s3 e11: All about the copper iud

In this episode, I am breaking down how the copper IUD works and how it impacts different aspects of our health. When I posted a question box for this episode in my stories a couple weeks back I got a lot of questions about how the copper IUD can impact the thyroid, hormones, if it can cause copper toxicity, and more so I’ll be covering all of that too! 
As always, this podcast is for informational purposes only. Please make sure you talk with your medical provider about what’s best for you. 

Free Training: Optimizing Hormone Health with Mineral Balance 
Mineral Imbalance Quiz 
Copper Deep Dive episode
Minerals 101 episode
Free Thyroid Training 
Fertility Awareness Method podcast episode with FAM instructor, Nina Boyce 
Castor oil packs blog
Instagram post on how to know if you’re eating enough
Learn how to use the Fertility Awareness Method 
Copper IUD History:
Copper Spermicide:
Copper IUD & Hormones/Fertility:

Amanda Montalvo 0:00
Hey, this is Amanda Women’s Health dietitian.

Emily 0:02
And I’m Emily nutritional therapy practitioner.

Amanda Montalvo 0:05
And this is the RU menstrual podcast where we help you navigate the confusing world of women’s hormones in teach you how to have healthy periods.

Emily 0:12
Each week we will be diving into a different topic on women’s health and sharing our perspective using nutrition, female physiology and metabolic health.

Amanda Montalvo 0:20
Our goal is to help you wade through conflicting health information and empower you on your healing journey.

Emily 0:25
We hope you enjoy it.

Amanda Montalvo 0:37
All right, we have our copper IUD episode, I’m excited for this one coming off of our copper deep dive that I did last week, where I went very deep into copper, its benefits, what it does in the body, how it functions, and then how it can get out of balance and what this can look like how it can impact our bodies, and then how we can start to improve imbalances. And a lot of people call it copper toxicity. I think that that is a very extreme case. And most people do not fall into that area. So I just kind of went through the gray area and just how to understand copper because we just live in a world that is very polarizing. With social media, people like to make polarizing content, I get it, you get much more engagement, your account grows faster, I understand that. But it doesn’t actually help people on their healing journeys, which is what I’m here to do. So if you want to learn more about copper, I’ve linked to that episode in the show notes. I’m going to reference it quite a bit. So if you haven’t listened yet, and you’re like, I don’t know what you’re talking about, then I would give it a listen, if you can, if you care. But today I’m going to talk about the copper IUD I was originally going to do in one episode, but the episode was already over an hour. So I did a separate one, mainly because when I did a question box on Instagram, asking you guys what questions you have about copper and the copper IUD, since I was gonna do them together, I could not even predict how many questions I would have gotten about the copper IUD. So I was like, Okay, there’s clearly a lack of knowledge and education out there about this, I also do get a lot of questions about it, I did have it, it’s a big part of my healing journey. So that’s typically why people tend to ask me about it. But it turns out that a lot of people are just interested some people have it, some people have thought about getting it so people have gotten it out. So I’m gonna go through answer your questions that you guys posted in the question box. And just how like how the copper IUD can how it works, first of all, because a lot of people are like, how does it work? And I’m like, does anyone really know? We’ll talk about that? And then how it can impact the different systems of the body? A lot of you wanted to know like, can it cause hypothyroidism? Can it cause weight gain? Can that lead to variances can? Can it like make it more difficult to get pregnant after you get it out? And issues like infertility? So I kept all your questions, and I’m gonna go through those kind of as we dig into the different topics, I couldn’t find an answer for every single one, because I was trying to find like research that backs each of these up. So if one didn’t have an answer, I’m gonna share, like my perspective on what I think the mechanism is. But just know, you know, I’ll let you know if there wasn’t specific science to kind of show us what happened there. But anyway, let’s go a little bit into the history of the copper IUD, I did not know a lot about it. When I got it in, I got it placed, I think I was I was like 20, almost 21. So I actually got it placed before I came off the pill because I was like, I was so scared of getting pregnant. I was terrified. And I think a lot of women can relate to this, where we grow up and you’re there like you can get pregnant on any day of your cycle. They just don’t just like everyday, you could get pregnant. If you have unprotected sex ever, you could get pregnant. And I’m definitely not advocating for unprotected sex. But

it’s just one of those things that now that I’m older and I know how to track my cycle. I know fertility awareness method. It’s frustrating that I made so many decisions that didn’t support my health based off of that information. I think that’s why I’m a little salty about it. But basically, I saw I was technically on two at once, but my pack was ending. And so it was ending soon. So I was like I talked to my OB and like I want the copper ID because it’s non hormonal, I want to get off these hormones. They actually told me that they couldn’t place it because I hadn’t had a baby yet. So they’re like, your body’s going to expel it because your uterus is going to be too small. And it’s going to reject it. And I’m like, Well, I just at least want to try because I wanted another option. And she didn’t have any other options for me. I had heard about fam, and I had a book on it. And I was like terrified to use it because I was like I’m still in college. I don’t want to get pregnant yet. And this is why when people come and ask me like, should I get off the pill? I’m like, this is such a personal decision. And like well, I am not on any hormonal birth control. Now. I don’t necessarily regret using it at a younger age when I didn’t know any better because it did allow me to finish school and I’d have maybe so just like a couple of thoughts there because I know a lot of people probably listening to this, looking for a solution of weathering they should get their copper IUD out or whether they should get it at all. And just know that that’s going to be a lot of personal digging and reflection that you have to do. So then finally I get the copper IUD placed. It hurt really, really bad nowadays they like give you usually prescription medication or tell you to take like Motrin or something before you come in and then after, they didn’t tell me anything, so I didn’t take anything because I wasn’t really I never really took medication. So I was like, Okay, well I’m in a lot of pain and I couldn’t work the rest of the day even though I was supposed to. So you know, plan for your whole day off if you are getting it the copper it. But yeah, it’s like this thing where I didn’t really know much about it. I thought it was new. I was like, Oh, I this is like a new non hormonal option of birth control cut copper, it has been around since the 1960s. Turns out, it was invented by a physician Howard Tatum. And he actually discovered that copper could be an effective spermicide, which we’ll talk about exactly how it works in a little bit. And that’s really when the copper ID was born. But IUDs had been around like the first one was invented in 1909, by a German physician, Richard Richter, and his IUD was made of silkworm gut, which I mean, I don’t know, I’m like, I’m not even entirely sure what that would consist of. But that’s what his ID was made of. And then they started to get more popular in the US. IUDs are actually very popular in other countries. I didn’t realize this either. The US is like the pill is the most popular form of birth control. But IDs are getting more and more popular, hence why I’m making this episode. But yeah, so around the 1950s, they started to get really popular. They worked on the design so that they were easy to insert and to remove because they were much more difficult previously. And eventually, they mentioned the copper IUD because they found that when you added copper, the IUD was more effective, meaning that they saw less pregnancies. So I think it’s actually like point 6% failure rate. Yeah, point 6% failure rate, making it the most effective method of birth control. So that’s really where the copper IUD came from. But IUDs have been popular for a very long time, even just having something in your uterus can show to it has been shown to be like somewhat effective. It’s just adding these copper ions. They had this antifertility effect. And if you look up exactly how the copper it works, you’re gonna get a lot of different answers. I think we truly just don’t completely understand how it works like how what the anti fertility effects are. We know that it creates an inflammatory environment in the uterus, and they think that plays a huge role with preventing implantation and pregnancy. And then if we think about exactly how the coppers working with cervical mucus, this is another big one. This is probably what I found the most research on is copper and how that getting into your cervical mucus will impact sperms motility. And so the sperm just isn’t as mobile, it can’t get to the egg, and it changes the environment. And if you know anything about cervical mucus and fertility awareness method, then you know that cervical mucus is what turns the sperm into like superheroes and allows them to get to the egg. And so you know, women that struggle don’t make enough cervical mucus, usually it’s a hormonal issue. Lack of estrogen is a really common one, or an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone can lead to some cervical mucus issues. But that not having that good fertile egg white cervical mucus can make it difficult to conceive. And so if we are changing that cervical mucus with the copper, the copper ions are coming out from that copper IUD, then that’s gonna make the sperm less effective. And then plus you have this thing in your uterus, which makes it harder to implant regardless. But that’s mainly how the copper IUD works. I saw another article that I know everything every article mentioning, I’m looking in the show notes. But there was one I thought was interesting. So it said there’s a few different things that they saw. Look, they looked at a bunch of meta analyses of the copper IUD and like copper and how it acts with sperm and just prevents pregnancy. And one of them is that it inhibits zinc containing metalloenzymes in the uterus. So zincs really important for your corpus luteum. So making progesterone that really having a really strong ovulation. So I thought that was really interesting. And all this, they the whole thinking is that this copper is only impacting your uterus and that area, right? And I’m like, okay, but even if it is, even if it’s only creating inflammation there, I just think of how important our uterus is for women. It’s our womb space. It is also what connects it. Everything is surrounded by our pelvic floor. I mean, and that, realistically, our pelvic floor is connected to everything. So I’m like, I don’t know how we’re getting away with thinking that because it only affects that area that we’re fine. But that’s really what the thinking is that it’s only impacting the zinc containing material enzymes in the uterus, I don’t think we have enough research to know otherwise. And then it can reduce the activity of the endometrial steroid receptor. So basically, copper can bind on to different estrogen and progesterone receptors in the uterus. And that is one where I think a lot of people don’t realize we have receptors down there. If you have endometriosis, you probably know because you know that you can have estrogen dominance, not show up on your bloodwork or a Dutch test. But you can still be experiencing excess estrogen within the receptors in that uterus. And then it also lowers levels of certain hormones and the luteal phase progesterone being a big one, it can make it difficult to transport the egg, which I thought was interesting through uterine tubes, when it can inhibit the penetration of cervical mucus by sperm. That’s because of those copper ions. So there are many a number of different ways that it works, it’s kind of I think about like the hormonal IUDs, how they’re similar like, some women will still ovulate with the Murena. Usually after like eight months, most women ovulate every cycle, which is just mind blowing, but it impacts their cervical mucus in the lining of the uterus. And so that’s why they can’t conceive and get pregnant with the IUD. And, but the copper works slightly differently and that you place it, it works right away. So you don’t have to like wait a certain amount of time. It doesn’t contain hormones. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that it doesn’t impact your hormones, which we’ll talk about in a second. And it’s basically the most effective form of birth control outside of abstaining, of course.

