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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » About to get an IUD

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Author Topic: About to get an IUD
Parapluie
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Hi!

I recently decided that a copper IUD would be the best choice of contraceptive for me and I have an appointment to get one inserted in 2 weeks! I've been looking into it for a while and I'm very excited to get one. [Smile] Everything I've read online has been really helpful and the doctor was surprisingly supportive (I was expecting some resistance since I'm 19 and never been pregnant), but I'm feeling some nervousness about the procedure and what to expect afterward. If anyone here could tell me what their insertion was like, that might make me feel less nervous. I'm hoping it isn't horribly painful! I have read that some women only find it a little uncomfortable. I'm also wondering if anyone could tell me what sex has been like after insertion, such as if your partner could feel the strings or anything.

My doctor prescribed Misoprostol to dilate my cervix before hand, and I'm curious if anyone else used it as well and what it was like for them.

Despite my nervousness, I'm very excited to give this a go and be finished with hormones, at least for some years! [Smile] I've tried 2 different pills and NuvaRing and, it seems like the hormones make me lose my libido, become depressed, tired, sick feeling, sore and headache-y no matter what. :/ It'll be nice not to question whether my emotions are my own, or if it's the pill/ring, if that makes any sense.

I'm also looking forward to having birth control that's long term, doesn't require much maintenance and is cost-effective. The clinic where I'm having it inserted is also ordering in one specially for me since I don't have insurance and pharmacy fees would make the price much higher. I thought that was considerate of them. [Smile]

Anyway, I'm babbling (probably from excitement), thanks for reading!

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"The truth of all predictions is always in your hands."

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Heather
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Parapluie: I haven't had an IUD inserted myself (would that I could have!), but I can answer a lot of these questions since most are pretty factual or common rather than unique.

So, if you don't hear back from folks with first-person experience in the next few days, feel free to bump this and I'll fill you in with what I know as an educator/observer, okay? [Smile]

[ 03-02-2010, 05:09 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Parapluie
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That's totally fine. I'd like to hear what you have to say too. [Smile]

--------------------
"The truth of all predictions is always in your hands."

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Heather
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Okay.

First up, using Misoprostol with an IUD insert is basically standard care for women who have not been pregnant before (and therefore have smaller/less flexible cervical openings). Is your provider giving it to you to take orally the night before your IUD insert?

Partners are unlikely to be able to feel an IUD string: it's cut very short, gets soft very quickly, and your cervix also pulls back when you're aroused, so unless your cervix is getting bumped (in which case you're the one likely to feel discomfort, with or without an IUD), a partner isn't going to feel the strings.

Insertion is rarely described as comfortable, and does often come with some pain or discomfort, but it tends to be very short. As well, that tends to depend on the skill of a provider putting IUDs in. I've heard from some patients/clients with really practiced providers who expressed it was barely uncomfortable for them at all.

After insertion, you may have some cramping, bleeding or spotting for a few days, but can manage that just like you do a period. Periods also are often heavier after an insertion the first cycle, though with a copper-T, they're likely going to be heavier in general.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Parapluie
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My provider gave me two Misoprostol tablets to be inserted in my vagina a few hours before the procedure.

As for the heavier periods, I've always had pretty light, short (3-5 days) periods with cramping only on the first day and it's usually tolerable enough not to need pain killers. Would that be any predictor of what my post insertion periods would be like or am I just gonna have to wait and see? [Razz] I've thought a lot about how I feel about the heavier periods though, and I've decided that as long as I can manage them with ibuprofen and a heating pad, then I'm okay with it.

Thanks for answering my questions! I've read that the pain during insertion doesn't usually last very long, it's reassuring to hear it.

[ 03-02-2010, 06:13 PM: Message edited by: Parapluie ]

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"The truth of all predictions is always in your hands."

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Heather
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Ultimately, the copper-T just usually makes periods a bit heavier and crampier than they already are. But if the ones you have now and very light and really painless, figure that they'll probably just be a bit more like everyone else's. [Smile]

So, with the oral administration of the misoprostol, typical side effects can be some nausea or diarrhea, and that's usually about it. I can help to stay extra hydrated that day.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Parapluie
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The misoprostol I was given is supposed to be inserted in my vagina. [Razz]

--------------------
"The truth of all predictions is always in your hands."

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Heather
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Ah, so you're doing a suppository. No trouble. In that case, those two side effects are far less common, though some women report shivering (so no need to be freaked out if that happens).

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Parapluie
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Okay, thank you so much for your help! [Smile] I do feel a fair bit less nervous now. Thank you for the tip about shivering too, I would probably be pretty freaked out otherwise!

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"The truth of all predictions is always in your hands."

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Parapluie
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Hello, I just thought I'd update and tell you how the IUD stuff went.
In a few words: not well.
I was supposed to get it inserted on Monday and the clinic would have it there ready for me (they were ordering it in for me). Well, I got there and they said they didn't have it. They sent me to a pharmacy which also didn't have it. Apparently since Mirena came out, copper IUD's are a hassle to get? So, I was disappointed, but I got an appointment for Wednesday.

