All about IUDs, IUD insertion pain, and Which IUD is best for you!
The best IUD for me did not come without trial and error. I have had 2 IUD Insertions and one excursion being the copper IUD. I Kept my Kyleena IUD and has been relatively pain and side effect free, for the most part. If you are curious about my experience with the Kyleena you can read my IUD insertion process and my 6month update. Like any form of birth control, one may work well for you and not me, and vice versa. The important factors to consider when looking for the best IUD for you is your current period, your lifestyle, and pain tolerance. Yes, it can be painful to get an IUD insertion, however, I can attest it’s really not that bad. Just something to consider.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice and should not be taken as such. I am not a doctor and do not claim to be as these are solely based on my experiences. Please consult your family doctor before considering any recommendations listed in this post. Thanks!
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Wait a second. What is an IUD?
If the top paragraph sounded like gibberish to you, let me explain. An IUD (inter uterine device) is a small T shaped plastic gadget that contains copper OR synthetic hormones. There is also a string attached to the end that is used to take it out at the end of its useful life. Your partner may be able to feel it but it should not be annoying or painful for them. IUD’s are used as a form of birth control. The way they work will depend on the type you get (copper or hormonal). IUDs typically last up to 5 years in the uterus, no maintenance is required by you. Which makes it very attractive to many women. The device does have to be inserted by your doctor or Gyno which will be uncomfortable. However, 5 years of care free birth control for 5 minutes of pain. I’ll take it.
Hormonal VS Non hormonal
Hormonal IUDs are more popular than the copper IUD, which, is the only “non-hormonal” IUD on the market. I add the quotations because the copper IUD can increase copper levels in the body and in turn, increase estrogen. Therefore, it does mess with your hormones to some extent. Copper creates a toxic environment in your uterus (much like my ex can) so sperm die immediately when entered into the uterus. This form of birth control is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
Mirena, Kyleena, and Skyla are the 3 hormonal IUDs out there, each contains a different dosage of progestin. Progestin is a synthetic form of progesterone and is what prevents pregnancy. Progestin is excreted by the IUD into the uterus, this creates a thick mucus and thins the uterine linning. Making it nearly impossible for an egg to implant. For the mirena, many women also lose their period either due to it thinning the lining OR it can stop your cycle due to the higher dosage of progestin. However, about 95% of women will keep their cycle on the kyleena which is another reason I chose it for myself. I would suggest taking periodic pregnancy tests if you do lose your period with the Mirena or Kyleena just for safety precautions.
Is The copper IUD best for you?
This IUD has a copper wire around it (it’s safe don’t worry) and is inserted like any other IUD. They will spread your legs, clamp your cervix in place, my doctor froze my cervix which is a better option in my opinion. Finally, they measure your uterus to see where your IUD will sit and slip it in! the procedure is less than 5 minutes. You will feel cramping and a bit uncomfortable but girl…honestly man up we are built to birth babies. You can do this.
I was blessed to have my Copper IUD inserted at the same time as my period. Which is a good thing as your cervix is most dialted at the time of your period and will may your IUD insertion a little easier. The copper IUD does increase bleeding and cramping. If you have no cramping with your normal period, defiantly consider the copper IUD. However, if you have bad cramps I would completely rule this one out. You don’t need that in your life, girl.
For context, I naturally have painless and light periods. With the copper IUD, it was completely opposite. They were very heavy to the point it was hard to sleep some nights. The cramping was incredibly annoying (I could still function). My period was still regular just a lotmore painful and heavy. After I was no longer in a committed relationship, I said goodbye to my copper IUD. Was not worth it to me! I did wait about 6 months for the sysmptoms to subside but they did not for me. So, bye bye copper IUD.
Is a Hormonal IUD Best for you?
As mentioned above, there are 3 types of hormonal IUDs and all of them differ in dosages of progestin. The insertion process is the exact same as I outlined with the copper IUD except the recovery time afterward was a tad different. All women are different, however I and a lot of other ladies had a very long bleeding period after the IUD was inserted.
My period was a month long! Minimal cramps, light bleed, but very annoying. To me, that was better than the copper IUD but again, everyone is different! With the Kyleena and Skyla IUDs you will most likely continue with your regular cycle after your body has adjusted. The Mirena will remove your period so if that makes you uncomfortable I would not choose that one. I do notice side effects with my Kyleena, you can read about them here. However, for the most part (if you can’t tell already) I hated my copper IUD and this one is much better for me.
IUDs in conclusion
The most important take away is that everyone is different. Birth control is so subjective you need to consider your life, your habits, and your period health to know what birth control will hinder your life the least. The Kyleena was a good choice for me! Perhaps it will also be a good choice for you:)