to the gasternologist and discovered I had an anal fissure. I have never had issues before, I’m a healthy, active 33 year old. When I’ve asked my obgyn about the correlation between IUD and fissures they say it’s not connected. I am wondering what your thoughts are or if you have any research that supports this. I have a check up app with obgyn in two weeks and am considering having the iud removed. Your thoughts? Thanks

  94. Dr. Gangemi,
    What or which do you believe would be the most probable cause of sudden (mysterious) loss of vaginal tone….
    (Age 37 and was snug after 2 vaginal deliveries many years ago, until recently)

    -having had an episiotomy 19yrs ago
    only now causing looseness?

    -a recent existence of an ovarian cyst
    (3.4 cm dermoid or endometrioma )

    -having had 2 iuds over 12 years

    Some of the above? or does one stand out as most probable to you. I understand you cannot give an absolute, but I greatly value your thoughts.
    (I did have iud removed over a month ago with hopes to relieve the burden and return to normal. Your article basically stated a healthy uterus promotes pelvic muscle tone, yes?
    Thanks for replying! ;-)

    • Well 2 and 3 can both affect your hormones (cysts are due to hormone imbalances) – so either could cause the loss of tone. I wouldn’t think the episiotomy would be an issue.

  95. Lorena permalink

    I had mirena inserted on 15th jan 2015… I have a prolapsed disc in my back and experience sciatic pain as a result. 10 days after the insertion I started having sciatic pain, pain around my hip and groin, numbness in my leg. I assumed this was my disc and did not link it. Over the last few months it has continued, an almost constant severe pain in my right leg, different from the pain I normally have and the pain I can deal with. Doc had put me on pregablin nerve suppressants .. No painkillers help. I am now in constant agony, cannot dress myself and mobility has been severely limited. I am so glad I came across your article as I haven’t been happy since the mirena was inserted and have been bleeding lightly daily since. I am getting it out as soon as I can and hopefully will get back to normal. I cannot believe women across the world are being allowed to have this hideous form of contraception actively promoted to them. I am so happy to have read your article… Thank you !

  96. Lorena permalink

    I have had my mirena removed today.. I will come back and update you on how I am feeling.. I am hoping to be back to normal soon. Fingers crossed!

  97. danielle permalink

    I got the paragard inserted on a monday, and removed 2 days later on a wednesday. I was Having abdominal pains, low back pains , acne the very next morning, but the worst part was I started having really bad mood swings, depressed, happy, sad, & mad all at the same time. It’s been a week now and acne on my back has gotten extremely worse, and still feel moody. Could this be effects of the copper still in my system? My OB thinks I’m wacko but I know something from the iud had to of set my body off. My OB keeps saying it has nothing to do with the iud. What do you think?

  98. Jeniffer Vega permalink

    Hello dr.

    I have had my para guard iud for about 3 years. I am 24 years old and at first I never had any problems except for heavy periods. For a year now I have been having excessive wetness. It started of little by little and it has only gotten worse. I have taken medications for yeast infections and nothing seems to work. It has gotten to the point that I have to dry during intercourse because I cannot feel my partner inside of me. I am young and my doctor said it is normal. I am desperate and don’t know what to do. I am thinking of having it removed. Your advice will be appreciated. Thank you.

    • The info in the article is the best free advice I can give you regardless of the situation.

  99. Safa Muhammad permalink

    Halo doctor,
    I am an indian. I just read your article and found it very useful. . One year back I had inserted copper t. When it was 9 mnths later, I felt copper t has tripped down. And I met my gynaecologst here. She did scanning and checked and told me . It has tripped down. It is not safe to keep it this way. There ia a chance of vetting pregnant and she got it removed for me and re jntroduced new one. This one is five years one. Now it ia only two months. I feel tht copper os again tripped down. I feel the thread realy low. Sometimes its rritating me when Iam walking. What Iis the problem here doctor?

  100. THANK YOU for this amazing info!
    I’ve recently become a HUGE advocate about educating women about what the mirena/IUD may be doing to them. I had the mirena after baby #1 and didn’t “notice” any side effects. And got one after baby #2, well, I was MUCH more in tune with my body by then and after 3 years with it– I FINALLY realized it was the mirena that had caused me
    Low/NO libido
    Plantar fasciitis
    Hip pain
    Abdominal inflammation
    Tight leg muscles
    Lower back pain
    Struggle with losing weight–
    Dr, maybe I missed it– but could you share more about how the mirena effects weight and why many women put on weight or have a horrible time losing it with the mirena?

    I felt like not me with the mirena, I got it removed and immediately the pain left and my lower back was left very weak which within 2 months has been restored. I also did an extensive and natural detox and REALLY helped me balance my hormones, get my cycles regular AND lose 17lbs. I’d love to share more about that Dr. if you’d be interested about talking about it.

    Thank you again!

  101. alicia permalink

    Such an encouraging read. My mother had the essure for 2 years and recently had to have an emergency hysterectomy at 43 years old due to the many health problems it was causing. Since all of her research on the essure, she informed me that the mirena is very similar as far as ingredients and side effects go. Recently after getting the mirena I began to have slight back pain that started just as an aching pain, and over time has started getting progressively worse, and many days I have a hard time getting out of bed because of how badly the shooting pain from back to my leg are. I’m 23 and have always been very active and healthy, so now I am concerned what having this mirena may have affected for my future body and health. I have many questions, especially since I have not had an easy time finding a doctor in my area that is willing to discuss this without making me feel crazy. I have so many questions!!

  102. Hi there. Your article was definitely insightful. But I’m wondering if you have any idea what may be my problem because I can’t seem to find information on it. Let me start off by saying that I’m 30 to and for the past several years my menses would come in regular intervals, but would last 6-8 days and would clot and bleed enough that I’d go through a large tampon AND a pad within 2-4 hours. I’ve even passed out a couple of times. Long story short, I’ve tried almost every treatment their was to help with regularity and emotional stability and nothing worked to the full advantage without terrible side effects. Furthermore, I recently found out that I’m in the stages of perimenapause. That was a blow, but it wasn’t unexpected since my mother and sister went through it early too. So after a long year of thinking about it I decided to get the Mirena IUD due to low levels of progesterone and the high levels of clotting during menstruation. The insertion was brutal. I’m not one to budge because of pain, but it literally made me scream out and was on the verge of passing out. The doctor told me the insertion was more difficult because I’ve never had a vaginal birth and my cervical entrance was off to the side. Also my Vegus nerve must have been triggered because I had every symptom of an IUD insertion. It has now been a little over two weeks and I am still bleeding, although light, having sharp pain and cramps. Other strange symptoms is quick bladder fullness (or at least it feels that way), pain throughout my lower abdomen including the opening of my cervix, wrap around dull pain like kidney problems, and the strangest is that the symptoms seem to be most triggered by laying on my coccyx, or pressure against it, like laying on my back or reclining. Also there looks to be mucus with the vaginal bleeding, which Im not quite sure is normal. The pain has been present since day one. I do notice I’ve been severely depressed, but I can’t say is from the IUD itself, but to say it is the the pain that’s causing me to miss out on opportunities to enjoy myself is likely why I’m depressed. I’ve been popping pain relievers like candy (and I’m not one to really take medication for any type of pain), warm baths, heating pad, light walking, eating healthy, and keeping hydrated. All to no avail. I demanded to see my doctor 5 days ago, and she checked to see if I had any inflammation and checked if she can feel the strings. All of that was fine including being negative for STIs. That day, to be on the safe side, they ran a CBC and did a transvaginal ultrasound. 5 days later I still don’t have the results back and they put me right in as an emergency. Nice to know I’m not such an emergency now. I’ve waited this long, so I’m hopeful is nothing life threatening. Would you say this is relatively normal for someone that hasn’t had childbirth and so on. And if i absolutely have to take it out, do you know of any other alternatives to my preexisting condition? I would really like a second opinion and it doesn’t seem many doctors I talk to want to step on my current doctors toes….so now I’m online. Thank you.

