Women Don’t Need To Have Periods
Using birth control to eliminate menstruation isnt unsafe, even if some worry its unnatural.
No matter why a woman is seeing a doctorbe it for a headache or for a broken toeshe can reliably expect to be asked the date of her last period within the first minute of her consultation. Because of the confused looks I get when I reply with May 2012, I started prefacing my answer with an explanation that I have a Mirena IUD, an intra-uterine device used for birth control that lessens periods for some women and eliminates them completely for others.
I fall into the latter category. Though most nurses and doctors move along after this response, a nurse recently looked at me in undisguised disapproval and asked, But what about when you want children? I told her that I would take it out when I want children. But doesnt it feel unnatural to not have a period? she asked. I told her it feels great to not have a period. She shook her head and said, Just seems strange to have a foreign object in your body like that. I replied, Yeah, like a baby. She stopped asking questions at that point.
There is no medical reason why a woman has to menstruate every month, said Alyssa Dweck, an assistant clinical professor of OB/GYN at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York. And there is nothing wrong with tweaking the system if bleeding is difficult for women.
Does An Iud Help Prevent Stds
A doctor or nurse practitioner will check to be sure a woman doesn’t have any STDs before putting in an IUD. Getting an IUD put in while she has an STD could lead to pelvic inflammatory disease .
Abstinence is the only method that always prevents pregnancy and STDs.
Your Period Is Likely To Be A Little Messed Up At First
No matter which IUD you choose, don’t expect the transition to be totally smooth-sailing after it’s been inserted. “With both types of IUDs, women can experience spotting or irregular menses for the first three to six months after IUD placement,” says Dr. Hall. So definitely stock up on pantyliners or period underwear .
Because the type of IUD you have has everything to do with how it will affect your period, it’s important to be aware of how your body works and what’s going to be the right IUD choice for you . For example, if you already have heavy bleeding and cramps from hell, you probably don’t want to even consider Paraguard as an IUD option.
“If a woman already has very heavy menses and cramps, the Skyla IUD is perhaps a better option,” says Dr. Hall. “If a woman has normal cycles, I prefer recommending the Paraguard, because maintaining our healthy natural hormones has great benefits.”
As with all methods of birth control, it’s crucial to do your IUD research, be honest with your doctor about what you need and want, and proceed from there.
Dr. G. Thomas Ruiz M.D.
Dr. Jonathan Schaffir M.D
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How Do Copper Iuds Work
Before heading into the causes of a late period induced by copper IUD, you need to have an idea of how it works and what effect it has on your period.
So, how does this work?
Copper IUDs, a type of non-hormonal contraceptive. To understand how it works we will need a simple introduction to how menstruation works.
Every month, theres the discharge of the ovum from the ovaries of women in their reproductive age. The ovum migrates to the uterus under the influence of various hormones. If the ovum doesnt get fertilized by sperms or the male counterpart, there occurs a discharge of the ovum along with the lining of the uterus. Such condition occurs every month, known as periods or menstruation.
On contrary, if the ovum gets fertilized by the sperm, there occurs the formation of the zygote, the cell thats gonna subsequently develop into a child.
Now, how do copper IUDs fit here? Copper IUDs, after getting placed on the uterus engage the immune or protective mechanism in your body. It basically kills off the sperm before it gets a chance to fertilize the ovum, preventing pregnancy.
As such, theres no hormonal factor working in this case. So is Copper IUD late period, just a myth?
When To See A Doctor
Both hormonal and copper IUDs can cause unpleasant side effects when a doctor fits an IUD and afterward.
People may experience temporary pain, bleeding, or dizziness immediately after receiving an IUD. People should contact their doctor if these symptoms last longer than 30 minutes.
Some women may find that their body expels or rejects an IUD. In some cases, part of the IUD might dislodge from the uterus, or puncture the uterine wall. If this happens, a doctor needs to remove it as soon as possible.
Although rare, people can become pregnant with an IUD. This can lead to serious health complications, such as
People wishing to change their birth control can discuss their options with a doctor. A doctor will assess the individuals risk of developing adverse side effects. Some factors that the doctor may take into consideration include:
- their medical history
- their current health status
- any medications a person is taking
The risk of having an unintended pregnancy increases when a person switches birth control methods. Doctors try to avoid gaps in protection by overlapping the new contraceptive with a previous birth control method.
People should consider using condoms or some other form of backup contraception until the new birth control takes effect.
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Symptoms Of A Heavy Period
Few women would be able to estimate the exact amount of blood lost during their period. With that in mind, look for these signs, which indicate heavy bleeding:
- You soak through a pad or tampon every two to three hours.
- Your clothes or bedding is repeatedly stained as a result of a heavy bleeding.
- You have to get up in the middle of the night to change your tampon or pad.
- You wear both a tampon and a pad .
It Also Depends On The Type Of Iud You Get
There are four hormonal IUDs Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla and one copper IUD ParaGard.
Hormonal IUDs may make your periods lighter. Some people dont get periods at all while on them.
Copper IUDs often make periods heavier and crampier. However, this may not be a permanent change. Your period may return to its usual state after about six months.
Hormonal birth control can throw off your menstrual cycle. At first, your periods may be heavier than usual. Eventually, the bleeding should get lighter.
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Which Way Is Right For Me
If you want to cut down on the number of periods you have per year, then experts suggest standard birth control pills, patches, or the vaginal ring. To stop your period long-term, birth control shots, long-term pills, and the IUD typically work best. Speak with your doctor about it. Youâll work together to figure out which method is best for you.
