So it’s been around 4 months since I had my IUD inserted and here are some highlights (well, lowlights tbh).
- The CRAMPS
- I occasionally will get a horrific piercing cramp that throws me for a loop and makes me nauseous. Like, so painful that I have to stop what I’m doing for a few minutes and I have what feels like a hot flash because I start sweating. According to my friend who’s had an IUD for a few years now, she experienced the same thing for about 6 months when she first got hers. Which is comforting to a degree but I also would just kind of rather not have that happen??? It was far worse during the month immediately after the IUD was inserted, happening 2-3 times a week. Last month it only happened twice, both times in the week before my period.
- The strings??
- One of my first questions to my GYN about the IUD was, “How do I know if it’s been extruded?” It’s a somewhat rare occurrence when an IUD pushes its way through the uterine wall and into your torso cavity, but it happens. As someone who has been through a surgery to remove an endometrioma, I’m not tryna have a similar procedure done anytime soon.Her answer to my question was basically “You won’t be able to feel the strings anymore, and you will bleed heavily. Like ‘filling up a pad in an hour’ heavily.” Learning how to find the strings at all is already a new experience if you’ve never felt your cervix before (I hadn’t), but once I learned how I was able to feel some short little strings sticking out. However, this last month I felt for them again and they were totally gone. I haven’t had any irregular bleeding which is comforting, but I’m still nervous about the potential for extrusion.
- The difference in hormones
- My old oral birth control had a couple of unpleasant side effects (having a lowered libido that you can’t control is VERY unpleasant when you’re about to go on a honeymoon), but it also had some side effects that I really miss. Clearer skin, lighter and thinner body hair, no PMS, to name a few. Now it’s like all of my highschool-era body woes come back to visit whenever my period visits too. Breakouts, mood swings, dark fast-growing upper lip hair, darker arm hair, bloatiness… I’d forgotten how obnoxious my period used to be before birth control, and with the IUD’s difference in hormones those symptoms are all back during my period.
- The unexpected non-sexy side effect
- Once I switched from oral BC, my libido came crawling slowly back for a quick visit, but then pretty soon after crawled away. I don’t know if it’s because of the hormones in the IUD themselves or not. But I DO know that some of it has been body image and bodily comfort (?) issues that have arisen from the other side effects. For the first couple of months I had an almost constant strange discharge, and along with the pain and bloatiness I just really didn’t want to be touched.
- I’m not pregnant.
- Which is really the whole point, right? There’s some shitty side effects of this thing, but at the end of the day I haven’t been paralyzed and there’s no miniature Jowi running around.
- I don’t have to remember to take a pill everyday.
- I’ll admit I was pretty bad at that.m o s t i m p o r t a n t l y:
- I don’t have to worry if my healthcare will decide to stop covering my birth control next month.
- This was the main reason I got the IUD, because I primarily take it to control the symptoms of my endometriosis. Now that I’m in a serious long term relationship where we don’t want kids, that’s honestly just a great side effect for us, but it’s not the reason I started taking/using BC in the first place. Without the BC endometrial cells would continue to grow willy-nilly and I’d likely need to have minor surgeries every couple of years to stop my organs from sticking together. But because sex is so politicized, it was really a serious concern that the type of birth control I need to control the cell growth would no longer even be partially covered by insurance, and I therefore would no longer be able to afford it. So knowing that, despite all the weird stuff I’m having to get used to, there’s something in me that will continue to treat my disease for the next 5 years despite what changes in legislation may occur, is pretty damn comforting.
P L E A S E tell me what your experiences have been like and if you’ve lived anything I mentioned here! Solidarity is amazing ❤