    • Hi, I really can’t offer individual/personal advice on-line. Happy to set up a phone/Skype consult.

  103. Kinga permalink

    Hi! Thank you so much for this article!
    I have been now thinking for the past few weeks that something is not right. Specially when my last gp visit finished with prescribed anti-depressants… my lord! I’ve never been moody or anxious before! Well , not before my iud being placed.
    I have my copper non- hormonal coil now since 2012. Only last year I have started to notice things that felt really not like me. BVs( never had that before) , lower back pains, PMS out of this world!! They seem to last much longer aswell. Like all the time. My Gp said I am depressed. Haha. No way. That’s when I have started to think about the coil and possible side effects. Also what worries me is that my hair didn’t grow. I can see last year pictures and my hair Just did not grow… have appoitment with my doctor this week ( to talk how the anti-depressants work.. well ..They don’t as I am not taking them! ) so I’ll talk to him about this. This is what I was worried for long now. Thank you so much for this article. Finally I have read what my intuition was saying! Hopefully I won’t have to wait long for my removal and everything will go back to normal:)

  104. Jennifer permalink

    I am about to have my third iud removed due to constant uti’s. I’ve had them all my life but now they are constant and I want my iud tested. My first iud I had no problems it was a mirena, second was a paraguard and the periods and moods swings almost caused me to kill myself!! I kept it one year before going back to the mirena and now I’ve had it for 2 years! I am where you have been with the back and joint pain! So bad I’m on $800 a month narcotic patches because no dr can figure out what is causing the pain! So I pray that my issues are the same as yours and the joint and back pain goes away along with the uti’s!! Glad you found your problem!!

  105. Amari permalink

    Hi so I’m 15 and my mom got me put on Paragard a few weeks after I had my daughter. I’ve only been on it for about 20 days but for about 5 days now I’ve been getting sharp pains in my lower abdomen that shoot down my left leg. I’ve had unprotected sex twice with the same partner. Yesterday I noticed brown discharge and my strings seem to have wrapped themselves around my cervix. Do you have an explanation for what could be going on? I have a doctor’s appointment in a few weeks but I can’t wait that long for answers.. Please help

  106. linda permalink

    Hi and thank you for this article. I had the paraguard inserted two years ago. It did not go in easily and I felt pressure so I made appt to have it removed. The NP could not remove it so I went back the following day and my gynecologist (the one who placed it) removed it quite easily. It was only in for one week. However, since that time I have had lower left pain all around met hip and groin. (underwear area) I finally had an MRI and it showed that I have a cartilage tear (ace tabular labrum tear). But my pain is not typical for that problem so specialist thinks it could be nerve related. Could the 7 days of having the paraguard have caused this joint pain. Also, could there be a stray piece of copper left inside. If so, what test should I have done to determine that? Thank you. Linda

  107. Cassandra permalink

    This is a very insightful article, I’m glad to have come across it.
    I’ve had the Mona Lisa Copper IUD inserted two weeks ago and I’ve seemed to develop insomnia. I was just wondering if there is any correlation? Also, I am an athlete preparing for a bodybuilding competition in October, so I do take additional vitamins and supplements (no steroids) and was wondering if the copper being released from the IUD interacts with them, especially the zinc tablet?
    Thanks in advance!

  108. Angela permalink

    if u have a para guard iud inserted is it normal to always rush to the restroom?

  109. sara permalink

    I have a question I got my mirena removed about 9 to 10 months ago I had it in for 5 yrs an I still have not concived yet. When they removed it the Dr said it has moved further in my cervix. Could that cause me not to get pregnant? What can or should I do. I get my period regularly every month sometimes 2 times a month.

    • Something to talk to your doctor about!

    • becky permalink

      Did the Dr ever reply to ur comment. .i was I interested in knowing if it causes u not to get pregnant again

  110. Hi dr i am in pain and have the merina in.severe leg pain after 1 month after merina can it really be the cause! Went to er and gynie and both said that it is bizarre pain that they never heard of

  111. Wendy Ingalls permalink

    Hi Dr G

    I got my Mirena device a month ago and the abdominal pain, back pain and weakness (bad at times like now) have been bad. I already have back problems so this exacerbates that problem. Am I feeling this way because my body doesn’t like it? People tell me “it takes time to settle and for the pain to go away”. Does that happen? If I try to hang in there, will the weakness and pain go away? In the past 4-5 days the pain has lessoned but weakness has increased. Still having discharge. My doctor isn’t helping to get down to the bottom of it. I hate to take it out on the sole purpose really of my mom wasting over 800 bucks on this thing, and well, my bad periods will come back with anemia. I also had a fibroid removed the same day as the device (while she was in there). The fibroid was causing extreme blood loss……don’t know what to do. I hope you reply

  112. Angel permalink

    Hi there, I just came across your site today and I’m 21 and on Thursday and over the weekend I was admitted into ER for continuous vomiting and severe lower abdominal pain. Thursday they treated me for my 2nd “extremely bad uti” and I went back on Saturday for the same pain and vomiting. After a lot of tests and and ultrasounds, they thought it could be appendicitis but they found nothing wrong with my body other than the fact I now have excess fluid in my pelvis. I was wondering if you had any idea what this could be and if my ER trip was caused by my Mona Lisa 5 copper IUD recently put in on April 23rd as emergency contraception.

    I had no infections other than BV prior to insertion which was treated and a week later I had my 1st uti which was apparently caused by the horrible procedure I went through (I blacked out on the table twice and remember nothing from that evening!!). I’ve honestly had problems since it was put in, I barely ate or drank anything, I lost quite a bit of weight over a month, I never knew what was going on and my memory was worse than usual, no sex drive when I’m a person who was always in the mood. I had it removed Sunday and I have had no pain in my abdomen or vomiting since but I still have a lot of concern and I’m really curious as to why this happened, I honestly thought I was going to die. Sorry for all the spam, I just wanted to make sure you had all the information so you could possibly give me your best opinion, thanks for your help in advance..

  113. Karyn Livion permalink

    I understand, but having had 7 children (planned but now we’re done), THAT’S hard on the body and preventing another seemed essential. Other forms, as we know, don’t work. IUD’s are effective and we’ve coupled the Skyla with condoms. Please tell me this was not a horrible choice. At least no copper, and it protects against some cancers, I read. No good options, I feel like…

    What do you think? And it can be removed…so, if anything goes wrong, at least there is that?

  114. Lauren permalink

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for writing this article!!!!! I am experiencing an IDENTICAL case to the third example you gave of the patient who needed her gallbladder removed!! I had Paraguard inserted about a year ago, and I have had two recent gallbladder attacks about 3 months apart that are straight out of a textbook, but with no stones showing in either ultrasound, my blood tests came back normal and am in the normal range on my HIDA scan (though the very lowest end of the range)!! I have been pretty strictly following a paleo organic diet for a year, so my symptoms just didn’t add up!! I also read your gallbladder article, and while my doctor has referred me to a surgeon, you have definitely prevented me from getting surgery!!! Instead, I am getting my IUD removed immediately and switching to condoms!!! I will also start a strict supplement/nutritional routine to try to correct all the other major hormonal and period-related issues I’m dealing with. If I lived closer to you or had more money I would start seeing you immediately, but since this is not an option for me, would you recommend I get hormone and vitamin testing? Again, THANK YOU for this imperative information…. I can’t express enough how much it means to me, and you deserve a major award of some kind recognizing you for your public service with your articles!!!

