Back in September of 2012, just a month before my wedding day, I was searching for a birth control option that would compatible with me. I had read many stories about hormonal bc causing weight gain, acne, moodiness and low sex drive among other catastrophes. Of course I understand it varies from woman to woman, our bodies are different from each others, however I didn't feel like taking the chance with any of these side effects and chose Paragard. I began to embark on a journey to be free from pregnancy scares with no hormones.
I was thrilled with my decision. Especially since my wedding day was coming up within the month and I needed to do something fast about bc. The fact that it was non-hormonal and I didn't need to worry about a pill every day were the main selling points to me.
I set the appointment and picked up the meds to prepare for insertion day. There was a nervous excitement inside of me. I was a tad nervous about the actual insertion procedure since my tolerance for pain is so low, but I was willing to put up with it for the few minutes it would last for 10 years of freedom. The night before the procedure I inserted the 4 Misoprostol pills to ready my cervix. I settled in for a good night's sleep and drifted off with the excitement still in my mind.
I woke up around 30 minutes later with cramps. They started steadily, going away every minute or so, but they soon grew into a non-stop throbbing pain for hours on end. I was rolling in bed moaning in pain, thinking to myself, "Is this what going into labor is like?"
The ibuprofen hadn't helped and neither did the heating pad. At some point, the cramping let up and I eventually fell back to sleep. I woke the next morning groggy, sleepy and sore. I removed what few pills I could and went to work.
A few hours later, I drove to my appointment with my excitement a tad tarnished from my rough night. Once I got into the room, the doctor asked how my night was. I answered politely, saying it was a bit rough while really wanting to ask if I had experienced labor pains. I eventually was laid back and I was waiting for the insertion. The doctor started by measuring my uterus to make sure I wasn't too small to have the device. I say this without any exaggeration: that was the most excruciating pain I had ever experienced. I was trying my hardest not to scream and writhe away from her on the table. After what seemed an eternity, she told me I was good to go on with the insertion, and asked if I wanted to continue. I truly wanted the device and not wanting to come all this way and be in this much pain for nothing, I said yes. She proceeded, with more pain and agony. With tears streaming down my face, I continued to keep myself from screaming at the top of my lungs and kicking the doctor (I should mention that I did yell out a few times, but restrained myself from actually screaming).
After a few moments she was done. I was so relieved, but I was still in pain. The cramping was so intense I could barely answer her questions.
"Do you want me to bring you some water?" was all I really heard. I continued to moan and rolled into a fetal position on the table hoping the pain would subside.
After a few moments, the pain began to let up. The assistant that was in there with me told me,
"You don't need to rush at all, but when you're ready, you can sit up and that should help the cramping."
I had no energy to sit myself up. All I wanted to do was curl into a ball, but I made myself do it. Strangely, I felt a little better. The nurse brought me some water to sip on, and that helped some, as well. After around 5-10 minutes I was able to walk and get dressed. Thankfully, for the rest of the day I hardly had any cramping.
After the insertion, I had a little spotting for a few days, Then my period started. They were not kidding about the heavier periods. I was going through a super tampon every 2-3 hours. My very first Paragard period lasted around 2 weeks. Almost everyday being heavy. From last September up until now, I can certainly tell that my periods are different. My first paragard periods were very long, heavy and extremely crampy. Now, they're a tad shorter, averaging 8-10 days, with 2 or 3 days of a heavy flow. Even though I don't cramp or bleed as much as I did in September, October, I still have some horrific cramps on my period. I still have days when I worry about the back of my pants or have to wash off or change my underwear. Quite frankly, I am fed up with doubling over in pain and having to worry about changing my tampon every 2 hours. It seems I go through this every month. When you have to rinse out your underwear and dry them in the work bathroom a few times in a day, you'll understand what I mean. If you don't already. I'm enduring this for as long as I can, hoping my months will regulate at some point. Perhaps there is a magic number for each woman when the Paragard Period finally lets up. My periods before Paragard were very light. Almost nonexistent. The type of periods every woman dreams about. Now, every month I endure the horrendous torture of lady Paragard with her hoard of pain and blood. It makes me think of switching.
I hear such wonderful legends of "no cramps" and "light periods" with Mirena. I wonder to myself if I should embark on the adventurous switch and likewise be put through another painful insertion experience or if I should stay true to my original desires of no hormones and natural birth control with Paragard, hoping that one magical day her torturous tendencies will subside. I'm torn between what to do. I've spoken with a nurse at the office to get more information on Mirena and her thoughts on the matter. She informed me that most of the staff at her office have Mirena and love it.
I'm also seeing these commercials about the Mirena lawsuits. I personally feel that this is something I shouldn't worry about. I feel that there are some people out there that sue for any little thing they can to get money. Unfortunately we are surrounded by those who would sue because their coffee is too hot. Even so, I asked the doctor's office about these lawsuits and the nurse replied that they haven't had any reports of such incidents that these lawsuits talk about. I know those things are in the fine print, they're rare cases that could happen. I just think poor Mirena just happens to be in the spotlight at the moment. it could have very easily been Paragard.
So, I have some thinking to do. Do I stick it out with Paragard, hoping my magic month will be next month? Or do I make the switch to Mirena and possibly be free from horrible cramps and bleeding? So many things to think about…