I’ve had my trusty IUD for a year now. In a nutshell? 10/10, would get again.
I realize every woman has a different experience, and I feel like the negative experiences have been far more vocalized, so a simple Google search or comments section yields tons of negative and extreme experiences with the IUD. So I wanted to share my boring everything-went-right story about the IUD.
For me, getting it in was only slightly worse that a pap smear. I blogged about that experience already, so I won’t repeat it all. However, in my conversations with other women who have an IUD, and talking about their experience getting it inserted, these are my tips for how to increase your chances of it going well – obviously talk to your doc about these:
- Get it inserted while on your period. My doc mentioned we’re slightly dilated during this time, which will help, since they have to dilate your cervix to get the IUD past it. I’m surprised how many lady friends got the IUD inserted when not on their periods.
- Take 4 ibuprofen within an hour before getting it in.
- Have a heavy flow – OK, you can’t “do” this, but apparently my having a heavy flow somehow translated to being a good candidate.
Other things that can help calm you:
- Anti-anxiety meds? I have no experience with these.
- Bring a friend/partner to the procedure. My husband held my hand and tried to distract me during it by talking about our cat. Plus, he could deal with finding parking and driving in rush hour traffic – two less things to add to my anxiety.
- Deep breaths. Take your time getting off the table. You have a right to lay there and take as long as you need. You just had your cervix forced open and a piece of plastic jammed in your uterus, this is not the time to try to be polite.
So what has life been like since getting the IUD?
For the first few months, I continued to get my period, it just got lighter and lighter. I also continued to get cramps, but they felt different. A menstrual cramp is basically the muscles of your uterus contracting, and now there is this tiny, pointy piece of plastic in there. The uterus is a small space when there’s no baby in there, and the IUD is basically sized to take up most of it, so the muscles contracting around it = weird, pointy feeling cramps. They were very brief though.
And then the cramps went away for good … AND SO DID MY PERIOD.
I haven’t had a period since the summer. I’m not even spotting.
My doc checked my strings when it came time for my annual pap, she said they’re right where they’re supposed to be.
As for sex, I have not heard reports that the strings can be felt during intercourse.
If you’re in Chicago and looking for a doc to talk to about the IUD (or any health concerns), I highly recommend Dr Clinton at the Chicago Women’s Health Group. She’s extremely easy to talk to and has a great bedside manner.
Just us for now.