In the fall of 2017, I finally got my IUD installed. Because of how curious I was, I did a lot of searching online. There are many stories. Good and bad. It is one of the things that compelled me to share. Because even with this I was still left with questions. So more women who are curious can understand just what they may go through in their process of getting one. Of course, my process and opinions may differ from others. So check out other stories from other women so you can get a spectrum of opinions.
What is an IUD?
IUD stands for Intrauterine Device (basically: a device inside your uterus). It’s a small piece of flexible plastic shaped like a T. Sometimes it’s called an IUC — intrauterine contraception. It’s long-term, reversible, and one of the most effective birth control methods out there. There is much more information about the types of IUDs and information about how effective they are over at Planned Parenthood and they can explain it far better than I can when it comes to the more intricate information about the device.
Why I decided to get one
There are a few factors on why I switched from pill to IUD. I was never the best at remembering to take it, early morning or night time. The other reason was the way the pill affected me emotionally. Every month was a bit of a roller coaster for me in how I would react. In the end, the choice to get my IUD was based on just trying to keep my life simple. Not having to worry for 5 years about having a child? Yeah, it was not hard to make that choice.
For me it started in searching for a doctor, I was in the middle of moving when I was looking so I didn’t look too hard. It wasn’t until one of my housemates had hers installed (Yes, that is what it is called, an installation) that I realized my insurance would likely be compatible with the same OB/GYN that she was seeing. It took me a couple of weeks to build up the courage to actually call. I kept saying I would but I put it off, though my partner gave me the kick in the butt I needed so to speak about getting it done. So I made the call and then waited the week with wracked nerves. Everything I read I knew what would go down.
Getting to the appointment was simple, and I quickly came to adore first the staff of nurses working. One even had a cup and a few other things near her desk which had some awesome witchy vibes coming from it. My appointment went, well quicker than I thought it would. That was due to the fact that I did my research and knew what I wanted. The other factor making it quick was they wanted to check first to see if my last pap smear was maybe in the window of time that I wouldn’t need another one. Spoiler alert for further down, it was not and I still did.
First Appointment: Tests!
A couple weeks later, I went in for a pap smear and basic yearly checkup. For this office, they covered not only a breast exam but also my STI testing. It is something I try to do yearly. Go two birds with one stone!
The actual appointment itself went swiftly, we talked about my upcoming installation and a movie that I had plans to go see later that day. From being dropped off to getting my clothes back on it only took about fifteen minutes total. Having a female doctor who just talked to me like a human being was actually what made it so much easier, I didn’t feel like I was being scrutinized or judged like I had been with male doctors. She set up things for them to make sure my insurance was covered and the next day I got the call to set up my appointment for my installation!
Second Appointment: Installation
On the day of my appointment, I was rather nervous but my housemates who all had IUD’s made sure I was set up with taking something before so I could have a little less pain. I got into my appointment early, the office is not super busy so they sent me back to pee in a cup, just making sure I was of course not pregnant before the installation. Normal checking of my blood-pressure and weight, then it was onto the table.
My doctor was amazing, she talked me through the whole thing. Making sure I knew each step that she was going through. From the simple act of the speculum to how it would feel when the sound went inside. That action felt like someone had grabbed me by my pelvic bone and yanked as I described it later.
The nurse with her was wonderful in letting me hold her hand. When it went in, there was the pain but it was more because of the shock. This part of my body did not appreciate being messed around with. But it was over, not that I could move. It took less than 5 minutes for it all to happen, the rest of the time I spent working on sitting up as my body started to cramp and revolt just a little at being invaded in such a manner. They let me take my time in getting back on my feet, wanting to make sure I didn’t go into full shock from the installation.
Aftercare and Beyond
But at that point it was done, I went home and promptly went back to bed from the fatigue of everything that I went through. Even today as I write this on the second day, I am still dealing with small cramps in my back. But I found two ways to help the cramps, painkiller of choice (Ibprofurin, Midol, Naproxen) and orgasm. No seriously on that second one, before bed, I just grabbed my We-Vibe Tango got off a few times. My doctor warned me against anything that would be inserted for 24 to 48 hours, but I have quite a few toys for clitoral stimulation so I was on top of it. It helped quite a bit and I was able to sleep through the night thanks to it.
Next Few Months
Some things changed over the next few months. For about two of them I was almost constantly spotting as my body adjusted. Cramping for me got much worse, almost painful. My sex drive, also slowly started to make a come back as hormones evened out. By the time it all seemed to finish, I now have very light periods. I’ll take the cramps for that. I am really happy that I made the change.
It is my hope that this has given insight into what I went through, please if you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments but I always recommend speaking with your doctor about these things as they will be the most knowledgeable! I can only give my opinion and details about my personal experience.