Did anyone else notice cycle changes after having a copper coil removed?

(29 Posts)
Cineraria Sat 22-Feb-14 20:00:06

I used a copper coil for contraception until starting to try to conceive. Because my cycle was always slightly irregular, I noted my dates and symptoms including BBT using the Fertility Friend app for some time before we were going to start trying to help maximise our chances, especially as, at 39, I feel we don’t have time on our side.

Everything seemed to be quite regular apart from the cycle length; the temperature changes and other symptoms seemed to occur predictably each month until the coil was removed. I understood that as the coil doesn't have any hormones, it shouldn't really affect my cycle but since the removal it has seemed quite different to me, in terms of length and when different symptoms and temperature changes happen.

I can’t tell whether the change is a reaction to the removal and different to my normal cycle or if the coil disrupted my normal cycle and the current one is how they should be from now on, so I’m wondering if the information I've already entered in the app might be more of a hindrance than help and if I ought to delete it and start again.

It would really help to hear from anyone else who had a copper coil if you noticed a change to your cycle after it was removed and if this was a one-off or if it changed your cycle long term. Thanks!

Littlemissnutmeg Sat 22-Feb-14 20:24:11

Yes i did!! I had the copper coil fitted in 2006, a few months after the birth of my daughter. I had it removed in July 2012 to try for a baby. I was 37 then, i'm almost 39 now and still not pregnant!!! As soon as the coil was taken out my periods went really weird! Irregular and much shorted and lighter than they were before i had it put it. When i had it in my periods were fairly heavy and lasted 5-6 days. Now my periods only lasts 2 days, day 2 is just spotting really. My periods haven't been right since having it removed in July 2012 and a few weeks ago i learned that i am perimenopausal! Perimenopausal at just 38!! Been told it's very unlikely that i will conceive, very sad and disappointed. At 39 you don't have time on your side, i just hope to god you are not going through menopause. If i were you i would get your bloods done to check your hormone levels. I don't think the coil has anything to do with the change in my periods, just a coincidence i think, that they changed when it was removed. I believe i started menopause around age 35. I don't mean to alarm you but push to get those bloods done. Good luck.

Cineraria Sat 22-Feb-14 20:39:14

Thanks for your reply and so sorry to hear about your situation. I hope you do manage to beat the odds to have another child. 38 is fairly early, isn't it, to be perimenopausal?

It's something I'm worried about in my circumstances too but still trying to keep hopeful that it's just my cycle adjusting to the change. If things don't seem right in few months, I'll definitely see the GP to rule that out though.

Littlemissnutmeg Sat 22-Feb-14 20:49:37

My doctor said perimenopause can start as early as the mid 30s, although it is uncommon. Most women start menopause age 45 plus so i guess i started 10 years too young! I'm so hoping i beat the odds and i fall pregnant soon! If this is your first cycle since the coil was removed maybe things are just getting back to normal. I'm sure you will be fine and heres hoping you get your BFP very soon!

Gennz Sun 23-Feb-14 06:47:28

cineraria I was going to start a thread on this very topic! I had my copper IUD removed about the 21st of December after 4.5 years. AF arrived 29th which was a bit early, about 24 days (With the IUD I was invariably 26 - 28 days). AF was much lighter but went on a lot longer - 6 days as opposed to the usual 3.

January was our first time TTC and was a whole week late - the longest cycle I've ever had at about 34 days which was infuriating as naturally I thought I was preggers.

AF should be due about the 27th (if no BFP) but given last month I have no idea what to expect. I've tried to do a bit of research and I've read that the copper IUD causes a mild inflammation of the uterine lining, which helps prevent implantation, so perhaps it takes a few cycles to calm down? How long since you had yours removed?

It's very maddening as one of the main reasons I got it was that it was not hormonal and wouldn't interfere with cycles. My sister also had one and it took her 5 cycles to get her BFP with DS2, so just keep at it! (she's in her late 30s).