And really quick, before I go into how copper that copper, it can impact estrogen, I just want to touch on how long it can be placed for like how long you can keep it in, it’s 10 years is what they recommend to you. I remember my OB so that to me, and I was like, Oh, this is amazing, because even though it cost me money, like my insurance didn’t cover it, I think they covered a part of it. But I had to pay, it was like $150 out of pocket, which was not bad. I was like 10 years, that’s like $15 a year, like what’s the big deal. I mean, I was paying more for my pill every month. So it felt more economical to me. But in doing this research, just kind of preparing for the podcast and trying to really get a look at because like, you know, I’ve worked with a lot of clients, I’ve had the idea I had it myself, I have like a lot of opinions on it, and how I think the mechanisms work in the body. And because of my knowledge in the background of hormones and how hormones work in the body and how minerals impact hormones. I was like I have a pretty good understanding of this stuff. But let’s like look deeper into exactly how the copper IUD can impact hormones. And one of the big things that came up was oxidative stress. And I’ll have a whole you guys asked about copper toxicity, which I promise we’re going to talk about. That’s what I’m going to focus on oxidative stress. But I just thought it was so interesting, like the major theme of all the research that I looked at, whether it’s for oxidative stress, or if they’re looking at fertility, whatever it was, they kept coming back to after a certain number of years, they started to see that the IUD would break down, and it would become corroded. And so they were like, yes, it still prevented pregnancy, up to 10 years. But after two to three years, and once it was like you shouldn’t keep it in for longer than two years, because of it increased oxidative markers, liver enzymes, all that kind of stuff. And then the other study was like after three to five years, it was significantly corroded. And while it still prevented pregnancy, it actually led to other health issues, I just think that’s really important to point out. So yes, the copper IUD is very effective, you can technically keep it in for 10 years, that I think that there are these other downsides and ways that it can impact different systems of the body and our health and health markers that we can obviously see in this research that just don’t get talked about enough. So basically, I’m saying that the copper toxicity gets all the attention. And I know you guys want to know about that. And I’m gonna go into it. But I think if we want to have someone make changes to the IUD or birth control in general, we can’t just focus on something that is very difficult to prove, given the research that we have, which I’ll go into. But even just highlighting, like we have these research articles that show us after a certain period of time, that IUD should be replaced. Just because it’s effective for birth control for 10 years doesn’t mean it’s good for our health for 10 years. So I just wanted to reiterate that. So technically, it’s non hormonal, you can use it for a long time, but because of how it increases inflammation in the body, it can lead to more stress cortisol, which can impact estrogen. The other thing and I mentioned this a little bit before is that there’s a study looking at the copper IUD and how the copper ions can bind to estrogen and progesterone receptors. This is a quote from one of them. And it says These results indicate that copper acts through direct interference at the steroid binding site of the receptor, resulting in the enhanced contraceptive effect of the IUD, because the progesterone receptor was more affected by copper ions than was the estrogen receptor, it is suggested that the estrogen receptor is more stable than the progesterone receptor. Thus, the biological effect of copper seems to be somewhat estrogenic. And this is something that I’ve talked about quite a bit in the past. Copper and estrogen have an affinity for each other. So as copper increases in the body, whether it is becoming Unbound, like it’s not bioavailable, I talked about this in my previous episode. Basically, if we don’t have enough vitamin A, if our adrenals and thyroid are not working well, copper doesn’t get turned in this bioavailable form called Cirilo plasmon. And when we have a buildup of that unbound copper, then that can lead to excess estrogen and a whole trickle down effect of like poor metabolism, blood sugar issues, thyroid issues, just like burnout, and then you eventually start to deplete your minerals. And so when we think about how this copper in the IUD can be estrogenic, especially on that uterine level, when it’s binding to those hormone receptors, I think the bigger issue is that this is these copper ions are contributing to estrogen dominance. So while we’re it’s not putting hormones into your body, it can bind to those estrogen receptors, and lead to inflammation lead to excess estrogen. And then like I mentioned in the previous kind of section about how it can, how it works as a contraceptive is that it can impact that corpus luteum formation, zinc, and making adequate levels of progesterone. So while we do ovulate, when we have the copper IUD in, which was one of the reasons I chose it as as like a substitute for the pill, was because I wanted to ovulate every month, I wanted to feel normal, didn’t know what I was in the treat. And for such a treat, I wanted all those things. And so I was like, Well, I’m gonna ovulate, I’ll be fine, I didn’t know that it was going to create an inflammatory response that I was going to be super estrogen dominant for basically a decade, because everything I’ve read was that it’s non hormonal. So technically, it is non hormonal, that is true. But because of how the copper ions can impact your hormone receptors and create more inflammation in the body, and we’ll talk about liver elevate your liver enzymes that can while it’s not directly impacting your hormones, it can indirectly impact them. So one of the questions I got about relating to this topic is how to avoid getting high estrogen with a copper IUD. And I was like, man, okay, so if I’m thinking back, if I were going to do this, now, if I have the knowledge now, for myself 12 years ago, then what would I do differently? And I don’t know that there’s like a way to avoid that increase in estrogen inflammation, because the whole point is that that’s what that’s part of what makes it such an effective contraceptive. So when we start optimizing, the question is, is it still going to be as effective we don’t know, because I’ve never there hasn’t been any research on that. But I think that if you kind of err on the side of caution of like, okay, I’m going to really try to optimize my minerals. If I know I’m getting some extra copper and via this IUD, maybe I’m going to increase my whole food, vitamin C, maybe Whole Foods, zinc, or maybe you take a zinc supplement, I don’t know, like, and that’s something Oh, I should have said this in the beginning. This is for informational purposes only. I’m pretty sure you guys know that I’m a dietitian, but I’m not your dietician. And it’s really just gonna depend on you and your health history. But the reason I make these episodes with all this information in the studies so that you can gather all that info up and then talk with your provider and say, Hey, I listened to this it really got me thinking about X, Y, and Z. Do you think this is a good fit for me and then they can hopefully walk with you to help you figure out that whole situation. But I think that I maybe would have taken zinc back then because I was getting some excess copper I definitely wasn’t I was getting some copper my diet like I did eat some beef liver because I was like paleo and kind of into all that stuff. So I did eat organ meats, but I didn’t eat dairy so I don’t think I got enough vitamin A so I think I would have really focused on getting enough zinc and copper in my diet, but really getting enough vitamin A so I could use that copper properly. I definitely would have increased