sorbet

Copper Iud & Acne?

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hey everyone! i've recently stopped the BCP because it really wasn't for me. i'm now considering a copper iud because it contains no hormones.

i've read lots of stories from women on the internet who claim it did make their acne worse, but from what i see the large majority of these women stop a hormonal form of birth control not long before getting one, and this makes me wonder whether the change in hormones may have been the cause. i know that copper depletes zinc too, and that this can have an effect.

i'd like opinions from people who have one, and any side effects they experienced (do they hurt?!), but mainly if it worsened your acne at all.

at the moment for me, acne < babies. but, acne has been a massive thing in my life and a major contributor to my depression/anxiety and i'd rather not use anything that can worsen it.

i searched through the archive and there is an older board about the copper iud, but i'd love some more recent opinions!

Edited by sorbet

Stopping the birth control pill & going natural log:


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I had acne that was under control with the regimen. After 2 children I was not allowed BC Pills because of a blood coagulation disorder that was discovered. After 3 more years without Hormonal BC,I thought that A copper IUD would be a good idea. At this point, my acne was totally under control, no zits if I used the BP once a day. So I got the copper IUD an the drama started: endless bladder infections, constant spotting, my fingernails started to peel off in layers, terrible bleedings and cramps any my face broke out really really bad. So it was definately not coming off BCP, but inserting the copper IUD that caused it. I had it for 5 months and on that time had 6 UTIs and just felt terrible. Got it out: no more spotting, no more bladder infections, fingernails grew back, face ist still struggling, but better ( but I am alo on 7 weeks spiro)

Edited by Calumma
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Successfully on "the regimen" from age 12 to 33 for cystic acne

Now:

100mg spironolactone since 08/13

Paula's Choice BHA 2%,

Green Cream 6 Retinol

Acne free and already almost free of hyperpigmentation, discolorations and wrinkles


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The copper IUD releases less copper than a normal diet. So, unless you already have a pretty bad zinc problem, a thyroid issue or progesterone deficiency (both of which will mess up your copper/zinc balance), the copper IUD isn't going to affect that very much.

The biggest thing is that you NEED to have the copper IUD inserted by someone who does the insertions constantly. Many doctors offer copper IUDs but don't insert very many. It takes a lot of skill to insert it correctly since every woman's body is different.

The best proof I have of this is that me and my cousin had copper IUDs inserted about the same time. We went to one of those giant medical group buildings that has multiple doctors in it. She went to an ob-gyn that her family was friends with, and that was about $300 cheaper. I went to an ob-gyn that SPECIALIZED in IUDs, and had mine inserted by a nurse who does about 10 IUD insertions a day. That is literally all she does and she has inserted thousands.

Well, guess what? My cousin's uterus was perforated and she had the IUD removed. I still have the IUD years later. Even though I have a tilted cervix and some other issue that made insertion very difficult.

The side effects I dealt with for about 5 months were bad cramping and very heavy periods. Normally my periods are light and I have never have cramps. But after 5 months my periods went back to normal and I don't cramp anymore. The cramping was BAD the first 2 months, I seriously considered taking it out. But I had it checked out by the doctor, everything was fine as far as the IUD, so I pushed through and I'm glad I did.

It has also been shown that the copper IUD increases blood flow and cramping significantly in the initial months: in the first 3-6 months, blood flow increases on average between 25 and 50 percent. For many women this drops off after several months, and they enjoy many peaceful years of safe sex.

Edited by Green Gables

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GreenGables

 


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The copper IUD releases less copper than a normal diet. So, unless you already have a pretty bad zinc problem, a thyroid issue or progesterone deficiency (both of which will mess up your copper/zinc balance), the copper IUD isn't going to affect that very much.

The biggest thing is that you NEED to have the copper IUD inserted by someone who does the insertions constantly. Many doctors offer copper IUDs but don't insert very many. It takes a lot of skill to insert it correctly since every woman's body is different.

The best proof I have of this is that me and my cousin had copper IUDs inserted about the same time. We went to one of those giant medical group buildings that has multiple doctors in it. She went to an ob-gyn that her family was friends with, and that was about $300 cheaper. I went to an ob-gyn that SPECIALIZED in IUDs, and had mine inserted by a nurse who does about 10 IUD insertions a day. That is literally all she does and she has inserted thousands.

