Saved from Refinery 29
When I posted on my Instagram about my IUD insertion, I got A LOT of questions and a lot of interest on a follow up detailing my experience. I wanted to wait until I felt like enough time had gone by for me to give an honest and accurate description so now that it has been a few weeks and I have had my follow up appointment with my doctor, I am ready to share!
A little background on what I was using before and why I wanted to change: I went onto the pill when I was 16 years old. About 2 years ago my sex drive started to change (I just assumed because I was getting older) and then as I got healthier thought it was strange. Then as I went vegan and started reading more about chemicals, pharmeucitals and things that we put into our body, I knew it was time to quit the pill. I went off the pill in February 2016 and did not have a period again until around November 2016. I loved not having a period but I really hated the implications. It's just not natural nor is it healthy. As time went on, I realized I needed a more sound proof method of birth control and asked fellow vegans who recommended Paragard, or the copper IUD, to me. I did some research and found out it was covered 100% under my health insurance, so I made the appointment!
Insertion: NOT great. I admit I have a weird and freakishly high pain tolerance. So for me, the insertion just made my entire body tense a couple of times and I had to really use my yoga breath. But all in all, not terrible. It is only a few moments of extreme discomfort. I will note that it is supposed to be easier for women who have had children previously and I have not.
The rest of the night I experienced very severe cramping (almost like contractions) but was okay when I woke up the next morning. I definitely suggest ibuprofen to help ease the pain. The next day after insertion it was just like I was on my period, a little spotting and with cramps. The cramps became minimal as the days went on but were still there. This did not affect my daily activities in any way. By day 6 all spotting had stopped along with all cramping. It was basically just like having another period but without the hormonal stuff that comes with it.
Sex: Totally normal, he didn’t notice anything and neither did I (I mean, to the point of me having to fish around to feel the string like R U THERE GOD ITS ME MARGARET because it is possible for the IUD to come out in the first few weeks) . Definitely has not changed anything as far as that is concerned with drive / performance beyond easing my mind that I won't get pregnant. After getting rid of the fake hormones and my body leveling itself out, my sex drive is back to my normal which is awesome after having thought it was my body for so long there.
First period: Not really any crampier than any of my previous periods but wow, major difference in blood flow. MUCH heavier. Previously I would probably only use 3-4 tampons per the 3 or 4 days that I had my period. Now I am having to change my tampon every other hour. My period lasted about 5 days, and the heaviest bleeding was really only on the first 2 days, after that it went back to what my previous ‘normal’. I am now on my second period with the IUD and it is much the same. I have read that after a few months with the IUD, women have experienced their periods go back to their 'normal' after the body has become accustomed to the IUD. (I know tampons are bad for the Earth and I should use something else, baby steps ok?)
Would I Recommend?: Absolutely. I have the Paragard (copper IUD) and I don't have to worry about hormones being pumped through me. It is totally hormone free and the most effective form of birth control beyond abstinence. I don't have to worry about it or think about it, I know that I won't get pregnant. I also know that I am making the right choice for my body by forgoing pharmaceuticals. This particular IUD will last me 10-12 years but if I ever want to get it taken out, I can do so and will be able to get pregnant the same day. Look into it, think about it, and as always ask me any particular questions or concerns you may have!