my whole food vitamin C to kind of offset any like copper access and it’s anti inflammatory. And at the end, I’m gonna go through this stuff again of like what to do when you come if you get it removed, or if you want to keep it in, but for the inflammation piece, I think I would focus on like reishi mushroom, hopefully vitamin C and then trying to optimize my other mineral levels to like you’re basically trying to compensate, which was what your body will be doing. So you’ll just be giving it a little bit of support, so we can do that better. But ultimately, I don’t think you can completely avoid estrogen dominance and the mineral, the hormone mineral imbalances that are going to come with a copper IUD, I think you can offset them. And I think you can prepare yourself when you get it removed. If you’re getting remove so that you can try to conceive or just so that you can have more optimal hormones. I think you can do that in a way that’s going to support your body. I also would definitely do liver support, because and I would watch my liver enzymes because I that I read like three studies that show that and I’m like, Man, I need to think back and see if I had any clients that had elevated liver enzymes in the copper IUD. Most people come to me after they get it removed, but I just thought that was interesting, but that’s kind of how I would try to avoid having high estrogen with a copper IUD, but it’s not perfect. Okay, so the next big question that I had is does it impact uterine lining or cause cysts because one person has had difficulty trying to conceive since getting their IUD out. And the other woman has had an increase in ovarian cysts and she had hers placed, I could not find a ton of research on ces i Nothing direct. But what the research that I did find on the copper IUD and how it can impact our hormones, it can increase androgens, male hormones, it can lower progesterone. And it can cause weight gain, the weight gain doesn’t really have like much to do with this other than it’s a sign that like this person is likely estrogen dominant. And they maybe are not ovulating every cycle because if they have higher androgens that can make it harder to ovulate. And if they have lower progesterone, that’s a sign that they’re not ovulating as frequently or as much as strongly to produce adequate levels of progesterone. So because of all those things that can contribute to variances, so I don’t think that the copper IUD direct, it’s probably not directly causing them. But it could be indirectly contributing, depending on the person and what they have and how their body’s reacting to it. So if you’re someone that has seen an increase in ovarian cysts, and you’re like, talk to your doctor, and they’re like, Hey, that’s not possible to have that happen as a result of him getting the copper IUD, because we’ve never seen any research on it. They’re not lying. I couldn’t find anything. But you could say, well, can we look at my other hormone levels and see if those are possibly being impacted. And then you could work on supporting those to reduce the rate of assist that you’re experiencing fertility. If you look at the research for fertility, it all kind of says the same thing, where they say that the copper IUD does not impact fertility after it’s removed. But my concern is that they’re not measuring hormone levels. So like I just said it can lower progesterone raise androgens that could definitely contribute to miscarriage. So it just makes me wonder, you know, they didn’t mention anything about miscarriage. I don’t even know if they’re looking at that. They’re more looking at how many women got pregnant after. And I just thought that was really interesting. So technically, there’s no research to show that it decreases the ability to conceive. I think that depending on how it’s impacting your hormones and the different systems of your body, though, that it could and I think that’s like the tricky part of answering some of these questions. I always want to have like a scientific basis, but sometimes we just haven’t studied it, or we just haven’t looked deep enough in like, different criteria for the population that we’re studying in order to get a good answer. I did find one pilot study though, that they concluded they found no difference in 12 month pregnancy rates or time to pregnancy between former IUD users and users of other contraceptive methods. So people using like the pill, the shot, that sort of thing. However, there was a clinically and statistically significant reduction in fertility in African American women. And this kind of goes back to how does the copper IUD impact, the endometrial lining, hormones, all that kind of stuff. I know for certain lab tests like the Dutch test, for example, androgens can look different based on your race. Like if you have if you come from Asian descent than sometimes your androgens can look really low on a Dutch test. They have a whole thing as to why I don’t remember off the top my head. But I know that like depending on the client, I’m always keeping that in mind when I’m reviewing their labs. With Hair testing. They look at they’ve it’s like a huge, huge population, all different races. One of the reasons why I love it, but I always do keep in mind like, you know if I see any similar patterns, I think it’s important to note, but I mean, this is this is really important. And I feel like it’s a pilot study but still I could not find any more research on this, unfortunately. But if I were African American, I would want to know so I thought I would share that. So technically does not impact fertility. The ability to conceive or time to pregnancy minus there was a study historically significant reduction in fertility for African American women. So, if you are considering getting the copper IUD, and you do want to have children, it’s just something you should keep in mind, if you fall into that category, I also think about how they typically African American women have higher rates of endometriosis, and fibroids, which can also impact fertility. So and it’s really it’s, it’s just hard to get a diagnosis for all women, but I have, there’s research that shows it is much harder for African American women to get that diagnosis as well. And so it’s just something to keep in mind because you could have it, but maybe don’t have the diagnosis. And then you get the coporate. And I mentioned that because typically, I would never recommend a copper IUD for someone that had no because you already have enough pain and inflammation there. We don’t need to add more, obviously talk to your doctor, but you might not have that diagnosis, but you currently are struggling with that and you just don’t know and then you place the copper IUD and it makes things worse. So just something to consider, and then kind of go into the copper IUD and endometrial lining. I did find a study that looked at how the copper it impacts endometrial cells, which I just, it’s really interesting. They were looking at gene expression. And so this one quote I saved from it. What they found was it has been demonstrated that IUD alters the endometrial gene expression, but there is no scientific data about how copper and metal commonly used in these devices by itself is able to influence the processes of endometrial receptivity and apoptosis in DC July’s human endometrial stromal cells. So they were trying to look at how the copper ions could impact those endometrial cells and the gene expression of them. And they found that copper did lead to some changes in gene expression when compared to the IUD group that did not have copper. And what they found was that copper altered 19 genes involved in the endometriosis pathology and others related to other gynecological disorders such as preeclampsia and infertility. This is a very small study, I will say that I did like it. And it’s only looking at human cells. It’s not. It’s not like a randomized controlled trial with a group of women. But that is significant enough for me to really pause and think, how is the copper IUD impacting things like endometriosis, like infertility preeclampsia, which has high blood pressure during pregnancy.

