4 Women Discuss What Getting An IUD Is Really Like

I’m not going to lie to you guys, I’m paranoid as a person. I literally had stress dreams about Brett Kavanaugh being confirmed all last night. I’ve been on the pill for years, and I love it. I didn’t gain weight, I didn’t really have crazy mood swings, and it helped my periods immensely. Before the pill, I was soaking through a super jumbo tampon AND a maxi pad every night (I guess I just have a heavy flow and a wide-set vagina). I also got such bad cramps that I would get nauseated, often canceling plans because I couldn’t move. So yeah, life before birth control wasn’t a fun time. I do not wish to return to that time.

But it seems that I might—or at the very least, my birth control (which already costs me $50 a month) may become prohibitively expensive and I’m considering switching to an IUD. So I did what I do best: Google what it’s like to get an IUD, scour Reddit for answers to the same question, and finally, ask my friends who have one what it’s like to get an IUD. You know, anything but make an appointment with my actual doctor.

Here’s what my friends said about what it’s like to get an IUD. Please note, none of this should be taken in place of medical advice. If you are wondering what it’s like to get an IUD and are considering one, talk to your doctor. And if you want to know more about WTF is happening in our political system rn, subscribe to the Betches ‘Sup for our daily newsletter.

Age 27, Kyleena

Why did you decide to get an IUD?
Truthfully, my decision to start the process towards getting an IUD was largely motivated by the Presidential election results (although I had already been considering the option for a while). Reliable, easy birth control is extremely important to me, especially given that I have been in a heterosexual monogamous relationship for almost 5 years and am currently in professional school (so DEFINITELY do not want any babies at any point in the near future/before a bunch of my debt is paid off). Knowing that some changes in health care coverage could be coming down the political pipeline was the final motivation I needed to start the process towards getting an IUD.

Which IUD did you get?
I got Kyleena because it is physically smaller than Mirena but still lasts for 5 years. I also chose it because I know that my body works best with lower dose hormones, so there was no reason for me to consider Mirena.

Kyleena is brand new and you could only get it starting in October. It last 5 years and you get what they call “scant” periods which is sort of like a withdrawal bleed on normal BC but for me was more like super light spotting for a week straight

What was the insertion process like?
Well, first of all, I couldn’t just show up to my doctor and get an IUD like you can with the pill. I had to have a consultation, and insertion appointment, and a follow-up 4-6 weeks after the insertion.

My doctor told me that they generally recommend scheduling insertion during/at the end of a menstrual cycle because that is when the cervix is naturally most open, which makes for an easier procedure. I had my insertion on the first day of my period and it was absolutely one of the more uncomfortable experiences I have had (imagine a really deep, intense cramp that you can feel inside your body, the doctor described it as “visceral”).

However, it only took my doctor three attempts to get the IUD in place and the pain was over in probably 90 seconds or less. Afterward, I went home and laid in bed, ordered Thai food, and took it easy until the general uncomfortable effects/cramping subsided about 3 to 4 hours after the insertion. I was shocked to wake up the next day with little to no lasting effects and didn’t need to take any painkillers after the day of the insertion.

The side effects were uncomfortable but no worse than bad period cramps. They also didn’t last long at all.

Would you do it again?
YES, I WOULD 100% DO IT AGAIN. The fact that there is literally no chance of human error (like forgetting to take a pill/change your NuvaRing, etc.) is a huge comfort to me. I also haven’t had any changes in my skin, weight, moodiness, or any other thing that is traditionally associated with changing birth control methods.

Age 27, Mirena

What made you decide to get an IUD?
I went to my gyno to get a checkup and refill on my birth control and she asked me if I had ever considered an IUD. She’s a huge proponent of them and explained how they’re much more effective and convenient than the pill. Plus it was 100% covered by my insurance. She had me convinced so I agreed, and then she was like “we can do it today” which caught me off guard. But I said “f*ck it” and went for it! 

