9 out of 10*
*Experiences vary, please talk to your gynecologist for the method that will work best for you!
Pairs well with a nice stout. I recommend Guinness, because it lasts a long time and gets the job done (for me).
So today, I have something that’s part education and part review. I’m going to talk about my IUD and how much I love it. This isn’t a sponsored post. I just really love the method of birth control that worked for my body. I found this method by talking to my gynecologist about it, and there are many choices. Something else may work better for you! That’s awesome because bodies are different!
So first, some background! I am diagnosed with PCOS. If you want to know more about those experiences, I suggest reading this article I wrote! I was on “the pill” to mitigate those symptoms, but I was worried about how it affected my body and moods, so I talked about it! I found out how Mirena works, and I was really excited to let my body take over again.
So when you’re on oral birth control, it has to move through your whole system to get to your uterus. As a result, it’s common for folx to have other reactions such a weight gain and hair loss. In my life, I experienced a bit of weight loss, then a lot of weight gain, some mood swings and a lot of hair loss. As it turns out, my mood swings and hair loss are just my body, but I’m glad I found that out by stopping the pill.
By contrast, an IUD is placed in the uterus, so all the hormones it uses are a tiny fraction of what is in the pill. Instead of traveling all over the body, it travels only a few inches to reach it’s target because it lives in its target! So the hormonal changes most people experience are minimal.
My gynecologist had me stay on the pill through insertion, which is somewhat rare. Typically, they want you to be menstruating, but she said it was fine, and I trusted her. I’m glad that I did because I feel like it has a lot to do with how good my experience is. I went in to for the insertion and this is the only negative part about IUDs. I felt like I was getting probed by an alien. Not in a fun, kidnapping, tie up, gang bang, alien scene kind of way, but in an awful, painful, alarming way. (Though, that alien scene sounds kind of fun now.) I sat at the office for an extra 15 minutes trying to get color back into my face and move again. It took maybe a minute, but it was so weird and painful.
After I left the office, I went immediately to a friend’s house, sat on her couch and whined about how my uterus was trying to kill me. The cramps were pretty bad, but they slowly got better after watching two movies and eating some food. By the next day, I was mostly pain-free. A few twinges here and there, but I assumed it was my body getting used to this foreign object. By the next week, I had forgotten that it was there at all, except that I no longer took pills every day.
Some other folx I know had cramping for months after insertion of an IUD, so I really want to emphasize that stories vary. I have found overwhelmingly that my friends had an average of 1-2 months of cramps and found them to be TOTALLY WORTH IT. I have yet to meet anyone who did what my doctor had me do (staying on birth control through the insertion). I somewhat suspect that the reason cramps didn’t last long for me was staying on birth control. I don’t know the science behind that, so I may be completely off base. Again, talk to your provider about what is best for you.
Since getting an IUD, my body has leveled to it’s own. My testosterone levels are high again, which means I have some extra acne and facial hair. I use a topical medicine for the acne and I flaunt my boi-beard. I have noticed a bit of weight gain, but that has more to do with depression and eating habits than with my hormones. My moods have mostly stabilized with time and therapy. I even stopped having periods at all, which is common enough with IUDs (about 1 in 5 according to my gynecologist).
Overall, my birth control was preventing my body from being androgynous, which was great when I wanted so badly to be a better female. But now that I’ve found my gender-fluid identity, I’m more than happy that my body runs wild. It always surprises me; these little ways that the universe always knew what I was and I never did.