  115. Jessica Zorn permalink

    Wow and wow you’re a life Saver. I have had my copper IUD for 5yrs but recently had new one put in February because the first one was not in the right place. I Got diagnosed with Hpylori in March, I was having severe nausea everyday. Endoscopy said the HP was gone but I have lymphocytic Gastritis. I am still having all the symptoms. So I had a Hida Scan done and just found out today my Gall Bladder is functioning at 9% with no gallstones. Of course they want to remove it but I will remove my IUD immediately after reading this. Thank you, I would like to set up a Skype appt with you to discuss what I can do to bring the function of my GB back up after my removal of the IUD. Unless you have a recommendation for a doctor in Scottsdale,AZ

  116. Carley permalink

    Hi I’ve had this pain on my stomach only when I lay on my left or right side of my body, if I lay on it for too long, and roll onto my back, I can feel the pain in the top middle of my stomach like right below the middle of my rib cage, this pain only occurres when I lay on left or right side of body, is this being caused by the iud? Because I had it taken out about two weeks ago, the pain is still there just not as harsh as before , I got an abd ultrasound done, and nothing came up no issues on the ultrasound, pls pls get back to me.

  117. Jodie permalink

    I’m so glad I happened upon this article! I just saw my NP last week and told her about the thigh and pelvic pain I’ve been having for about 6 months now. She asked if I still had the Paragard I had inserted in April 2013 and I said yes. She said it could be linked to that. I was shocked! I would’ve never thought the IUD was causing this. She told me to pay attention with my next cycle and see if the pain worsens during it. Sure thing it did! Crazy. I see my midwife, she inserted it, in a few weeks and I am going to discuss this with her. I am almost 43 and a mom to 6 and I am done having babies but due to my anxiety I’m scared to have my tubes tied. I’m hoping we can figure this all out. I also bleed very heavily while on my cycle. I go through overnight pads the first two days of it. I actually need iron pills because I become anemic from losing so much blood. It’s crazy all that can be linked to the Paragard and IUD’s in general!

  118. Fiona Gleeson permalink

    Hello, I have had a pain for many years and was told on repeated occasions that it was IBS. I learnt to live with it and take nothing for it. The pain is down my left side from behind my ear to jaw to shoulder to under left bottom rib to groin to the outside of my left leg and into my foot. The worst area for me is under my left rib. Also on the left side of my back near my shoulder blade. I have recently started seeing an acupuncturist who said it was ALL related to my Gallbladder and liver. Today on your site I discovered a link between these symptons and the Merina Coil. I have had the coil in for 15 years, I am just at the end of my third and am scheduled to have it removed in about 2 weeks. My question to you is, Have I done irreparable damage or will things settle down once I have the coil removed.
    I look forward to your answer. Thank you……….Fiona

  119. Tatiana permalink

    Love your article! I’m 18 and had the Skyla IUD put in about 8 months ago. Since then I’ve had 9 urinary tract infections. Do you think it can be caused by the IUD?

  120. britany permalink

    I have tryed to get my removed but my Dr refused to n now I can’t get out of bed I’m having so much pain in my hips n lower back n don’t have medicade or insurance to go to the hospital

  121. Megan permalink

    What would you recommend in lieu of mirena for someone with the mthfr mutations?

  122. becky permalink

    It’s going on a lil over 11 yrs that u hv had my Mirena IUD inserted n me. It was supposed to only be effective 5 yrs, from what i was told..I have 3 children. I’m 33 yrs old. Been with the my husband yrs now n hvnt gotten pregnant..also my last menstrual cycle was 10 yrs 9 mo ago.yhe dr i saw said Since I didn’t hv insurance it would cost me several thousands to get removed. And if u didn’t get it removed it wouldn’t be a big deal but more than likely i w old get pregnant. I’m also wondering if the “expired” IUD in me is causing me to not get pregnant…which my husband n i want so bad. What’s yalls thoughts n opinions in my situation

    • Laurie permalink

      Becky you need to get it removed if it is “expired” or you are trying to get pregnant. Getting pregnant with it still in your uterus would be very dangerous to you and the baby. From the Mirena website “There are also risks if you become pregnant while using Mirena and the pregnancy is in the uterus. Severe infection, miscarriage, premature delivery and even death can occur with pregnancies that continue with an intrauterine device (IUD). Because of this, your healthcare provider may try to remove Mirena, even though removing it may cause a miscarriage. If Mirena cannot be removed, talk with your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of continuing the pregnancy.” Also, removal is done in a simple doctor’s office visit most of the time so it shouldn’t cost anywhere near a thousand dollars.

  123. Rebeccah permalink

    I’ve had my kid for 4 years and progessively worsening body pain for almost 4 years. I have an appt to see remove iud(mirena) this coming Thursday.

    You said a patient’s body pain went away after one treatment? What was the treatment. I’ve seen doctors reletedly over years and no one ever mentioned my iud could be the cause.

    Would love some input…

  124. melissa permalink

    Thank you so much for this article! I just had a vaginal ulltrasound today because of pain in the lowet right pelvic area that’s been constant for about a month. While the radiologist has not yet viewed the images, the tech said she saw nothing out of the ordinary ecxept maybe that my mirena iud was oddly positioned. She was quick to say that they dont usually move 3 years after placement. But my pain began during my recent menstruation and has persisted and it feels like there is something something thst doesnt belong. Interestingly i also have bad side snd hip and back pain on the opposite side and mt PT says the soaz on the side i have pain is weak. Could this be an iudissue? Is there a doc you can recommend in oregon? I dont have an obgyn, just a family doc so am feeling overwhelmed and want to educate myself. Ive had cervical dysplasia over 25 yrs ago and had issues with the copper iud and heavy bleeding with that iud and without any hormones. Thanks so much. Melissa

  125. I read your article and I was really intrigued. I was actually looking up symptoms that I’ve been having since I had the IUD inserted and qhat it could mean. I’ve had horrible cramping with sharp stabbing pains and I have seen my doc since having it inserted and she seems to think its muscular and not exactly related to the mirena but a side effect of all the trauma i have experienced in that area. They did my womanly examine and a biopsy of my endometrium because i have been diagnosed with PCOS and had gone 2 years without releasing my lining they found pre cancer and are wanting me too keep the IUD to keep my lining thin to keep me from getting cancer. But now i am in pain all the time. I dont know what to do so frustrated with the whole situation. Since I first started having problems i of not having periods i went from 160 pound to 230 in three months, losing head hair, fighting facial hair, elevated testosterone levels, elevated insulin levels, and constantly tired. I have had docs tell me to get everything removed or take metformin and it will eventually fix the problem it never worked i am only 24 and want to have kids at some point desperate for help or advice don’t know what else to do feel as though i am losing everything completely hopeless. Please help.

  126. Karen Mcconnell permalink

    I’m 43 and due to have an IUD fitted next month.About 7 years ago I started to suffer very very heavy periods (after my 3rd child and being on and off the pill for the last 20 yrs) and my iron got so low I had to have a blood transfusion about 3 years ago. I have been put on different “pills” again to try and control the bleeding which it has but have suffered other side affects such as migraines etc etc.So I was now considering an alternative to the pill and was advised to have a coil fitted. After reading your article I really don’t want to have a coil fitted or be on the pill but I can’t go back to heavy periods either.
    Is there any other alternative???