And again, like these things definitely would fall like endometriosis preeclampsia, that’s often seen much higher in African American population. So just something to think about. But if I had a history of endometriosis, I would not get the copper ID if it were me. And just kind of looking at this. And like, Man, I wish I knew this before I got it. Because, I mean, I definitely struggled with inflammation and estrogen dominance for a while after. But if I and it took us a year to get pregnant, I don’t know, I don’t know if it had an impact on that. All’s I know is I worked really, really hard to get my health in a good place to conceive. And it still took a long time. But it’s just something to consider. And it can so it looks like it can potentially impact gene expression that will impact your endometrial lining and potentially lead to things like endometriosis, preeclampsia and infertility. And then finally, the fallopian tubes and inflammation. So I think this is probably the one we have the most research on is how a copper can actually accumulate in the fallopian tubes. And I found two really good quotes from this article. The copper was visually accumulated in the epithelium and the copper concentration in the tubal tissue was increased in the copper IUD user group, the accumulation of copper may be associated with earlier observations of the morphological changes and infiltration of inflammatory cells observed in the fallopian tube. So this study just found that there was much higher rates of inflammation with the copper IUD. And they were trying to figure out if it was the copper, you know, was it the copper ions, and so they did see that they did accumulate, again, like is this copper toxicity? We’ll get into that after I talked about the immune system. But it’s just like, there’s not that much copper that’s released. That’s the only reason I have a hard time with it. But it looks like it can possibly accumulate in tissues, which is just crazy. And then this kind of goes into our next section, which is like does it impact your immune system? This person they asked us because they developed a sensitivity than knightshayes and had eggs and after getting it and they’re like, Could this be from a copper IUD? I could not find research about copper, I do an autoimmune conditions. Shocker. But so I don’t have an exact mechanism. But if we think about how copper can lead to more inflammation in the body and affect the gene expression on like a tissue level. I just would not be surprised. I don’t think this would just happen to anyone. When I think of autoimmune conditions. I really like Gabor Matos work, where he talks about chronic stress and how that He’s like the main contributor to autoimmune conditions. And it doesn’t mean like, oh my gosh, if you’re stressed, you’re gonna get non immune condition. It’s just like overtime stress is going to break down your body, it’s going to impact your immune system eventually. And then if it’s not addressed, then yes, it could show up as an autoimmune condition. So I think about that a lot. I also found an article that said, I those that have IDs, they can have alterations in the expressions of their T cells. And these are the white blood cells, they’re known as lymphocytes, and they work with the B cells and they destroy microbes. So I just feel like if we’re considering the oxidative damage, the inflammation that can happen, how can affect our liver, how can affect our hormones? And then eventually, our immune cells, I mean, all those things over time can trickle down and impair our immune function. So, you know, I don’t have exact answer for this person. But I think that it could have been like the last thing that was like the straw that broke the camel’s back. And if this person had like a ton of stress previously, I have seen some people that have gotten the copper IUD, though, and their health, like just went downhill. And they had to get taken out, like right away. And some people will take years, like I felt great for the first like, three to four years that I had it. It was the last like three years and I was like, I have to get this out. I have to get this out. And I just kept putting it off, because I was too afraid to use fertility awareness method. Oh, I wish I knew what I know. Now back then, but so I get it if anyone is struggling with that decision. But yeah, so possibly, it could have contributed to the eczema and the nightshade. And I keep saying autoimmune condition for this person. Because obviously, when we are seeing eczema, like skin issues flare up, there can be like a burden in the gut and the liver. But also like the sensitivity nightshade, I think of why is your immune system so turned on? Why is it creating sensitivities to foods that are good for us? It’s usually a inability to break them down and an overactive immune system. So while it may not, like be a diagnosed autoimmune condition, I wouldn’t be surprised if that was like the next thing that you walked into. Okay, copper toxicity. And I also had some questions on anemia, which I thought was interesting. And then what would you expect to see on a hair test if someone has a copper IUD? So first, we’ll do anemia. I couldn’t really find any studies that directly showed that the copper IUD cause anemia, all those studies didn’t show a change in iron status. And they looked at hemoglobin, they looked at ferritin, like they looked at a month, there wasn’t just one marker. So they were actually pretty thorough. I did find one 2009 study and it showed nearly 2000 people who had copper IDs for the first time, and it suggests that using the copper ID can make you lose 50% More blood during your period than when you’re not when you don’t have one. So because of that increase in blood loss, this could lead to anemia. They just couldn’t they did not show it in a study, like with a group. But that was kind of like that, their inference? And I also would think the other thing that comes up for me when I think about like could the copper IUD possibly contribute to anemia, I think about inflammation, because we know like anemia of chronic disease, for example, typically, that’s when you have low iron markers. And that’s due to like long term inflammation. And so I just would not be shocked if, over time, I don’t think you’d have it immediately. I think it would take a while, depending on the person their health history, but I wouldn’t be shocked if the copper it did, because it was contributing information could possibly also contribute to anemia in that way. And just if you think about that inflammation and the stress and that cascade of how that’s going to impact your minerals, kind of like downstream, then yes, like that can lead to having copper out of balance that can lead to more chronic stress and having other minerals out of balance, possibly having vitamin A out of balance, and then not being able to use that copper properly to get the iron recycling system going. So I could definitely see it. I just couldn’t find a study that actually showed it doesn’t mean it’s not like the case for you, though. And then hair tests like what would I expect to see on a hair test for someone that had the copper ID This is an interesting one because I think people expect me to say really high copper levels, but I typically don’t see that when someone has a copper ID. I most often see incredibly high copper when someone is either on the pill or getting off the pill, or if they recently came off because your hair shows last three months. So my sister said I could share this. I’ve shared her kind of a little bit about her hair test results in the past. I almost had the exact same pattern. When I came off the pill and I had the copper I had my we’ve got the copper at place. I had really high copper. My sister had incredibly high copper. And we did think it was possibly copper pipes but it stayed high regardless and I was like I think this is just from the pill. And I’ve seen this over and over again with clients. And this is with a slow metabolic type. So typically, you’re gonna see high copper It actually, you’re not always going to see it super obviously, on a hair test, especially if someone has a slow metabolism. I have a lesson that talks about metabolic type that I linked in the show notes. So you can kind of listen to like fast versus slow metabolic type, basically, I typically see a slow one, which means everything is slow their metabolism, their stress response, their thyroid, their nervous system, everything is slow, which is not necessarily bad, because it’s all balanced, it’s more what their mineral levels are, that are going to give you an idea of like, is this person very depleted or not. But I typically will see a slow one. And then if they’re on the pill, copper through the roof, calcium is usually also very high. The higher that calcium is, the slower that thyroid function is going to be, because it’s hard to use that T three and get it into the cell if calcium is too high. So you might be making it, your thyroid labs might look good, but you might not be able to use it. And then I often will see like liver stress. So that could be high cobalt that could be higher, low sulfur. And then I would say like I see a lot of zinc loss on hair tests, especially if someone has like a copper or an iron imbalance. That’s usually related to inflammation and zinc loss. I mean, like housing, because on a hair test, it’s not like high levels don’t always mean that you have too much it can also be a loss. And so with zinc, zinc is one that is often depleted after being under stress for a long time because once magnesium gets depleted, the next one up is zinc. So typically zinc loss, lots of stress, like high calcium, high magnesium, low sodium and potassium, and then some liver stress.

