Monday, June 18, 2012

My IUD experience

A couple of people have messaged me privately asking about my IUD experience and things have been since. I know there are other CF after IF couples out there who may be contemplating many of the same things Buddy and I did in terms of how to find that peace of mind when deciding to move on to other life experiences, so I'm going to talk about it a little.

Firstly, I chose Paragard, the copper IUD. After coming off hormonal BCPs, it took me about a year to regulate and have some consistency, and I experienced other effects such as weight gain. I personally wouldn't choose to use a hormonal BC again, so I was glad Paragard was an option. An added bonus is that it lasts 10 years instead of Mirena's 5, so I get more for my money. The downside is that it can cause longer and heavier periods and increased cramping because your body is reacting to the copper in the device. I've always felt I was pretty lucky in that department, so for me it wasn't a big concern. I may have made a different decision if I already had heavy flow or bad cramping.

Obviously, the day before my appointment was an emotional one. I never doubted our choice, but it was still emotional. As I stated in a previous post, part of the anxiety came from the part of the cycle the doctor insisted on for insertion. When I got to the office and was called back, I was asked to take a pregnancy test. Um, say what? First, I was still bleeding, and secondly, I had checked in and asked to use the ladies room with no mention from any of the ladies at the desk that I would need to provide a sample for testing. Even if I'd been able to leave a sample, I was not prepared emotionally to be asked to take an HPT. I'm a rare breed in the TTC world in that I've only ever taken 4 pregnancy tests. I always used my temps to help me decide if I should test, so for me to take an HPT was a BIG deal. So, I did the only rational thing I could think of and I ugly-cried at the nurse, told her there was no way I was pregnant and refused an HPT. I had to sign something acknowledging this, and she seemed more miffed than she should have been. When the doc came in, he acknowledged I'd declined and mentioned that I have a history of IF, and seemed understanding and that was the end of the discussion. I share this part of it because I was in no way mentally prepared for the request for an HPT and just want to make anyone contemplating an IUD (or possibly any BC) after IF aware that this may happen.

The insertion itself was far easier and less painful than I'd imagined. The doctor performed an ultrasound to measure my uterus, then talked me through the steps of the insertion. Words like "clamp on the cervix" had me pretty worried about the pain factor, but I hardly felt it. The insertion felt similar to the cramping I'd had when I had my HSG, but less intense. It was over in a matter of moments, and was followed by another ultrasound to confirm proper placement. I was given Motrin for cramping and was told I was free to go and to call if I had any questions or discomfort lasting beyond a few days.

I was pretty crampy and sore for the next 48-ish hours. I had the IUD inserted on Friday morning and felt like my usual self by the time I woke up on Sunday. Emotionally, Friday was pretty awful. I was okay during the day at work (except that it just happened that a coworker was leaving to take vacation to get married and someone else asked her when she was having kids - and then asked when I was having them), but when Buddy got home, all I wanted to do was cry and cuddle up to him for comfort. He was an absolute rock star - he brought me wine and In N Out, along with a Cosmo to cheer me up.

Since I got the IUD, I do feel more at peace. I think Buddy does, too. We now both feel we can heal and have the certainty of what the next few years will look like. I found myself doing things around the house alongside Buddy in those first few days and  thinking, "this is going to be okay" and truly meaning in it for the first time in a long time. I think we're both happier and more at ease with talking about our new sense of the future. It's been good for our love life- I think we were both worried about the off-chance of a pregnancy and the opportunity for miscarriage, and with that gone, so is the hesitation to be intimate. I definitely think it was the right choice for us.

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