I am 25, and have never had kids. I've been on HBC before and it was terrible, so I opted for Paragard.
I just got my Paragard inserted yesterday so I wanted to share my story. It went relatively well so I wanted to post it here (though I'm going into a lot of detail so I'm placing it under a cut). I do have a question or two, though, which I will leave outside of the cut afterward.
I had been given Misoprostol because I wasn't sure if I was going to be on my period or not during insertion (my periods are notoriously unpredictable). In fact, my period ended two days before my insertion date. So after some drama on the night before the insertion about whether I had remembered the doctor's instructions for the Miso correctly or not, I went ahead and put two 200 microgram tablets vaginally right up next to the cervix. I was to take the other two tablets in the morning 2 hours before the procedure (which was at 9:15AM) by dissolving them between my teeth and cheek.
Cue some nervousness about what the tablets would do to me. I'd heard everything from horrific cramps, to feeling violently ill, to diarrhea... you name it. I had had a rough day on top of everything so I even took a 0.5mg Ativan to help me sleep.
Well, there was a little cramping from the medication but it wasn't so horrible. But waking up early and then dissolving the other two tablets of Misoprostol in my mouth was a lot less pleasant. First of all, those things just turned into mush. As in, there was this weird chalky residue in my cheek for the better part of half an hour as I went about showering and getting ready, tentatively sipping a mouthful of ginger ale here or there to try and keep myself from wanting to spit the stuff out. Eventually, it got washed away with the ginger ale and I felt I had done a good enough job.
That's when I started to feel a little icky, for lack of a better word. I felt slow, sick, and my stomach started to cramp up from taking the Miso orally. I had made sure to eat food beforehand, especially because I took 600mg of Ibuprofen and another 0.5mg Ativan. But apparently it still just makes you feel sick sometimes.
My boyfriend had stayed the night and was going to drive me to the appointment (though he couldn't stay for the duration because he was covering for me at work). We left a little later than I wanted to, and then got partially lost on the way to the location, but we made it there in time.
So we arrived, and I waited nervously until I got called in (practically attaching myself to my boyfriend's arm). Boyfriend left, wished me well, and after a quick kiss I was headed into the back. My vitals were taken, I was given some forms to sign, and then I met with my gyno. The funny thing about this is, I actually hadn't met her in person before though I had been to the office twice - once to see a doctor that I wound up not liking, and then once to meet with an NP for pelvic pain. But my doctor had images of my uterus from an ultrasound, and was very thorough, friendly, and understanding regarding my nerves. I was quite nervous.
Quick topic break: Let me make one thing clear - It is SUPER important to specify exactly which IUD you want when you're going in even if you've already talked about it before (and even insist that you get to see the box) because apparently, someone had been under the impression that I was getting a Mirena. Even though I had called that office about a billion times with questions and every time, I had told them which IUD I was getting. This was one thing that I hated. The doctor seemed so brilliant and competent, but the women working the front desk and the assistants might as well have been someone they pulled in off of the street to file papers, they were so disorganized and slow. So I double checked every thing because despite a month of trying to get paperwork straightened out and have my records sent over to this office, they still seemed clueless.
The doctor reviewed all risks (though she reassured me repeatedly that if she felt the insertion was becoming difficult for any reason she would just stop, and has never had a single perforation happen despite inserting many IUDs regularly).
Anyway, onto the insertion process! My doctor did a standard manual pelvic exam to feel the uterus (mine is tilted forward), and then put the speculum in. I asked her to narrate the process because I didn't want to jump while she did anything.
Speculums. Oh, how I hate them. But I tolerated it. And then, to my dismay, I began to feel my entire body starting to tense up.
"Relax," I mentally muttered to myself. Well, my teeth were clenched and I was definitely feeling very exposed, and my doctor told me gently to relax a little bit more. I regretted taking only 05.mg of Ativan; I should've taken 1mg. But the doctor did note that the Misoprostol had apparently done its job, and I felt satisfied with myself for following basic instructions. Hey, we gotta enjoy what we can in processes like these, right?
They sprayed iodine in there and cleaned the cervix area, and the doctor told me that she was going to put the sound in (otherwise known as "cramp number one" of three big cramps she said I'd feel).
Funny enough, I read a lot on here that many of you fellow divas felt the worst pain with the sounding. I actually felt that the cramp from that was pretty terrible, but it was nothing compared to the next part. I am guessing they did something to hold my cervix open (she didn't use very specific terminology and I'm wondering if this wasn't the dreaded tenaculum, which would make sense given how it felt).
Wow. Cramp number two from the tenaculum was worse. It was similar to period cramps but so much sharper and more intense. And then the doctor needed to assemble the IUD because they don't come preassembled so I was sitting there for about 30 seconds pretty much about as open to the world as I've ever been, breathing like a woman in labor. By the way, remembering to breathe REALLY helps, so if you are getting an IUD inserted, I can't stress this enough. I was compelled to hold my breath but some part of me screamed "Are you stupid?! You need air, damnit!" and I started taking big, deep breaths. Slowly. The pain subsided a little.
The doctor said "Alright, this is cramp number three, we're putting the Paragard in." When she did that, it kind of ...exacerbated the tenaculum pain for a moment, and I swear to you that I felt the little arms of the T unfold like one of those little wine openers with the touch-down arms. It was actually more funny than horrifying, believe me--I just thought to myself "hooray," and imagined my IUD lifting its arms in victory (while flinching because that last step also hurt a lot too).
The doctor cleaned me up and give me a pad because I would be having some bloody discharge for a while, and I shakily got up and got dressed. I sat down for a little bit, because the cramps were still pretty bad, but then I slowly got up and went to call my ride home.
The pain wasn't intolerable, but I definitely just wanted to go straight home and lie down. Which I did. I had ice cream, some snacks, some more ginger ale, and because I didn't have a way to manage a heat pad for myself I just sort of quietly suffered in bed with my dog at my feet. I watched a movie. I tried to sleep a little, which was hard because the pain was still pretty intense despite taking ibuprofen every four hours. The Miso finally gave me its promised upset stomach... a very upset stomach. But it wasn't so horrible, and it passed relatively quickly.
I was starting to worry a bit at night time, when the cramps didn't seem to show any signs of subsiding. But interestingly enough when I woke up this morning, the cramps were much better. Of course, that sort of confused me so I very thoroughly washed my hands and gently went to see if I could still feel the strings (I was terrified that maybe the IUD had slipped out, or perforated). They were still there, so I relaxed a little, though that little investigation made the cramps come back with a vengeance.
Now, I'm on day number two and sitting in a chair is uncomfortable. The cramps are not what they were yesterday (the day of insertion), but they're still bad enough that I feel kind of weak and shaky. My left side hurts more and I feel like doing anything but lying down makes the cramps worse.
I've had two little instances of some blood making its way out but that's normal, I'm guessing.
Onto my question for you divas: How intense were your cramps the day after insertion? I'm still a little stressed about it and hoping nothing has gone wrong.
Also, do you think it's a very bad idea that I checked my strings the morning after insertion..? I'm kind of panicking a little because my doctor told me no sex for 5 days because we wanted to avoid infection, but I did wash my hands very thoroughly. I just wanted to check my strings to make sure nothing had gone wrong.
Otherwise, it was a pretty good process and seemed very easy/uncomplicated. Definitely glad I had the day off though.
Cheers! I'm finally a diva, too!