So it's been one month and one week since my Mirena IUD was inserted. So far I'm pretty happy with how things have worked out!
( Collapse ) My question to any Mirena users out there: will my cycle normalize? I'm totally down for the only-spotting periods OR the 6-tampons-and-done periods but it would be a huge bummer to have a week of each plus a week of pre-period cramping for the next 5 years.
TL;DR: I love my Mirena and any side effects I've been having are totally worth the highly-effective birth control and not worrying about taking a pill every day.
First off, thank you for all your stories! Lurking on this board really helped ease my anxiety about getting an IUD, so I decided to sign-up to make this post. So hopefully this will help someone else!
Some background: I am a 23 year-old, NP, recently engaged medical student. Before my IUD (Skyla), I had been taking the mini-pill for 5 years. I had no side-effects on the mini-pill, but with school picking up, I wanted something that I did not need to take daily. I have hereditary angioedema, a medical condition which does not allow me to take estrogen, so my options were the IUD, implant, or depo shots.
I chose the IUD because I wanted: -long-lasting (3-5 years) contraception that I didn’t have to take every day -rapid return to fertility upon removal -no estrogen, but some form of progestin (as it helps control my condition)--> This narrowed it down to Skyla and Mirena. I also tend to have pretty rough/heavy, 7-8 day periods, so Paraguard was not as appealing to me.
I chose Skyla because: -3 years worked better for me than 5 (we think we would like to start TTC in about 6 years, so two 3 year-Skylas made more sense than getting the second Mirena taken out after only a year) -I was slightly uncomfortable with my periods stopping completely. On the rare chance that I got pregnant with the IUD in place, I wanted to know sooner rather than later! -Both my OB-GYN and my mom (also an OB-GYN) recommended Skyla because 1) it was smaller and thus easier for my uterus to accommodate it (less cramping, etc.) 2) They both said the new device was easier for them to insert as physicians (not necessarily because it was smaller, but because of a newly designed insertion rod), and to them an easier insertion meant less pain for me and a lower likelihood of uterine perforation early on.
*All that being said, my doctor told me I was a good candidate for either hormonal IUD, so I based my decision mainly on timing and desire to have some sort of period. My insurance covered both at 100%, so cost was not a contributing factor.
[My (positive!) insertion experience:]I had Skyla inserted about a week ago, on the last day of my period. I took the cervical softener (misoprostol) orally 1.5 hours before insertion. 1 hour before insertion, I ate a meal and took 800 mg of ibuprofen, as per doctor’s orders. My fiancé held my hand for moral support and drove me home after the procedure. After the usual checking in and pregnancy test, my doctor explained what he was going to do and told me I would feel a pinch, followed by a big cramp (sounding), and another bigger cramp (IUD insertion). He inserted the speculum, cleaned my cervix with betadine (I felt this happening, but it did not hurt), clamped my cervix (again just felt pressure, but no pain), and then he inserted the sound. I was expecting getting through the cervix to cause a sharp pain, but it was only mildly uncomfortable. As the sound went in, I experienced what felt like a menstrual cramp, which gradually increased in intensity to a very, very deep cramp (lasted about 10 seconds all together). As he removed the sound, the cramp dissipated. He gave me a couple seconds rest, and then inserted the IUD. It felt very similar to the sound, but the cramp was slightly less intense, and it stopped shortly after the arms of the IUD were extended. Right after the insertion the pain turned into moderate menstrual cramps. My doctor instructed me to take 600mg-800mg of ibuprofen every 6-8 hours for the first day instead of waiting until the pain got worse. He also told me to finish my pack of birth control pills and not to have sex for 1-2 weeks. I was light-headed for about 30 minutes after and lay down in the car while my fiancé drove home. On my way home, every time we hit a bump in the road there was a painful twinge but nothing major. For the remainder of the day, I took 800mg of ibuprofen every 5-6 hours. The next day, I decreased to 600mg, and the third day to 400mg. I spotted heavily for the first three days, lightly for the next couple, and then stopped spotting after about a week. The cramping followed about the same schedule. All in all, the week of cramping while taking the ibuprofen felt about the same as my normal menstrual cramps do before I take any sort of pain-killer--definitely manageable! All in all, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be! That evening, I got into the car and drove 4 hours to a wedding without any trouble. :)
Things that helped: -Having my fiancé there holding my hand/talking with me during the procedure made such a difference! I felt less nervous and having him there to distract me, helped me relax—making insertion easier. Also having a ride home was really nice.
-Taking the 800 mg of ibuprofen beforehand and making sure to eat lunch.
-Being able to take the afternoon off.
-Having an OB-GYN that had a lot of experience inserting IUDs helped a lot!! He was quick and confident during the insertion, but also very gentle.
-Over the past week, I noticed that letting my bladder get too full triggered cramping that lasted a few hours. Making sure to pee as soon as I noticed, funnily enough, helped cut that off at the pass.
Overall, I would definitely do it again! I will try to post an update after my 1 month follow up, but if anyone out there has questions about insertion or Skyla, I’d be happy to answer them! A big thank you again to everyone who has posted about their experience!