    Many thanks,

  127. Ana Atilano permalink

    I have the Paragurd for 9 yrs and o been experiencing problems my recent one has been that I’ve had veey heavy periods and sometimes very light and the modt recent one had been a that i had a very prolonged period for 3weeks and with much pain in the abdominal and my lower back. Didn’t think it could of been my IUD until i read this article. I will definitely go and check on it witj my Dr. One Dr told me it could of been a miscarriage but ireally doubt it. What do you think?

  128. Ana Atilano permalink

    I have the Paragurd for 9 yrs and I been experiencing problems my recent one has been that I’ve had veey heavy periods and sometimes very light and the most recent one has been that i had a very prolonged period for 3 weeks and with much pain in the abdominal and my lower back. Didn’t think it could of been my IUD until i read this article. I will definitely go and check on it with my Dr. One Dr. told me it could of been a miscarriage but ireally doubt it. What do you think?

  129. K.B. permalink

    Thank you for this article!!! I had the Mirena IUD for 3.5 years. For the first 6 months, I cramped and spotted constantly – the cramps were interfering with my job to the point that I made an appointment to have it removed, but then cancelled as my doctor urged me to “give it time” and I was terrified of other hormone-heavy birth control options. After 6 months the cramping and spotting subsided and I enjoyed 2 years of no periods and relatively few side effects aside from decreased libido and pain in certain positions during intercourse. A few months shy of 3 years with the Mirena my periods began to come back – much lighter than my normal cycle, but with a day or two a month of bright red bleeding that I hadn’t had for nearly 3 years. Around the same time, I began experiencing hair loss. It was an overall thinning, that came out in HANDFULLS in the shower. I went to my doctor and suggested something was wrong with the IUD/hormones and I was treated like a hysterical hypochondriac and told that, if anything, the IUD would cause excess hair growth – not loss. I left the clinic crestfallen & humiliated. The hair loss slowed, so I didn’t think anything more of it. That winter, I got my first bad cold virus in years (we live on a hobby farm, raise all our own food and are extremely healthy) and was bedridden for a week, my throat so sore and swollen I could hardly swallow water (neg. for strep). I didn’t make the connection between my IUD and my immune system being compromised. Then, last month, I began spotting for a month straight, had strong pregnancy symptoms (took two preg tests at home and one @ the hospital, all negative), bouts of acne, swollen genitals to the point that it was uncomfortable to walk and felt like I had a partially inserted tampon falling out, I had dizzy spells where I could barely function all day because the room was spinning, racing heart, low-grade fever – I called my doctor to set up an appointment to get the IUD removed, and was put on the schedule TWO MONTHS out. There was no way I was waiting that long, ended up going to the ER and insisting they remove it. It was perfectly in place and they found no infection or cysts – but ALL of my symptoms (including low libido) resolved within 48 hours of the removal, my skin cleared up, and (aside from some anxiety over birth control, as I know fertility awareness isn’t reliable when coming off synthetic hormonal methods and my husband isn’t used to condoms after all this time and has trouble keeping an erection with one on – although he understands and has been encouraging me to let my body heal and resume a natural cycle) I feel great!!!

  130. Dany permalink

    Thank you very much for such a great post and for sharing your experiences. Well, here is my story. I have to say that I got the Mirena removed 4 days ago, after being on it for about 4 months. While I’m sharing my experience ,my left hip pain is really bad and I don’t know if it is related to the IUD as well, but my coxis area hurts like crazy and at the same time I feel that zone kind of numb. The reasons why I got Mirena removed… Body and joint pain, horrible headaches, really bad back pain, anxiety, panick attacks, fatigue and depression. I can be seated for hours in my sofa without moving even a finger. Mood changes, I can be happy now and in matter of seconds become upset with no reason and lose my temper. Have the sensation like someone is tickling me .. It feels horrible … It all started after I had Mirena inserted. The second week after insertion, my left part of the body hurt a lot ( left side of my head, left arm , left hip and leg … ) I thought that I was having a heart attack or a stroke .. Fortunetely, it went away in a couple of days, but then I started feeling like if my skin were burned. After that came the body aches and joint pain. My OBGYN told me that everything could be caused by something else, but I asked him to take it out, and he did. Now , I’m waiting to go back to normal.. I went to see my PCP and had some X-rays and blood tests done too, in order to rule out any possible Arthritis, but honestly, I believe Mirena has caused all these bad effects. Thanks again for sharing.

  131. Julie permalink

    I just made an appointment for iud…husband refuses to wear condoms so what can I do? I cant chart my cycle because I am breastfeeding. Currently i use spermacide and he pulls out…not the best but its hormone free. I have read thay pulling out is nearly effective as condoms…thoughts? Anyway the iud looks like what I have to resort too or a tubal….however iud can be reversed so that is what I opted to.

  132. Rhea permalink

    Thanks for writing this, this does need to be brought to womens’ attention.

    I experienced some slightly increased cramping when I first got my copper iud, then things seemed to settle down (almost 2 yrs ago). But about 6-8 months ago they began to increase, until last month they were as bad as the back-pains I got when I went into labor. Took my iud out last week, a few days before my period. Since I didn’t cramp up, my period managed to take my by surprise, but the real test will be next month when I ovulate again. We’ll see, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that pain is much less.

    The doctor who removed it said though she hasn’t seen any official stats listing unbelievable, continuous/increasing cramps as a side-effect, she’s seen a lot of women in with that problem. I fully believe her.

  133. Johanna Flores permalink

    Hi. I have always been a very healthy person, BMI of 19, exercise, etc. I am currently 41 years old and after my third child i decided to put the Paraguard. I have had it in for 5 years and have been experiencing all sorts of body pain particularly back and upper abdominal pain, joint pains and slight headaches. Over the past two years they have been progressively been getting worse. I’m so grateful that i stumbled across your article as i was searching for an answer since i have always had a hunch that it had something to do with the IUD. Due to all this pain I went to the doctor and they found several gall stones in my gall bladder and recommended removal. I don’t believe in removing any part of my body as i feel everything has a purpose and i bever take medicine unless absolutely necessary or life threatening. I will be calling my OBGYN for removal of IUD ASAP. My question is how can i find out if i have copper toxicity and how can i cleanse my body from it if i do. Also can you recommend a holistic doctor in Miami, FL?

  134. Suzy permalink

    Hello Dr,

    Does this affect muscle building? I am trying to build muscle and I am not sure if the IUD will get in the way

  135. Jackie permalink

    I myself have developed Dyspahgia (inability to swallow solids) as a result of the Mirena. I know this because exactly 4 weeks after I had the Mirena inserted I couldnt swallow. Also started having severe anxiety and panic attacks. I have been in the ER 4 times for pelvic pain even after having the Mirena removed to find out I have reoccuring PID! Doctors kept shoving antibiotics down my throat but none of them have helped. I decided to have tubes tied in hoped they would find the cause of my pain during surgery. Only thing they found was I have a prolapsed uterus. My struggle is ongoing and I hope this story helps someone else.

