Here's my long story. I include so much detail because I've found myself scouring other women's experiences since I first began to consider an IUD. I'm a compulsive researcher and I wanted to know exactly what other women had been through, so I would know what to expect and could compare my own experience with those of a similar background. So here ya go!
Ok... Hormonal birth control and I have never been the best of friends. I credit this to my 2-year experience with NuvaRing in college.
I'm currently 24 years old, have never been pregnant, and I stopped using birth control (other than condoms) when I was 21. That's when I decided to remove the NuvaRing for good, because my long-term boyfriend and I weren't really having sex very much anymore (needless to say, he's now my ex). I didn't realize how much I hated the NuvaRing until I took it out! I somehow convinced myself that I was simply a mildly depressed person, who didn't like sex, who had headaches at least 5 days out of every week, and who often felt nauseated for no good reason during those two years. Then I took it out and the skies cleared, the angels sang, and I was back to my normal jolly, horny, healthy self! Because of that, I decided hormonal birth control was simply not for me (I had been on the pill a couple of times around when I was younger and didn't like it either). I am so sensitive to hormones that I've had mood swings, acne and changes in my menstrual cycle simply from starting to drink soy milk regularly (plant-based estrogen).
SO... fast forward to 2013. I started dating my current boyfriend 8 months ago and and quickly began thinking about birth control again. At first, I explained to him that I hated birth control, it always had a very negative affect on me, but I would maybe reconsider one day for the right option. He said whatever I wanted to do was fine. A few months went by, and we were both starting to grow weary of condoms. At one point I thought I might be allergic to latex because I was getting sore after sex. He later revealed he was thinking the same thing at the same time.. They were bothering him so much that he didn't want me on top during sex anymore (even though it's his favorite position... I was wondering what was up with that!) because of the irritation from the condoms (and no, it couldn't have been symptoms of anything else, he's been tested.) So I finally decided to get an IUD...
I had done plenty of research on IUDs before, but never went for it because I didn't want the hormones of Mirena... And ParaGuard was simply not an option. I already have heavy periods, always had cramps/back pain, the whole nine.
But then I started reading about the brand new IUD, Skyla, earlier this year... It seemed to be the lowest hormonal dose possible... It was small and designed for women who have never been pregnant, and delivered the hormones locally in the uterus (the hormones aren't moving through your system, causing crazy side effects elsewhere). Also, with my insurance, under the new ACA, IUDs come at no cost! Worth it! At 24, in a committed relationship, which I don't want to ruin with the pressure of an unplanned pregnancy... I especially liked the most obvious benefit of an IUD--nothing to think about for 3 years! So I went for it!
I had mine inserted on Wednesday, December 11th. This was the fifth day of my period, as my gyno preferred (the cervix is more open during your period), and I had inserted two Cytotec (Misoprostol) tablets into my vagina 8 hours ahead, as prescribed, to soften the cervix and make insertion even easier. I took 800g of ibuprofen an hour before the appointment and.....
It didn't matter. Haha, don't let this scare you away though. For some reason, the cytotec didn't do much in the way of softening my cervix. My gyno said my cervix was extremely tight so insertion was VERY uncomfortable. The measuring part was the worst and prying my cervix open to insert the device was terrible! However it lasted only a couple of minutes. Now... I have a tattoo on my ribcage, shots don't bother me, and I often do my own Brazilian wax... So I'm no wimp when it comes to pain! I thought this would be a breeze. Nope. It's true what they say... Women must have the highest tolerance for pain if they can handle childbirth. This was a fraction of that and nooooo thank you. Whenever I give birth one day... it will be a epidural kind of day. But I digress.
Before leaving, my gyno gave me the little take-home skyla pamphlet, told me not to have intercourse for 2 weeks (whaa??) and said that tampons would be fine the following day.
Since insertion day I've been a bit uncomfortable, so I hope this will fade soon. I had cramps the entire day of insertion, and random, sporadic (albeit mild) cramps pretty much ever since. At times, I can just feel the IUD. I wouldn't say it hurts, it's just strange and very uncomfortable to be aware of it so often. I'm thinking this will lessen and hopefully disappear as my uterus becomes used to it, perhaps my uterine walls are a bit irritated.
My period should have ended 2 or 3 days after insertion, and it did momentarily. I even managed to have sex on days 3 and 4 after insertion. I know the doctor said not to... But I did plenty of research and couldn't find a reason, as long as I felt fine and up to it. Skyla's website itself says you can have sex as soon as you want... So I did. We went slow and gentle though, since things were still settling down in there.
That second time we had sex (2 days after my period ended, and 4 days after insertion), I was spotting ever so slightly. We noticed a slight pink tinge while cleaning up after, but nothing too unsexy. Then the next day I began spotting a bit more significantly. Enough to the point where I didn't want to have sex, but probably no more than would require a panty liner. Then that night, last night, I awoke with terrible cramps and a little bit of a heavier flow... Not a full-on period, but a moderate flow of brownish blood. That brings me to today. I feel as if I'm starting a brand new period, and I'm sure it will be a rollercoaster for a while, as I'm adjusting to the hormones. I do remember having a light period for a whole month when I first began NuvaRing, but I'm hoping that will be lessened this time, as Sklya is a lower dose than the ring.
I'll post an update when I have one!