Hey ladies! I am new to the IUD Diva community as a poster, but found reading through many of your experiences very helpful as I was preparing for the IUD insertion experience. I thought I would share my experience in hopes it will help others that are considering Paragard or are preparing for their insertion. This will be a bit lengthy as there is some pertinent backstory; I appreciated hearing others' mental 'process' so I hope there is value for others in what I went through.
I never expected to fall into the IUD-sporting category, but sometimes life takes you on a detour and it ends up being a good thing! So how did I get here? Well a little info on me: I am 28 yo, married, child free, and lead a very active life. I have never had any serious health problems, other than the stress that comes with being Type A and the Migraines with Aura that I inherited from my mother. :/ I have been on hormonal BC since college - first the pill + condoms, then NuvaRing for almost 2 years. I am unreliable at best with oral contraceptives, thus the back-up method, as hubby and I are NOT into having a tiny human!! I switched gynos around the time I started the NuvaRing and was thrilled with the ring's convenience and effectiveness, but 2 days after my annual appt in May of this year the NP called and informed me that with my migraine history, the doctor was not comfortable keeping me on hormonal bc any longer and I would need to choose a non-hormonal method. Um... what? At first I was irritated, but when I stopped and thought it through and looked into the options, I started really liking the Paragard. Not to mention I've gained about 15 lb since going on the NuvaRing, so when I really thought about it, the level of hormones I was absorbing must have been astronomical. As someone who is very health conscious -- Crossfit, Paleo, avoid plastics like the plague -- the reality of this was a little appalling. Clearly a change was warranted, even though I hadn't initially been prepared for one. I went back in to discuss my options with my NP, armed with a hand-made sheet of all the options I was willing to consider (including sterilization), ranked by preference, leaning heavily toward the Paragard. She liked my choice, and made it sound great -- make an appointment with the doctor for my next period, quick-and-easy insertion process, maybe some mild discomfort, 10 years of birth control in 10 minutes. Oh, and my periods might get a little heavier. Take the cytotec pill the night before, a little ibuprofen the morning of, easy peasy.
So I did as instructed and went to my appointment pretty relaxed -- hubby came too, he's super supportive and wanted to drive me (**love**). Went in, stripped from the waist, doctor came in and told me there might be a little discomfort, a little pinch, then we'd be all set. She sat down and got started. The speculum part was fine; the cleaning of the cervix was fine. Then, she she announced that she would have to manually dilate my cervix, and holy s*** was I NOT prepared for how this was going to go!!! I was yelling and squeezing my husband's hand, it was the worst pain I've ever felt -- worse than a root canal -- she kept asking if she should stop, and I said no way, if you're able to get it in do it!!! She was able to get me dilated but then had to stop because she was meeting resistance and was afraid of perforating my uterus. Holy crap. O_o My poor husband was horrified, I was in shock, and the doctor looked pretty upset too. She immediately gave me a hot pack and a juice box and said that we could try again another day, but we need to use ultrasound guidance so she can be sure that she's not causing any trauma or a perforation.
So, I made an appointment for 2 weeks later (earliest I could do) and went home miserable and disappointed and totally shocked by the experience.
Fast forward two weeks later to attempt #2. I arrived just before my scheduled appointment time much more stressed than at the first appointment, and REALLY having to pee do to the full bladder required for ultrasound. Thankfully hubby was able to wrangle a day off to be there with me again, which I am SO grateful for, as his presence had been VERY comforting at attempt #1 and I was much more anxious this time around. I was admitted, ushered into the ultrasound suite, again stripped from the waist down, and the ultrasonographer came in to "take a peek" at my uterus. The ultrasound portion was pretty interesting, and happily everything checked out OK, so the doctor came in and got herself set up for the insertion process. She put in the speculum (fine), cleaned my cervix (fine), measured my uterus (fine), inserted the iud and... wait, WHAT??!? It's IN?? I didn't feel ANYTHING this time except a tiny pinch when the tiny iud arms popped out of the insertion device. SERIOUSLY. NOTHING. If my husband hadn't popped out of his chair to watch the ultrasound screen during the insertion I wouldn't even have known it was happening. There was a little collective cheer, the ultrasonographer checked the placement to verify it was sitting where it should, the doctor trimmed the strings a little, and then she removed the speculum. I sat up, stared at her, and said "is it really in??". She grinned and said yes, that was it. That's when I said, well maybe that Tramadol I took this morning helped! They looked at each other, shrugged, then gave me a sticker that says "remove in 2023" lol.
On someone else's post, I read something to the effect of "insertion experiences can very widely, even within the same body". SO TRUE. My first experience was a nightmare; the second was totally fine.
So here's what I learned: None of the professionals I interacted with were truly up front with me about how this might go, or what to really expect. I still trust them; I still like them; I don't feel that anyone did anything "wrong" per-se, but again some more guidance as to what to expect would have been very much appreciated. However, even after this experience, I would still do it again, and I plan on having another one put in when this one is up in 10 years. I will definitely bring my hand-holder/moral support, and I will DEFINITELY take some serious pain control before the experience, because ibuprofen did NOT cut it for me!!
Following attempt #1 I bled for about 5 days and had a super sensitive cervix. No sex until the 4th day, and even then it was slightly uncomfortable. Things evened out right before the second attempt which was NOT on my period. Following attempt #2, which was 12 days ago, I bled for 3 days, spotted for another 5, and have had significant cramping on/off intermittently throughout. It's been interesting... I hope things continue to settle with time. I don't feel the iud itself, but for the first few days I was definitely hyper-aware of my uterus, which was weird.
And that's my story!