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[QUOTE=shsa1982;3418606]Hi I am thinking of getting an IUD but I am breastfeeding so I am wondering which one should I get. I know the Mirena has hormones but will it affect my son if I am breastfeeding?[/QUOTE]

Hi, shsa1982:

This is probably going to get long, but I hope you'll bear with me.

I've been using mostly IUDs for birth control for nearly 30 years. Can't give you a professional opinion, but I can share my experience.

After a LOT of thought, I got another Paragard last week. The only two choices available in the U.$. anymore are Paragard and Mirena. I used to use Progestaserts religiously, and did very well with them because the hormone they contained was natural progesterone. My body didn't object to it. Light periods, level moods, no headaches, no skin or hair problems. Having them replaced every year or so was a minor inconvenience. Why they were taken off the U.$. market i$ anyone'$ gue$$, but I have my theorie$.

Anyway, I've used copper IUDs now and then, which aren't bad, but I was a little put off by the heavier monthly flow. Needless to say, I was overjoyed when I heard about Mirena, which I got in 2002. I was given the impression that it was the same as Progestasert but longer-lasting. Oh, joy!

I'll tell you right now, the ONLY thing good about Mirena was the light periods. In exchange I had to live with severe PMS-like symptoms every single day - horrible moodiness, chronic headaches, fatigue, nasty zits, and - horror of horrors - a mustache! Worst of all, my thyroid began to fail. I've had to take increasing doses of synthroid for the last four years.

I talked to my doctor about these issues numerous times and asked if they might be related to the Mirena, but she insisted there was no way. She said Mirena has only a local effect on the uterus, so It had to be something else.

I had my home, car, and work environment checked for toxins. Everything checked out fine. Then a few months ago, after doing my own research, which included consulting with a friend who's an oseopath, I discovered a thing or two about Mirena. See, it's all in the marketing. Contrary to the half-truth most doctors will tell patients, Mirena does not contain progesterone (as in Progestasert), but a synthetic progestin, which is well-known to cause all of those side effects when taken orally. I knew it had to be more than a coincidence, because the symptoms began after I got the Mirena, and the longer I kept it the worse the symptoms got. But, because my doctor insisted the Mirena couldn't possibly be the culprit, and because my periods were scant, I stuck with it. I regret it now, for a lot reasons.

I had the Mirena removed a month ago, and am beginning to feel like my old self again. I've had no breakouts, no headaches, no mood swings, more energy, and I can think more clearly. Almost like waking up from a five-year, nightmare-ish sleepwalk. I suspect my thyroid is permanently fried now, and I'll have to take synthroid for the rest of my life. But we'll see.

With the Paragard, my period has returned with a vengeance, but since I'm close to menopause now, I figure I can tuff it out. The point is, Paragard contains no hormones, just copper. So other than the inconvenience of having to use a few extra tampons each month, I feel just fine.

As for which is safer during breastfeeding, there's no contest. Hormone-free is always better. Mirena does contain a synthetic "drug". No matter what the doctors say, that stuff gets into your system. My advice is to get a few opinions before going that route.

Sorry for going on so long. I just feel very strongly that Mirena isn' t the miracle birth control method Bayer Pharmaceuticals wants us all to believe. Echoes of Dalkon Shield come to mind...

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