Let’s get real here and talk about a serious thing that 50% of the worlds population must decide if they want to take it or not. Birth Control.
To each their own, if you think taking birth control will get you on God’s bad side, then all the power to you to NOT take it. But for the rest of us who realize that science provides more reasons to take it than just ‘it’s killing God’s babies’, let’s talk about my IUD Experience.
I gave birth to Gregory back in March 2014. By May I was ready to get some sort of birth control started to make sure I wouldn’t have 2 kids under 2. It wasn’t something I could handle and wanted to prevent.
I’m also well aware that breastfeeding is NOT birth control. Who ever thought this was a fool. And my doctors must think me a fool for they constantly threw it down my throat every time I visited one.
With my hesitation to have 2 under 2, and doctors pushing for me to prevent pregnancy with science, I booked an appointment at a women’s health clinic.
What is an IUD
IUD is short of intrauterine device. Generally it’s a small T-shaped device that gets inserted into your uterus. It sounds scary having something implanted into your uterus. I was hesitant when I first heard of this method as a teen, but it isn’t really that big of a deal.
There are two types of IUDs: Copper and Hormone filled. The copper IUD has no hormones and shouldn’t affect your cycle, it’ll keep your menstruation flow natural. The hormone filled IUD will slowly release hormones that can help you determine and control your period.
To break it down in the most simple of terms to speed this section of the post along… the hormone IUD releases hormones to prevent your body from keeping your uterine lining at the end of your cycle. The Copper seems to be like a type of spermicide that kills the sperm as it gets all up there.
Is it Abortion?
NO! An IUD is not equivalent to having an abortion. In fact having an IUD is equivalent to having your tubes tied. Yeah, it’s basically sterilization. Meaning that as long as you have your IUD in, you have a 99% chance of preventing pregnancy.
Preventing. This is the key word for those who think birth control is the same as abortion. Clearly it isn’t, or we wouldn’t say it ‘prevents’ pregnancy. We’d say it ‘takes care’ of pregnancy, which sounds awful.
IUDs do not prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Meaning this is not a condom, this is not a dental dam, this is only birth control. If you’re monogomous, you should be fine and have little to no worries about this.
If you’re a single lady who is enjoying her life, may I first say ‘Way to to Go Woman!’. Secondly, please ensure you are still talking with your partners about sexual health and history before jumping in the sack together.
I got the majority of the information I know about IUDs from the info pack I was given after insertion. Who knows, I may have misinterpreted a fact. If you’re looking for more information on the IUD from an actual medial doctor/resource… you can read about it here.
That’s actually a link to the clinic where I had mine inserted. If you’re live in lower Vancouver Island, I recommend this clinic. They’re very friendly, very helpful, and it’s a very safe clinic for women.
My RAD Experience
I feel like this subtitle is a bit misleading, because my experience with an IUD wasn’t exactly RAD. In hindsight, I was in pain a lot longer and a lot more than I should have been, I just didn’t realize it.
Upon consulting the clinic, I was given three options of IUDs. A Copper, a Mirena and a Jaydess. The latter two are hormonal and last up to 3 years before it needs replacing. I was leaning towards the copper that lasts 5 years before I came in, but I was talked into the Jaydess.
Canadian Jaydess Trial
I was told the Jaydess IUD is very popular in China/ Asian countries with a very low failure rate. It was just being introduced to Canada and at the time being inserted on a volunteer basis. After much discussion I DID volunteer to try out this IUD. Why not?
It was my thought that my IUD would cause me little to no troubles, and I liked the idea that being part of a medical trial gave me the opportunity to help other women in Canada have more birth control options. With a high success rate (had me thinking one-child law in China before that changed), I was sure it would be just like any other IUD. That’s what I was assured.
Being this was my only IUD experience, I can’t attest to the Copper or Mirena and tell you it’ll be different. Even if you try out the Jaydess (which is now available in more clinics), you could have a completely different experience than me.
At the clinic after filling out proper paperwork, I was taken to the procedure room. You jump up on the exam table that is a regular gynecologist table in the pretty hospital gown/skirt they ask you to put on. I always feel awkward being this naked in public, and it’s always awkward showing my bits to a stranger.
The things we do for our health, hey?