Hey, Amanda here, just giving you a quick break, hopefully a break for your brain in the middle of this podcast episode, to remind you that if you haven’t gone through our free training, optimizing hormone health or mineral balance, we really do recommend starting there. And the main reason for that is because you’re going to hear us say things like mineral foundation, having a solid foundation are you putting the foundation is in place, especially what was we get deeper and deeper into different hormonal topics and specific imbalances in the body, though, the mineral foundation is always going to be so essential. So if you haven’t watched the free training, you can find it in our show notes. Or you can go to hormone healing rd.com. And it’s going to be right on that front page there. But we really recommend starting there so you can understand how is your current mineral status, how do you assess this, and how to get started with all that just you can get as much as you possibly can out of the rest of the podcast episodes. But that’s it, I hope you enjoy the rest of this episode.

One other thing that can be helpful if you’re someone that like has a hair mineral test. And you also are thinking maybe you have an issue with copper, copper toxicity, that sort of thing, looking at your metabolic type is good, it’s just good to know that having a fast metabolic type, you’re much less likely to be accumulating copper. And then if you have a slower metabolic type, you’re much more likely to accumulate it does it mean that you will, and you can have like some hidden signs of copper. But ultimately, I would say like on a hair test with someone that has a copper IUD, I don’t always see high copper, but there’s typically there are signs of like inflammation, some liver stress, slow metabolism, that sort of thing. And, um, blood work you it may not appear high in your blood. And that’s one thing with a lot of the research that I’m going to go into next for like the copper toxicity aspect, they didn’t see a change in blood values. I will say most of them were only looking at, like total copper, they weren’t looking at free copper, which free copper is like the problematic one that can build up and cause issues. They’re just looking at like serum copper. You also want to compare that to your Cirilo plasma levels, which you can get a blood test for. And then you’d also want to compare that to zinc. And then looking at total sort of plasma and zinc that can tell you okay, like are those imbalance at a balance in optimal range? And if not, then that can be a sign that you have a lot of free copper. But yeah, that’s that’s kind of like a summary of what I would expect to see on a hair test. But most, most time the high copper is reserved for those that are on the birth control pill, especially because if you think about especially if it’s a I’ve seen it with both a combined pill that has synthetic estrogen and progestin, and also the mini pill that’s progestin only, like for example, my sister’s pills just progressed in only and she still had very high copper in my mind. And when I think of the mechanism why copper could be high in hair tests with the birth control pill or hormonal birth control is because of the estrogen because remember, copper and estrogen have an affinity for each other. So if one increases the other also can. So I just thought that was interesting. I think it just shows that any form of hormonal birth control could technically put you in an estrogen dominant type The state that could be altering your copper. And there are there’s an I’ve linked to studies, there’s a lot of research around how the pill can lead to high copper levels, not toxic levels, but just like it’s clearly unbounded in excess. Okay, so copper toxicity, the the thing that everyone’s been waiting for, there’s a lot of different if you if you Google copper toxicity and the copper it, you’re gonna see a mix, you’re gonna see a lot of people that are like, it’s not possible with the copper it because all the research tells us that copper, the serum copper levels do not change, or they’re they don’t increase enough or to be toxic. Most of the time, they just don’t change significantly. Although they do, there’s studies that show that they increase when you after initially getting that copper ID placed and then it goes back down, which makes you wonder, like, where to go. And then the other end of the spectrum is that the copper it will always cause copper toxicity, because of the symptoms that a lot of women have experienced with it. And I don’t want to diminish anyone’s symptoms, I did not feel good on it, I felt at the last few years of having it. I felt manic at times, my PMS was out of control. I mean, I thought it was bad on the pill, it was way worse, not right away in the copper ad. But it took me a while to even get my period cover it. But it was like not to last few years that I really felt like something was wrong. So I think it took me a little while to become really estrogen dominant and inflamed. Everyone I think is going to be different, depending on their health history and what they’re currently doing. As far as like nutrition, supplements, lifestyle, that sort of thing. But yeah, I mean, I I understand I had really bad period pain, I had very heavy periods, I felt inflamed. And I didn’t feel great. And I felt like I couldn’t control my moods around my cycle. It was rough. So I’m not diminishing anyone’s symptoms, when I’m saying that. I that like I don’t necessarily think that the copper it can cause toxic levels of copper. Because I’m the symptoms are real, I just don’t necessarily think that they are just from copper. I think they’re from this inflamed estrogen dominant state that the copper IUD creates it because it also changes your other hormones. And I think that’s where I have a hard time with this conversation around copper toxicity and the IUD because I feel like, but we’re not addressing all these other areas that are impacted by it. It’s not like, and again, this is kind of like the whole argument of copper, it is like it shouldn’t just be like does it cause copper toxicity or not? It should be? What are we seeing in different lab markers and systems of the body, after a woman has had the copper ad for one year, two years, three years, four years, all the way up till 10 years, because if we’re saying it’s an effective form of birth control for 10 years, we should know how it impacts other areas of the body. Because that is like in my opinion like that women have the right to know that. So the copper toxicity piece, the research, and I’ve linked to the studies, they don’t show an increase a significant increase that stays high in copper with the copper IUD. Again, they’re only looking at serum copper, they’re not looking at free copper, they’re not measuring zinc. They’re not measuring cerebral plasmin. A couple studies did look at serial plasmin. And they didn’t see a change, which was interesting to me, sometimes real pasman If you’re super inflamed, it can actually be high. So they don’t mention it. But I’m like that’s something I would that’s something that I could potentially understand. If I saw that on someone’s labs, and they have the copper idea like okay, well, real plasmons high probably from inflammation. But they’re also not looking at hair mineral testing for this. They’re just looking at bloodwork, and it’s solely just like the serum copper level. So I just think that’s something to keep in mind. One thing that it doesn’t, it doesn’t they didn’t look at this within the studies that were trying to assess if it created copper toxicity. But they did look at Copper and cervical fluid. Remember when I was talking about how it works, and one of the ways that it can prevent conception is through having the copper ions in the cervical mucus because then those can impair how the sperm is able to work and function even get into that mucus. And I just thought it was interesting that the copper in the cervical mucus was consistently the same amount whether they had it in for 40 months or 90 months. So it’s we’re we’re still definitely getting a continuous amount of copper each day from the copper IUD. It’s just a really tiny amount and I have the exact amount let me find it.

