May 21st, 2013

  • lanerd

Hullo there, Paragard!

I'm posting this rather late - I had my Paragard, Magneto, inserted quite a few months back. I'm 27, no kids.

I can't honestly say why I've avoided talking about it for so long, but then again, I can. The thing about getting an IUD inserted is that a lot of times, people will post horror stories. And that's what I was bombarded with when I started looking into getting one. Even a week before my insertion, I was freaking out so bad that I was near tears. I was lucky enough to have an amazing gyno and nursing staff that were there to reassure me, and tell me (repeatedly) to stop reading the internet.

How did I get here?

For 5 years, I was on the Nuvaring. Hormonal birth control was an option that my doctor gave me when I had an ovarian cyst that put me in the worst pain of my life. I picked the Nuvaring because it didn't overload my system with hormones and seemed to have the least amount of side effects. Before, my cycle was 7 days long, 2-3 days of heavy bleeding, and bad cramps on the second day. Came like clockwork every month (now, just WHEN in the month was up to it, but it came every month), so I didn't want anything that would majorly screw with that.

However, (and this may be TMI, but it's part of the story), sex, which had always been painful for me, got worse using the Nuvaring over the course of those 5 years and my sex drive waned. I think the idea about hormonal birth control is that the "adverse" side effects show themselves pretty quickly after you start. That wasn't the case with the Nuvaring. When I got into the relationship with my husband (who was then my erstwhile suitor), I was secure enough to tell him that sex was painful for me - and that having to take out the ring so we could screw was getting old (it helped, but the re-insertion was pretty rough. Most people can have sex with the ring in; it just made matters a lot worse for me).

After visiting with my gyno, I mentioned that I would like to go off of hormonal birth control, which she approved. So, I went off birth control and my lovely, stable period LOST. HER. DAMN. MIND. I mean I had bleeding for a month, just unpredictable and horrible. And I say "horrible" in the sense that it was unpredictable. I'm used to my period being a certain way, and when it wasn't, I was like, "Sweet Jesus what fresh hell is this?!" After a few months, and when my period seemed to iron herself out, I went back in and discussed getting an IUD. I wanted birth control, but not with hormones. At the time I first heard of IUDs, I thought they'd never be an option for me, since I was unmarried and childless. By the time I was looking into getting the IUD, the standards had changed, and my gyno was super open to talking to me about not only it, but the sexual issues I'd been having. I told her I wanted to give it a shot, and that I definitely wanted the paragard as opposed to Mirena. I don't feel comfortable with not having a period, truth be told. And as paranoid as I was/am about being pregnant, I thought/think that having something that could potentially eliminate my period would turn me into a nervous wreck.

A friend of mine that had an IUD directed me to this community, and truth be told, I had my ups and downs with it. It felt like the more I read, the more terrified I became. But, I didn't want to pass up the chance for something that felt so statistically proper for not getting pregnant. So I gave the thread here a rest and talked to a friend of mine who has a lifestyle similar to mine when it came to sexual partners and who had a paragard and went from there.

The day of the insertion, my guy went with me, and held my hand at the table side. He helped me get all cuddled under my Batman blanket, and laughed and joked with me to make it a little easier. He also drove, as I had taken some major pain killers before and was swimming.

The insertion?

It hurt. Not going to lie. Even with the pain pills. I can't imagine having it done without the pain meds.

Post insertion?

I was down for a week. I'm super sensitive to changes in my body, and it felt like mine was fighting Magneto for a while. I probably could have gone back to work sooner, but I had taken the week off just for the hell of it and enjoyed the down time. I didn't have any spotting, and my next period came.

So, how is it?

1. Cramps: I have worse cramps than I did before - BUT, I find that taking two midol before they get horrible knocks them out for the day. Cramp bark tea also helps as well. The reason why my cramps were so BAD in the beginning is my fault. Like an idiot, I would WAIT for them to get agonizing before I took anything for them. Nowadays, I start to feel that little twinge and I take something. They're so manageable now that I have to just look back at the days where I'd wait and shake my head. I don't know why I why I did that.

2. My Cycle: It's still the 7 days, sometimes there's an extra light day making it 8, but seriously, no drastic day change. My flow is heavier on my heavy days (which still seem to be about 2-3 days in my cycle), but not so much that I feel faint.

3. Sex: There are moments that it still hurts, but it's not because of the IUD. Some positions gave me a weird twinge in the beginning, but now, not at all. So there is a definite adjustment phase. At least there was for me.

4. Working out: The first time I did a heavy work out post insertion, I had some spotting and cramps. I expected this. Since then, I don't have any issues.

5. Strings: I could feel them on occasion. "Could" being the prime word. At my 1 month follow up, I asked my gyno what was going on, should I be freaking out because I couldn't feel them, oh my god was my IUD misplaced, did it fall out and I didn't know it? (my partner was like, "Okay, so, you can't even use tampons because they hurt. I'm pretty sure if your IUD was slipping out you'd notice.") My gyno calmly explained that everything was still in place, and she'd cut the strings for them not to be felt. I haven't worried since then. Truth be told, with the cramps the way they are, Magento's still in there.

So -

Overall, I like Magento. He does his job and does it well. The only pregnancy "scare" I've had was simply because my period, true to her nature, decided to come a week later than was forecast. I'd like to get to the point where I wasn't so damn paranoid about being pregnant, and I have no idea if/how that's ever going to happen. Ah well.


Accupressure for cramp relief

Log time ago, I learned where the accupressure point to get rid of hiccup was, and every time I used, worked perfectly. So now I searched for the accupresure point to ease the menstrual pain and I found this webpage
I applied pressure with my middle finger only in the place mentioned next to my ankle (G in the image), and the cramp ceased almost completely.  I 've read somewhere else it also help to reduce heavy bleeding by pressing several times a day.

I wanted to share, maybe it could work for someone.