  136. katrina permalink

    This is a wonderful website. I stsrted having thyroid issues enlarged thyroid and went to hypothyroid. I had to take a lot of medications for the issue it and it didnt help. I’ve been having muscle weakness and body aches shap bone pain. I felt like an old lady. I had to go to the emergency room they couldn’t figure nothing out then. I started looking at copper iud toxity on the internet. Just started making sense. I then made an appointment with my gynecologist and she removed it. Right after that I started to feel better! It’s crazy how something so small can make you feel so terrible.

  137. Kimberly permalink

    Hi I had my Mirena IUD for four days, I told my doctor I did not want to have it. My mom over ruled me even though I am 18. I begged my doctor not to because I was in pain the month before. I was switching from depro, she did it anyway. Well anyway I passed out during the insertion, could not drive home. I have been having problems ever since. I called my doctor and she refuses to remove it until it has been at least 8 months. Any idea what to do?

  138. Lauren L. permalink

    I have found this article to be particularly helpful. I had the Mirena removed two weeks ago after having it for almost 3 years. I started noticing increasing stiffness and pain, especially in my hips and lower back. Since having the Mirena removed, my hip pain has subsided somewhat. However, I’m noticing increased joint pain that I never had before removal. For example, my fingers, toes, and heels are particularly sensitive and sore. What is the likelihood that this is some sort of reaction to removing the Mirena? Also, what are your suggestions on getting back to some sort of normalcy post Mirena? Thanks so much for your time.

  139. Theresa permalink

    Hi I was happy with my mirena for 4 years then had it removed as it was nearing it’s 5th anniversary. For months afterwards and still recurring ive been near debilitated with hip and back pain. The only thing that helped noticeably was a high dose EFA supplement and hot baths.

  140. Becky permalink

    I am so glad to hear I am not the only one with issues. I had a copper cool fitted 2.5 years ago when I was healthy, 3 months later I had developed hypothyroidism so severe that my levels were not measurable. I suffered contant bleeding and pain for about 9 months and now have got used to 1 week of bleeding between heavy periods and spotting often including after sex. I get cramps a lot and it radiates up and down my body. Is it just a consistence or is this the coil? I have been bleeding non stop again for the past week (between period)

  141. Lori permalink

    such a well written article. I just had my mirena removed…I was wondering if you heard of any patients developing psoriasis? I never had it before and about five months after my IUD it formed

    • Foreign devices in the body and hormonal influences can have such dramatic effects on your body. So in my opinion just about any condition can occur if you appreciate how all body systems interact with one another.

  142. Helen permalink

    Two things:

    1) I switched to the copper IUD from BC because I had some crazy things happen on BC (intermittent loss of sight in one eye, painful orgasms, dizziness). I went to a neurologist and confirmed nothing was neurological based and even had a CAT scan. I think if I had continued using BC I might have turned into one of the rare cases where women have died from using it.

    But, your article is serving to add another vote against the IUDs as well. I found out a month after having my IUD removed that I’m ‘a carrier’ of the type of HPV that can cause cancer. I had my IUD (of ~4 years) removed by this doctor because I was also experiencing urinary incontinence (and I’ve never had a baby and I’m 33 – 32 at the time) and sexual discomfort (I felt like my cervix – and moreover the hard IUD – was getting painfully bombarded during sex). (I’m not sure if/how urinary incontinence and an IUD could be related.)

    I think it is a good idea to note that my doctor is against IUDs – and any foreign type of birth control like you – and said she thought that my copper IUD (ie the irritation causing copper around/near my cervical os) was most likely contributing to the cellular dysplasia which would have increased my changes of having dysplastic cells and moreover, increased my chances of these cells turning cancerous. If I had any idea I had HPV before, and that irritation caused by higher copper levels could cause an increased risk of cancer, I would never have gotten a copper implant.

    2) I have heard that using any type of BC can cause permanent reduction in sex drive. Since starting BC after college (I was not sexually active before), I have noticed a steep decline in my libido. Is this something you believe to be true with BC and IUDs, and do you believe that going for alternative therapies would potentially help my libido to return or at least increase? If so, what are these types of things you’d suggest looking into for myself and ask about?

    Thank you

  143. Natasha permalink

    Since I last posted on here 7 months ago I see you have had several similar replies. After2 years on and off with the Mirena coil and ended up with severe joint pain preventing me from doing most of my usual activities; I was very fit and active and ran, swim and cycled regularly. Side effects were severe SI joint pain, plantar fasciitis, skin allergies, neck pain and by dec last year I struggled to put my feet on the ground every morning when I woke.

    After seeing all these articles I thought should post some good news. 7 months post removal I have noticed a gradual improvement. Almost so slowly I didn’t notice it. I woke up one day to realise almost every symptom has disappeared and I am back running and swimming and cycling….so of course my mental health has improved too!! I feel my old self again. Just incredible. Here in the UK this report will go to the MHRA, our governing body for licensing of all meds. But there really is little out there in the way of published information on these side effects, and yet so many women seem to suffer with these problems. Many thanks for your article 😊

  144. Rosemary permalink

    Thank you so much doctor for your article. It answered so many questions.I had paraguard IUD 2008. My nightmare started 4 months ago. Saw specialist after specialist . Test after test . Therapy after therapy. My chiropractor doctor is the one who started giving insight that it is something in my pelvis causing my back, hip, sciatica issue . I changed doctors. I saw new oby/ gynae yesterday. He first plan was to remove IUD. I kind of got confused, since MRI and U.S. Said it was in right place. I have great insight after reading your article . Thank you so much, for giving hope to women like me.

  145. Annemarie permalink

    Hi. I’ve just found this article and you are the one doctor I’ve heard all this from which I think I agree with. I had copper coil fitted in may this year which is only few months ago as other hormonal forms of contraception don’t agree with me so was willing to give it a go after giving birth to my son in February. I get an unnerving feeling something is not right, always have a pressure on lower abdomen like heavy period is going to start along with cramps and backache but comes to nothing, have had to period last 2 months! Have also been left with a consistent discharge that isn’t normal but all tests say everything is fine for infection and such like. Also feel very low and lethargic just not my usual happy self. If you have any ideas or advice I’d really appreciate it. Thanks

  146. Sam permalink

    OK I’m in a position where hormonal birth control is not an option and neither is surgery due to health reasons. I reluctantly had the copper IUD fitted with good intention of having safe effective birth control although after reading this article I’m convinced my seemingly side effect free is going to kill me…I was almost convinced after 4 years of absolute hell on depo provera and a slew of related complications I made a sound choice with the flexi t copper IUD…is it really gunna be the end of me?

  147. Rosemary permalink

    I have a post earlier that my doctor suggested to remove PARAGARD IUD. I had it removed on Monday. I cannot believe that my symptoms have greatly improved within just a few days, after suffering for several months. I no longer have the pelvic/back pain, pressure in my pelvis as if I was in labor, leg numbness, and I am able to sleep on my left side. I am feeling like myself again.
    Ladies never give up on yourself, there is aways something behind any pain.
    Thank again Dr Gangeni, for researching and publishing the article on IUD.

  148. Erin permalink

    Thank you so so so much! I made an appointment tomorrow to have this mirena removed. I was happy with it for the first 4 months then I began having shoulder and neck spasms to where I was unable to move. I have had major depression, which is not normal at all for myself. I have had continuous bleeding and abdominal pain.
    I knew the only thing that had changed in my life was this implant and I have done so much research because I was not about to argue with doctors or go through months of tests and be on muscle relaxers or any other RX’s they would try and put me on. I have a career and I am a single mom. Your post saved me a lot of time and money and I am so excited to get this out of my body. Thank you again for your time in posting this.