So the the exact amount of copper that the IUD is releasing, I found a study that I’ll link to the average release rate of the T copper two hundreds was 43.8 micrograms per day from the 21st up to the 41st months of use. So this is not just looking at like what is is released in the initial, but like after women have had this for years, how much copper Are they still getting? So on average 43.8 micrograms per day. To put this in perspective, if we think of something like beef liver, which is very rich in copper, like one ounce of beef liver is going to have four milligrams, which would be 4000 micrograms. So I mean, way, way more point, 438 milligrams per day is what you would get from a copper IUD. It’s just a very small amount. Now, I did mention that research previously that looked at how it can accumulate in fallopian tubes, that sort of thing. So over time, could this amount accumulate and contribute, but even if you did the math, like it’s, it’s just it’s not an insane amount. But again, it doesn’t mean that someone is not experiencing toxic levels of this unbound copper, because this copper is not bioavailable, it’s just copper ions. It’s not in the soil plasma and like bioavailable form. So I still it’s not that it can’t cause issues. I just, I think that when we go to these extremes and say like copper toxicity, it makes the kind of conventional, like mainstream medical community shut down. And then I feel like the problems are not heard, because we’re taking things to an extreme and they’re like, No, the science does not prove this. But when in reality, it’s like, yeah, the blood levels aren’t really changing, but we do see accumulation. And we see these really severe symptoms from women. And a couple of things I thought were interesting. When we think about the copper toxicity piece is i My mind goes back to well, how long is it safe to have this in then if copper if accumulation of copper and estrogen and inflammation and oxidation and liver enzymes if those things are all trending in the wrong direction? How long is it safe to have this in and again, it’s like that one study said no longer than they recommend no longer than two years. And then this other study, I have a quote that says the lifespan of a copper IUD is limited by corrosion. The study recommends that use of a copper IUD with a wire surface area corresponding to 200 square millimeters should not exceed five to six years. And that study of the one where I just mentioned like how much do the two hundreds copper IUD release, that’s the same type of IUD. So it’s even if we’re not necessarily worried about the amount of copper that’s being released, because it’s a very small amount. Over time, it does add up if it’s accumulating, but it also they measured the cervical fluid copper leaves that way they also I saw a study it was measuring urine to understand like, how are we able to eliminate some of those copper, and women with copper IUDs did have higher amounts of copper that were eliminated in the urine, which I thought was interesting. So I don’t necessarily think it’s all accumulating I do think it’s all creating a lot of oxidative stress. I think we keep these in for too long, because we’re told that it’s safe. And I think we’re not looking at the big picture of like the person that’s getting it, is it a healthy individual that does not have hormone concerns, or, you know, overall, like liver, detox, inflammation, thyroid, if none of those concerns are present, and it’s a healthy woman, I don’t necessarily see like a huge issue if she’s aware of all these things. And she has this informed consent going in, and maybe some tools in your toolkit to like offset some of the inflammation support her body, nutritionally, all those pieces. I just think that that’s probably not the case for most women getting the copper IUD that most like for me, I was getting it because I was not responding well to the pill. And then I got off the pill and I was an ovulating and I had all these thyroid issues, I definitely was not a great candidate, right. That’s probably why like, eventually I had a really terrible reaction. But I don’t necessarily think that’s going to be the case for everyone. And whenever I talk about the copper, it, I always get a ton of DMS and some women have awful experiences. But I do get a lot of DMS from women that have had no adverse side effects that they know of so or that they’ve experienced at that time of like messaging me. So it’s just one of those things where I don’t as copper toxicity, I think is a tricky one. There’s no studies to support that we that the ID can create copper toxicity, but there’s a lot of nuances there. It we have some showing that it accumulates, it’s a small amount, but over time that could technically add up. And then we have to think of that person’s health history. So I hope that that kind of answers the copper toxicity thing. Sorry, I’m sure many people will be disappointed that it’s not a controversial response. But I’m here to inform and educate. And I think that that is for me. Digging through I mean, a lot of research for this podcast episode. That’s what I could find. But I do think that like I have this one reference from the pill and I’m like, Man, why aren’t we talking about copper toxicity in the pill because that I mean, I could see See, and I have this one study that says oral contraceptives commonly raised serum copper to levels between 1.5 and two milligrams per liter, which are above reference levels. So not toxic and it says, although these levels are not considered toxic, there are suggestions that such copper increase could be implicated in oxidative pathophysiological processes in the body. Further research on the safety of oral contraceptives use, including oxidative stress related effects is warranted. So, while maybe I don’t think the copper it causes copper toxicity, I do really wonder what’s going on with oral contraceptives and copper toxicity. And I think the major theme here is that maybe we just shouldn’t keep an eye for 10 years and we wouldn’t have as many issues. Okay. And then I got a question about is a copper IUD a good choice for those with hypothyroidism? And Someone also asked, Can it make you gain weight and, and also cause hypothyroidism? I would say, again, there’s no research on this. And if you Google copper IUD and hypothyroidism, you’re gonna see all this stuff about excess copper and copper toxicity and how bad it is for your thyroid. And yes, because just like I talked about in the copper deep dive episode, too much of this unbound copper, it creates inflammation, right? So it’s not great. And inflammation is definitely not good for your adrenal glands, your thyroid, everything is going to lead to more stress within the body. And if we kind of go back to the very first season of the podcast where I talk about minerals, and minerals one on one episode that I’m going to link in the shownotes, because I’m going to reference this again, when I talk about how to support your body with copper at or after you get it out. We think about how stress is what depletes our minerals in the first place. And so if we are if we’re experiencing some oxidative and inflammation, inflammatory stress from the copper IUD, then that could definitely trickle down impact our minerals, and eventually, you know, so many minerals impact our thyroid function, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, all the main minerals, obviously, iodine, I did a whole episode on iodine. If we think about copper, we actually need bioavailable copper for thyroid function, and zinc and selenium. But if we have too much unbound copper, then that can create that inflammatory response and cause problems. Again, the copper IUD is not necessarily releasing enough copper each day that I would think that that is directly causing hypothyroidism or weight gain, I think it is more of this inflamed estrogen dominant response that our body goes into. And how we can raise androgens, which can impact blood sugar and insulin, and ovulation. And then progesterone is often lowered, which is our pro metabolic hormone. So not directly, but I could definitely see how the copper it could indirectly lead to weight