Inshock73 Sun 23-Feb-14 09:36:03

So pleased I spotted this thread as I was wondering if anyone else shared my experience!

I've had copper coils from the age of 20 before having it removed at 38 when I finally met someone I wanted to have children with! I'd had incredibly heavy periods which lasted between 5-7 days every month on a 26-31 day cycle since the age of 20, being so young when I had my first coil I accepted it as normal until now. Since having my coil removed a year ago my cycle is 26-28 days with a period that only lasts for 2 days. I can't believe the difference and I'm left wondering whether the change is due to my age or whether the coil caused these long and heavy periods and what I'm now experiencing is the real me.

I have now read quite a lot about the copper coil and it is known to give you heavy and prolonged periods but I haven't seen any mention of it causing long term fertility problems. I fell pregnant within a few months of having coil removed although sadly suffered a mmc and have now been ttc again for 7 months.

Neeko Sun 23-Feb-14 09:42:44

Watching this with interest as I have had the copper coil in for nearly four years and I am really struggling with the long and heavy periods. Want to have it removed but reluctant as I definitely don't want another child or hormonal contraception.

Littlemissnutmeg Sun 23-Feb-14 10:08:24

Iv'e been trying to conceive for 20 long months since having the coil removed. I'm starting to think that maybe the coil has thinned my uterine lining (my periods are now so light). I know i ovulate some months, despite being told i'm perimenopausal, because a blood test about 4 months ago confirmed ovulation. It would seem that my lining isn't thick enough for a pregnancy to take a hold perhaps. The reason i had the coil fitted was that i never got on with the Pill and i actually fell pregnant while taking it with daughter no.2!! I thought the coil was a reliable form of contraception, just what i neede a few years ago. Now i wish i had just stuck with the pill!!!! Wanting a baby so much now and it's just not happening.

Cineraria Sun 23-Feb-14 11:14:58

Littlemissnutmeg, thanks for your good wishes. At least if you're still ovulating, you're still in with some chance. Are the doctors not able to help in any way by giving hormone supplements to help you develop a lining each month in case fertilisation does occur when you ovulate? I'm sorry if it's a silly question but I don't know too much about it.

It was reassuring to read about your sister's experience Gennz. Thanks for including that in your post. You experience sounds similar to mine in having long first cycle after the removal. I actually had mine removed at the end of January and have just finished one full cycle, so like you, I don't know what to expect this coming month. Good luck for your BFP on the 27th!

Like you, I met my husband quite late, Inshock, and was worried from the start that age would be a problem for us. Did you ask your doctor about the changes to your cycle at all? I'm sorry to hear about your mmc. That must have been such a sad time for you and made it more nervewracking trying for seven months after. I do hope you get some good news soon.

Inshock73 Sun 23-Feb-14 11:24:52

Cineraria - I haven't asked my GP about changes to my cycle length but she feels the regular cycle and positive opk's are a thumbs up in terms of general health and because I managed to achieve a pregnancy last year (first month of trying!) it means I'm capable of achieving a pregnancy. Unfortunately conceiving first month of trying last year has made the 7 months ttc again really hard because I expected it to happen straight away again.

I know this is a thread about the copper coil but are you using opk's and have you had the routine tests done? As we're 'older' smile it's worth getting checked out even if it's just to put your mind at rest. Wishing you a BFP soon!

Cineraria Sun 23-Feb-14 13:18:40

It's good news that your GP is encouraging. From what I've heard from other friends many GPs tend to be on the pessimistic side for older women TTC.

We’re really trying everything we can think of or have read about. DH has wanted this for quite some time but I insisted on waiting until we’d bought a house with a garden and got married, so now that’s done, I thought I ought to show I'm taking the initiative (especially as I’m on the old side to be starting this!) and spent the last few months looking into what would give us the best chance. The problem is, the more you read, the more complicated it gets!

