My IUD Experience
An IUD (intrauterine device) is a small t shaped device which is inserted inside the uterus in order to prevent pregnancy. It prevents pregnancy by affecting the way that the sperm swim towards the egg and therefore inhibits fertilization. IUDs do not prevent the risk of contracting STDs/STIs so it is important to still use condoms for protection! There are 2 types of IUDs - Paraguard and Mirena IUD. The Paraguard IUD (about the size of a penny) is made of copper and is an effective and long-lasting form of non-hormonal birth control. The Paraguard lasts for 10 years but can be taken out at any time if you choose to have children. Since it is non-hormonal you won't experience any nausea, mood swings or other hormonal related side effects. The only side effect of the Paraguard is that it causes heavier and crampier menstrual periods. Physicians state that the periods become lighter with time.
The Mirena is an IUD which prevents pregnancy for up to 5 years and contains low dosages of progestin. The side effects of Mirena include slight nausea, spotting, mood swings, acne, weight gain and other hormone related side effects. Many women love this option though as it reduces around 90% of menstrual bleeding and some women stop getting their period all together.
I chose to get the Paraguard inserted as I did not want to use a hormonal birth control due to my bad experience with birth control pills. I waited around 40 minutes for the procedure to occur as the nurse had to check my vitals first. I took 2 Advil just before the procedure started. After placing my legs on the stirrups, my doctor warned me to keep taking deep breathes in and out as I was going to experience some cramping. Before she started the procedure, my doctor numbed my cervix. After, she said the next step was to insert the IUD into my uterus and measure it. As soon as she touched my uterus, I could feel intense cramping throughout my whole abdomen area. I took the advil pretty late so the painkillers didn't kick in yet and I was not able to move from the table for about 25 minutes as the cramping was so intense. After 2 cans of apple juice, I could finally move. The procedure was very quick and took around 15 minutes, however the cramping lasted for 2 days. It's a pretty good price to pay for the security of knowing I won't be able to become pregnant untill I have it taken out in 2026. The most important thing to remeber when choosing the best birth control for you is that everyone's body reacts differently and just because the IUD is the pathway I chose for birth control, does not mean that it is better than birth control pills etc.