Lauren Linhard –

As an editor for Moxie Media for more than a year now, I’ve heard my fair share of IUD horror stories – the excruciating cramping, painful bleeding, dizziness and nausea. We even published such a story- Getting an IUD (Might) Hurt– which, frankly, hurt my lady parts to read. So, you can imagine my level of anxiety when I walked into the gynecologist office for my insertion appointment. Here’s a hint: I brought my Mommy.

You may be thinking: Why would this crazy woman go through with an IUD knowing what she knows? Because the rate of return on this particular risk was worth it. Let’s examine the facts:

  1. The future affordability and access to female birth control is not looking too bright with
    From the Center for American Progress
    From the Center for American Progress

    the election of Donald Trump. With the recent vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and no plan on how to replace it, women could be stuck paying $600 a year for the pill and up to $1,000 for the IUD plus $150 on condoms, all to avoid paying $12,500 a year to raise a child or get an abortion which may or may not be legal at the time. Does this sound like a trap to anyone else?

  2. The IUD is 99.9 percent effective compared to the other forms of birth control like the pill, the patch and Nuvaring all at 92 percent or the condom at 85 percent. There is no chance for user error with the IUD and it lasts for years. Sounds like perfect adult choice for a women looking to have responsible fun.
  3. The IUD was recommended for general use in 2012, meaning the design and options have had five years to develop and improve. Doctors now know Mirena is recommended for women who have already had children because the device is larger. The copper based IUDs shouldn’t be used for women with heavy periods because they cause heavier bleeding. Your doctor is more equipped to recommend the best choice for you.
Box of Kyleena and hospital gown
The procedure is outpatient and takes around 5 minutes.

So, yes, knowing what I know about the IUD, I decided to move forward with the procedure. As an extra precaution, I went off birth control for three months to determine if the hormonal IUD or copper IUD was best for my body. When I reported the past three months had been hell on earth, my doctor and I decided to order the Kyleena, which includes a relatively low dose of 19.5 mg of hormone.

It takes between two and four weeks for the IUD to ship, so we made a day of plan of action:

  1. 24 hours ahead of time, insert the prescribed 100 mcg Cytotec tablet inside the vagina to soften the cervix for easier and less painful IUD placement (awesome right). This is an off label use of the medicine, typically used in labor and delivery, my gynecologist finds beneficial for the IUD procedure.
  2. Eat a bag of chips or pretzels (something with salt) to retain water in the blood stream to limit the chance of fainting (as I am prone to do) and eat a substantial lunch to stave off the dizziness that can come with anxiety.
  3. Take two ibuprofen 30 minutes before the procedure.
  4. Bring someone you are comfortable with to the appointment to drive you home in case of cramping. Have an orange juice ready in case of a blood sugar drop and a pantyliner handy for bleeding.
A woman smiling giving a thumbs up
Made it through!

Though I did not find the procedure painful, the insertion caused a strong feeling of uncomfortable pressure my doctor coached me through. But within 30 minutes I was in and out of the office with my newly empowered uterus. Besides wobbly legs from clamping my muscles in anxiety and cramping (nothing more than period cramps), I felt good enough to persuade my Mom that we needed donuts, which she traded for a trip to the appliance store.

I spent two days resting my lady parts, which equates to no sexual activity or baths according to the doc, and was on a steady regimen of one ibuprofen every four hours. I also dedicated some serious time to sleeping and naps – your body is healing even if you can’t see it.

And that was it – my no muss no fuss IUD story.