  149. Yadi permalink

    Thank you so much for your aticle. I had my iud put in 4 years ago after my first child. Since then, I’ve had month long cramps on my lower right side along with mild knee pain. I was convinced that these aches and pain were stemming from the IUD but the 3 obgyn’s that ive seen have juat brushed it off. I thank you once again. I have an appointment scheduled for next week to get it removed.

  150. Jessica permalink

    Dr. Gangemi,

    I just had my Skyla IUD removed today. I only had it for 9 days before I ended up going to an emergency room to have it removed. Quick background, I am 28, married and monogamous and chose the IUD for help with extremely painful periods associated with endometriosis (I did not get it for pregnancy prevention even though I don’t wish to become pregnant) and according to my doctor, a severe excess of prostaglandin they can’t seem to control with medicine (such as Ponstel) so my cramps and pain is absolutely excruciating and debilitating, I’ve lost my ability to work more than extremely part time and it’s ruined my life so my doctor said I’d need an IUD or the “mini pil” and wanted me to try the IUD first.
    I have not taken hormonal birth control in 10 years prior to this because my body never agreed with it and I prefer a more natural approach (I track fertility and use condoms) and I’ve never been pregnant.
    In 9 days since IUD insertion I’ve experienced: cramps almost worse than my period which brought me to the ground and even given strong pain medication could not help. Extreme low back pain, I could barely walk, nausea, hair loss, horrifying panic attacks, depression, urinating 4-6 times an hour, migraines, exhaustion, and so on. I cannot believe in only 9 days this all happened.
    Immediately after removal I felt better. Like a weight had been lifted. Still in pain now though not as much. I am SURE I could feel the horrid thing for the whole 9 days. They assured me that’s impossible but I always had a deep, warm poking feeling in my uterus and it was checked twice with ultrasound to be perfectly in place so even with perfect placement I am living proof you CAN feel that there is something bad inside you.

    Now my doctor says if I ever want relief from the horrible periods, I need to go on the pill since I can’t (and won’t!) use the IUD.

    They will only give me the mini pill due to family history of blood clots.

    But the doctor also said I must be very sensitive to progestin since the IUD also had hormonal side effects and not just pain side effects. So if I’m so sensitive to progestin how can I use the mini pill??! Or any pill??!

    I’ve tried so many herbal supplements. I tried massage and that didn’t help. Now from the pain I lost my ability to work full time so we have limited income and I can’t afford to get acupuncture, or more massage, or see a naturopath now since my insurance only covers traditional western medicine.

    I’m lost and I don’t know how to get relief while still preserving my fertility for the future. I don’t want a hysterectomy. I don’t know if I should just take the stupid mini pill or try something else.

    Your article indicates you know how to help women without having to use hormonal birth control so I wonder if you have any suggestions I should ask my doctor about.

    I’m so glad I got my Skyla out. And by the way, they refused to remove it until I lied and said I was considering harming myself if I could not get it removed (they told me threat of harm to myself or from the device was the only way they’d remove it). I’m outraged I was not given the option to have something dangerous removed from MY body that was causing me harm without resorting to lies about self harming. More needs to be done about educating women about the true horrors of these devices. And how unwilling some clinics are to remove them once in place. (My doctor surely would have, though, but was on vacation).

    I never even want to SEE an IUD again. But I do somehow need relief from my pain.
    Thank you.

  151. Lakin permalink

    Hi, since having the mirena put in i have been experiencing an overload of fleshy bumps, they are not sore its just simply they are there, some resemble skin tags as they become more raised. others look like little raised bumps. There is a fair amount of them. However, they are remaining flesh colored. has this occurred often with the mirena? I have not had a change in sexual partners so I’m certain it’s related to the mirena.

  152. Solangela permalink

    Thanks for this article, I have a question for you and I hope you can get back to me, I had the mirena IUD for three years and I the last year I experience severe headaches, back pain, joint paint, plantar fascitis, Last week I had a severe back pain and ended in the emergency clinic, there they remove my IUD as I requested, my lower back pain is still there but I am taking pain killers, now they give me the pill, but I am not sure if I want to take it, I wish my body can heal, I am 40 and a mother of two, who is feeling very dipressed and not sure what to do. Please any advise. Thank you

  153. Dashawn permalink

    I need help… I had my mirena put in in early March of 2015. About a month later, I completely lost my sex drive and started getting really bad pain in my hip. I ignored it thinking maybe it was a late reaction from giving birth in January. In June I finally talked to my doctor about it and she said it’s normal so I ignored it again. I went back two more times because the pain got worse and worse but they kept sending me home. Its November now, I still have no sex drive. When I do have sex it hurts… like he’s stabbing my iud further into my uterus. My pain is EXTREMELY worse. My hip starts hurting and then it feels like the nerves shoot down my leg and my lower back starts hurting. Should I go back to the doctor and just have them remove my iud?

  154. I just had a copper IUD implanted 4 weeks ago. This week, I have severe pain in my left upper abdomen; this pain is intermittent and has been going on for four days now. Last summer I had C. Diff after jaw surgery. I just recently had a bone graft and was on antibiotics. I went to the ER yesterday, because I thought I had C. Diff again. I woke up with stabbing pain in my left side (10/10) and was nauseous. They didn’t do a CT of my abdomen at the ER and said that the antibiotics I was on were likely causing my stomach to be upset. I guess I will make an appointment with my gyno.

  155. N. Whittall permalink

    Hi thankyou for this. I have had constant pelvic/abdominal pain and lower back pain for 3 weeks. I have had the mirena coil in for 3 years now. You think it could be this? Dr is sending me for blood tests and scans but i dont know if i can wait that long. I need it out you think?

  156. Nicki permalink

    I have recently had a constant UTI. I have been tested for STD’s by cervical swab and urine twice each, and blood once. All were negative. I wound up in the ER Friday night due to extreme pressure in my ovaries and a lot of thin white discharge without anything more than a metallic smell. After doing some googling (which I hate because I always wind up with so much more than I actually have) I think this is all due to my copper IUD. I experience pain during ovulation each month, severe cramping during my period, really bad acne (which I never had before) and pain in some positions during intercourse. I always contributed this to my husband being on the larger size. My insides along my pubic bone itch SO bad I have bruised myself scratching. It is not constant but when it happens the scratching does nothing because the itching is internal. But after reading so many of my symptoms, I am convinced all of it is due to IUD. My doctor asks me year after year about my IUD. He asks if I am having any problems and I always tell him no. I never realized they were connected. He knows I have the recurrent UTI’s 4 or more each year. He always says my urine is clean though. After going to the ER this weekend, they found several cysts on my cervix and basically made me feel dirty until they see my STD tests came back negative as I told them I had just been tested 2 weeks prior. They determined that my issues could be from my Paragard. I have had hair loss but never though much of it because I have EXTREMELY thick hair. I am concerned because although I do not have an STI I do have some sort of infection that is in my blood. They gave me an antibiotic shot and said to contact my doctor to have IUD removed and be treated. I have no idea what this infection is. I hope my doctor will know where to go. I know this is issue is causing irreversible damage to my kidneys and I am also concerned about PID. They didn’t mention this at the ER. They did a vaginal ultrasound and said nothing more than I had developed cervical cysts. I just had my annual pap 3 weeks ago also. I have only occasional pain in my abdomen which I attributed to ovulation pains. I am scheduled to have my IUD removed tomorrow and am hoping it is safe to do it before my doctor figures out what the infection is. Since the ER visit I also now have severe itching in and around my vaginal area. I guess this could be a yeast infection due to the antibiotic shot.
    After removal how long should it take for me to feel better?
    Is it possible all this could suddenly come on so strong after 5 years?

