Let’s talk about reproductive issuessssssss!
JK, let’s talk about me. That’s what I’m good at. I realized the other day that I think the most common word I use in my Tweets is “I”. I mean, look at this paragraph. I, I, I. But whatever, it’s my blog so let’s talk about reproductive issues as they pertain to me. Yay!
Yesterday I got an IUD. That’s right, I’m jumping right into it. I now have a little copper-wrapped T in my uterus which is 99% effective at keeping me baby free for the next 10 years. I’ll hit the journalistic Ws (and the H!) to explain my experience.
WHY: Why did I get it or why am I blogging about it? For the latter, I did a lot of research before I decided to go forward with the IUD. And by a lot, I mean probably a good hour of internet research, which is a lot for me. The information I found ranged from comparing it to birthing children to describing it as only slight discomfort, so I thought I would throw my hat in the ring and offer yet another side of the story. And I can throw some great tags on here and maybe somebody besides my husband will read my blog for once? A girl can have dreams.
As to why I got it, there are several reasons. I was on the pill for about four years but still wasn’t a huge fan of it. I felt like it still affected my moods, my acne, my weight, etc. etc. Of course, all these things could be due to just my personality, lifestyle, and eating habits, but why would I change my whole life when I can just blame everything shitty in my life on the BC pill? To be slightly fair and semi-journalistic, I was on Microgestin, which doesn’t have the best reviews online and I’ve heard only bad things about from my peers. Sure, I could’ve switched to another brand of pill, but I wasn’t keen on possibly going through all the new-pill syndromes again and I no longer want to be on hormones. So after my research, I settled on the copper IUD, Paragard.
(That was my first time visiting the Paragard website and ohhhh my god lololol at that picture on their home screen. I can’t wait until this Paragard kicks in so I can look as cool on a bike as this girl does.)
WHO: Me! DUH! And my doctor. And her nurse, who never remembers me and introduces herself to me every year at my annual exam. I asked my doctor about it at my annual exam and she gave me a brief overview of the IUD, basically recapping everything I read online up to that point. She described the hormonal IUDs versus the copper IUD and explained how she could potentially poke a hole in my uterus during the insertion. Uhhh, ok cool. But I was willing to take the risk and told her I wanted to proceed and we scheduled an appointment for me to come back and get coppered-up #IUDjoke
WHEN: Yesterday! Friday! In the afternoon! Trying to make this more exciting than it was!
*overshare alert* I had to schedule the appointment for a time when I was on my period because your cervix is more open during your period and therefore easier for your doctor to shove the IUD into your uterus yayyyyyyy. Be prepared to sit on that cold, tissue-paper covered table and potentially bleed on it. No shame; the doctor has seen worse, right? RIGHT?!
WHERE: My doctor’s office, obvs. It’s only a few blocks away from home, but I still had my husband take me due to my research. Some people weren’t able to drive themselves home afterward. I probably could’ve, but it was nice to have him there in case I would’ve been in more pain.
WHAT: The copper IUD. Did you already forget what this post is about?
HOW: The entire appointment took about 10 – 15 minutes, but I don’t really remember because I was just trying to breathe and get through it. The nurse took me back and did the pre-appointment nurse questions where you lie about how many drinks you have each week and you try to calm your heart while she takes your blood pressure. Apparently mine was high, which she called out, which only made it go even higher. I was nervous, okay?! I knew what to expect but everyone’s pain tolerance is different, so I also had no idea what to expect.
Then came the time to sit pantsless on the cold tissue-paper covered table as described above. My doctor came in and did her thing. I stared at the ceiling as she calmly described what she was doing in my downstairs region. I thought I was tough stuff when she said I might feel a pinch and only felt a slight twinge down there. But then she had to measure my uterus to make sure it was big enough for the IUD and said I would feel a cramp. “Bring it on” I thought, and holy shit. A cramp shot through what felt like my right ovary and literally made me jump and tense up, my toes curling over the cold stirrups. It subsided as quickly as it came on, but I was sweaty and now shaken and nervous for what was yet to come. She then advised it was time to insert the IUD and there may be another cramp, so I did my yoga breaths (humble brag), stared at the ceiling even harder, and braced for the worse. I felt a slight cramp but nothing like the first one, and next thing I knew my doctor was trimming the strings and we were done. I felt like a champ and like I have the best pain tolerance in the world. Overall, it was a pleasant experience, but was better than what I had expected.
My husband drove me home and I set myself up on the couch. I didn’t feel horrible pain, just comparable to period cramps. I cuddled up with my hot water bottle and my new yoga blanket, which I may or may not have bought just in anticipation of this appointment. But look at it! It’s cuuuute!
I rested and again, felt like a champ for handling the pain so well. Fast forward five hours, and the real cramps arrived. I’ve had cramps before, but these were different. They wrapped around my entire lower body and even traveled into my thighs. It felt like sticks were poking my ovaries. It wasn’t horrible pain; more annoying than anything, but enough for me to feel stupid for feeling so confident before. I did a few stretches, took more ibuprofen, and broke out the heating pad for my back and re-warmed the hot water bottle for my front. Thankfully I never really have problems sleeping, so I was able to fall asleep and not experience the pain for very long.
I feel better today; still a little crampy but more comfortable with moving around. I’m glad my appointment was on a Friday so that I didn’t have to worry about work today. The cramps do kind of wipe me out so I gladly took a nap this afternoon to escape the cramps for a few hours. I’m still paranoid that any little movement will knock the IUD out of place or cause it to puncture my uterus, but I did a Yoga with Adriene YouTube video (yes, I brought up yoga again; it’s my latest obsession, okay?) and as far as I can tell, everything is still intact.
I’m optimistic that the cramps will be mostly gone by tomorrow and I won’t have to carry a bottle of pills with me as I move from couch to bed to couch. This has been a great excuse to sit around and drink a lot of LaCroix, though, and catch up on weird TV shows which I can’t tell if I like or not. One thing I realized is that I wish I had more athleisure clothes that the kids are wearing these days so methinks I’m heading over to Amazon now … probably going to buy another yoga blanket too.
In summary, the IUD seems rad so far. The cramps were the worst part and I’m glad it lasts for 10 years so that I don’t have to go through this a whole lot. I’ll try to make updates in the coming months to see how this all pans out. Fingers crossed for no unwanted uterus holes.