I have struggled with finding the right birth control for the last five years. I’ve tried pretty much every type of birth control around: two different pills, the shot, patch and nuva ring. After all of those failed, I decided it was time to try something different.
After meeting with my doctor, I decided an IUD would be the way to go. Now here I am a month into my Mirena IUD experience, and I’m feeling alright. Let me tell you though, it wasn’t so easy getting here.
If you’re interested in getting an IUD I suggest you do your research and see what other women have to say. Also, be sure you investigate the different types of IUDs. I selected the Mirena IUD per my doctor’s suggestions; however, there are different types for different people. Make sure that you make the decision that is best for you.
However, if you happen to be interested in the Mirena IUD read on because I have a lot to say! That is why I am broadcasting my experience. Ultimately, I want you to know that it is painful, but it does get better. So here’s my story:
I went to my doctor’s office two weeks prior to my IUD insertion appointment to discuss my options, and my gynecologist informed me that I must be on my period in order to get it inserted. So, when the time came I called the nurse immediately.
To my surprise, they had an available time that same day. So, I got over the initial dread and marched into my doctor’s office a little nervous. Like any other appointment, I waited in the waiting room for what seemed like forever. Finally, I was taken back and went through the normal gynecologist appointment routine.
My doctor told me that they would have to do several things, including sterilizing me, measuring my uterus and, of course, inserting the IUD. That is when she informed me that the act of measuring my uterus may or may not be as painful as the actual insertion.
So, as she prepared her tools, I prepared myself. However, it is very difficult to prepare for a pain that you have yet to experience. During this time, the words of comedian John Mulaney came to mind, “. . .know how sometimes you’re like, I bet I know what most things feel like ya know? You just think you’ll know? I did not know, what this was gonna feel like.” Mulaney’s words could not hold more truth. Upon the insertion of the mysterious measuring tools, I let out a worrisome scream.
Thankfully, the measuring process only lasted a few seconds total. I was uncomfortable, but by the end I got to learn the size of my uterus (a 7). I didn’t quite know what that meant, but 7 is my lucky number so I took it (I later googled “average uterus size” and it is a 7.6cm, so I guess that means I’m average).
Now it was time for the star of the show: the IUD itself. My doctor took the IUD “gun” (pictured below) and carefully explained the process. I gathered myself once again and told her I was ready. The nurse suggested that I cough on three in order to distract myself and make insertion easier. Before I knew it, it was over.
I guess my face looked distraught after the insertion because both the nurse and doctor kept asking if I was ok before leaving the room. I reassured them that I was, but I was so not. All my life, my cervix has been an empty place, but now it was no longer vacant.
Ready for a good nap, I cleaned off the jelly and dressed myself. That is when the pain and cramping really set it. Now let me tell you, I’ve had my fair share of period cramps, especially on the NuvaRing, but nothing could prepare me for this.
The pain was unparalleled. Somehow I managed to make it downstairs and into the car, and that’s where I really found myself in a pickle. I thought it was ok to drive home, but I now know that was mistake.
You see, prior to the appointment, I decided to not take any any pain killers. Pain has never really bothered me, and I thought that this would be no different.
Never have I ever had a more painful drive home, and of course I was navigating 5 p.m. traffic in Germantown.
I decided there was no way I could make it to almost Midtown, so I stopped at my parents’ house. My dad was there, and in between debilitating cramps I had to explain to him that I had just been poked and prodded to the point of near-death.
Of course, he did not understand, but he brought me a heating pack anyway. After about an hour I mustered up the strength to get off the couch, and I actually started to feel at least somewhat normal.
For the rest of the evening the cramps came and went, but it seemed as if the worst was over. I decided to take two Aleve each day until around day four. I assumed by that point that I was ready to face the world, IUD and all. It started off great the next day, I got through my first two classes and all seemed normal.
It wasn’t until class three that I knew something was up. Slowly the cramps came on, and I knew there was no way I’d get through that entire lesson. I excused myself and went home with worse pain than I had the day of insertion.
This pain continued on and off for a couple more days, but eventually it withered. I stopped taking Aleve and swapped to Advil after two weeks. Now here I am a month later medicine free!
I will say, I do have slight cramping every now and then, but it’s sporadic and not as painful as the beginning.
My doctor told me I would have light spotting on and off for the first two months, and she wasn’t lying. Sadly, I’ve had to deal with a period the entire duration, but hopefully after that my cycle will normalize itself.
Overall, I would say I enjoy it. I don’t have to worry about taking a pill everyday at 6, and I don’t have to change out a NuvaRing whenever I need my period.
It is the most low-maintenance and effective of the birth controls, and I appreciate not having to worry about anything unexpected. I am in the thick of it right now, but I am hopeful that my body will cooperate after the two months have passed.
I’d like to think that my experience has been fairly normal, but if you have a different experience feel free to share it in the comment section below. Also, if you are ever interested in discussing experiences even more, you know where to find me!