If you don’t want to read about my uterus or birth control, I wouldn’t read further. 😛
My IUD Experience – Skyla
After years of taking various birth control pills to combat acne, bad periods, cramps but in turn unfortunately dealing with heavy mood swings, I decided it was time to look into a different birth control method. While Kaleb and I know we want children eventually, we decided waiting a few years would be in the best interest of our relationship and our future children. So when I began researching long-term methods, the IUD was the top option due to it’s 99% effectiveness (it’s even more effective than having your tubes tied!) and low-dose of estrogen.
There’s a couple different IUD options right now, at the time of my insertion it was either Skyla (3 years), Mirena (5 years) or ParaGard (copper, 12 years.) I opted not to do the copper IUD because I know people who have had it and didn’t like it due to the longer and heavier periods. And since I haven’t had children yet, my OBGYN recommended Skyla due to its smaller size. She ran over the risks (ectopic pregnancy, puncturing the uterus upon insertion, risk of displacement, etc. These are all super rare but are possible.), I signed a form and we were off!
Insertion – Day 1
Just a heads up, insertion was painful. This isn’t the case for everyone though. Most people feel slight cramping and are able to finish going about their day. Thanks to my tilted uterus, it made it harder to place the IUD. After trying a couple different methods, I felt that intense cramping and was sent on my way. That day I didn’t know what was in store so I drove myself home but not without calling my husband to talk me through the pain on the drive home.
The first day was pretty painful cramping but I was able to keep it minimal by taking ibuprofen and laying on a heating pad. The next day, it was back to business as usual.
During – 3 Years
IUDs affect everyone differently, for some their periods go away immediately, for others it gets a little lighter, for me it remained the same. I had regular periods the entire 3 years of my first IUD. My doctor advised that if you have regular periods on the IUD and miss one period to take a pregnancy test immediately in case of an ectopic pregnancy. You can read more about ectopic pregnancies by clicking here.
Fortunately, I didn’t have any adverse side effects. I became a walking advertisement for IUDs instead. I didn’t feel cloudy like I had felt on birth control pills, I felt the most me you could feel while having a foreign object in your uterus.
3 years quickly flew by and we discussed we still aren’t quite ready to start having kids. With the IUD, you can use it for its full life or you can choose to take it out. We decided to go with Skyla again due to its 3 year life so we can re-evaluate the next time around if we want to re-insert or start having kids.
This time, I set the date and asked my husband to drive me there and home. Removal was so easy. I hardly felt it. I felt a slight cramp then heard my OBGYN ask if I wanted to see it. No thanks!
Then came reinsertion, after trying a few methods to get the new IUD in, my OBGYN had me sit up and discuss coming back another day. She was having a hard time placing it due to my tilted uterus again and was afraid to risk puncturing my uterus. So like an adult, I cried. I cried from being so overwhelmed. I cried because I wanted to get it over with. And because I cried, she called in another nurse and propped the ultrasound wand on my belly. It took 3 specialists and me crying to get this IUD in place again. But it happened!
I fortunately was able to take the rest of the day off and my sweet husband took me home and took care of me. Even through the reinsertion fiasco, I wouldn’t trade my IUD for any other form of birth control. The following day, I felt slight cramping but nothing insane.
If you’d like to read more on the IUD, click here.