Copper Iud Side Effects
Despite copper IUD side effects, many women like that it is free of artificial hormones, doesnt interact with any medications, can be used while breastfeeding, and offers a long-term solution to prevent pregnancy. However, even though they may be non-hormonal, copper IUD side effects may include:
- Ectopic pregnancies while still using a copper IUD
- Severe menstrual bleeding
- Abdominal, leg, and back pain or pressure
- Irregular bleeding
- Bleeding or spotting between periods
- Pain during sex
Most of these are temporary side effects that get better with time. If you are still experiencing any of the above copper IUD side effects after six months, its important to ask your doctor to see if another medical condition could be the cause.
A less common copper IUD side effect is weight gain. Even though weight gain is primarily associated with hormonal contraceptives, women who are between the ages of 35 to 45 have reported weight loss after removal. Although copper IUD side effects like weight gain have not been proved.
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It May Depend On What Your Period Was Like Before You Got One
One major potential selling point of hormonal IUDs is their ability to sometimes make periods lighter and shorter. For about 1 in 5 people using the Mirena or LILETTA IUDs, periods stop altogether after a year.
But is it just random chance as to whether your period stops or not? New research from the massive CHOICE study shows that there are some factors that make you more or less likely to stop bleeding with a hormonal IUD.
The study looked at the 1,802 women in CHOICE who used a Mirena IUD for at least a year. The researchers asked the women before they started the IUD how heavy their monthly bleeding was according to the categories light , normal , moderately heavy , or heavy .
Lighter bleeding = higher chance that periods will stop
So what were the results? After using the IUD for a year, women with light and normal bleeding were most likely to stop bleeding altogether, with 21% and 16% reporting no periods in the last 6 months. In contrast, only 10% of those with moderately heavy periods and 5% of those with heavy periods reported their period going away.
The researchers also found that women whod had three or more pregnancies were somewhat less likely to stop bleeding, as were African American women. That could be due to higher rates of uterine fibroids and heavier periods among African American women on average.
Perk, or no go?
Advantages And Disadvantages Of The Iud
Although an IUD is an effective method of contraception, there are some things to consider before having one fitted.
- It protects against pregnancy for 5 or 10 years, depending on the type.
- Once an IUD is fitted, it works straight away.
- Most people with a womb can use it.
- There are no hormonal side effects, such as acne, headaches or breast tenderness.
- It does not interrupt sex.
- It’s safe to use an IUD if you’re breastfeeding.
- It’s possible to get pregnant as soon as the IUD is removed.
- It’s not affected by other medicines.
- There’s no evidence that an IUD will affect your weight or increase the risk of cervical cancer, womb cancer or ovarian cancer.
- Your periods may become heavier, longer or more painful, though this may improve after a few months.
- It does not protect against STIs, so you may need to use condoms as well.
- If you get an infection when you have an IUD fitted, it could lead to a pelvic infection if not treated.
- Most people who stop using an IUD do so because of vaginal bleeding and pain, although these side effects are uncommon.
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Is It Unhealthy If You Skip Your Period While Using Mirena Or Other Birth Control Methods
does having an IUD in and not having a period affect your body in negative ways?
The Mirena and Skyla IUDs can lessen the number of periods you get, or stop them altogether. For some people, thats a huge benefit to using one of those methods. The implant and shot can also have that effect, as well as the pill and ring if used a certain way.
If youre thinking about using one of these methods to avoid having a period, you may be wondering if its healthy to not get your period every month. The answer is that its actually totally fine for you to not have periods because of birth control.
A lot of people believe that their period is a way the body cleans itself and keeps itself healthy. But the reality is that your body only needs to menstruate in order to shed the uterine lining that your body creates when there is the possibility of pregnancy. Hormonal birth control, like Mirena or Skyla, prevent ovulation and stop that uterine lining from building up, so there isnt anything to shed or bleed out.
Having a period is healthy and normal if youre not using birth control, but not having periods when youre on hormonal birth control is okay, too.
-Emily at Planned Parenthood
Is There Medication To Stop Periods Permanently
You may still be wondering if theres a magic pill to transport you far away from Periodville forever. Not exactly. Your best options for medications to stop periods are those listed above, but you have to keep taking them, and surprise bleeding is always a possibility.
The packaging for one birth control pill under the brand name Lybrel suggests it intends to prevent periods as long as you take it. Unlike regular or seasonal birth control pills, they dont include any placebo pills to allow for an occasional period.
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Treating Fibroids Before Getting A Copper Iud
Unfortunately, you may go to your doctor expecting to get an IUD placed, but leave without one. This can happen if you have a uterine fibroid or other abnormality. This can be extremely frustrating, especially if you were planning to opt for non-hormonal birth control. Thankfully, uterine fibroids can easily be treated with an outpatient, nonsurgical method known as Uterine Fibroid Embolization . UFE works by targeting the fibroids blood source and blocking it with tiny embolic material that stays within the artery. Over time, your fibroid will continue to shrink until it is absorbed by your body. Once your fibroid has shrunk, you can revisit getting copper IUD.
At the Fibroid Fighters Foundation, we help connect you with top-rated interventional radiologists who can diagnose your condition and recommend a treatment process that fits your individual needs. Give us a call at 855.455.5262 or contact us conveniently online.
Your Period Could Get Lighter
Some people might react to a hormonal IUD by getting a lessened period than they had previously, particularly on IUDs with lower progestin levels.
“The Skyla has less progesterone which allows most women to have menstrual cycles, although they are usually very light,”Dr. Prudence Hall, M.D, founder of The Hall Center and author of Radiant Again & Forever, tells Bustle.
“Progesterone IUDs are particularly useful in people with heavier painful menses,” Dr. Ruiz tells Bustle. “Within three to six months of insertion up to 50% will not have menstrual bleeding and the other 50% will have lighter, less painful and less frequent uterine bleeding.”
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