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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wellness Wednesday: Mirena IUD Questions Answered

So today is going to be....umm....well.....
a little awkward. 

Lets talk IUDs. There I said it. Woo....awkwardness just flew out the door. Some of you might be wondering why the freak would I be talking about an IUD?! Good question. For those who know me personally have chatted with me, and have asked many questions about my experience with the Mirena IUD. Whats it like? Do you gain weight? Did it hurt?

Now I am not a health professional by any means, but I want to share with you my own experience with Mirena to give those who are interested some insight on how it affected me. Just like anything that deals with health everyones bodies are different, and my experience may be different than others. Always consult your doctor when looking into getting an IUD. 

Now lets get into the meat and potatoes of this post. 

What made you want to get an IUD?
When Todd and I were engaged I had to decide what kind of birth control that I wanted to get, one that would fit my lifestyle and hopefully insure that no babies would be made on our honeymoon. My friends that got married before me were all primarily on the pill, and naturally I thought that would be my first route. After thinking about it, I am such a space case sometimes, and was worried that I would forget taking the pill daily. Again, I was definitely not ready to play mommy (I still am not 5 years later). When researching my options I came across some information about IUDs. I had a friend who was on the copper IUD, and had a horrible experience with heavy bleeding. Definitely staying away from that. HELL NO TO HEAVY FLOW! I then came across a low hormone IUD called the Mirena, and lasted 5 years (7 years in the UK according to my Dr). When reading about this birth control option, I decided that this would be the perfect fit for me. The next thing I knew I was calling all around the valley to find a doctor under my insurance. When calling around it was shocking to see that not many doctors were willing to put an IUD in a girl that had never had a child before, because the risk of it getting dislodged. After many phone calls I finally found a doc that would do the procedure 2 weeks before my wedding.

Did the IUD hurt to put in?
When setting up my appointment over the phone, they told me to bring someone who could drive me home because I would feel cramping immediately afterward. I took the day off work, and had my mom come with me to my appointment. While sitting in the waiting room filling out paperwork, my mom said to me "Hey, this is were I go." Ok that's not awkward at all..... When my name finally got called, I met my doctor for the first time. Before I had a chance to introduce myself, my doctor and mom embraced each other with a hug. Ok.....umm....boarderline awkward. My mom then said "Jess, you didn't tell me you were seeing him!" "I've been going to him for years, and so have your sisters." 


If my face could blush I think I would have been beet red at that moment. Awkward moment over, let's get back to the story. Before inserting the device, my doc showed me the IUD, and then demonstrated the procedure with a vagina model. After his vagina-Mirena puppet show, we began to discuss the risks of an IUD, such as: increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, perforation, etc. After the mandatory chit chat was done, it was time for business. When my doc was putting in the IUD, I had never felt so much pain in my life. It lasted 5 straight minutes. I was so grateful to have my mom there to hold my hand, and wipe my tears from the excruciating pain. They gave me a pad to put in my underwear to soak up the blood from the spotting I would experience for the next couple hours. For the rest of the day, I had the worst cramps I have ever had in my life...times 10. The pain lasted until the next day, but after that I felt BACK TO NORMAL. 

Do you feel the Mirena IUD or does your husband during sex?
I have never felt the IUD in me, and Todd has never said that he felt it.

Did you have any side effects from the Mirena?
Ughh...yes. Before getting my IUD, I was taking Accutane for a couple months to clear up my skin (although I've never had horrible acne). My Accutane treatment ended 7 months before my wedding, and I was acne free up until I got my IUD. One week after getting my new IUD, I woke up to huge pimples on my face. Please note that this was a week before my wedding. To say I was freaking out would be an understatement. I had never experienced acne like this, and it was all over my jaw line. I called my doc right away and he said that I was "part of that 10% that produce excess androgens," thus, leading to the massive acne flare up. My doc then put me on intense steroids that would clear me up. "I must tell you Jessica, this could make you gain weight." Great! That's the last thing you want to hear a week before your wedding. That whole week I was watching my diet like a hawk, and ended up not gaining an ounce. Ever since I got back from my honeymoon, I started talking a pill called Spironolactone to counter act my acne. It has been working pretty well for the past 5 years. In the beginning, I wanted the IUD so I didn't have to take a pill. But in the end, I had to take a pill anyways for the acne side effect. For the past 5 years I have not experienced weight gain, excessive moodiness, or anything else that would concern me. 

Do you have a period?
NO! I don't, which has been soooooooo nice. I dread going back to a normal cycle. When I first got my IUD, I did bleed straight from October to December, and then nothing after that. I have had spotting fewer than 5 times since I got on Mirena. My sister-in-law, however, didn't bleed as much as I did. It's weird how everyone's body responds differently. I actually love having the Mirena, because I used to get bad cramps during my menstrual cycle. The Mirena has decreased my cramps by ten fold. I also don't get as bloated during that time of the month. 

Overall, I absolutely love the Mirena IUD, and it has worked for me and my lifestyle. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. 

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