Let’s talk IUDs. Let’s because of the unhelpful and uninformative crap that currently exists on the internet. Let’s because I decided on Sunday that I was going through with it.
Let’s because I’m an hour in and so far so good.
1. Does it hurt like hell?
Thousands, and I mean thousands, of Google search results say it does. Comments like, ‘giving birth was a breeze after that’ and ‘I would rather lose a leg’ are some of the more ridiculous things that I found online before I decided to stop reading the entries on Ma.yo or AskW.oman dot coms. That being said, the interweb had successfully done it’s job in freaking me out.
I chickened out several times last month, saying that I was just going to miss my appointment and let my prescription expire.
On Sunday, I finally decided that there wasn’t really another option. I could bitch and moan all I wanted that it was unfair that being a woman meant being plagued with decisions, problems and stress revolving around my uterus, but in the end, it was either suck it up, or go back to one of the previously tried and disliked BC methods.
I walked over to the Pri.cesmart by myself to fill in the prescription. On the way, I thought about my options once again. Could I really be so selfish that a few seconds of pain was less desirable that a lifetime of damage, both through thrown out condoms or hormonal pollutants into the waters? I have endured pain before, was it just the lead-up that was stressing me out? Why was I so scared?
When I arrived, the nice Pharmasist informed me that they didn’t actually carry the M in stock (since it was pretty expensive), and she would have to order it. I thought perhaps fate had stepped in to let me know that it wasn’t ready for me to go the route of the IUD. When I told her that my appointment was in the morning on Tuesday, I expected her to tell me that I should change the day. She shrugged and said that I should be alright as shipments came in twice daily. She asked that I call Monday evening to ensure that it had made it in.
I was worried that I was cutting it a little close, in case the M didn’t actually arrive. Seemed wrong to cancel the appointment at 9am that morning. No problems though. At 8:30pm last night, Pric.esmart confirmed that it was in and waiting for me.
My Mom offered to come with me to my appointment in the morning. When I told her that I was just going to take the bus there and back, she was happy to come along – at least for the company there and back again. I even scored Breakfast out of the deal as the obgyn is actually located behind a Rickeh’s. I downed a few Ibprofen with tasteless pancakes and made it over for my 11:30 appointment.
It was really nice to have someone to talk with prior to going in. The last time I was there for the consultation, I had been made it sit in the front room with a bunch of cackling hens talking about how horrible this or that was for their FIRST pregancy while children ran screaming about. It was quiet this time and my mom and I were the only ones waiting.
I was escorted into the little room a short time later and asked to remove my pants. Naturally, the nurse came in once I was settled with the paper sheet over my legs and told me that she had put me in the wrong room. I pulled on my clothes and moved into the other room where a fast talking woman introduced herself as my doctor. Once I was again pantless, she came in to let me know that there would be a brief examination to ensure that everything was pointing the right way. Seems it was, because she then told me that she needed to stretch the cervix with a device. It was going to hurt a little she said, and then…
Discomfort. I believe that this is the better word. Pain is definately a relative term and everyone’s threshhold for pain is different. My sister has been tatted many many times, and yet the sign of a needle for injection completely stresses her out. Dee tells me that she’s had people with multiple compound fractures (or something as dire) tell her than their pain was a 4, while the person with a cut on their finger was screaming about pains in the 8-9 level (on a scale of 1-10).
I was breathing deeply as I lay there and knew when she was going to cause me pain. I took deep breaths and felt tension and discomfort. The doctor informed me that I had a smaller cervix and that she needed to readjust was she had just done. Again, the same thing. Discomfort. I did definitely gasp,
but tales of screaming and yelling seem a little silly now. While there are tales of screaming and yelling, I am glad that I didn’t suffer such as that.
I didn’t actually FEEL the insertion of the IUD.
There was no additional pain, and since the obgyn is used to doing these kind of procedures, she was fast and efficient. I was laying down maybe a total of 5-10 minutes. She asked me if I was alright and I confirmed that I was. I sat up from the stirrups and was smiling as she whirled out of the room still talking.
I am feeling about the same as I do after a physical examination with the regular doctor and tender since they prefer to insert an IUD while you’re menstruating. I have a bit of a headache – but I think that is more due to the stress I caused myself worrying and a weather headache due to it being overcast.
I’m going to actually say that for me, it was less painful that giving blood. The discomfort was coloured grey and fuzzy and lasted the same amount of time as the tenderness in my nose after being pierced.
2. Does it cost bucketloads?
The Mranda IUD costs the same as 5 years of birth control pills. Do the math. With my drug plan, it cost $70. The box was huge (about the same size as 12 packages of Ales.se BC pills).
3. How should you (or your wife/partner) prepare?
Stay calm and don’t read internet forums if you cannot take it with a grain of salt. I would not recommend reading anything other than the pamphlets you get from your doctor if you are unable to remain calm. My doctor recommended I take 2 Adv.il prior to going to my appointment. Wear comfortable underwear and pants. Not cause it really helps, but it’s nice to have the excuse to wear yoga pants out in public.
4. What’s the follow up?
Ask your doctor any remaining questions. My obgyn said that some people have worse cramps or bleeding/spotting for the first 3 months. She has also had people call to ask her to remove it right away due to the increased spotting/crams, but she refuses. She said I can immediately use tampons and that I should schedule an appointment with my regular doctor 1 month from now to check that everything is good. She likes to have a follow up 3 months later to also check.
So. I have taken the next step to taking charge of my body and unwanted pregnancy. The IUD has a 94-99% effectiveness vs. the 99% with the pill. While that 5% is fairly substantial in my mind, I feel I have made a good choice for my body and my surroundings.
So, the biggest hurdle of the week successfully jumped, I focus on packing. 3 days until the move and I really feel like I am no where near where I should be. That being said, people have moved in a single day before and they will again. Bathroom is all packed up and after I give it a good scrub down tonight, I will have successfully packed up 1 room 100%.
I think I can, I think I can, **choo choo**.