My IUD Experience

It's now been a month since my IUD insertion and after living with this device in my body for the last four weeks or so I think enough time has passed for me to accurately write about my experience with my new form of birth control. 

First, I wanted to talk about why I decided to get an IUD in the first place. I've been on and off the pill for about five years now. I originally started taking the pill when I was sixteen to cope with horrendous cramps that I experienced during my period. These were cramps so bad I couldn't even get out of bed for days and it seriously impacted my school work and athletic career. After the lowest hormonal dosage of the pill wasn't offering me much relief, I switched to a higher dosage pill. While this pill was successful in calming my cramps, I experienced a lot of psychological issues on this pill including severe bouts of anxiety and depression. 

I decided that my mental health was more important than physical pain and decided to return back to the lower hormonal dosage pill that did little in the way of easing my pain. I decided to live with a painful few days a few times a month in exchange for being myself again. Only that didn't happen. Despite being back on the lower hormonal dosage pill I still wasn't feeling like myself and thus decided to stop taking the pill altogether. 

During this time I explored alternative and natural methods to curing my cramps, including a more consistent workout routine, mediation, and a plant-based diet. I managed to get my cramping under control and so I stopped worrying about the pill for a little while. 

However, now being in a relationship, I needed to find some sort of birth control method to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. I decided to try going back on the low dosage pill for a little while but found that my newly busy schedule and international traveling made it difficult for me to consistently take the pill at the same time every day. 

Alas, I decided on an IUD. 

This was not something I decided on and immediately did. I actually thought about getting an IUD while I was still dealing with bad cramps, but at that time I was still very unsure about it. I spent a lot of time researching different IUD's, speaking with doctors and gynecologists, and listening to people's personal experiences with them before I actually went ahead and decided to get one myself. 

Even then, I scheduled three different appointments and canceled them, backing out at the last second. 

It is a fact that there are side effects associated with IUD's and complications can occur. I highly, highly suggest everyone familiarize yourself with them before getting an IUD. It may seem overwhelming and you may end up canceling appointments over and over like I did because you were nervous about the side effects, but it's important that you're aware of what can happen during this process. 

Now, let's get into what actually happened when I finally did show up to my appointment. 

The procedure itself is pretty quick, however, it was pretty painful. 

If you've ever had a pap smear, that's what the initial feeling is similar to. The painful part for me wasn't the actual insertion of the IUD, in fact, I didn't feel that at all. What caused me the worst cramping pain ever - similar to what I imagine labor contractions feel like - was when the gynecologist measured my uterus to determine how short to cut the strings. During these 20 seconds, I experienced the worst, most painful cramps I had ever experienced, and then all of a sudden she was saying the IUD was in and she was removing everything. 

The remainder of the day I experienced some mild cramping as if I was on my period, but it was nothing too intense. I took Advil throughout the day and that made the pain a bit more manageable. For the first two weeks, I also experienced a bit of spotting. 

The worst pain came about a week after I had the IUD inserted. I experienced a couple days of really intense cramps that would hit me all of a sudden and then disappear. I suspect I may have aggravated them through a difficult workout, so keep that in mind that you might want to take it easy for the first couple of weeks after getting your IUD inserted. 

Now, a month after having the IUD inserted, all is well. 

I haven't experienced any cramping since those bad cramps a week after having it inserted and I'm no longer experiencing spotting. 

I also can't feel the IUD during sex and neither can my boyfriend, this is a pretty common misconception about IUD's but I haven't had any issues with it. 

All in all, I'm incredibly happy that I got the IUD. I think it's going to make my life a lot easier. It's very common for people to have lighter periods with an IUD or even lose them completely which I certainly am not complaining about. The IUD that I have is the Jaydess and is good for about three years, so in three years time I'll go back to have it removed and I can put a new one in. 

If you're thinking about getting an IUD my biggest piece of advice would be to do your research. Look online and talk to a variety of doctors, don't be afraid to get a second opinion. And when it's time for your insertion appointment, be sure you eat something beforehand and take two Advil about an hour before you go in. I scheduled my appointment on a Friday so that I would have the whole weekend to recover in case I was in a lot of pain afterwards and I recommend trying to do the same, just in case!