Friday, 29 August 2014

My IUD Experience

The Insertion 

The lovely midwife who was assigned to insert my IUD had prepared me beforehand for the experience to be painful. She told me to take some ibuprofen before I came in and to plan to take the rest of the day off, which I have. When I went in there I was feeling slightly nervous, but confident in her abilities and comfortable in the space they'd created for me.
            We chose a date when I would be menstruating, because that’s supposed to make it easier and less painful. The appointment started with a regular examination, during which she tried to get a look at my uterus and check its position. That wasn’t supposed to hurt, but it did, because I’m extra sensitive down there and gynaecological exams always do hurt a bit for me. After that she started trying to insert the IUD through a small tube, which… hurt like a bitch. My entire lower body started bracing and trying to push myself away from her. Luckily Olle was there to hold my hand and talk to me about other things, and that was really nice, but the process itself was still pretty awful. She tried several times and then decided we should stop for a while and try to get my body to relax. She said sometimes when people start cramping too much like this, you have to just leave it and try again another day.
            But I really didn’t want that! So while she went to get a colleague I tried really hard to relax and focus on my breathing. The second lady put me a bit further back, and kept going with the procedure while the other nurse pushed on my stomach (apparently that helps for some reason). And she did it! After just a couple minutes she said ‘and it’s done’. It took something like fifteen minutes instead of the five it’s supposed to, but it was done.
            Immediately afterwards I started to feel nauseous. I was still having severe stomach pain. I lay back for a while, trying to breathe through the pain and feeling myself get kind of faint and shaky, and then I threw up. I threw up quite a lot. But I started to feel a bit better after that.
            Apparently these symptoms affect about 10% of the people who have the procedure done. I went to lie down on their sofa for a while with a blanket over me, and about an hour after they’d completed the insertion I felt ready to walk home. Now I’m just hanging out on our sofa with a wheatbag and watching stand-up comedy. I just feel like I have a heavy period (which is accurate). It’s not so bad. The liquorice allsorts are good.

Update 1: Five hours later

The pain seems to have pretty much passed. Since I got home I've been experiencing pain similar to my ordinary menstrual cramps (which are pretty mild) amped up a little bit. I ate lots of candy and pasta to make up for upchucking breakfast and I've downloaded the last Divergent book. It's only average so far, but it's keeping me amused.

Olle's kind of ill as well, so this has turned into a sickday for both of us. Honestly, I don't feel nearly as bad as I thought I would. I'm super glad I didn't do this in New Zealand and go to work afterwards like I'd planned to, but right now it's really no big deal. The post office is holding two packages for me right now, so I'm thinking when it stops raining soon I'll go for a little walk and pick them up. It's hard to believe I was feeling so awful just a few hours ago.

Update 2: Day and a Half Later

So, the rest of my recovery day was more or less uneventful. I had no more bleeding than I usually do during my period, and not a lot more pain than usual either. At one point in the evening I got a bit sore and sad and felt like I was maybe coming down with Olle's cold, but that passed when I got outside a bit and made myself some salad to balance out the day's sugar in-take. I slept easily and comfortably.

This morning I had a new kind of stabby pain in the right side of my stomach, and got a bit worried that my body was trying to reject the thing (apparently the biggest risk period for that is the 10 days after insertion) but it passed a little while later and hasn't come back. I've had some more mild cramps today, but nothing I couldn't control with some regular painkiller. I think the worst has definitely based.

The Verdict

I guess it remains to be seen whether I will pass smoothly through the rest of the risk period and how the IUD will effect me in the coming months, but at this point, I'm very happy with it. The insertion wasn't exactly fun and games, but for five years of no-hassle, very reliable birth control, I'm happy enough with the way it turned out. My recommendation for anyone looking to get the IUD is to make sure to find a doctor you trust, have a light breakfast beforehand, and make sure you have juice or something on hand to quickly replenish your blood sugar. And also if you can have someone there to hold your hand, that doesn't hurt.

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