As far as tracking my cycle and hormones, I’m recording temperatures, cervical fluid, OPK and using an ovulation microscope results and it looks like everything happens at a regular time until this cycle although I struggled a bit with the microscope as I often couldn't get it to focus last month and only saw partial ferning. I'm not keen to get blood tests done though, if it's possible to avoid it, as I'm so rubbish injections that last time I had one it put me into such a state (fainting and then disrupted sleep, nightmares, trembling and sweating for a few weeks afterwards) that I think it disrupted my hormones and knocked my cycle out a bit, which really isn't what I want right now!

weebairn Sun 23-Feb-14 14:47:43

I don't think it should affect your cycle length or there be any delay in your fertility returning. That was one of the main reasons I got one.

I don't know if this is helpful or not, but I got pregnant within weeks of having mine out… (mid thirties here)

Cineraria Sun 23-Feb-14 15:37:03

So pleased to hear of your experience Weebairn. It's always reassuring to hear a positive story. I wasn't expecting any changes to my cycle either. Maybe it's just a coincidence that I had an odd cycle the month it returned.

Neeko, not sure if it would help you at all but I had problems with my periods & spotting when I first had a coil too but it troubled me much less after I switched to using a Mooncup instead of tampons as although it didn't change the amount lost, it was much more comfortable, seemed less prone to leaking and reduced the pain, plus I had a lot of spotting and it worked well for that too as tampons would have been too dry and pads/liners irritate my skin too much.

Gennz Sun 23-Feb-14 19:02:26

Inshock it does sound to me (in my completely non expert opinion!) like your cycles have reverted to your "real" cycles - mine seems to be much lighter than they were with the coil but apart from the first one I had just after it was removed stillabout the same (3 days-ish). I think I was quite lucky not to have longer ones with the IUD though.

I also used to have 1 - 2 days of brown spotting before AF arrived properly which I don't seem to get now iI don't have the coil.

It's very annoying but I still think the coil is a better option than hormonal contraceptives. I was on Dep for 5 years then the pill (Yasmin) for 2.5 before I got the IUD and it took a full year for my cycles to regulate - I missed about 3 AFs al together over that year and would go up to 3 months without having anything. I wasn't TTC then, I can only imagine how stressed out I would have been!

Best of luck to everyone. I'm almost positive I'm not pregnant as I had a BFN this morning and am feeling v PMS-y!

Gennz Mon 24-Feb-14 07:02:52

Gahhh, well AF has arrived on day 25, compared to last month's 34 days. Hopefully things will be back to normal for everyone this cycle!

Cineraria Mon 24-Feb-14 08:19:50

Sorry to hear that Gennz. Yes, let's hope for nice normal cycles this month.

I'm definitely feeling that it's a much lighter period this month and maybe shorter too, like everyone suggested. I ordered some evening primrose to try to help everything get back to normal. Maybe that will help.

Gennz Thu 27-Feb-14 00:02:07

Hi everyone, I've been doing a bit of research on this which I thought you might be interested in ...

The research the my GP has always quoted is that fertility after copper IUD removal/average time to conception is on par with other forms of contraception (BCP, condoms), i.e. 3 � 4 months. However I have established that those figures are based on a study done of women who got their IUD removed because they wanted another child � i.e. they already had one and were thus less likely to have fertility problems.

A recent study in China (where the copper IUD is the #1 form of contraception across all women, not just women who have already had a baby) showed that the average time to conception after IUD removal was 11 months:

http://healthfinder.gov/News/Article.aspx?id=680992

In conducting the study, the researchers surveyed 562 women who had an IUD removed between 2012 and 2013 because they wanted to have a child. The researchers found that about three-quarters of the women were able to conceive a child after their IUD was removed. Although the women's age and how long they used an IUD played a role, on average it took 11 months to get pregnant.

