Hello there superstars,
I had my Mirena IUD inserted yesterday, and I thought I’d share my experience in case there’s anyone else considering one.
I’ll start with the basics-
I’m a 21yr old cis-female, iron deficiency, migraine with aura (cannot take methods with estrogen) and tokophobic – babies are definitely NOT on the agenda for me. I’ve had the implanon for six months and have bled constantly the entire time, so I decided to try the Mirena.
So when I finally came to the conclusion that the Implanon and my body just were never going to have a beautiful friendship, I went to a local GP and asked what my options were. This was about two months ago – none of the regular doctors around do insertions, especially not in nulliparous people, unless you have extra insurance (Australia, I only have medicare). It was either wait for the local public hospital (possibly six months wait or more) or visit my local Family Planning.
I’m very glad I went with family planning!
About four weeks ago I went for the first appointment, which was discussing my options and the swabs to make sure I didn’t have any infections that needed to be treated beforehand. The doctor I had was ridiculously nice, explained everything, and was quite happy to do it for me. After my very first introduction to a speculum (which slipped and pinched because I was bleeding like WHOA – I had a bit of a cry about that later, even though it didn’t hurt too bad, hah) I got back the all clear and made the insertion appointment.
I was given lots of information to read and given two Ponstan to take an hour before the appointment, with food. So I ate a cheeseburger.
At the appointment, my partner was allowed to come in at first but then had to be chased out because the room we were in was TINY, and there was me, a doctor and a nurse.
The doctor settled me in and I undressed waist down, lay down on the bed with a little blankety thing over my hips and waited while the nurse wheeled in a trolley. (My doctor said to be prepared for cutlery noises. I pretended I was in a restaurant.)
While they prepared all the equipment, they talked me through roughly what would happen, and had me find a comfortable position for my legs on the little stool. Then they shone the giant bendy booklight on my Treialegarden.
They used a metal speculum, and it had to be opened fairly wide… so that sucked. At this point I was a little panicky because I get pretty sore with things inside me, and they said it’d take about twenty, thirty minutes. I’m not gonna lie, it was fairly painful, but I haven’t had intercourse in about three months and any penetration hurts a bit normally, so YMMV. Eventually I got used to it and it was just annoying.
The doctor cleaned me up (bleeding at the time) with a bit of a swab – a bit uncomfortable again because my vagina hates everyone – and squirted a bunch of antiseptic stuff around. Meanwhile, the nurse tried her best to distract me with talk.
The doctor then applied a numbing gel to my cervix and we sat back and waited for a couple of minutes for that to start working.
I have to warn you all at this point that I have a very sensitive cervix and vagina, so my discomfort probably doesn’t equal your discomfort!
Next, because I could feel pretty much everything, the doctor injected a local into each side of my cervix. The first prick felt a bit weird, but didn’t hurt. Just a bit of pressure, like a very mild cramp. The second was barely anything. She applied pressure with a bit of gauze to help things along (and wow, does that feel weird. I’ve known where my cervix was since I started getting cervix-smishing cramps, but this was the first time I’d been properly aquainted with it). She then took some forceps (which the nurse encouraged me NOT to look at) and squeezed my cervix – it cramped. She tried a couple other positions, but decided it was too uncomfortable, so she gave me the rest of the local – I couldn’t feel the injection this time.
Another couple of minutes later, and my vaginal muscles were getting a bit twitchy. Not sore, they were relatively comfortable by now, but there were definitely some flutterings and I was a little worried that they’d be all RAWR and the speculum would go flying, hitting my doctor in the head, and I almost asked her to check if it was secure but as it turns out all was well.
She tried the forceps again, and the first position was still a bit uncomfortable, but the second time I could only feel the slightest of touches, so it was full steam ahead. About here was when I started getting all nervous again, and I’m eternally thankful that the nurse and doctor kept a happy chattering the whole time.
The doctor then said she’d be using a little device to measure where the mirena would go. She reminded me to keep breathing and then started inserting it.
If you’ve had your cervix bashed you probably know the feeling, but in case you haven’t… the first part is kind of a sick feeling, and then a really really really intense cramp. Again, I’m not going to lie – it hurt. A lot. But somehow it wasn’t as bad as I was imagining – not as sharp a pain as I was expecting. The measuring only lasted a second or two, but I’m not eager to go through it again.
They gave me a few minutes to recover, which was good because I was cramping pretty badly for the next ten minutes – but again, my vagina and general downstairs hates everyone and everything. If you’re going to have a mirena, the best advice is to breathe and keep breathing.
While I was waiting for the pain to subside I had to be reassured that the insertion itself would be as quick, and I was assured it would be. Once again reminded to breathe, we went again.
This time it was sharper, but a little bit less intense. Honestly it doesn’t make much difference in that situation because it’s not exactly a candlelight dinner, but the pain is all bearable and doesn’t last too long. The doctor didn’t lie, it was just as quick or even quicker than the measuring, and I was fortunate in that my cervix was apparently nice and open and soft, so medically speaking it was a very easy insertion.
After another few minutes, I was able to scoot up properly on the bed, close my legs, and rest for a while. I felt like sitting up after about ten, and didn’t feel dizzy or sick when I sat up, so I cleaned up and got dressed. There was a bit of extra talk with the doctor about future appointments (six week checkup, implanon out next week, no anything in the vagina for 48 hours) and then I was able to go out and sulk in a cuddle from my partner, hah.
The aftermath has been pretty good. It’s been no worse than a period, although yesterday I was pretty aware that Yes, I have a Uterus and it is plotting revenge, but I’ve had cramps a lot worse and after the insertion, the after cramps are like cuddling up to a kitten. (But mostly that was relief – I’d been fretting about the whole thing for ages.)
It’s now about 26, 27 hours since I’ve had it, and I was able to go to work. I’ve been taking some paracetemol and ibuprofen every now and then, but I’m just feeling a bit bloaty and achy. To be perfectly honest I’m also still feeling pretty sulky and delicate, but overall the experience was fairly positive. I’m looking forward to the cramps disappearing completely, then I can stop thinking about how my uterus now has armour.
If anyone has any questions, I’ll try to answer them to the best of my ability. Sorry for the novel, but I wanted to be as honest as possible about the experience because I appreciated the same when I was considering the mirena as an option. (Also, please don’t mind the silly sentences here and there – I have a bit of fear around my vagina and things going inside it, and humour helps me feel more comfortable about it.)
Here’s to another five years of happy uterus hat!