Well, guess what? My cousin's uterus was perforated and she had the IUD removed. I still have the IUD years later. Even though I have a tilted cervix and some other issue that made insertion very difficult.

The side effects I dealt with for about 5 months were bad cramping and very heavy periods. Normally my periods are light and I have never have cramps. But after 5 months my periods went back to normal and I don't cramp anymore. The cramping was BAD the first 2 months, I seriously considered taking it out. But I had it checked out by the doctor, everything was fine as far as the IUD, so I pushed through and I'm glad I did.

It has also been shown that the copper IUD increases blood flow and cramping significantly in the initial months: in the first 3-6 months, blood flow increases on average between 25 and 50 percent. For many women this drops off after several months, and they enjoy many peaceful years of safe sex.

Thank you for the info! I will definitely look into getting someone experienced to put it in... your cousin's experience sounds awful :(

I take zinc already so I doubt I have a zinc problem, and I don't think I have progesterone deficiency or a thyroid problem (though it does run in my family). I've decided to let my body settle down for a few months (I've just come off the pill) before I get one, so I know if any of the side effects I'm experiencing are coming from the IUD and not from stopping the pill.

So you haven't had any increase in acne? I think I could deal with heavier periods/cramps for the first few months because mine are usually pretty average/light anyway.

Do you know of an accurate effectiveness rate of the copper IUD? I've found they range quite a lot online, but I have seen 99.6% quoted a few times.

I had acne that was under control with the regimen. After 2 children I was not allowed BC Pills because of a blood coagulation disorder that was discovered. After 3 more years without Hormonal BC,I thought that A copper IUD would be a good idea. At this point, my acne was totally under control, no zits if I used the BP once a day. So I got the copper IUD an the drama started: endless bladder infections, constant spotting, my fingernails started to peel off in layers, terrible bleedings and cramps any my face broke out really really bad. So it was definately not coming off BCP, but inserting the copper IUD that caused it. I had it for 5 months and on that time had 6 UTIs and just felt terrible. Got it out: no more spotting, no more bladder infections, fingernails grew back, face ist still struggling, but better ( but I am alo on 7 weeks spiro)

I'm sorry to hear that Calumma :( Thank you for sharing your experience, I hope your acne gets better.


Stopping the birth control pill & going natural log:


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I had a copper IUD inserted over two years ago and it has wrecked my face. I always would get a cyst or two around PMS time, but my acne was pretty manageable. As the years go on my face has gotten worse. It may be due to stress (I've had terrible jobs and been unemployed since then) or diagnosed poly cystic ovarian syndrome , but my whole face is now covered. I just bought some products that hopefully will work. If they do, it will be worth it because hormonal bc is not for me.

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The copper IUD wrecked my face too. I had it removed after seven months when I finally made the connection between the IUD and the acne that gradually got worse and worse. Finally now, four months after getting the IUD removed, my skin is pretty much back to normal.

There are plenty of people that will tell you the copper can't affect your skin (probably including your doctor), but there are also lots of women who report getting bad acne as a result. It might be a rare side effect, but it's an awful one. I think it's irresponsible that acne isn't acknowledged as a possible side effect.

I've heard both good and bad reports about the copper IUD, but after my experience I would never recommend any woman get it. I feel like I was exposed to a cumulative poison. It was a slow gradual buildup after I got the copper IUD inserted and a slow gradual recovery after I had it removed.

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Thank you everyone for sharing your story!

I got my IUD inserted Jan 2014 and removed it T-O-D--A-Y (Aug 6 2014)... It took me 8 months to learn that my body was rejecting the IUD! =(

I was satisfied with the IUD for the 1st two months & everything went downhill after that... Then, I started to develop really painful & nasty acne along my chin & pelvic area. I was/am (still working on it). I am/was really embarrassed to go outside without any make-up & I tried a lot of acne home remedies & even bought really expensive lotions (OROGold)… Nothing seemed to work on my face.

It is important to mention that I am pretty healthy (workout & eat healthy), so I knew it was not my diet or lack of exercise. My stress levels were okay...

After reading this blog, I discovered that the IUD maybe the main cause of my acne.

Today my OBGYN asked me why I wanted to get my IUD removed?