  157. Samantha permalink

    Hey Dr Gangemi,

    I read this article and found it very interesting. My primary doctor decided she no longer would prescribe me birth control (I was on the patch) and told me to find a gynecologist (I’d recently moved and didn’t have one yet) I found a gynecologist and when I went to see her she refused to prescribe me the patch because she said it causes blood clots and suggested an IUD instead. Since I always forget to take pills and not wanting kids yet (just got married) I opted for the Paraguard since I’m working with a hormone doctor for other issues and she did not want me adding any hormones to my body.

    The first week 1/2 on Paraguard I was bleeding and had discomfort, then 2-3 days pain and free of bleeding followed by 5 days of extreme cramping. i went back to the gynecologist who checked the IUD and said it was fine and in the perfect position even though two days prior the strings were so long I thought they were about to come out.

    It’s been two weeks since that appointment and for the last two days I’ve been feeling a very uncomfortable pain in my lower/left side. It hurts to even push to go #2.

    I have found a new gynecologist closer to me and I also wanted a second opinion but the appointment isn’t until Sept 28. I’m not sure if I should be worried about this pain as it’s not severe but definitely uncomfortable.

    I was hoping this would be a good form of birth control as it’s easy to maintain (at least it appeared that way) and we don’t plan on kids for at least another 1-2 years.


  158. Jacquelyn permalink

    Hey Doc!

    Thank you for this article! I hope that you are still replying. I have had paraguard for the past 2.5 years. Ever since insertion I have had extra long periods. Horrible cramps. And have been to the E.R for horrible lower stomach pains that would leave me doubled over to only to be told the x-rays and blood work were all fine. The most recent events that are concerning me are the panic attacks that seem to come out of no where. My doc wants to take antidepressants but I haven’t done so yet. I always believed these panic attacks are being caused by my IUD, but my Doc says they are not related. I’m a healthy 25 year old with no medical conditions. Any thoughts?

  159. I had have my copper IUD for 6 years from now. The first 7-8 months I had intermittent bleedings and cramps. Slowly during all these years I developed pelvis and left hip pain, I suspect that it’s because of the IUD. There are some days that I can’t perform simple movements or body bendings. Yet, in general I’m healthy woman who exercise regularly. I’m going to remove my IUD, despite that it was very comfortable not to think about my cycle or undesired pregnancies. I hope, I can reverse that damage that have been done to my body.

  160. Hello! Thanks to your website I’ve realized that my chronic gallbladder problems are probably caused or worsened by my Mirena IUD. I’ve been looking into barrier contraceptives, and I was wondering if you had any thoughts about cervical caps? I’ve been looking into Femcap and Contragel Green (since in my experience, nonoxynol-9 is pretty nasty). I’d appreciate any imput.

  161. Mel permalink

    I had the Mirena inserted in 2011 and over a year later I had it removed due to right hip pain. I went to the doctor several times over the hip. We tried pills, patches, etc. I went to PT and to a chiropractor. When the PT said I should go to a PT that specializes in women’s issues that it rang a bell. I removed it and within a month I was fine. Fast forward 2015 I tried the Mirena again at my doctor’s suggestions. I told myself the hip pain was a coincidence. 6 months later the hip pain is back! Coincidence?!

  162. Jess permalink

    My sister decided to try the IUD, per my advice, and she suffered from extreme discomfort, bleeding and pain until she finally went to the emergency and begged them to remove it. I stumbled upon your site because I was interested in how many other women suffered like her. if it was at all common which based on the comments seems to be the case.

    After giving birth to my son I tried three varieties of the pill before I realized it just wasn’t for me. It all made me extremely nauseated and overall fatigued. My GYN suggested an IUD and I thought, “why not?,” so in went Mirena. I don’t know if their is any correlation between the Mirena and a chemical imbalance, but previously I had suffered from depression and bipolar disorder, also severe migraines, all of which were enhanced after childbirth. I was on a lot of different medications for pain, mood stabilizers and anxiety. I felt I had nothing to lose and had no interest in more children at the time. It has been 6 years and though I still suffer from mental disorder, I am better able to manage it. Before the IUD I would get migraines monthly, lasting for days or weeks, now it’s a rarity. After getting one IUD removed and another put in, I still feel great. I havn’t had a period in six years. I spot every now and then, inconsistently. After a rough delivery I lost a mass amount of blood, leaving me with an iron deficiency, today my iron levels are normal. I get occasional pelvic pain but not bad enough to affect my ADL’s. It’s unfortunate that I never see any IUD success stories, I feel like I’m in the minority here. I guess the real test will be in the future when I decide if or when I’d like to have another child, getting it removed and conceiving. Even if that were the case, I still plan on using Mirena. It’s been wonderful to me. I will be linking this page to my sister so she can compare and find out what went wrong and maybe find some alternatives. I respect a Doctor who uses their knowledge and platform to bring awareness to what they’re passionate about. My current GYN used mirena for a few years before she and her husband decided to try for a child and she got pregnant within 2 months. All women are different and our bodies respond to things differently. If the cons truely do exceed the pros when it comes to the IUD, then I hope they will find ways to improve it sooner than later because it has the potential to improve your quality of life!

  163. Courtney permalink

    As helpful as the Mirena was, I have not suffered a migraine since removing mine. I was having them two to three times a week. Just not worth it.

  164. Evelyn Sequeira permalink


    This has been a very helpful article in so many ways.
    As I suffered from deppression for three years, and as a result I’m being treated for hypothyroidism.
    And currently having a knee pain.
    Would this copper IUD be so terrible, if inserted to someone that hasn’t been pregnant ever?
    How to know if the cramps are normal or not?


  165. Amanda permalink

    I came across your site as I was researching possible links between seasonal allergies and dairy cravings and have been devouring article after article ever since – so thank you for sharing medical information so clearly here!

    I had a copper IUD inserted 6 years ago. At the time my father had been diagnosed with colon (and lung) cancer, which I disclosed to my doctors. I had been having libido issues on the pill and decided to try the IUD after almost a year of other failed birth control experiments. 6 months after having the IUD inserted, I started to experience sharp and debilitating lower abdominal pain. My doctor said there “couldn’t” be a link between my pain and the device. I told the doctor that my sister was severely allergic to most metals, particularly nickel and copper. Could I be allergic too, I asked? I was told that while it was possible, it was highly unlikely since I had been asymptomatic to date.

    I thought it was strange that I had never experienced significant stomach pain (outside of the flu) before and all of a sudden there it was. At age 26 I had a colonoscopy (all clear) and before they could run down the litany of tests, I insisted that the weapon of mass birth control be removed. I have never had that kind of acute pain again.

    I’ve warned any inquiring friends to be careful. Thank you for giving me evidence that it might not all be in my head!

  166. Tiffany permalink

    I’m scheduled to have a tubal ligation and nova sure ablation on Tuesday, and having the Mirena IUD removed. I’ve been reading a lot, and I’m pretty convinced I will be canceling my appointment tomorrow. I swear the hormones from the IUD have affected me negatively in so many ways. I want it out! I have never done well with the hormones in the pill etc. I’ve always had heavy periods too. Is there some reason I can’t have the ablation and get the paraguard instead of the mirena? I need the birth control without side effects and the ablation for the heavy bleeding in my cycle. Thank you!