gain and thyroid issues. Again, it’s gonna depend on what the state of the person is when they get it in what’s happening in their life when they have it. I mean, I had it for almost seven years. And so a lot happened in that time period, I went through a lot of different seasons of life and stressors. And it’s one of those things where it’s like, if I look at my stress timeline, in my healing journey, a lot of that matches up with with when I started to see symptoms, as far as like, do I think it’s a good choice for someone with hypothyroidism? If so, if I had a client, that we were working on their thyroid health, and they were trying to decide the best form of birth control for them, I would not recommend the copper IUD. I don’t think that’s like a hard and fast thing. I think every person is going to be different. But it’s one of those things where it just would make our work together a lot harder. But also like if, if they have a lot of things for like, they don’t want to get pregnant right now. And they’re not sure about fam like, there’s always going to be nuance in there. But if I had if I got to choose the most optimal situation and circumstance for that person, I would say, let’s skip the copper IUD and use fertility awareness method instead. Okay, so those were like the big questions about the copper IUD, I just want to go through some side effects really quickly, and I have so many research articles. So I think the big eye opener other than how the copper ID corrodes and then that shortens its lifespan or how long we should have it because of how it impacts inflammation and liver stress. I think the other big eye opener was how many research articles there are out there about the negative side effects of the copper IUD. And one of them is like talking about how, like at the end here I have some notes, important notes on side effects and advancements. There have been some changes made but this one study says hardly any advancement has been made in the prevention of abnormal bleeding, which is a major ID related health problem. And no progress has been made in the prevention of IUD related infections like BB or having any bacterial imbalance in your vaginal microbiome. And it’s like those are two of the biggest complaints and it’s just It hasn’t been addressed. So I, that’s like one of the things that I think about with all this stuff is like, I don’t necessarily think that I need to tell everyone not to get the copper IUD, I would just love for everyone to start saying like, Hey, I am having these symptoms like, and just sharing that with their doctor or their medical providers so that if those people ever talk with companies or reps from companies, they can then share that information. And then maybe eventually, we can see some change in our birth control options. So some side effects pain upon insertion, I talked about how I think I did about how it was very painful for me. But now typically, you’ll get a prescription or your doctor will tell you to take like Motrin or something before coming in. And I’ve had friends that have done that, and they said it was not that bad. You can have spotting between your periods or have irregular periods. The risk of spotting between periods of an IUD and the copper ID and bleeding for a few months after insertion is incredibly high. And it is considered normal, that you can have heavier and longer periods. Research has shown that the copper IUD increases period blood loss by 20 to 50%. For the first 12 months, I personally experienced an increase the whole time I had the copper it I didn’t have my period right away, because I came off the pill and was a mess. But when I did get it, it was so heavy. Now I did have a heavy period historically. So again, another reason why I probably wasn’t a great candidate for it. And this is where I think about moving with endometriosis and fibroids outside of the pain and inflammation, they’re likely going to have even heavier periods, which just is not ideal for that person especially. And I have one friend that she spotted for six months straight, didn’t really get like a full on period, but it was like she had her period for six months straight and then she got it out cramping during your period. It can increase cramping when this was one of the top complaints with a copper it outside of the heaviness of your period. And it’s because it can increase inflammation and then that can increase your inflammatory prostaglandins. So definitely something to keep in mind. Inflammation, I talked about how it can increase markers like CRP, which is a blood marker for inflammation, oxidative stress markers, and then it did increase liver enzymes to expulsion it could possibly come out, there’s always going to be a risk with any IUD for expulsion, especially within the first month, which is I think, important to know, my doctor did tell me that she was like, just pay attention. She taught me how to check for to feel the little two little prongs in there. And basically, if I didn’t feel that until like, let her know, some signs of expulsion, if you’re like not sure is it can be like pain spotting, feeling the strings more like if you feel too much of them. If it gets longer, that could be a sign that it’s coming out. But I would say like the expulsion rates like pretty low with the copper it postpartum. One thing I did read about was they looked at copper IUD and postpartum time period and breastfeeding, because breastfeeding women can have a higher expulsion rate for IUDs, which I did not know. So I was like, Well, that’s good to know. And then, but they found with a copper ID, if you waited four weeks to insert it, you had a much lower risk of expulsion, so it didn’t change milk supplier, and they also didn’t change the copper content of your milk, which I thought it was cool they looked at. So you know not a terrible option for breastfeeding moms. If you need it pelvic inflammatory disease, I would say like this is pretty low less than 1% of women experiences from the copper IUD. And it often only occurs if you have a preexisting infection like gonorrhea or chlamydia, but your doctor would screenio before they inserted it, I would hope Okay, and then finally, bacterial vaginosis or BV. This is when you have a bacterial overgrowth in your vaginal microbiome. And this has been shown to be increased in all IUD users but the copper IUD has a highly likelihood higher likelihood of increasing it. Which was interesting to me because copper is like anti bacterial, antifungal, all those things. But again, I think it’s this inflammatory environment and how it can actually shift like hormones in it can actually attach to the hormone receptors and the endothelial and uterine tissues. So those are some of the side effects as far as like what it looks like to support your body. Whether you keep it in or get it out. It’s the same just like my video I have a podcast episode I did on how to transition off hormonal birth control. Everyone’s like can I do this while taking it? Yes. So if I were to keep mine and I would do these if I were to get it out, I would do these. So number one, reducing inflammation I talked about before if it were me I would have done whole food vitamin C. So like citrus kiwi, papaya, strawberries, rose hips, guava peppers, there’s a lot more foods high in vitamin C those are just some of the top ones Reishi Mushrooms I would definitely do. I really like mountain rose herbs as a brand. They have a great powder reishi mushroom that is very reasonably priced is organic, it’s well sourced. And Reishi is also great for the immune system. So because of how the copper ions can technically also impact our T cells and immune system, that’s something that I would definitely use. And it’s, I mean, mostly for inflammation. And then red light therapy, if someone has a red light, I have one I love red light therapy, that would also be great for inflammation and then just getting sunlight. I mean, I would hope you’re doing that anyway. But it would be one of those things where it’s like, okay, how can I really prioritize getting sunlight supporting my vitamin D levels to reduce that inflammation? If you’re like, should I take vitamin D supplement?

