My IUD and Me!

It has been a little over a year with my IUD. It was put in at the end of last April in 2018 as one of my last resorts. I have been trying to keep symptoms from my Endometriosis at bay but could not find relief with other birth controls. I have tried almost every single one on the market. After an extremely ugly bout with Progestin I had to find a new route. I was constantly bloated, in horrible pain and was bleeding for weeks on end. 

CHOOSING AN IUD 

I got off the pill and found a new doctor in Santa Monica, CA who has been great with me and my treatment. I met with Dr. Ghozland for a consultation about my available options. They were severely limited with the amount of “treatments” I had already explored. 

After mulling it over and going through each pro and con, an IUD seemed to be the best fit for my needs. We went with the Kyleena because it seemed like a safer option for me over the Mirena. The Kyleena does NOT contain estrogen and it slowly releases a progestin hormone called levonorgestrel into your uterus. Only small amounts of the hormone are released into your blood which to me seemed like an extremely positive factor. It can last up to 5 years but should be monitored closely. 

Side effects can include the usual tales of acne, pelvic and abdominal pain, cramping, increased bleeding and other issues. 

INSERTION

Looking back, the experience was so much more painful than I had anticipated. I remember screaming out obscenities in the office while it was inserted. It felt like someone punched my uterus. Many women have various experiences, but let me delve into detail so you know how it can go. 

After it was inserted, I felt like someone vacuumed out my diaphragm and lungs for every. last. breath. I sat there in the office, shaking, and unable to move. They told me that most women stay for about an hour laying down. I couldn’t imagine any woman wanting to stay a second longer. I only wanted to be home with my hot pad. As I snake my yoga pants, nausea set in. I waddled to the bathroom but nothing came up. 

I waited and after another 10 minutes I returned the bathroom key. Crying on my way to the elevator, I remember calling my boyfriend in almost incoherent mutters about “how I didn’t realize it would be this bad.” He offered to pick me up but I decided to Uber. It’s hard to accept help in those moments. I wanted to get myself to where I needed to be for me and I needed it to be private and on my terms. The pain was unlike anything I had experienced before. I choked back grunts from knife-like stabs in my uterus on a work call, letting them know I wouldn’t be coming back to the office for the end of the day. 

It took about 2 weeks to get back to “normal.” I had bad bloating and bought a heating pad for work. One of the days I had to leave early because I was in so much pain. Sharp cramping made sleep impossible and tasks during the day just as hard. 

By month three I felt like it was helping. I went back in for a check up to make sure everything was good somewhere in that timeline. I kept having dreams about it falling out or getting stuck. 

A little over a year and I am still getting used to it. I do still experience cramping but the bleeding has been on a more consistent cycle. I do still experience spotting and I do still get a “period,” which concerns me. Especially since my last few cycles have been especially brutal. 

OPTIONS + THE NOW

Right now, I’m working on maintaining my pain in the best ways possible. Staying in tune with myself, stretching and going on walks, taking supplements and playing with my diet so as not to cause more inflammation. 

I still question getting an IUD. It’s extremely invasive and uncomfortable. I do think it also plays a roll in my constant bloating. But I really did not have other options. Find a doctor who makes you feel comfortable and is willing to discuss ALL of your options. If this is the best one for you, do the research with your doctor about the right one for you and your lifestyle. 

Your options include Kyleena, Liletta, Mirena, ParaGard, and Skyla. This article is absolutely amazing in knowing the differences, side affects, levels of levonorgestrel and how each will affect you hormonally.

As always, please consult with your doctor and always be an advocate for yourself!  

Elizabeth Whiting