Laying down I was asked if I wanted a full exam, I seized the moment while things were already happening down there and saved myself another trip back in 3 months for a checkup. I highly suggest killing two birds with one stone here. Get fully checked out and tested while you’re feet are already up in the stirrups.
My doctor was very talkative to keep my mind distracted. I appreciated it because I was nervous. Then she realized I was wringing my hands, she gave me some stress balls to hold and squeeze. I also recommend you bringing one of these in case they don’t offer you one. You’re gonna need it.
Now, don’t let me scare you off with the implantation story. The intial pain is intense. They are opening up your cervix or something, that only usually happens when you give birth. There is a sharp and intense pain that will rock your body.
It lasts maybe 10 seconds and then it starts to subside. Insertion is extremely fast, but it’s also fairly painful. Of all the experiences I’ve read online, most people feel this pain. But everyone says it’s so fast that you forget. I forgot how bad it was. But then again, I just gave birth so my perception of pain could have still been a little skewed.
After insertion I hung out on the table for 5-10 minutes and got dressed. I was handed a large packet of information, along with a card with a clipping of my ‘string’ taped to the front.
This string is what I was to use to know what my IUD felt like so I could reach up inside and make sure it was still in place every month. It sounds nasty, but really, it’s your own body. Get over it.
Shortening the Strings
The IUD is a T-shaped contraption, the bottom of the T is a string that hangs outside your uterus. These strings are clipped short upon insertion, these are the strings you reach up and check to see if they are in place and all is well once a month.
Before leaving the clinic I was told that if there are any problems with my strings, I need only to make an appointment and they can ix them. If the strings get ‘lost’ they can go up and make sure it’s still in place. If they strings cause irritation during intercourse, I could go in and get them trimmed a bit shorter so it doesn’t bother the Mr. or myself.
Trouble with Strings
It took about 2 months before I realized it wasn’t postpartum vagina problems causing me pain while having sex. It wasn’t even me who spoke up about the pain first while Mr. Radhuber and I got busy. He did. With a complaint that it was irritating and a real mood killer just as we were hitting the sweet spot.
Hey, we’re all adults here. We’re talking birth control. Get that blush out of your face. We’re talking about orgasms here. It’s important stuff.
I didn’t realize that he was feeling the strings. And when I did, I made an appointment to get my strings trimmed shorter. Just like I was told to. Easy peasy, problem to be solved.
Trimming the Strings
It took less time to trim the strings than to insert the IUD. Which that only took maybe 5 minutes… including my pap smear and whatnot. The doctor went in, checked to be sure it was still in place, and offered to trim up to my cervix because the string was already short and that’d be the only way to really get it short.
Not really having a choice, she snipped and from then on all the pain during sex went away. The difference after getting my IUD trimmed was BIG. Being postpartum, I thought I just needed to get over myself and my pregnant body problems.
If you feel pain during intercourse, just go get your strings trimmed after your first romp. Why put yourself through that pain and sexual frustration when you’re supposed to be getting pleasure?
I know some people get off on pain & pleasure, but I don’t think this is what they mean.
I’m going to jump forward a year and a bit here to round up the effects the Jaydess IUD had on my menstruation. Keep in mind that I was postpartum. That on top of breastfeeding prevented my period of returning for over a year.
Think about that for a moment. Added to the 9 months without a period thanks to pregnancy, I was headed into two years without getting a visit from Aunt flow.
I KNOW! IT WAS AMAZING.
Thanks for agreeing with me. I would be pregnant every two years if it meant I could keep Red at bay like that. I really started to forget that I would get a period, and what it felt like. It was #paradise.
The Return of Aunt Flow
Eventually the party had to end and there was a knock on my door from dear old Aunt Flow. She was painful, and heavy, and I couldn’t go 30 minutes without heading to the bathroom to clean myself up.
It sounds like a mess, it was a mess. I hadn’t ever had a big accident as a result of my period. Not anything that I wasn’t able to hide and manage until I got home from school. I was pretty lucky with my whole high school menstrual experience.
Could you imagine my embarrassment when I stood up from the dinner table and saw red all over my newly reupholstered chairs I just finished DIY’ing? Mr. Radhuber had also been sheltered from all my menstrual cycles up until now.
