2:01 pm - 08/13/2006

ParaGard / Nickel connection??

I have a ParaGard IUD (inserted 8/2 by a fantastic and lovely nurse practitioner at a local clinic). I decided to get (and subsequently got) a ParaGard because I had tried everything else - had a Mirena, it caused some undesirable systemic side effects, and was pulled out by my own damn clumsy hands not breaking suction while removing my divacup. Tried NuvaRing, at least 5 kinds of combined birth control pills, progestin-only pills, and I'm allergic to latex and spermicides, so condoms and spermicical foam/jelly/film are out. ParaGard is my last-ditch effort at birth control.

I'm having vulval/vaginal itching and irritation. Sort of like yeast infection itching, but it's not a yeast infection (no discharge, no odor, no yeast detected on a wet mount slide). My fear: that ParaGard's copper wiring is somehow laced with nickel. I'm not allergic to copper (100% positive - I just had allergy testing). I am terribly, dreadfully, very much allergic to nickel. And the primary symptom of my allergy is intense itching and irritation. *gigantic sigh*

My plan is to call or email the ParaGard people tomorrow and see what their take is, but in the meantime - anybody know more than I do about the nickel content of a ParaGard? Have any wisdom to offer me?

ETA: just found http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=6153839&dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=12284219&query_hl=3&itool=pubmed_docsum
http://www.aphroditewomenshealth.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/7/1554/5.html; bah!

EDIT, 8/14 9pm:
I called and spoke with paragard reps today, and discussed with them my findings as above, and my personal situation. I was explicitly told that the copper wiring is in fact comprised of nickel, and merely coated with copper. This information is not available anywhere in the patient prescribing information, or in the information given to care providers (I work in the clinic I got my IUD inserted at. I looked extensively). This explains the itching, and also the hives on my face, neck, and torso and the terrible horrible awful cramping even without bleeding (the medical staff at ParaGard, and my own clinician both described this as my body trying to eject the foreign allergenic item in my uterus). After much consultation and consideration, I had my IUD removed this afternoon. It's currently residing in a covered plastic cup, in my purse. I figure it'll soak in alcohol for a while, and then join the ranks of my Mirena, forming some sort of funky feminist-women's health art in a shadowbox.
I'm upset at the lack of information available about this, and upset that I now have such limited contraceptive options. It's been quite the not-positive experience.


crossposted to vaginapagina, iud_divas, birthcontrolled.
wilddcherry16 13th-Aug-2006 07:27 pm (UTC)
have you tried lambskin condoms or polyurethane ones?
i dont know anything about IUDs, but i saw you said you were allergic to latex, these don't contain latex apparently.
these are some that i'm sure you can find in a local place.
http://www.ripnroll.com/Poly-Rips.htm
so, if the IUDs arent working out, maybe look into them? or have you already?
jennifer0246 13th-Aug-2006 07:33 pm (UTC)
Yes, I've used polyurethane condoms in the past; I'm looking for a more long-term method, not a barrier one. We're in a long term monogamous, sti-tested relationship, and condoms aren't really part of our sex life right now.

Thanks so much for the link and advice, though :)
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