IUDs are becoming an increasingly popular form of birth control; with good reason. They’re highly effective with failure rates ranging from 0.2% for hormonal IUD’s to 0.8% for copper ones, require very little maintenance, can shorten or get rid of ones menstrual cycle and in some instances can alleviate symptoms associated with reproductive disorders. After having one myself, I do have some mixed feelings about it but it’s important to remember that with anything it will have different effects on different people.
Leading up to getting it, I did a ton of research on contraception and that combined with family and friends stories led me to the conclusion that the IUD would be where it’s at. The insertion was pretty unpleasant. I like to think I have a high pain tolerance but it did not stand up to the pain I felt while getting it put in. I bled quite a bit the first day, became very faint, nauseous and experienced intense cramping. Work that night was a STRUGGLE. Pro-tip: take off the day of the procedure. For a while after that though things we’re fantastic. My period pretty much stopped, as did the excruciating pain I was getting with them. I didn’t really think much about it. My sex life was great and overall the whole experience was empowering.
Unfortunately things took a turn this year when I landed in the ER with pretty excruciating abdominal and pelvic pain. It was figured out that I had a sizable ovarian cyst and upon research I learned that there is a correlation between the particular (hormonal) IUD I had and the development of cysts. So much so that they are now forced to warn people about it in the side effects notes. For that reason I did end up getting the IUD removed and am currently looking into other options. Perhaps a non-hormonal one.
No birth control is perfect but luckily there are many alternatives. Get to know yourself and your body, be safe and do what works best for you!
Photo: Women's Medical Centre