I got my Skyla on day 23 of my cycle (which had been erratic in the 3 months since stopping BCPs). I would say generally that I went in prepared for it to be really bad, since I had read the horror stories, but aware that 95% of people do not experience the worst symptoms, and hoped that it would be manageable. I took misoprostol, which I had been prescribed, at 12:30 for a 3:10 appointment, and 800 mg of ibuprofen at 2:30. They first checked me in and had me take a pregnancy test (which was traumatizing, since it was the first one I’ve ever had to take), then brought me in and had me remove the lower half of my clothing and lie down. My doctor and nurse talked to me about my nerves and assured me that they were very experienced and would talk me through everything, and that my nerves were totally normal. The doctor had me lie back and gave me a heating pack for my abdomen, warning me that my cramps would be bad and that should help. She felt around to get a sense of the size and shape of my uterus, and then we began the process. First she clipped something onto my cervix to keep it open, which pinched but wasn’t painful. I began to think that I would be totally fine, and would be one of the lucky ones without pain! Then she cleaned and flushed out my cervix, which almost tickled a little bit but didn’t hurt at all. It was just a weird sensation. Then she warned me that she was going to do a sounding, and I knew from my reading that that was often the worst part. And, it was. I got very sudden, very bad cramps, to the point where I started sweating and breathing heavily to get through the pain. A lot of people said this lasted only 10 seconds or so, but for me this pain lasted from the moment the sound was put in until the last thing was taken out of my cervix. In other words, this pain (probably a 9, for me) lasted a good few minutes, while she sounded my uterus and inserted the IUD, clipped the strings of the IUD, took out the applicator tube, and removed the speculum. I couldn’t differentiate what each specific step in the insertion felt like, because I was trying to breathe through the pain. It wasn’t until everything was out of my vagina (except for the IUD, obviously) that the pain went down to a 6 or 7, which felt like forever but was only about 3 minutes. They had me lie there for 5-10 minutes without trying to sit up so that I didn’t pass out and so my body had some time to relax.
By the time I left, I was very angry that I had worn jeans, since I felt incredibly bloated and didn’t want the waist line pressing on my cervix. But, the pain was much more minimal then, about a 4, and I would say it remained between a 2 and a 6 in terms of cramping, soreness, and tenderness for the next 48 hours. I had light bleeding that turned into spotting for 8 hours or so after, but then it went away. The pain was more pointed on the right side the next day, but I am assuming that that’s normal based on what I’ve read of other people’s experiences. Mainly, I would say for the few days after insertion it just felt raw … like I was wounded, and needed to take it easy. I took ibuprofen (600mg) 2-3 times a day and used heating pads until Tuesday, when it started to feel much better (day 5 after insertion).
Tuesday (day 5): I got cramps out of the blue that felt as bad as when it had been inserted. I mean, they were awful. That night I almost went to the ER, took 1000 mg of Tylenol and used a heating pad, but it didn’t even touch it. I assumed that this was because I was supposed to get my period on Wednesday, and I usually get bad cramps and they were heightened by the recent IUD insertion. And sure enough, I got my period late Tuesday night, although the cramps didn’t subside much. I was terrified to use a tampon since I was in so much pain and since my IUD was so new, but I really hate using pads, so I decided to go for it, and it was of course totally fine.
Wednesday (day 6): During the day I felt substantially better, but by 7 or 8 p.m. I was back to horrendous cramping that made it hard to sleep – again, 1000 mg of Tylenol and a heating pad didn’t touch it.
Thursday (day 7): During the day I was feeling a lot better. I had to fly to Denver (from Boston), which I was worried about, but the flight was slightly uncomfortable but not awful. I went for a run in the afternoon. At night I got the bad cramps again, although not quite as bad as the last couple of nights (a 7, maybe, rather than a 9 or 10).
Friday (day 8): I FINALLY felt back to normal! No ibuprofen, no cramping, no pain!
Saturday (day 9): Pretty bad cramping around lunch time, took 2 Motrin and they felt much better all day.
Sunday & Monday (day 10 & 11): Totally fine!
Tuesday (day 12): Flew back to Boston from Denver – got pretty bad pain that evening, I presume from the air pressure on the plane? I’ve flown with injuries before and it’s always worse after a flight.
Wednesday (day 13): Feeling fine! My period is finally over (8 days – it’s usually 4.5-5)!! I’m hoping no spotting after this. I felt for the strings in the shower for the first time, and felt them – they were so short, it surprised me!
Thursday (day 14): Some cramps after a run, but other than that, totally fine! Slightly moody, and hoping that that isn’t a sign of worse hormonal issues to come – I’ve had enough of that on past birth control methods! My boyfriend and I had sex for the first time since insertion, since I didn’t want to the first few days after insertion and then I had this super long period. It didn’t hurt at all! We were both kind of worried it would, since I’m still having cramping on and off, but I was totally fine, and it felt so nice to not have to worry. If anything, it felt slightly more sensitive, but in a good way.
I’m so excited to start my life with an IUD! If a week of cramping and pain is all I have to deal with (so far, no spotting, only slightly long period, etc.), I will be thrilled.