balloon_party (balloon_party) wrote in iud_divas,
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Successful Mirena insertion story!

Hello all! Had my Mirena inserted yesterday and I just wanted to share my story. TL;DR - it was a positive experience overall and I'm very grateful to everyone who commented on my previous post and basically told me to chill out about it :) It was what I needed to hear and (so far at least) I'm very glad I went through with it!

I'm posting this because I found reading other peoples' experiences to be really helpful in understanding what to expect, and I want to make sure that positive experiences get represented as much as possible. I think those with horror stories tend to be way more motivated to tell the internet about it -- not that you shouldn't!!! -- but I think that can skew things a bit for anyone trying to research it for themselves. Story below the cut! It's a little long-winded FYI :)


SO, I'm 25 years old and NP. I went off the pill in 2009 and have been very reluctant to go back on hormones, so the IUD seemed like a good option (I chose Mirena since the hormone dosage is low and localized, and I'm all about the chance to not have periods anymore), but I was also terrified of the potential side effects and of the insertion process. But I've been in a relationship for a while, and withdrawal is obviously not a long-term solution, so for my boyfriend's gift on our 2-year anniversary, I called and made the appointment. I'd just finished my period so they scheduled it to happen during my next period about a month later.

My cycles have been super-regular as long as I've been menstruating, but OF COURSE the month before my insertion it goes haywire and I randomly start bleeding halfway through my cycle. I went to the gyno and he basically said that everything looked fine, there was no discernible cause, and I should be ok to go through with the IUD. Then, my real period came 3 days early (also totally weird for me), so I knew it would be over by the time my appointment happened.

I called the office to see if that was an issue and the receptionist and nurse both seemed pretty unconcerned. I was also confused because from reading other accounts on here, it seems like most doctors will do a sort of consultation appointment and prescribe something to soften the cervix, but I only had one appt. Again, they seemed not to think this was a big deal, and I would have been skeptical but they assured me that my doctor knows what he's doing, and indeed that was the impression I'd gotten from him in the past (he told me he's done hundreds of IUD insertions and over the years, only one person has had an issue with hers). So I set aside my worries.

Skipping ahead a minute, the only gripe I have about that is that when I went in, my doctor said something like, "Sooo, hopefully I told you last time that you should take some Ibuprofen before you came in..." Honestly, I don't remember if he did or not because the last time I'd discussed the IUD with him personally was at my last regular pap in February (that's how long it's taken me to work up the nerve to get the damn thing!). It would have been nice to get a phone call or something as a reminder. He did acknowledge that while many doctors prescribe misoprostol, he does not because he finds it can actually increase complications (it loosens the cervix too much so that it can actually fall out after insertion, apparently).

So. Tuesday was (IU)D-Day, with my appointment scheduled at 2pm. I left work at 1:15 and popped 3 Ibuprofen (thanks IUD Divas, no thanks to my doctor) and a clonazepam (anti-anxiety medicine) -- this worked WONDERS for me. I am not good with pain, but it's really just the anticipation of it that sends me through the roof with anxiety. I would highly recommend asking your doctor about a similar option if that's the case for you too.

I picked up my boyfriend, who gallantly volunteered to come along, and we went to the office. There was a very long wait for some reason, but through the pleasant clonazepam haze I barely even noticed. Finally my nurse called me back and did my blood pressure. Shortly after, my doctor came in with a student after I gave permission for him to observe. It def was a little crowded in there what with the doctor, student, nurse, my boyfriend and me, and the doc made a joke about how the mariachi band would be coming any second to make it a real party. He's good at keeping the mood light, which I really appreciate.

So, then we got started. He went through the obligatory list of side effects and risks. I signed a consent form, got undressed, feet in the stirrups. It started off pretty routinely with the speculum and such, and he gave me a decent run-down of what was going to happen. He asked me to count to three and cough to relax the muscles (and to distract me, he explained to his student, which made it not distracting at all) and I guess that's when the cervix was clamped open.

The only really painful part was the sounding. That's what most people say, and it's true. IT REALLY HURTS. For me it was a mix between regular aching cramps and also some sharp, stabbing pain. I was clutching my boyfriend's hand, involuntarily moaning/whimpering and trying not to writhe around, and the nurse came over and put something cool and wet on my forehead because she said I went really pale. Sounds shitty, right? It was, but it was also very short. Hard to estimate, but I'd say probably only about 15 seconds. So basically, by the time you can come to terms with how much it sucks, it's over. He asked if I was ready for the next part (actual insertion) and assured me it wouldn't hurt as much. I remember feeling maybe another little pinch, the nurse telling me it was almost over, and then the speculum coming out. Done! I didn't feel the Mirena's arms pop open or him cut the strings or any of that. Once the sounding was over, it all happened very quickly.

The nurse brought me water and insisted that I take my time getting up. I felt fine pretty much immediately, but I lay still for a few minutes anyway. By the time I stood up and started walking, I felt totally normal. And really, I've felt normal pretty much ever since! I had the rest of the day off work and plans to lay on the couch with my cats and an X-Files marathon, but I ended up getting a celebratory haircut and going out with friends for dinner and a beer. I walked to the salon and rode my bike to meet my friends, and neither caused me any significant discomfort. I came back home around 7pm, and I think the residual effect of the clonazepam mixed with the beer I drank conked me out, because I fell asleep on the couch around then and slept soundly through the night.

I did re-up on Ibuprofen shortly after coming home from my appointment, again this morning, and then this afternoon. I've felt mild cramps today, but just dull little twinges -- less even than very light period cramps. I've been bleeding some but not enough to wear the giant pad they gave me, I've just been keeping a bit of toilet paper in my panties and that's been fine. I haven't checked my strings or attempted having sex yet. I think I'll give it a few days before I do either.

So I guess to sum it up:
-Don't kid yourself that it won't hurt, but also don't let that scare you off. It's WORTH IT. It was probably some of the worst pain I've felt in my life, but it was over before I could even really process it. So it's like it never happened at all!

-Anti-anxiety medicine helped me SO MUCH. If you're prone to obsessively stressing about this kind of stuff like me, I would definitely ask your doctor about it. I've heard they will sometimes prescribe Valium as that also helps to relax the muscles.

-Go to a doctor you feel comfortable with. The Ibuprofen thing aside, my doc's sense of humor and attentive manner made it go so much easier (he's kind of a babe too so that never hurts!).

-I didn't NEED my boyfriend there necessarily, but it was really nice. I think I really lucked out in not getting significant after-cramps, so I could have driven myself home, but if I'd gotten them it would have sucked. In general it was great to have him to hold my hand, tell me he was proud of me, and take care of everything.

-DEFINITELY take Ibuprofen before you go in. And remember that it's easier to prevent pain than to make it go away once it's already there (I don't know how scientific that is, but it's always been my experience) so take a dose when the old one is wearing off, don't wait until it starts to hurt.

-Finally, the awesomeness is just sinking in now that this was FREE. Mirena, free. Insertion, free. Appointment, free. 5 years of worry-free birth control, free. Kinda does not feel like I live in America right now. THANKS OBAMA :)

Obviously there is much that can still go wrong; everyone's bodies react differently to this. I'll update in a few weeks to say how it's going. But I feel very positive right now. In fact, I feel super empowered about having faced this fear and gone through with it! And you will too!

If you have any questions about my experience or need reassurance for yourself, you're more than welcome to comment or even contact me directly at cara.meglio at gmail.com. If you're in the Philly area and are not sure where to go for the procedure, definitely get in touch because I would for sure recommend my doctor!
Tags: insertion, mirena
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