What was the insertion process like?
Not gonna lie, the insertion process is pretty painful, but it’s also pretty quick. Afterward, I was cramping a lot, which sucked for me because I never usually got cramps during my period. But it was manageable. I was able to walk back to my car which was like a 20-minute walk across campus. And I also went to a dance class later that night. That wasn’t the easiest and I had to sit out towards the end. But overall the aftermath doesn’t put you out of commission from daily life or anything. You’re a little crampy for a day or 2 after, but I’m a lil bitch and I survived.

How bad were the side effects?
I didn’t experience anything bad at all. I think I was maybe a little more emotional for a few weeks because of the hormones but nothing crazy, I didn’t turn into a BSCB. I also spotted for like a month or so, but after that subsided I literally haven’t had a real period since… which at this point has been about 3 years!  

Would you recommend it or do it again?
I would definitely recommend it! I always say it’s the best thing I’ve ever done, seriously. But it’s not for everyone. I have friends who didn’t react well to theirs, so it’s good to know there are still risks. And yes, I would definitely do it again and intend to (healthcare disaster permitting) once mine expires in two years. 

Age 26, Mirena

Why did you decide to get the IUD?
I never really found a pill that liked my body. I tried a few that worked okay, but none that were fantastic. After a while, my doctor explained that the IUD might be a better fit for me because of the lower dose and it would be less of a worry, she explained how it was good for longevity.

What was it like to get an IUD?
The insertion happened at an inpatient clinic. It was done by a PA. It honestly hurt a ton. I was not really expecting the amount of pain it was. After they asked if I wanted to lay down for a while (and I did for about 20 minutes). I wish I stayed longer because on the subway ride home (I took the full day off of work) I was in pretty bad pain and was a little worried about passing out. Good news, I didn’t! It was all okay, but I wished I had stayed a little longer.

Would you get it again?
For my specific body, I am not sure. I’ve had some bad side effects that my doctor has told me are the outlier—for most people. The transition to having it and the pain that you have each month typically goes down. But for me, it has taken a while for that to happen. I am not sure what I will do when it is time to replace it. Probably get another because of the ease with which my birth control is now managed, but I’m not positive yet. I do really like not being on the pill. It is easier day-to-day for sure.

Age 27, Skyla

Why did you get the IUD?
I got it because I was sick of taking the pill. I couldn’t handle estrogen, and I wanted to get the smallest IUD for the least painful insertion.

How painful was the insertion?
Insertion sucked. Awful. They had me take a giant ibuprofen for it, but it still sucked, like, for 5-10 minutes. It felt like the worst cramp I’ve ever had. I was crying. But then I had no pain afterward, and it was done.

What side-effects have you experienced?
I have had some bloating for sure, but I actually feel a lot skinnier/healthier than when I was on the pill. I’d say my periods are pretty odd now, like every 5-6 weeks and super duper light. But I also sometimes get bad bloating before . I just need to watch what I’m eating, mainly.

Would you do it again?
I would definitely do it again, I highly recommend, especially if you’re having regular sex, can’t handle estrogen, and don’t want to get pregnant.

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What Your Birth Control Choice Says About You

As a girl of the 21st century, you are probably aware of the many birth control options available to keep you gettin’ busy without making a baby in the process. Like all women, each birth control option is its own special snowflake and reveals valuable information about the betch who chose it. So what does your birth control say about you? Let’s see!

The Pill

You are a betch who likes to be on a schedule. You probably have a multi-colored, multi-tabbed planner full of stickers letting you know exactly where you need to be and when (as a backup to the meticulously kept calendar that is already on your phone.) You take comfort in the rituals of life—Bachelor in Paradise on Monday and Tuesday, brunch on Sunday, and your pill, every day, with lunch. These routines help keep you grounded, which is why you’re the one in your friend group who your other besties can count on when they need to text “Wait, when is Becca’s wedding again?” You may not be the most likely friend for seat-of-your pants adventures, but you’re not pregnant so there’s always that.

