intra-uterine devices

Raise your hand if you’ve heard a lot of talk about intra-uterine devices (IUDs) lately. Your chances are higher if you have a uterus, granted, but this form of birth control has been the talk of the town. If you’ve looked into IUDs and have been scared off by stories of months of pain and discomfort, I’m hear to tell you: it ain’t all bad.

My IUD is my best friend. I got Skyla, a hormonal IUD, about three years ago from my gynecologist while at college. Taking a pill everyday was getting on my nerves because, yes, I am that lazy (evidence I should never have children). I made my yearly appointment and asked about my other options, having read up on a few online. At the time, Skyla was advertising on television so, though I’d heard of it, I didn’t know all the details. Skyla differs from the other hormonal IUD, Mirena, in size and length of time its inserted. Skyla is smaller which, according to my doctor, meant it was better suited for women who haven’t had children. Skyla lasts 3 years, while Mirena lasts 5.

I’m at the end of those 3 years and they were perfectly fine. I used to have bad cramping and bleeding but, now, I only have a little cramping and next to no bleeding. I’m told many women have no period at all with the IUD, but I was not so lucky (that’s normal). There are a lot of horror stories about IUDs and those experiences are real, a concern to those involved, and a concern to any women who may be looking for a new form of birth control. It’s important to remember, however, that everyone’s body is different. My sister and I often joke about how similar we are in our habits and personalities but, after I raved about my IUD, hers was a disappointment. She had to have it taken out within a week because of the pain it caused. 

Yet, here I am. Tomorrow I’m having my Skyla replaced with Paraguard, the copper IUD. I’m nervous. I’ve had Skyla for 3 years but, with the change, come new concerns. Will it be too large? What if my body reacts differently? Will the hormonal change affect me? In spite of these worries, I’m having it replaced, anyway, because I know my body and know the course I plan for my uterus to take (one that does not involve conception).

I’ll let ya know how it goes, including the gory details.

mary

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