I wasn’t super upset about the chair. I still had enough fabric to re-cover the seat. I was embarassed because I just leaked all over everwhere… in front of my husband and child. Granted, Gregory didn’t know anything. I was mortified. This had never happened to me before. Would Mr. Radhuber look at me disgusted, like I can’t take care of my womanly business?
A Real Man!
This is one of those moments where I was really glad to have Adrien in my life. Without even batting an eyelash to my overreaction, he got a wet rag and started to clean the chair for me while I ran to the bathroom to clean up.
With his constant reassurance that it wasn’t ‘gross’ like I had thought he would think it, Adrien stepped up and was a real man about the situation and diffused any tension that I had built up.
It was just blood. it was easily cleaned up and I recovered from Aunt Flow deciding she would let loose a tidal wave.
People have such a stigma over periods, myself included. But literally half the world deals with them, the other half wants the part of the body that corresponds to it. We shouldn’t hide it as much as we feel the need to.
A Heavy Flow
That was my first period, over a year after giving birth. I expected to have my first few periods heavier because of that. The IUD info pack also says it can cause heavy bleeding or spotting the first few months. I figured this meant when my period started again.
I stayed close to bathrooms for the first few months I had my period, thinking my 30 minute diaper change would start to become a more regular 2-4 hour change in a month or two.
I was wrong. I had several experiences where I needed to leave my home and venture outside with Gregory during the day. You didn’t honestly expect me to be home bound 7 days of the month. Sometimes 8…
Being the careful planner, I would put in a tampon and wear a pad to prevent any accidents. I couldn’t last a bus ride to the sky train without feeling blood tip over the side of my panties. Yeah, I could feel it start to soak my pants. I was already dealing with a difficult situation and bleeding in public was just too much.
Menstrual Cup Problems
Did I mention I tried using my menstrual cup and for some reason it wasn’t collecting any blood? I’m not exactly sure why, as I didn’t have any string hanging from my Uterus for it to create any problems.
I had also ordered the special postpartum menstrual cup for those who have given birth vaginally. Our downstairs changes a bit after each birth and they have two sizes available. Even this postpartum cup was not working at holding blood.
I don’t remember the exact days, but I remember the exact pain I had when my IUD started causing cramping. I was used to the cramping caused by PMS, for me they had been starting 3 days before my period started and lasted until day 3 or 4. These cramps usually had me laying on the couch, bed or floor for a day or two. Not fun.
During March/April I woke up to intense cramping. It wasn’t time for my period, I was aware of this fact and got worried. I have gallstones, a history with my liver and generally don’t take stomach pain lightly. I just don’t go to the hospital easily.
It took me about 3 hours before I called a clinic to schedule a visit to have my IUD taken right out. My pain was menstrual cramping, and I was mid cycle. This was the tipping point for me where I was no longer wanting to suffer.
Being a woman is painful enough, I didn’t need to create more pain for myself. So a three day weekend later I was sitting in a Vancouver Womens clinic waiting for the pain to be taken away.Reading about an IUD Birth control experience, join me and be enlightened. Click To Tweet
Removal of an IUD
Again, the doctors at clinics are very helpful and kind. They talk you through everything and try to keep you distracted from the fact that they are staring at your vagina. This fact never goes over my head, but I appreciate the attempt.
Legs in stirrups, two birds with one stone pap smear done, the doctor said something that terrified me.
“I don’t see it.”
I’ve heard and read IUD horror stories.
I’ve had a friend, who had hers inserted within a week of mine, go through the panic of it not being inserted right and needing it to be taken out in emergency.
I’ve read stories where a woman got pregnant and had to keep her IUD in until a C-section because if it was removed after conception she had a high risk of miscarriage. Also, couldn’t give birth vaginally.
That being said, as a 19 year old, I had friends with great experiences, none of which had any horror involved.
Finding a Lost IUD
I’ve also heard of women who’s IUD’s get ‘lost’. Meaning the strings disappear and the IUD moves up further into your uterus. This can cause big problems, as you can imagine.
My doctor went and got some special instruments to open my cervix so she could peak around and find my IUD. She had to look for it! Doesn’t that just sound dandy? Let me tell you something.