M: Because of my Acne

OBGYN: IUD is not causing it. It has ZERO hormones... Plus, what method are you going to use, (since have the best contraceptive in the market)?

M: I really do not want it.

I respect the OBGYB's medical opinion, but I know my body better than anyone... And even though it took me a few months (6—to be exact) to figure it out! I did it! I do not think she was very happy with me. I will keep ya’ll updated on my acne within a month (9/6)! Thank you.

And good luck to everyone!

MY Acne History:

A lot of Acne/Pimples during college & teen year

5 months before the IUD insertion I had ZERO acne/scars... I never had to worry about wearing make-up. I hope to go back to that some day! :)

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Wow déjà vu

I'm also in the IUD wrecked my face club

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  • Clear Skin and Anxiety Maintenance Routine:
  • Supplements: Shi wei Bei Du Tang (powder by Sun Ten) and the Zhen Zhu An Chuang Pan (tablets by Guang Ci Tang) both for acne+ other Chinese mood stabilizers. + not needed in months
  • Meal Replacement Shakes, + magnesium, MSM, DMAE powder
  • no meat, coffee,  or alcohol- regular juice cleanses
  • Topical:  African Black Soap, 99% pure aloe +vitamin E when dry
  • Lifestyle: 8 hrs sleep, light exercise only, >1hr sun exposure daily, no fluoride toothpastes, no sulfate shampoos, clean shower/pillowcase, no pets

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I've had the paraguard copper IUD for about 3 years now and it's been the birth control of choice at the top of my list for me. I have tried many forms of birth control from depo-provera, lunelle injection, the patch, pills, foams, films, and just about gave up with all the awful side effects hormones had on my body. I always, always gained weight on hormones and decided to not do hormones again. Upon insertion, the IUD was super painful so I highly recommend pre-medicating before going into the office to get it put in. I haven't had any children so my cervix had never been stretched making it painful for me. I cramped for a good amount of time after it was put in for a couple months. I took plenty of ibuprofen, tylenol and eventually Vidcodin for pre-cramping before my period would arrive. Sometimes, Vicodin didn't help the pain it was basically like contractions that would last a few minutes than go away periodically but once I started bleeding the cramps were gone. It does make cramping worse with the copper but I would rather go through this than weight gain any old time.

As for the acne.......I have had acne all my life and more severe when I hit my 20's and 30's. I had cystic acne on my cheeks, jawline, back, chin, and forehead, plus blackheads all over my jawline and forehead. The IUD did not make my acne worse at all.

It's been convenient for me to have and over 99% effective.....it's the method after a vasectomy that's rated most effective. I simply check after each period to make sure I can feel the strings to know it's still in place. Other than the cramping, the IUD is the BC of choice for my lifestyle and its good for up to 10 years.


Skin Regimen


AM

Boscia Clarifying Facial Cleanser

Obagi-C Clarifying Serum

Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer

Acanya (Benzoyl Peroxide/Clindamycin)

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen SPF 50+

PM

Boscia Clarifying Facial Cleanser

Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer

Tazorac 0.1% Topical Gel


Spironolactone 150mg. once daily for hormonal breakouts

Facials every 3-4 months or as needed for maintenance


Make-Up of choice:

Sheer Cover Loose Powder or Sephora Tarte Loose Powder

Sephora Tarte Tinted Moisturizer BB Cream with Amazonian Clay

(Updated 2015)


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The only side effect my copper IUD has given me is heavier periods and shorter cycles. It's the best birth control I've ever been on. I've had it for about 8 months.

I have started breaking out recently, like within the past month or month and a half, but I'm confident it's not related to the IUD after so many months of no issues - especially considering there aren't any hormones. I think my breakouts are stress, hormone, and diet related.

