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I’ve been on the birth control pills for four years, and it feels as though I’ve forgotten to take it more than I’ve remembered to. Last October, I went to my gynecologist to talk about getting an IUD as a replacement for the pills, and in November, I did it. My doctor told me that it would be a really easy process, and it was. They told me I would bleed more, and I do. They told me I would not really need someone to drive me after the procedure, but in my opinion, I ​did​ need someone. I wished I had better, more accurate information pre-IUD insertion (but it is worth it I promise!).

Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels

Of course, I was nervous when I went to my appointment that day, yet I was really excited to finally be worry-free while on the pill. My doctor asked me if I’d taken ibuprofen beforehand, which I didn’t because nobody told me to. The nurse gave me some to take and let me sit for twenty minutes so that the medicine would do its job. They all came into the room: a doctor, two nurses, and a physician assistant student who was learning the procedure. I was naked, anxious, and ​completely overwhelmed​ by all the people surrounding me. They finished within ten minutes. It was a punch in the gut! I was nauseous, on the brink of passing out, and extremely uncomfortable. This is the part I wished I was told about by my doctor. But to whoever is reading this, now you know! Take ibuprofen beforehand, eat a healthy meal, designate a driver, and ask for numbing if you are sensitive to pain (which was something I forgot to do).

Life with IBS
Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels

Another important thing to mention about post-IUD insertion is that periods will be heavy, random, and painful. Have a heating pad and hot tea ready at all times. Although they say that exercise helps relieve the pain, it has personally made my periods worse. Instead, ice cream makes them better.

The most important takeaway from getting an IUD is to ask questions and be prepared. Although it was a slightly rough experience, it was definitely worth doing because I don’t have to remember to take the pill every day and it’s also hormone-free (which is my preferred option). While this was my birth control method of choice, it’s always good to consider the various options and to choose what you believe fits you.

Kaleigh is a third year Global Disease Biology student with a passion for women's health. She hopes to influence others to explore their passions at Davis and to continue to follow their dreams. She enjoys running, backpacking, and self-care!
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