My IUD “Installation”

I’ve been committed to my birth control pills longer than anything else in my life. For 14 years, I’ve been popping a tiny pill every morning and trusting that it’s the best possible option for me to stay in control of my life. When I started hearing that it *might* not actually be the best option and that unnecessary hormones actually SUCK, I started to dig in a little deeper.

I ordered the much-talked-about Phexxi after hearing about this new “non-hormonal” birth control from Schitt’s Creek’s Annie Murphy. Then, I scheduled my annual appointment with my gynecologist. During my appointment, I stressed my desire to remove as many unnecessary hormones from my life as possible and asked about the new option, Phexxi. My doctor, a smart, feisty mom of two with one on the way, got straight with me. Phexxi’s success levels are not consistently reported across the board. While some reports up to 93% effectiveness, some reports go as low as success rates in the 60 percent range – that is NOT going to cut it for this girl.

My doctor then brought up the IUD, Kyleena. I expressed my concerns with an IUD – essentially that I’m terrified of having a piece of plastic floating around in my uterus. WHAT. The things women do to keep an organized society truly amaze me. After telling me that Kyleena is a super low hormone birth control with consistent effectiveness, she then followed with the point that all of the doctors in the practice I go to actually have IUDs, love them and that their patients have only had a handful of issues with them. She added, that if I don’t like it, they’re happy to take it out as soon as I want and we can try something else. As an enneagram 7, I love the idea of not having to commit. So, I made an appointment for “the install.”

Upon arrival, I peed into a cup – I assume for a pregnancy test that I must’ve passed? I always was an A+++ student. Then, I headed back to an exam room and removed my bottoms. On the table was a dark (brown?) liquid with a plus-sized Q tip sitting in it, a large Kyleena box (way too big to house the smallest IUD I was expecting), several other packages in disinfectant packaging, and other odds and ends that tend to hang out in exam rooms.

As I waited to start the procedure, my doctor explained the risks of possibly implanting the IUD into the uterine lining, and some of the uncomfortableness of both the procedure and after. The packages on the counter, I soon learned contained giant scissors. And the IUD packaging actually held the tool that the doctor would use to place the IUD into my uterus. “Any questions?” she asked.

“Yea, I need to know what those giant scissors are for?”

Turns out, the string attached to the IUD is SUPER long, and the doctor has to cut it back once it’s placed into the uterus! After confirming no incisions would take place, I put my feet up in the stirrups like I’ve done dozens of times before, and tried to relax. After a few seconds of having the tool inside me, I could physically feel something entering my uterus and taking its place. I felt a major stomach cramp and a little nausea, and then, she was done! The IUD was in! And I felt OK? I had geared myself up for a lot of pain and so far I was just a little uncomfortable?

As I write this, it’s been around 8 hours since I have had the little plastic Tesla logo stuck into my uterus. Essentially all day, I’ve had off and on massive stomach cramps, nausea and light-headedness. Blood has been lightly leaking out. (All “normal” according to the experts.) I still managed to check the majority of my to-do list off from the couch, but it was definitely not my finest day. As the skies darken, the cramps are fewer and further apart, and the nausea has essentially subsided. I’ve felt physically weak but emotionally strong. The dichotomy. For the next 5 years, if everything goes well, I won’t have to worry about what happens to my health insurance, taking a daily pill, getting pregnant, and hopefully, I’ll adjust to the lack of estrogen in a smooth manner.

Time will tell, wish me luck.

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