I'm traveling from Seattle to Vancouver to get a GyneFix IUD in a few weeks. It is a 2.5 hour drive + border patrol, which takes 10-30min. My appointment is at 2:30pm, so I'll drive up that morning, have the insertion, and spend the night in a nearby hotel. The clinic needed a hotel address in Canada, anyway. I plan on driving back the next morning.
I had a ParaGaurd IUD inserted in 2010 without pain killers, and experienced mild to moderate cramping for about 4 hours afterwards. I'll be using ibruprofen this time and expect that giving myself a whole evening to recover is probably enough. Can someone who has had GyneFix inserted comment on their recovery time? I have the option to take the BoltBus if driving isn't wise.
Thanks to everyone who contributes to this board. I loved my ParaGuard, except for the heavy periods and awful cramping, and I'd mistakenly thought that was my *only* option for a non-hormonal IUD. I'm thrilled that there are more choices across the border! I've never been pregnant so I am really hopeful this IUD will be better for me.
I got the Paragard IUD yesterday after spending about 8 months anxiously trying to make up my mind and weighing risks with benefits.
I'm 22, just beginning my career, in a long term monogamous relationship but not married, definitely not wanting kids for at least another 4-5 years. I've always been really uncomfortable with the idea of hormonal birth controls, and have used exclusively condoms. But I've been watching my coworker's pregnancy progress since January, and apparently month 8 was the threshold I needed to really realize that condoms don't have a high enough effectiveness rate for me to continue to count on them. Even the "perfect use" rate of something like 97% is not as good as the Paragard's 99.4%.
I wanted to share my experiences because I know there are probably others, like myself before yesterday, are obsessively trying to gather information and first-hand accounts. People who have had very negative experiences seemed to disproportionately represented in the accounts that I read online compared to the data in the academic articles that I read from my college library database (yes, I was that obsessive...).
My biggest fear was perforation. I absolutely want to have children (when the time is right), so I was terrified that I would damage my uterus and/or get an infection and become infertile. My mom fed into this with her Dalkon-Shield era influenced anxiety. I also generally have a very high anxiety level about any medical procedure or even just going to doctor appointments, so I was really afraid of the procedure itself.
So, here's an account of my experience:
1. I felt pretty comfortable with the doctor (and two interns) who were doing the procedure. They seemed to know what they were doing, and also were really good about making me feel respected and in control. Some doctors are in a hurry and arrogant/condescending, and I get defensive and anxious and tense. The feeling of this appointment was much more positive, like they were knowledgeable people who were supporting me in making and implementing a decision about my health, not people making decisions about my health for me (or feeling like it would be more efficient if they could just not talk to me). It made a big difference in allowing me to relax. Also, I was on Day 3 of my period, so my cervix was supposedly more open than other points in my cycle.
2. The speculum was uncomfortable but not really painful.
3. The device that they put on my cervix to hold it still was uncomfortable and maybe a little painful, but only slightly.
4. The worst part by far was when they measured my uterus. I experienced about 5-10 seconds of really intense cramping, like an extreme version of my worst period cramps. It wasn't pain like they were cutting or damaging anything. It was more like condensed nausea in my uterus. I closed my eyes and was able to get through it okay, without moving or saying anything.
5. It hurt again when they put the IUD in, but not anywhere near as much as the measuring part. When they pulled the implanting device back and let the arms of the IUD move outwards, it was the strangest sensation of expanding in my uterus. So weird. Not painful though.
6. Afterwards I had very mild cramps for 15 minutes or so - just the kind where I'm aware of my uterus being tight, not really pain. I was able to get up immediately and get dressed after the procedure.
7. From then until now (30 hours after placement) I have had NO cramps at all. In fact, I had my normal period cramps before going to the doctor, and they completely disappeared after they put the IUD in. So strange. I even went swimming a few hours after my appointment, and went to work this morning just fine.
I'll have to see how my periods go in the next few months, but so far, I am really happy with my decision. Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences - reading on this page really helped me feel confident enough to try getting one.