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Copper IUD and pain at end of period

(12 Posts)
frieda909 Mon 12-Feb-18 16:00:55

This might get a little TMI but I’ll try to restrain myself! I also know that MN is not a doctor and I am seeing my doctor about this, but I am really curious about whether anyone else ever experiences anything like this.

My problem is that at the end of my period every month, I get this excruciating pain on one side of my lower back. It’s hard to describe but it feels like it’s somewhere around my left kidney. It only lasts an hour or two and seems to be accompanied by some mucus-like discharge with a little blood in it. It sort of feels like my body is squeezing out the very last of my period, if that makes sense? Sorry, there’s the TMI...

I get occasional twinges of the same pain other times in the month, but nowhere near as bad. I’ve been tracking when it happens for a while now and I think it’s slightly more common around when I’m likely to be ovulating, but there doesn’t seem to be a strict pattern. The really really bad pain is always on the last day of my period though, or a day or two after it finishes.

I’ve had a copper IUD for about three years now. Before that I was on the pill for about 14 years, which made my periods so light that they were almost none-existent. So it’s quite difficult for me to say what was ‘normal’ for me before the IUD.

I had an ultrasound in December which didn’t find any evidence of cysts or fibroids etc, but did spot some sort of fluid around my IUD which they said might indicate that my body’s getting a bit fed up with it. My period was due at that time though (I think it started literally about three hours later) so they’ve booked me in for a re-scan in a few weeks.

Even if they say the IUD is actually fine, I’m considering getting it taken out to see whether the pain goes away. It’s getting so bad that I dread the last day of my period sad But if it isn’t a cyst then I really don’t know what else it could be.

Has anyone else ever had anything like this? I must have Googled about this a million times but I can’t find a single other mention of anything like this.

BuffaloCrumble Tue 13-Feb-18 22:11:00

I had this for a couple of years, excruciating pain on the last day or two my period - so bad I thought it might be appendicitis. Only related to periods, it went away during pregnancy. Sometimes had it while on the pill, sometimes not. Doctors finally took me seriously, gave me a laparoscopy and found - absolutely nothing. After my second pregnancy, it never came back - that was years ago and it's never happened again. The doctors were at a total loss, though one consultant told me that there's a huge number of women suffering from totally unexplained pelvic pain. Sorry, not much help - except to say that you're not alone, and don't worry, it might well be absolutely nothing to worry about!!

frieda909 Thu 15-Feb-18 12:20:22

Thanks Buffalo, that’s really reassuring. To be honest I’m not that worried as it’s so clearly related to my period, and the scan didn’t find anything so I assume it’s just one of those things!

A doctor friend suggested it could be endometriosis, but I feel like that would surely have shown on the scan. The pain does feel quite high up (in the region of my kidney) but I know nerves can be tricky buggers and where you feel the pain isn’t necessarily where the pain is actually coming from.

The guy who did my last scan did say something about my left ovary being slightly closer to my skin than normal (or something like that!) so that could mean that I’m more likely to feel ovulation pains than most people. But he could also see that I’d ovulated from the right one that month, so I don’t really get why the pain would always be on the left!

Ah well, I’ll get this next scan and if that doesn’t shed any light I think the IUD will be coming out!

ThatEscalatedQuickly Thu 15-Feb-18 12:24:54

I've had painful ovulation (really bad, hurts to walk at times) for the last few months and since late last year horrible pains on the left side a day or two after my period starts until a few days after it finishes. I've had a scan of my ovaries and nothing found so those pains were put down to mittelschmirtz and I've seen a consultant about possible ibs but I've had that for a long time without the horrible pain. I haven't had a recurrence since starting a low dose pill however so I'm more inclined to think it could be a patch of endo. I'll stick with the pill in the short term as it seems to be addressing it at the moment, as I'd like to avoid a lap unless I really need it.

ThatEscalatedQuickly Thu 15-Feb-18 12:26:22

Endo won't necessarily show on the scan at all. You can have a lot without much pain and only a little but it's really painful. A laparoscopy is needed for proper diagnosis. I've had the copper coil in the past too without issues and it was out for quite some time before the pains started.

frieda909 Thu 15-Feb-18 23:27:16

Hmm interesting, thank you! I was on the pill for so long and I guess that could have masked any potential issues like endo for a while? I have just assumed mittelschmertz until now too, but the last couple of times have been pretty horrific pain-wise so I don’t think I should ignore it.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 16-Feb-18 12:29:10

"A doctor friend suggested it could be endometriosis, but I feel like that would surely have shown on the scan"

Endometriosis however, does not show up on internal ultrasound scans and I have had more of those than I care to mention. My uterine cavity was riddled with endometriosis deposits; they are too small to be detected on ultrasound scans.

I would keep a daily pain and symptom diary particularly if you do not already do this as this will give the gynae clues. Mittelschmertz usually occurs around mid cycle and certainly does not go on for days, more like a few hours only. Any cyclical pains should be checked out to see if endometriosis is the cause.

frieda909 Fri 16-Feb-18 14:33:32

Thanks, Attila. The pain does only go on for an hour or two most of the time, but I’m not sure the timing is really right for mittelschmertz.

I already use an app to track my cycle and I’ve added tags for this pain so that I can see the pattern forming. It is definitely happening right at the end of my period every month, plus maybe the odd twinge at other times mid-cycle.

I had no idea that endo wouldn’t necessarily show on the scan until ThatEscalatedQuickly explained that, so that’s very helpful to know. Thank you!

ThatEscalatedQuickly Fri 16-Feb-18 17:41:31

Mittelschmirz can go on for days Attila I'm living proof. In my case for usually up to two days and it's certainly not unheard of. I've had scans etc and there's no doubt that's what it is. In my case it's always exactly mid cycle, always on whatever side has 'fired' with the left being more painful when it happens there. At my last check up the Dr advised that the fluid released can be very irritating for some women and it depends on how much and how quickly it's reabsorbed as to how long the pain lasts. I'm generally very sensitive in that region anyway due to ibs etc anyway so that may be why it's so painful for me.

The mittelschmirz is different from the pain I get a couple of days after my period begins which is likely to be endo based on symptoms/patterns but is being managed by the pill at the moment, as is the ovulation pain thankfully!

OP definitely do get it checked out, there's various options depending what is identified as the likely cause.

Bakedappleflavour Fri 16-Feb-18 17:43:09

I get period pain 2 days after my period. Also have the copper coil but not sure it's related.

Just had it extensively privately investigated. Zilch. Only test I haven't had is a colposcopy.

frieda909 Fri 16-Feb-18 21:29:38

Thank you both. I came off the pill after a very long time and instantly got the coil so it’s very difficult for me to know what’s normal for me! I think I might just get the coil taken out anyway as it would be good to get to know my body without any of these adjustments.

frieda909 Sat 31-Mar-18 14:28:14

Thought I’d come back and update in case anyone with the same symptoms comes across this.

Second scan all came back fine, so I think the fluid they saw on the first scan really was just my period about to start.

I got the IUD removed a couple of days later, and my period has been and gone since then. And guess what? The pain is completely gone. Not a trace of it. Not even the slightest hint. I am so, so relieved! Seems like it really was the coil somehow causing the excruciating pain at the end of every period.

My period was also way, way lighter: it lasted 3 days instead of the 7 I’d got used to with the coil.

Of course there’s a chance this was just a fluke and the pain will come back next month, but I really doubt it. I normally feel little twinges of it throughout the rest of my cycle, but since the coil came out I haven’t felt it at all.

The coil was great while it lasted but the pain just got too unbearable for it to be worthwhile any more.

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