So I thought I'd just start a new entry for this. Because it is long the insertion story and update are behind
Background: So I've been on the pill for 5 years. I originally started because I had pretty bad acne in my teens and my doctor though the pill would help sort that out. And it did, in a way. Unfortunately the pill also gave my really unexpected depression. As soon as I realised it was the pill and not life/school/being a teen I went back to my doctor and changed pills. The next one didn't make me moody but it did nothing for my skin either. Eventually I went back because of mid-cycle spotting and asked for antibiotics. As a last resort my doctor put me on Yasmin. Yasmin was fantastic and I've been on it for a few years. However I recently developed hypertension and learnt about my families history of breast cancer. So off the pill for me. Since then I used condoms (which I find hard to trust) with my boyfriend and anxiously awaited my period ever since. Basically as soon as I considered coming off the pill I was looking at alternatives. It didn't take me long to settle on a copper IUD.
Consult: I live in Newcastle, Australia and so there was only really two places I heard of that fit IUDs. I made an appointment at the Hunter Family Planning Clinic. The consult went ok, but the NP I spoke to was very pro-Mirena. To the point where she wrote me a script and signed me up for a mirena even when I expressed an interest in the copper IUD. Eventually I asked of I could go home an consider it, which I did. She was very expressive of how bad the cramping and bleeding would be. However I'd already read a fair few journal articles and updates on here and so I wasn't so sure I'd be bleeding for 20 days a month guaranteed. I decided on the copper IUD because while the hormones in Mirena are such a low dosage, I knew I'd never truly be comfortable knowing there were any hormones. I knew every slight symptom I experienced I wouldn't be able to exclude the idea that it was the IUD.
Insertion: I was pretty nervous before my insertion as it was scheduled bang smack in the middle of my cycle. I woke up early and had a big breakfast to settle my stomach. An hour before my scheduled appointment I took 800mg of ibuprofen. I hadn't been given any cervical softeners so I didn't do anything like that. My boyfriend drove me to my appointment, and we waited (nervously). I kept thinking, what if I'm not big enough, what if it doesn't go in? What other option is as effective and long lasting and hormone free? As it happens I needn't have worried.
I met with the doctor, and my boyfriend and I had a talk about my decision with the doctor. She was very nice, friendly and knowledgeable. She wasn't opposed to the copper IUD like the NP, which also made me feel more comfortable about he whole decision. It's nice to have a medical professional agree with you!
So, after discussing the options it was time to strip off and get on the bed. I'll go through the stages and rate the pain, because I found that super helpful when I was reading these!
The speculum: 0.5/10 Uncomfortable but not painful. Always awkward though. I think it freaked my boyfriend out more than it affected me.
The tenaculum: When the doctor placed it on my cervix she asked how I was doing. I (too hopefully) thought it could have been the sounding, and asked as much. That actually made the doctor chuckle a bit. I'd give it a 0.5/10. I could feel it but it wasn't painful.
Sounding: did make me a bit cramping. Seemed to go a while, which sucked. I definitely had to squeeze the boyfriend's hand a bit and breath deeply for this. Maybe a crampy 3/10. I was sounded at 8cm(!!!!) I was so happy I was big enough I high fived my boyfriend.:p
The insertion: this was a little more painful. The worst part was when the T arms opened up, and also when the doctor nudged it up in position. This was about a 4-5/10 but it wasn't too bad. Deep breathing and trying to relax meant that I really wasn't that affected by it.
Afterwards: I lay down for maybe a minute, but didn't feel dizzy, or sick at all. The cramping had completely stopped once the doctor removed the insertion tube and the speculum. I sat up slowly, and noticed a Small amount of pinkish blood on the sheet beneath me. Honestly I was expected a lot more blood. The nurse came in with biscuits and juice for both myself and my boyfriend (so sweet of her) and asked if I needed a pad or two (I'd bought my own). Inwas feeling really good, put my clothes back on, sat down for another 10 minutes out in the waiting room and then paid and left for work.
Honestly I would have been fine to drive myself but I also appreciated having my boyfriend drive me. I worked an 8 hour day at my desk. I experienced moderate cramping on and off, as well as moderate bleeding. I kept taking painkillers and that offered all the relief I needed. I bled on and off for the next six days. The bleeding was weird and not period like, more mucusy and watery which was unusual. I also bled following the first time I had sex (day 7 post insertion). That hasn't happened since.
I did have some random cramping while walking every now and again, but that tapered off after the first few days. I haven't really had any cramping since, even when I resumed jogging and exercising at the gym.
My first period with the Cu380 has been completely normal. I'd say I've bled the same amount as my other off pill periods, and had less cramping that usual. It's gone on for 6 days and seems to be tapering off, just like normal.
So far I am feeling really good about this decision and very lucky - I know it's not always this easy!
So all in all it's going swimmingly. I hope everything continues this easily, that'd be fabulous. I am a very happy diva at the moment. Hope this is interesting/helpful for someone.