I want to say that this community has been incredibly helpful and reassuring as I made my decision to get an IUD. Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences, divas! I want to add to the pile so that I can hopefully help others :3
Background: I'm 21, never had a pregnancy, and was previously relying on the birth control pill and condoms. Now, the pill is great and is wonderful for controlling my mood, but because of an anti-seizure / mood stabilizer I'm on it had the potential to be less effective than advertised. I'm currently in a situation where getting pregnant would seriously ruin my life. I was also totally paranoid for a while because my cousin's girlfriend was almost a candidate for "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant"--she didn't find out until she was 7 months along (she was on the pill and getting regular "periods" heavy enough to require a pad, too)! I think I would die from shock if that happened to me. So, I decided I wanted a Paragard!
I went to the WomanCare office at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Western MA. Making an appointment was easy and they were super nice. The insertion was covered as a regular appointment by my insurance because the practice doctors are part of Aetna's Aexcel program. It was all so surprisingly easy! First I went in for a consultation. The doctor explained how the IUD works and the risks--especially because I was a young woman without prior pregnancies. She was sightly skeptical (as I'm on the pill, and wanted to stay on it for mood control). She gave me informational pamphlets and sent me home with an appointment to come in on my period.
Fast forward to two weeks later! I got my period and I went into the office. I was super nervous, so I took some klonopin I had as well as 4 ibuprofen. Since I took the klonopin, I took a taxi... they were really late, so I was late to my appointment too! Everything was fine once I got there, so I got sent to the room and undressed from the waist down. I was able to keep my comfy sweater on :) The nurse who came in to help out was nice and comforting. She let me know that they do it all the time and it would be fine. Then the doctor came in, she was very pleasant and showed me exactly what she was going to do. She let me see the IUD as well. It was so tiny! We made some small talk to calm tension and then she did the procedure. She gently inserted the speculum and then grasped my cervix with the tenaculum, which didn't hurt at all. The other doctor (who I talked to at my consultation) said that I would get a shot of novicaine. She didn't do that, and I'm glad, because needles scare the bejeezus out of me.
Anyway, back to the procedure! I was braced for it to hurt like a mofo, but surprisingly... it didn't. It felt like a pap smear, to be honest. When she inserted the sound, it felt like a weird, deep poke. Not painful at all. On a scale of 1-10, it would have been a 1. Then she inserted the IUD device. Again, that didn't really hurt. The same sort of deep poke. It felt slightly strange when the arms of the IUD extended, but that was it. They had me lay down for a little bit (got to chat about corgis with the doctor! I love corgis, they're SO cute) and then when I was done I got up, she gave me a pad, and sent me on my way with a follow up in 6 weeks.
Immediately after they put it in, I felt slight cramping, nothing more than a normal period. It even went away while walking, how cool is that? Afterwards I went to downtown Northampton and did some light shopping (and got a coffee, since I had a craving that only a soy cappuccino could satisfy!). I put on a heating pad...it wasn't really necessary but it felt quite comforting.
Right now (the morning after!) I am chilling out. I don't need to take more ibuprofen since I barely feel any cramps. It was put in on my period, and right now there is a little more blood than I'm used to, but nothing terrible. Looking back, the worst part of this entire thing was the cab company. Don't use Go Go Taxi!!