I Got an IUD, and It Has Honestly Changed My Life

I’ve been fortunate enough to have a rather open relationship with my mother. No matter what challenge or obstacle I am facing, I never feel hesitant to talk to her. She has always been someone I can go to for advice, especially while I was growing up.

Photo by Sarah Mirk via Bustle

 

A couple of months ago, I brought up the idea to my mom I wanted to get an IUD – intrauterine device. Once I graduate, I want to take a gap year and join the Peace Corps as I will be graduating a semester late. I also want to take up the opportunity to build up my resume a bit more. However, I knew that being on the pill might not be an option as I would need a constant refill which is a bit impossible when you’re away on a service trip for over a year, sometimes two.

Also, you don’t have to worry about getting pregnant for 3-6 years (depending on the brand). All that means is that I can still accomplish what I want while putting myself first: Peace Corps, graduate or law school and getting a solid start to my career. I just want to be financially stable and mentally stable before taking on the responsibility of raising another human being. The IUD seemed like the best option.

However, I have also seen the numerous Facebook posts that scare women into not getting the IUD. Typically, they’re about improper insertion or the arm implant, which only works for about 10% of women. Personally, I was just worried about the pain involved.

Thankfully, my doctor was great at reassuring me that even though these fears were common, she is an expert. It was also reassuring that my doctor had her office within a hospital, so worst case scenario, I could go down to the ER immediately. She also had the IUD herself, so it was nice asking about her personal experience. I didn’t really have to second guess my decision after that point, but I still made my mother come into the city to hold my hand.

I will not sugarcoat the pain; it was a bit uncomfortable. There are so many steps that you don’t prep yourself for. I felt a bit weak and dizzy after because my IUD had a manufacturing error, so it took a bit longer to get the procedure done. But, my doctor and the nurses were all compassionate and asked me all about the Jonas Brothers concert I went to the day before (and honestly, I believe Nick Jonas’s vocals were what really helped me push through).

Additionally, I have no idea what I would’ve done if my mother wasn’t there right by my side. She let me hold and squeeze her hand when I felt uncomfortable, reminded me to breathe every so often and even had me come home to recover.

The cramping was the only thing I was surprised by. It was a bit intense at times. And not to scare anyone, but it honestly feels like the reverse of childbirth. Yet, the cramping truly only lasted for about two hours – a 45-minute car ride, a stop at Dairy Queen for a Reese’s blizzard and a quick power nap. All of the pain was completely normal, too.

That was the worst of it. After two months, I can say I regret not getting my IUD sooner. I have felt so much anxiety lifted off my shoulders because I am not constantly worrying about if I have taken my pill or not. I also feel reassured that I have one of the most effective birth control methods out there. I feel so grateful that I also have a strong support system that always reassures me and has my best intentions in mind.