Don’t get me wrong, it can’t go very far, it isn’t some corn maze up inside my uterus. But the fact that she had to ‘open’ me up more to look makes the hair on the back of my neck prickle.
Getting my IUD out took just a second after she located it. The doctor exclaimed that my strings shouldn’t have been trimmed and if they complained the strings were already short, they should’ve just taken defeat and realized this IUD wasn’t working for me.
A RAD IUD TIP
If you doctor ever offers to trim your IUD strings right up to your cervix, refuse it. If they tell you that your strings are already really short, but they offer to cut them shorter, don’t accept their offer. Accept defeat with this birth control option and try another.
Seriously. Save yourself the trouble.
I’m a long time sufferer of fainting spells. Doctors label it ‘noodle drop’ because they can’t find a definitive cause. The doctor here at the clinic removing my IUD told me to stay on the exam table for at least 5 minutes, but as long as I needed after removal.
Apparently, it is common to get light headed after it being removed. I felt fine after it was removed. In fact I felt relieved.
The pain was gone.
Had I ever registered that pain before? It must have been so constant for so long that I was used to living with pain in my lower abdomen for the last 2 years.
Five minutes after removal I slowly sat up on the exam table with the help of a nurse, who immediately helped me lay back down because I went pale and clammy in an instant.
While the removal of my IUD took away pain, the whole fainting aspect is completely real. I must have laid there for an extra 10 minutes with a fan blowing in my face. Removal is easy, the effects it has on your body is intense and uncontrollable.
Removal was harder than insertion in my opinion. Purely for the effects it had on my body. The pain of insertion lasts seconds. Fainting is never fun and takes longer for me to recover from.
When I was all done at the clinic, I was given a prescription for a birth control pill and sent on my way. After the initial fainting situation, I was completely back to normal. No, I was better than normal. I was finally pain free after not realizing I was in pain.
I was finally finished with my IUD and I couldn’t have been happier.
While I enjoyed all the aspects of having an IUD at first:
- 3-5 years of contraception without worry
- 99% Success rate
- Little maintenance
- One time payment of $70
- Works Immediately
- Can (technically) conceive a baby the day it’s taken out
I really did not like any of the side effects, which ultimately were my reasons for removal.
- Heavy Periods
- PMS Cramping
- Sexual Frustrations
- DEBILITATING CRAMPING
The cramping… I’m being really friggin’ serious here. I started to think I was going into labour when I was calling the clinic to book an appointment to remove my IUD. I do not want to down play the pain. It was not worth it for me.
I do wonder if the fact that I got this IUD so quickly after giving birth made me overlook so many problems for so long. As a new mom, I was just trying to get on with my life and figure out how to navigate the world while being responsible for the life of another. I wasn’t concentrating on me as much as I should have.
I also wonder if the fact that it all happened right after pregnancy made my perception of pain extremely skewed. Even still I think I was a bit of a wimp when I think to how I handled my cramps. But at the same time, giving birth is the most pain I have ever experienced. If I say it felt like I was headed into giving birth… I assume I’m not just throwing that out there all willy-nilly.
Lastly, I did want to point out that my body has never done really well with hormones. Even the birth control I was prescribed afterwards didn’t last more than three months with me. I originally wanted to get the Copper IUD because it has no hormones.
I do wonder if the Copper IUD would have been a better fit for me. But my experience with the Jaydess IUD has me saying no thanks to all IUD’s in the future.
Before You Go
I hope my IUD experience sheds some light on the topic and whether or not you want to get one yourself. If you’re someone who has an IUD and are looking up experiences to compare your own and decide if it’s worth keeping, I hope this helps you consider if you’ve been living with more pain than you truly need to.
I am always one to suffer longer than I need to, thanks to my own stubborn head and inability to seek medical help without getting anxious. Don’t be like me. If you have pain, just go get checked out. Do it for yourself. You deserve to feel good and be confident in your choice of birth control.
Let me know in the comments your experience or thoughts on the IUD. It is a good option out there, there are plenty more success stories than horror stories. You just don’t get to see them online as often because those people aren’t even thinking about their IUD.
thinking about having all the sex they want without bringing another human being into the picture.
Le Sigh. I was one of those people for a while. Good times.