I was really nervous, but the Nurse Practitioner made me feel better and she started the insertion process. It hurt quite badly. She had to try 3 times to get it in! Is that normal with nulliparous women? The sound would go in, but not the IUD. The nurse then had to call a doctor who tried 3 times again and finally got it in, simply to have it poke back out again. [Frown] The applicator was contaminated by that time and she had to pull the IUD out. [Frown]

I'm going to try again soon, but I'm worried that the same thing will just happen. I was worried enough about expulsion, I didn't even think very much about the possibility of it not going in. I don't wanna have to go through that pain again to come out with nothing.
Since it poked out the first time, is it likely to do it again? Or if they do get it in, will my risk of expulsion be higher? I've also been getting sharp twinges of pain in my cervix since the attempted insertion. Is that normal?

Sorry if this post seems more like a sad rant, I'm just very disappointed. I'm so sick of hormonal birth control and no doctors or nurses that I've talked to (4 of them) are very receptive to me getting a diaphragm either, in case the IUD doesn't work. *sigh*

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"The truth of all predictions is always in your hands."

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Heather
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One of the reasons IUDs are marketed and provided with people making clear they sometimes are better choices for women who have been pregnant before is that insertion can be (it isn't always, but it can be) more difficult in women who have not been. The risk of expulsion also is higher in women who have not been pregnant before. I'm hoping both of these were things your provider talked to you about in advance.

However, the skill of the provider is also a factor: some providers are amazing with putting in IUDs, some are really lousy at it, many lie somewhere in between.

I'm distressed to hear that your healthcare providers are not being receptive to you not wanting to use hormonal methods. That really should not be happening. I don't suppose that you're by any chance within reach of a Planned Parenthood Canada branch?

[ 03-18-2010, 05:12 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Parapluie
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Yes, they told me that my cervix would probably be inflexible due to never having been pregnant before and I was aware of that before I decided to get an IUD. Like I said, I thought more about expulsion that the possibility that it might not go in, but I think that's because I've read more about expulsion. I'm still upset, but I understand why it happened.

The heathcare providers that I've talked to include a gynecologist, a family doctor and two nurses, all of whom made diaphragms out to be horrible and not worth the trouble. I've asked for one but they kinda brush me off and suggest NuvaRing. :S Which I tried and didn't like. It's been extremely frustrating. On top of that, they all told me that diaphragms are very hard to get in Canada. Maybe that has something to do with their reluctance?

Maybe I'm just crazy, but with the exception of one nurse who seemed genuinely concerned, the heath care providers I've talked to don't seem to get just how bad the depression I was having on the pill was. It's enough to make me never want to use hormones ever again. They seem at a loss for words when it comes to my complaints. :/ I guess I'm odd though, considering I've never had a mood disorder before?

Anyway, to answer your question [Razz] , I've never seen a Planned Parenthood Canada in my city, I live in Winnipeg, MB.

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"The truth of all predictions is always in your hands."

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Heather
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My understanding is that it's tougher to get a diaphragm in Canada, but it's still possible. Same goes with cervical caps.

It's so important doctors and nurses do their best to leave their value judgments at the door. There is no one right birth control method for everyone, and while plenty of women have had trouble with IUDs and cervical barriers, plenty also have not, and the same is true of every method. If you have a healthcare provider telling you any method is "more trouble than it is worth," that's a value judgment, since we all know when any of us find the right methods for ourselves, we'll tend to be glad to move heaven and earth for them. [Smile]

You do have a PP in Winnipeg if you want to check it out: http://maps.google.com/maps/place?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=2bT&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&resnum=0&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=planned+parenthood+winnipeg&fb=1&gl=us&hq=planned+parenthood &hnear=winnipeg&cid=7602115059302016870

Or, you could also do some more legwork to find a doctor who expresses being an ace at IUD insertion. You have some options.

I'm sorry it's been so rough to find a method: I know full well how much that can suck, especially as someone who has strong sensitivities to all hormones and would have some health risks with them to boot (and who also can't have either IUD due to the hormones in the one, and the added potential complications of the other with periods). For me for most of my reproductive life, when sleeping with men, condoms or condoms combined with cervical barriers have been my best answers, but your mileage may vary. Again, we're all so different that it can sometimes take a lot of experimenting to find our own best methods.

In terms of your experiences on the pill, by the way, that doesn't mean that'll happen with every hormonal method or every pill. It also sounds like the hormonal methods you have tried have all been estrogen and progestin, not progestin-only. So, the progestin-onlies may be one other group of options for you if you want to look into those, too.

One last thing? Healthcare providers who really do work with birth control shouldn't be shocked by people having serious mood complications, in my book. That happens often enough. So, you might also just do what you can to screen providers for your repro health by asking them if they consider themselves to be very educated/experienced contraception providers.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Parapluie
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I understand that not every pill or hormonal method will make me depressed, I just seriously hate waiting to find out if it will (along with other side effects) and then all the while being hyper aware of my body and mood changes. That hyper awareness probably has something to do with my aversion to hormonal methods, since I start to feel anxious about it all.