  167. lindsay permalink

    Help me! I had my paragaurd iud since my last child was born 2.5 years ago with no know side effects so i thought. In late August i had my period and everything about it was weird from the blood color to cramping to length but most concerning was a burning/cold feeling that started on my pelvic bone on left side. I bleed for 2 weeks before i stopped and with that the left groin area still burned and i had some right side liver area pain for a day on and off along with weird discharge. Another 1.5 weeks went by and my burning was now going down my left hip flexor and getting worse so i went in and saw an anrp? She did a vaginal check and said my strings were normal length and my pee was neg but she went ahead hesitate and ordered and ultrasound. It showed i had a cyst on left ovary and my iud was dislodged to the right. She had me come back 2 days later to see a midwife to take it out. She pulled and yanked and after changing tools and im in tears the string broke off! She told me i had to go to a obgyn in another town 40 mins away to have removed. I went that afternoon and was give ibprophin and 4 shots in my vagina for pain before she literally ripped it out after numerous attemps and almost giving up. I was so close to passing out i didnt know what was happening to me. I did catch a look at my iud and it was so cocered in pink fresh tissue it was unrecognizable. She started me on an antibiotic and said i should be fine to return to workout in the morning. That was so not the case. 2 days later my whole pelvic bone and both hip flexors clear down to my knees are not on fire but cold at the same time. I feel like i have the flu but no temp. My pelvis feel numb like someone eubbed icy hot on me and has a fan blowing! Nerve?? I went back to midwife and she took blood which was neg and looked at my discharge under a scope. She ended up giving me antibiotics a shot and another rx for more on top of the ones i was already started on. She said call friday either way to see how i am. Friday came and i feel worse. The only thing iv noticed is the pain is the leadt when i wake up but im in tears by the evening. She ordered a soft tissue ctscan of my pelvis that came back negative! Im suppose to rest this weekendand call monday but its Saturday and im in tears already. Anyone else have anything like this? Help me!! Im only 31 and have 3 babies to chase around and at this point i cant even wear underwear let alone let my husband touch me :(

  168. Lara permalink

    Hi Dr. Gangemi,
    Thanks for publishing this article, I never could really believe that the copper IUD is so harmless as they say.
    I´ve had two Paraguards fall out, the first after 2 years and the second after five months. While I had the 2nd IUD I had lots of pain and really long periods and also sharp pains while I didnt have my period that I had never felt before.
    Its 3 months now since that IUD fell out and now I am not on any form of birthcontrol. However, my periods have become really iregular, the last two ones were more than two weeks late, and the one before that was also late. (I havent been late for the last 3 years so this is very strange for me)
    Is it possible that this is caused by a change in hormones because of the lack of copper or is it possible that the IUD caused some more serious issues that are complicating my period?

  169. Larita permalink

    Hi Dr. Gangemi,
    Thanks for publishing this article, I never could really believe that the copper IUD is so harmless as they say.
    I´ve had two Paraguards fall out, the first after 2 years and the second after five months. While I had the 2nd IUD I had lots of pain and really long periods and also sharp pains while I didnt have my period that I had never felt before.
    Its 3 months now since that IUD fell out and now I am not on any form of birthcontrol. However, my periods have become really iregular, the last two ones were more than two weeks late, and the one before that was also late. (I havent been late for the last 3 years so this is very strange for me)
    Is it possible that this is caused by a change in hormones because of the lack of copper or is it possible that the IUD caused some more serious issues that are complicating my period?
    Thank you

  170. Melissa permalink

    How long do you estimate a body to bounce back after removal of paragard? I only had it for about 8 months and removed it due to severe cramping. Now the cramping is gone but I am feeling more emotional and slightly anxious without reason. Its weird.. no hormones?? I think not lol. I’m hoping it passes quickly.

  171. Bethany permalink

    I came upon your website and article while researching if the Mirena can cause issues with Connective Tissue Disorders – mainly Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome 3 (hypermobile). I had it inserted in May 2015, to help control adenomyosis and was fine until August when I continually bled the whole month ranging from spotting to flow. My OBGYN prescribed Estrogen patch to help stop bleeding but I had terrible side effects to the estrogen. I have also had problems with my GI tract (history of Ulcerative Colitis). I take probiotics.
    Just wondering if you have any research knowledge of connection to connective tissue disorders and using a Mirena.
    Thank you for your time!

  172. Nadia permalink

    I found this to be really interesting.
    I wish I had found this article when doing research before having the copper t inserted. I now suffer from constant bleeding, increased pelvic and back pain to the point where I can barely walk at times and palpitations.
    I am definitely going to have it removed TODAY.

    Thank you so much for this article.

  173. Tiffany permalink

    Thank you so much for writing this article, I received the Paragard about 1.5 years ago. I had the Mirena first and too hormonal for me. I was just at the doctors today to try and find out why I am mysteriously having achiness/pain from my hips and down my legs, its prominent in my hip/uterus area. It started in August this year and has been reoccurring every two weeks. At first I thought I had the flu but became really worried when there were no other flu symptoms with it and it reoccurred 2 more times now. My husband had mentioned to me a few months ago that he thought my menstrual cycle was coming more often than normal, I didn’t think so but also was not tracking it except for thinking to myself “I’m pretty sure it came this time last month”. As I started to put the timeline together of when the achiness/pain was happening (we took a couple trips so time line was clear) I was able to see it was all occurring either before or after I had a menstrual cycle as well I identified my cycle was now 21 days apart instead of 30 like it had been for the past 8 years. I also started this past week having pain when lying on my stomach, the same pain I remember feeling when I had the IUD inserted, I could feel it pushing inside. the paid went away as the doctor said it would as the Paragard is supposed to get softer the longer it is there. With all this coming to light and reading your article I will now make an appointment with my OBGYN, I now have somewhere to start.
    Thank you again for the wonderful post.

  174. Olivia Brant permalink

    Hello, I had my Mirena Iud removed exactly 30 days ago and I have had problems with GI tract, loss of appetite, loose bowels diaherra, clay colored stools, left side pelvic pain went to ER three times and left hip pain now my dr thinks it’s my gallbladder….. I am having it checked in two days. Any advise? I think I need to sue or get some advise the dr will just refer me to have it removed if that’s the problem. I don’t wantbto make another dumb decision like I did when getting the Mirena put in. Thank you for this article!!

  175. Dear Dr,
    Thank youso much for this article!iloce your site. Had the iud inserted 2012 and just this year Ive had a numberif issues. It wasnt until August 2015 that my hips started to hurt and its gotten worse. I would get shooting pain in diff places and hip pain Would radiate to back and knee along with pelvic cramping. I had it removed last Sept 17. Hip pain went away then returned 3 days ago. I am now getting an mri along with blood tests cbc, thyroid, ana, esr etc. Will seeing a chiropractor help? What is the best approach? What detox can i buy? What chiropractic therapies work? I live in the Philippines. So far from you😞 hope to get a reply. I want to schedule a skype consult too after i get lab results.

  176. Jenn permalink

    I have been experiencing erythromelalgia and raynauds at the same time my feet and hands are red and burning very painful at times or they r purple and cold. Completely impacting my daily life. When I elevate my hands and feet the red/burning pain goes away, my feet return to normal color when I walk. I had normal blood tests all normal, went to see a vascular dr. all normal but only tested me laying down(standing and sitting is when my symptoms act up. Next is the neurologist to test for MS. Then my husband told me he thought it was my mirena. Then I found all this info and got it removed today. I just want to know if and how long I will have these symptoms if the mirena is the cause of all this

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