Condoms

For the down-to-earth, grounded betch who wants to leave her body (and her hormones) as is. You go with the flow (seriously, your period is nuts) and your besties love you for it. You can probably be found at your weekly Ashtanga class, praying to mother Gaia and connecting spiritually with your pelvic wall. Your organic vegan gluten free paleo diet may earn you some jealous side-eyeing from your besties, but that’s only because they know your healthy AF lifestyle means you’ll live long enough to get drunk at all of their funerals.
Condom

The IUD

You are a strong motherfucker who does not fuck around. You got your IUD because it was the most practical, long lasting, and tested method available and you ain’t afraid to have a doctor shove some metal and/or plastic contraption in your vag. You are the friend who is always down to help another friend move, and will actually be like, helpful in the process. You take hardcore fitness classes like CrossFit and Rumble and are the bestie that everybody knows not to fuck with. When you do decide to have a child they’ll be one of those kids who is like “Sorry I can’t come out, my mom is super intense.” Though thanks to your IUD, that won’t be a for a long, long time.

The Nuva Ring

You are a sexy, modern woman who’s not afraid to touch the inside of her vagina if it means reliable birth control. You’re the friend about whom guys are always asking, “Who is that?” and you probably have your fair share of vibrators and other goodies in your bedside table. You are basically a walking, talking Cosmo magazine worth of sex advice, and your besties thank you for it. Any guy who can’t give you what you want cant hit the damn road, and you teach your friends to do the same. Just don’t let your kids catch you in the act when you finally do settle down.
Bobs Burgers

Implanon (That Thing They Implant Into Your Arm)

You are a cyborg betch from the future! You are always up on the latest gadgets and have had wireless headphones for ages now. You are fully tuned in to all things tech, and can’t wait for the day when we hit the singularity and all upload our consciousness onto the cloud. When your besties are having issues with their phone or computer, you’re the first person they talk to before heading to the Apple store. You probably have a very busy and serious real girl job and will eventually settle down with an equally tech savvy partner when you sell all your cryptocurrency. Here’s to your future robot children!

The Female Condom

Honestly girl, I have no idea what goes through your mind but God bless.

The Demand For IUDs Increased A Fuckton Lately & You Already Know Why

On Monday, the president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPFA) said that the demand for IUDs has increased by 900 percent since Donald Trump was elected to office, and normally, I would normally call bullshit on a statistic that high. But honestly, that sounds about right because Trump’s presidency is fucking terrifying for anyone with a vagina.

PPFA president Cecile Richards went on CNN on Monday to talk about the upcoming Women’s March on Washington (chill) and the recent attempts by Paul Ryan to defund Planned Parenthood (super not chill). She had a bunch of awesome stuff to say about Planned Parenthood, most of which was directed at the haters trying to shut down federal funding for one of the most extensive providers of betches’ healthcare in the nation. You’d think that the debate over abortion would have been over a long time ago, but this is America. Why resolve something quickly when you can tell women what to do instead?

Haha Die

While she was on CNN, Richards said Planned Parenthood has seen a 900 percent increase in women trying to get IUDs through the organization after the Great Cheeto was elected president. According to Jezebel, she said that most of these IUD-seekers are “desperately concerned that they might lose their access to healthcare” once the Legion of Doom Trump & Co. take office.

She also pointed out that legally, Planned Parenthood isn’t allowed to use federal funding for abortion, so the whole defunding thing makes zero sense even if you’re super anti-abortion for some reason. Instead, the money is legally required to go toward procedures like Pap smears, contraception, STI testing, and other procedures every betch should get regularly. 

Cecily Strong

ICYMI, people have been hating on Planned Parenthood for a while now—since at least 2007, when Vice President-elect Mike Pence started leading the charge against its funding—and PP could use all the help it can get right now.

If you want to support Planned Parenthood (which you should, because bodily autonomy and all that good shit), there are a few options. The most hilarious is donating to PP in Mike Pence’s honor—just make a regular donation and fill out his name in the “in memory” option. You could also become a clinic escort, which takes some training, or do the whole calling local representatives thing. Even lazy/busy betches can contribute by just reading up on abortion and calling out assholes who don’t know what they’re talking about. (Fact #1: Abortions don’t cause depression, are you kidding me with this shit?)

Are You Stupid

So it’s no wonder women are getting long-acting BC while they can. If you’re one of the women considering an IUD before Trump takes office, hit up Planned Parenthood while you still can (aka while it still exists). Even if you already have one or don’t need one, support them before we all start living in a real-life version of The Handmaid’s Tale.  

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