An abstract of the study is shown here, with stats on women�s ages and duration of IUD use:
http://www.deepdyve.com/lp/elsevier/investigation-on-the-effect-of-intrauterine-devices-contraception-for-YSoUjYTyN2

I think it�s not as simple as the IUD being �non-hormonal� so your body just goes straight back to normal � clearly the effect of the copper on your uterine lining takes some time for your body to recover from, and it looks like duration of use has some effect as well.

I thought this was interesting if a bit annoying - if I'd known that the copper IUD had potential after effects I would have got it removed a lot earlier. Why are GPs so shit at giving contraceptive advice??

Cineraria Thu 27-Feb-14 00:16:50

Thanks Gennz, that's really interesting, although quite worrying. I feel the same as you that knowing this in advance might have made a difference, I might also have removed it earlier to get back to normal before trying.

I think my periods are a lot lighter than before. It could just be age related but this makes me wonder. I've been looking into things to do to improve the uterine lining in case this causes a problem. There's lots of information out there but some of it seems a bit strange.

Gennz Thu 27-Feb-14 02:52:55

No idea why there are all those random question marks in my post!

Yes I think mine are pretty light too Cineraria. AF arrived on the evening of the 24th and was all gone by the evening of the 26th. I've also noticed (sorry TMI) there's not been much CM of any sort since I got it removed.

I don't want to stress but I am booking in for acupuncture with a specialist fertility acupunctrist to see if it makes a difference and whether they know anything about it.

Gpmg84 Sun 24-Jul-16 21:47:00

Hi, I'm new to mums net and not sure if anyone will still be checking this thread... I have recently had the copper coil removed as we are trying to conceive and ever since have not had a period. My periods with the coil were always regular at 28 days. I'm having all symptoms of period, cramps etc but no period. I've done a pregnancy test and got negative result. I wondered if anyone still checks this thread and has any advice?

abcdemma Wed 10-Aug-16 18:00:29

Hi Gpmg, this thread is quite old now but I have had disrupted cycles since having my.copper coil removed nearly 8 months ago. I believe it can send the body into shock and that it takes time for your uterine lining to recover. My first two post-coil cycles were about 2.5 months long, and the last two were a month and a half each. I'd definitely recommend charting your cycle to find out what's going on, and more importantly to pinpoint ovulation.
Good luck x

Gpmg84 Wed 10-Aug-16 20:53:29

Thanks abcdemma
Yes mine still seems all over the shop! I eventually had a period but it came weeks late and didn't last long. Making it impossible to work out when I'm ovulating. I thought I might be this week as had cramps etc but have done 3 ovulation tests and all came back negative sad
Really hope things return to normal for us both soon! Thank you again for replying to me. X

physicskate Wed 10-Aug-16 21:32:57

Mine too has become irregular. I used to be a regular 30-31 day girl. Had copper coil for 5 and a bit years. Had it removed last November. TTC since April. Had a chemical last cycle. But cycle length now anywhere from 28 - 38 days.

They said things would go back to normal. Well, they lied. Now we have to deal, which is a bit crap... Seems like more of us have issues with it. I would never get it again (more for side effects than for seemingly messing up my cycles).

CL1982 Sat 03-Sep-16 18:40:58

I am so glad someone has re-opened this. We have been TTC since January. Had the copper coil and yup...same as above. Longer cycles (although getting shorter) and really light flows compared to my pre coil and coil flows. GP was pretty surprised that I had been advised the coil as it is known to take longer to conceive for first time TRC-era. So angry. And upset! Several reports agree with the Chinese report that it will on average take longer TTC for first times after removal of coil so we're just playing the patience game where we can 😕

lousylear Sat 03-Sep-16 19:50:45

Hey up. I had coil removed 25 July. (Only had it in for around 8 months). Bled for 3 days from 26 so counting that as AF. Then had 37 day cycle when I was always around 28-30 before. Currently AF cd3 and a lot heavier than before although getting lighter now. I'd normally be finished by now though. So yes it's definitely affected me. I'm 41 ttc #4, #1 with new partner. Cycle #2. FX I get pg soon due to my age. We really want a baby together, it will be his first.

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