I do enjoy condoms, I just need to have a back up as well or else I don't feel comfortable.
The clinic I went to is going to find me a gynecologist to try a second insertion. If that doesn't work out, I'll look into planned parenthood and a diaphragm. Thanks for the tip, I didn't even realize that planned parenthood existed in Canada. [Smile]

Neither of the people who tried to insert the IUD had ever inserted a Flexi-T IUD before, only Mirena and one or two Nova-T's. So, if it makes any difference, I'll try to make sure I can find a gynecologist who's inserted a Flexi-T before.

And I'm relieved to hear that I'm not a freak for having my moods affected by the pill!

Thanks for talking to me about this, I was feeling super down about it, but I feel more hopeful now. [Smile]

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"The truth of all predictions is always in your hands."

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Heather
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Of course. I absolutely understand. One other condom backup possibility, by the way, is charting your fertility.

However, if either of the people who tried to insert that IUD had ever inserted that IUD before, that, all by itself, may well have been the issue. I'd absolutely, if you can, try and find someone who has inserted that IUD before and who, in general, would say they're good at IUD insertion.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Parapluie
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Charting my fertility is something I would probably really enjoy, as I like stuff like that. I'm very interested in the body. [Smile] If I use non-hormonal methods of birth control, I'll most likely end up charting my fertility. I'm still crossing my fingers that the IUD will work next time though!

Thank you very much for helping me! I really appreciate Scarleteen, and the volunteers and you, this website has helped me so much. [Smile]

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"The truth of all predictions is always in your hands."

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ohmyohmyyy
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Let me know how the Paragard insertion goes. I"m probably going to opt for that in a month or two, though I'm scared because I've previously had insanely heavy periods.

Blah blah blah, birth control, blah. ugh.

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Heather
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ohmyohmyyy: is there a reason you're only considering the Paraguard? I ask because it most likely will make cramping and bleeding heavier, so if that's not something you're comfortable with, you do have other options.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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ohmyohmyyy
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I've been switching around hormonal methods for a bit now and I've been having serious problems with depression and anxiety.
Literally, I just spent an hour crying for no reason.
I need to find something that doesn't make me crazy and right now, Paraguard seems like one of the only options.

Does Mirena have the same hormonal side effects? I've heard the dose is only two mini pills a week but I'm nervous to pay all the money to get it put in, only to still feel like crap.

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Parapluie
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I missed the reply to this post, but I haven't had another IUD inserted yet, I'm waiting for it to arrive from the manufacturer, since it's cheaper that way (I'm also actually getting a Flexi-T, not a Paragard, so my experience might be slightly different). I'll certainly let you know how it goes though. [Smile] Hopefully it'll go better next time!

I've read a few personal stories about the Mirena having some of the same negative side effects as methods whose main function is hormones. I've read an overwhelming amount of positive stories though too. But really, it just depends on the individual when it comes to either IUD, as far as side effects go. I recommend this blog: http://community.livejournal.com/iud_divas/ if you're looking for some helpful info on IUDs. [Smile]

I understand not wanting to pay all that money though, only to have it not work out. Heck, I wasted $60 on an IUD that wouldn't get in there. I know $60 is probably much less than you'll have to pay though.

If you're very uncomfortable with hormones or the possibility of very heavy periods or can't afford it right now, you have other options. For example, while I wait for round two with the IUD, I'm using condoms and spermicidal foam. If the IUD doesn't work out, I'm gonna try to get a diaphragm.

I'll tell you how it goes though, once I (hopefully!) get it inserted! [Smile]

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"The truth of all predictions is always in your hands."

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Ecofem
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[If I may jump in regarding the LJ community: the IUD_Divas are certainly a very friendly bunch and are glad to help others, but I will say that I've noticed you will read mostly either horror stories or posts singing the praises of IUDs whereas the in-between aren't as represented. Also, every individual experience is different. So, I saw definitely check it out if you like -- and you are [Smile] -- but also keep in mind that it's not totally representative of the average IUD experience.]
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Parapluie
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Thanks for clarifying that Ecofem, I should have mentioned that in my post! [Razz]

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"The truth of all predictions is always in your hands."

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Parapluie
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I just thought I'd add an update! My copper IUD was successfully inserted yesterday morning, and I'm not even bleeding or cramping very much. They numbed my cervix and it helped immensely, it was hardly painful. The speculum was probably the worst part this time. [Razz]

Also, I'm kind of a dork when it comes to bodies, and I thought it was super neat to find out that I have a retroverted uterus. [Smile]

Now lets just hope it stays in there!

--------------------
"The truth of all predictions is always in your hands."

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cthulhu_hungers
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Won't be much good to you now, but there's a thread on here for IUD experiences, if you still want to read them: http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=21;t=001128
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