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I've had 3 copper iud's over the past 10 years as the only hormonal contraception that doesn't make my acne worse is dianette, but I only do 6 month spells of dianette these days as the side effects get horrible for me after 6 months. Every time I've had a copper iud inserted my acne has flared up, and its not been from coming off the pill, its always improved again after the iud is removed xx

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I've always had pretty good skin, just the occasional pimple here and there after eating chocolate or getting my period. I have an active healthy lifestyle. Anyways after my 4th baby I really started watching what I ate and increased my water intake and I still got pimples, I started getting nodules and pimples every where mostly around my chin and mouth, I tried everything raw honey, witch hazel, proactive, you name it I did it, I couldn't understand why I kept on breaking out...till I read this post. Now I know for sure it's my copper I.u.d. I'm making appointment to get it removed and will post update

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Iv been browsing trying to figure out if my current acne problem is caused by my iud and annoyingly all I can find is the same old list of symptoms. I'm so glad I found this post! I have had this iud in for about 8-9 months waiting for the pain to go away like they say it will (3-6 months it should ease).  The pain seems to be the same every month, very painful, very heavy and it's even painful every single day. (Aching period pains where my iud Is placed). I paid to get mine inserted by someone who does them everyday for $150 and have had exams to check placement.  I have really been hoping t would ease because I really don't want to take hormonal bc. But it's not, and all my other problems seem to be getting worse. Iv never had a problem with acne in my life till now, painful blind pimples/ acne around my chin /mouth! Lasting months and not only that I had become extremely anaemic- zero iron in my body, I take iron liquid now as even my iron pills couldn't restore my iron. My nails are brittle but I have always had on off problems with them, it's mainly my face I notice the most, my lashes , eye brow hairs just fall, my skin is horrible, very pale, sometimes puffy. I have been trying to lose weight so my eating and exercising is good but I have never had such a hard time losing weight have been trying since my last baby 11 months ago and I really am putting it down to this iud. I'm only 25 also so it's not my age. I generally just feel tired, dizzy, weak all the time and am over it. I have been getting bacterial vaginosis since getting this iud.  The docs are going to be annoyed but they can f*ck themselves I'm making the appointment to take this thing out. I trust doctors  and modern medicine very little at this stage and I am finally going to listen to my poor ol body and fix this. Till I'm old enough to get a visectomy I'll be using condoms -_- thanks for sharing y'all 

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I've had the copper IUD for the past 10 years...(two of them actually, I had the first removed after 5 or 6 years to get pregnant again and then had another put in at my post-delivery check-up.)
I think you are correct...that women experiencing acne when they get it is due to going off of other hormonal forms of BC. In my twenties, I went off of Ortho-Tricyclen (which is known for clearing acne) and went through several months of breakouts as a result. (I had never had acne before going on it either.) 
I love the IUD...I have ZERO side-effects from it. It's great. (The first few weeks there was some light cramping, etc. but that quickly subsided.) 

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I had the Mirena IUD inserted, and used if for six months before taking it out. I know it's not a copper IUD, but my doctor also assured me that the Mirena IUD would not affect my skin, just like the copper IUD. Perhaps my experience will help you make your decision.
In regard to your questions:

Does it hurt?
The insertion hurts pretty bad. I was advised to take a day off beforehand, and i'm so glad i did. I took medication beforehand and afterwards, but it was pretty bad still. I spent a day on the couch. 
After that, i continually felt the presence of the IUD in my uterus. This may sound strange, but i could really feel it pushing/touching inside. It wasn't painful, just a weird sensation. However it WAS painful when i squatted, kneeled or was on my hands and knees for example. I got it checked to see if it was positioned correctly, and it was. Nevertheless, i did not like the sensation of 'feeling' the IUD like this.
When i got it taken out, I was lightheaded for a while, nothing major.

Does it worsen your acne?
In my case, it definately did. I was on BCP for a year before i got my IUD inserted. During this time, my skin was clear. During the 6 months i had the IUD i got a little bit of acne, like one zit per month. It was nothing serious.
When the IUD was taken out, i got major acne within a week. I believe the IUD caused some kind of hormonal shift that caused my acne. I'm still trying to fight this off, and it's been 4 years.

Regarding your mention of depression/anxiety over your acne:
Take into account that an IUD might fix your acne but still make you feel depressed. My experience with the IUD was that it evened my emotions out to a very passive state. Everything just seemed bleak to me. Just 'meh'. I couldn't get really exited or deeply enjoy something (food, art, music, nature, things i used to like before). While i had clear skin, I really did not feel like myself anymore.

I would strongly advise against using an IUD for birth control, especially when you have a history of acne and you're afraid your acne might worsen or return. Even if it doesn't contain hormones, it still messes up your body's hormonal cycle. If you're acne prone, i think this just aggravates it.

Hope this helps and good luck!
 

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