It’s nuanced. But listen to the episode from season one on supplements to consider avoiding, okay, supplementing to support or just supporting your liver in general milk thistle I love you could do that in tea form. I think that’s a really great, easy, sustainable way to take it. You could do a liquid tincture, whatever you want to do, talk with your doctor first because I don’t know you and I don’t know if it’s a good option for you. But milk thistle is great. Some of the basic things you want to do is eating enough protein we need amino acids for our liver to work correctly. One really helpful amino acid is touring and I talked about this in the copper deep dive episode. taurine is really great for supporting bile production and making sure that Bile is not too thick so that it can easily flow. We access copper leaves in our bile. Same thing with estrogen. So we really want to make sure that we’re having good healthy bowel movements like formed stool if your stools really light colored or if it’s really loose, that can be a sign that you’re not having that great bio production. So that’s like a big one, you can use it as a supplement. I talked about this in the previous episode, you can also find it in foods it’s really high in shellfish. So getting a protein milk thistle, taurine, organ meats that are going to give you an abundance of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A. And remember that vitamin A is really important for copper regulation. And I know that they have a lot of copper, but I don’t necessarily think we have to like completely stay away from copper. If we have copper and balances. Hopefully vitamin C will help with that excess unbound copper as well. So just something to consider fiber rich foods like oats, cooked greens, beets, plantains, potatoes, apples, all that kind of stuff that fiber also good for bile. And it’s really good for making sure that you have regular bowel movements for good gut bacteria to make sure that you’re getting all that estrogen out, very supportive. And so having that healthy gut and healthy digestion and good elimination, those are all going to support and reducing inflammation, making sure that you have balanced hormones, making sure that you are using the bile that you are hopefully eliminating and absorbing those fat soluble vitamins, and then having a daily bowel movement. Of course, I mean that’s like essential and a lot of what the issues are with the copper idea, our estrogen issues, and we put out our estrogen so make sure you’re pooping, castor oil packs also support the liver. They’re also a great way to support digestion and make sure you’re having a bowel movement. But those are the things I would do for supporting your liver so taurine, milk thistle, getting enough protein, Oregon meats, fiber rich foods having a daily bowel movement and castor oil packs. And I would consider the milk thistle and casserole packs like the last things I added I would do everything else first. And then finally supporting your adrenals and thyroid and having a good ovulation because ultimately if we are whether we have this IUD in or we are taking it out, we’re gonna we’re we may be in a place where the research shows us that we are much more likely to be in a place where we have higher androgens, male hormones, higher estrogen, lower progesterone. And so that’s gonna put us in this place where we may not have strong ovulation, we may not have super regular cycles, we may not ovulate every cycle. And so we want to make sure that you can have healthy adrenal function, reduce that inflammation makes your thyroids working good. So you can have strong ovulation and then ovulate regularly and the ways that I would go about like the basic basic ways, eating a food in general is going to be number one, because if we’re under eating, that’s an added stress. And your body’s already stressed out. It’s already got all these imbalances and things is trying to deal with. So eating enough is huge, or making sure that you’re not missing macronutrients. So balancing protein, fat and carb. That is the number one way to reduce stress, in my opinion, on a basic level to your body. Are there plenty of like tools and stuff and like breathwork and all that? Yes. But in my opinion, I don’t think those are as effective if you’re not eating enough, because that’s our basic need, right? So if we can meet that basic need, then that’s going to make us more resilient, and make all those other tools work better. So eating enough, I’m gonna link to an Instagram post that I have that talks about how to know if you’re eating enough and then adrenal cocktails Of course, that’s going to help with sodium, potassium and give you whole food vitamin C, and then just supporting those macro minerals. So this is where I would say if you can do hair testing, I think it’s worth it. Because then you’re going to get a better understanding of how are my calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, those macro men roles, they have an impact. They’re synergistic with all the other minerals. So that’s why on a first hair test, we always focus on those first. So if you can get a handle on how those look for you, do you have low calcium? Do you need to support with certain foods, or food based supplements? Do you have high calcium do we need to try to get that calcium down? Do you maybe have a calcium shell, which is very common with high copper. And then looking at magnesium, sodium potassium, regardless, you always want to do a journal cocktails first because most people need support with sodium and potassium. And then from there, you can slowly layer things in with food and supplements and add stuff on the hair test is going to give you the look at the last three months of time. And it’s just going to make it so that you’re not guessing. And you can be a little bit more targeted with the food and supplements that you’re using. You can always do my master your minerals course, you can just get a hair test done, it’s just hard to read, it’s hard to because like with minerals high doesn’t always mean it’s high. It could mean it’s accumulating, it’s a loss. And sometimes we look at that we think oh my gosh, I have to supplement with all these things. And usually it’s not the case, usually you need to focus on the first four on your first test. And then after that, you can start addressing other things. But it’s a it’s a slow, gentle process. At least that’s how I approach it. So if you want to look into hair mineral testing, I have a master your minerals course, totally up to you. But it’s on my website, I want to link to a quiz that I have. So if you’re not sure if minerals are an issue, you can do the quiz, I have a free training, I have a lot of free information out there. So I would say start with that. But if you are already in this boat, and you’re like I have really severe symptoms, I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to be like guessing I just want to know what’s going on, then testing would be the most ideal. And then that knowing that then like I think of the macro minerals like calcium is low, then that can really mess with blood sugar, it can also really mess with histamine, and mood. And so looking at how to optimize that that can help improve your thyroid health adrenals ovulation. So that’s why like, depending on what mineral imbalances you have, those could be impairing and making it more difficult for your body to function optimally. But if you’re not eating enough, I would not start there. Because you’re you can’t really skip ahead, right, you can’t skip that step. So that’s what I would do as far as reducing inflammation, supporting your liver and then supporting adrenal thyroid ovulation. Those are the biggest things, whether you are you going to keep your ID in or you’re going to get it taken out. I also got a lot of people that asked about, like, when I should try to conceive after I have the copper IUD taken out, I just think it’s so individual, because it’s, it’s not like this copper, it leads to XYZ and you have to wait a certain amount of time to conceive everyone’s going to be different. Some people maybe don’t have as severe of symptoms, or as severe of inflammation or estrogen imbalance, everyone’s going to be unique. So I would just say, if you could look for these things that I’m about to list out, then that those are all some good signs that you’re probably ready. Again, I don’t know you. So like this might not be the case. But if I tried to like really generalize this information, like these are the things that I would look for having healthy cycles, like a good length, so like 20 to 32. And I’m gonna say numbers here. And I know it’s really easy to want to attach onto these numbers and then obsess over them if you don’t fall into that category. But you have to keep this all into context with yourself. So I’ve seen plenty of women with 26 day cycles or 35 day cycles that have conceived and have been healthy. But if I’m again, if I’m going to put averages, if I’m going to generalize 20 to 32. That’s a great length. If your cycles too short, then that could be a sign that you don’t have a good luteal phase length. That’s the next thing I would look at is how long is your luteal phase? Is it 12 to 14 days. If so then that would be great. It could go up to 16 days, that’s totally fine. The shorter the luteal phase length, that can be a sign that you’re not making enough progesterone. So that’s something to consider having egg white cervical mucus, that fertile mucus before ovulation, like right before during that peak day. That’s a great sign and some people have multiple days of it, that’s also fine. But making sure that you do have that mucus, because that cervical mucus is really important for sperm motility. So that’s a big one and then having a good basal body temperature. I talked about this all the time. 97.6 degrees Fahrenheit is the average for the follicular phase 98 I would say in the luteal phase at 97.8 and higher is normal. But again, like what is your basal body temperature and you want to see, okay, maybe you establish your baseline you take it for a week. Some women take it every day. Some women get like too consumed in the numbers. So they just get a baseline they make changes with the nutrition, lifestyle and supplements and they retest it for another week at a different point and they kind of compare it’s up to you. I think that it’s really easy. And I only say this stuff because I talk to a lot of women online. I have a membership and those students and so on my course and the one thing I noticed is that a lot of people obsess over having everything like exact Oh, I don’t have this temperature. Why? Or does it mean I should do this or change this? And you just want to always think about where did I start? And how is it going in my scene, slight increases in that temperature, I might see that my luteal phase, maybe it was nine days last like oh, now it’s 11 days. So it’s not the 12 days. Sometimes people get really bent out of shape up about that. And I’m like, like, if we were working together, I would be like, so excited if I saw a two day increase in your luteal phase. So always try to keep that in context. And when it comes to those more like objective measurements, it can be hard. Some subjective ones that are good to look at are like, Do you have good energy? Do you are you sleeping well and feeling rested? When you wake up? How’s your hair health? How’s your libido? How’s your skin? And your nails? Like? Are they pretty consistent, healthy, strong? Those are just all things you want to look at to see like am I most likely in a good place? Obviously, like hair mineral testing, I recommend before trying to conceive and during pregnancy and postpartum. I shared how I did that in my pregnancy episodes in the podcast. And then if it were me, because I I’ve not given anyone advice, but if it were me, and I didn’t get my copper IUD out until like, right before I wanted to have Eliana, I would have waited at least six months, I had so many hormonal issues from birth control, IUD, stress, dieting, way too much training, all that stuff that I mean, it took me years to rebalance. And I’m like not afraid to say that. I know, like some practitioners are kind of weird about sharing their health history. But I mean, I was like, very estrogen dominant. And it’s, and it took a while it would slowly improve. But this is why I say like, you have to recognize these little wins, because it’s very easy to become obsessive. And then just constantly stressed and hyper focusing on your health. And this is something I talked about with Meg on that miscarriage episode, where she was like, your, your life is more than a healing journey, you know, or healing process like we in it is. And it there’s no like, start and finish. There’s no end destination. It’s just how can I will live in a way that’s going to support my health and my happiness. But it’s really easy to get caught up in the details. So whenever I mentioned details, I just like to say that because I don’t want anyone listening to this thinking, Oh, my gosh, I don’t fit that criteria. I shouldn’t be trying to conceive right now, because that may not be the case for you. Okay, and then someone asked, What about, like, what are my alternatives if I don’t use a copper IUD? I like fertility awareness method. It’s really the only truly non hormonal birth control method, the cover, it does not contain hormones, but it can impact them, or with fertility awareness method or fam, that is just you monitoring your fertile science and paying attention to your cycle. And all the things I just mentioned, basal body temperature, cervical mucus, your fertile days, all that kind of stuff, cycle length, just looking at everything to identify when you’re fertile, and when you’re not. And looking at that fertile window. And so not only does it work as birth control, but it works to help you learn about your hormone health and your overall health. It’s the one thing where I’m like, I wish we learned in this. Like, what as soon as you get your period when you’re younger, it’s like, I wish we just started to slowly learn all this stuff like not to overwhelm young girls, but just to give them more information so that they wouldn’t be like, dreading their period or thinking it was this huge inconvenience, but being like, Oh, wow, this is actually a very special time. And it’s normal for me to feel differently on different days of my cycle. But yeah, so I have a podcast that I’m going to link on fertility awareness method that I did with Nina boys. She’s a fam instructor. She has a great course. And I’m going to link as well if you’re like, I want to learn fam, what’s the easiest way to do it? I would do her course she has a track for birth control, and she has a track for fertility. So if you want it for birth control, use the birth control track because it is slightly different. And I feel like people don’t talk about that enough with fam. And I really liked that she does that. She does talk about this in the episode too. So listen to the episode, if you are wanting to learn more about fam how it works. That’s my favorite alternative. And I think it’s really the only one. And that’s what’s frustrating sometimes I wish we had other birth control options. I really do. Especially for like people that feel like they don’t have access to learn fertility awareness method. I get that. But then other times I’m like, I mostly just wish our society was different and that we had access to learning this stuff and it was normalized and taught to us at a young age, so that we could feel like empowered with our fertility in our cycles and not like terrified of it. But that is the copper IUD episode. It’s

a lot. I linked all the resources I mentioned and research articles in the show notes please let me know share this on Instagram. Let me know if you liked this episode. And yeah, this was a fun one. So hopefully this answered your copper IUD questions

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Amanda Montalvo

Amanda Montalvo is a women's health dietitian who helps women find the root cause of hormone imbalances and regain healthy menstrual cycles.

Master Your Minerals

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