While making the decision to get an IUD, I read account after account of women detailing their insertion. None of them were ever detailed enough for me, so here I am going all in. Lots of specific vagina talk lies ahead. I should preface this by saying that every woman's experience & body is unique to them. This was mine.
  1. I woke up the morning of, terrified. Actually, I had been pretty terrified since I made the appointment two weeks prior. I knew 100% that I wanted this procedure, but the accounts I had heard from other women made me really nervous about my ability to withstand the pain.
    Sidenote: I made my appointment at Planned Parenthood. If I need something done medically that can be done at Planned Parenthood, that is where I will go every time. And you should too!
  2. My appointment was at 1:00. I read that I was supposed to take 800mg of ibuprofen (4 tablets of advil) 20-30 minutes before. I wasn't sure if they meant 20-30 minutes before my appointment or my procedure. I ended up taking them at 12:50 and started my procedure at 1:50.
  3. A group called 40 Days for Life has been protesting outside my local Planned Parenthood for the past few weeks and my appointment fell smack dab in the middle of their visit.
    Not that it really mattered because there were only about 3 of them and every single time I've ever visited Planned Parenthood there has been at least two people waiting on the corner to call out to me as I enter the building.
  4. As I always do, I just smiled and ignored them as I made my way from my car to the building's entrance. The friend who came with me (the amazing @lindsey_is) was much more frustrated by it (rightfully so, of course). A wonderful, friendly woman in a Planned Parenthood t-shirt was waiting at the door to greet me.
  5. I checked in at the lobby, filled out my paperwork, and made silly faces at very cute baby in the lobby with us as I waited for the doctor's to call me in.
  6. Once the doctor called me in my friend and I went to the back where I peed in a cup and was weighed. They then put us in a small office and went over my medical history with me.
  7. Then I went into the procedure room. I waited with my friend until a student nurse came in to go over my medical history again (more specifically my sexual and menstrual cycle history). She talked to me about the benefits and risks of my Mirena IUD.
    I chose the Mirena because on the first day of my period I always get severe, need to lie down in bed all day cramps. I'm hoping that it will lessen my cramps and eventually stop me from getting my period.
  8. After she explained everything to me she asked if I had any questions. I didn't because I've been researching IUDs for over a year. She left to go get the doctor who would perform the insertion and told me to take off my pants and underwear, then sit on the chair with the paper sheet covering me.
  9. Both the student nurse and the doctor came back in. I took this time to tell them that I am a total wimp when it comes to pain and that I apologize if I act dramatically. I was very concerned that I would cry or just be very wimpy in general. She assured me that she has seen a lot and this will hurt, but I would be fine.
  10. Then we got down to business. My friend came and stood by my head so that she could hold my hand. I put my feet in the stirrups and the doctor inserted her fingers in my vagina as if she was performing a typical exam. It felt cold and weird, like that normally does.
  11. As she was doing this she says, "This feels weird." In my mind I start to panic. I once saw on Dr. Oz that a woman can have tumor the size of grapefruit or something in their uterus without knowing and instantly I thought that I had tumor. She took out her hand and then acted like everything was fine.
  12. I asked, "It feels weird? Is there something wrong?" She laughed and said, "No! It feels weird for you!" Whew. I loved this doctor, but you should never say "This feels weird" when your hand is inside someone.
  13. She then put in the speculum. Let me take a moment to say that I HATE the speculum. Hate hate hate it. It was not the most painful part of the whole procedure, but for me it was the worst. I hate having that in me.
  14. She then looked at my cervix and said, "I don't want to alarm you, but your cervix looks a bit irritated. It could be nothing, but sometimes that is a sign of Chlamydia or Gonnorhea." We then talked about my sexual history, and she determined it wasn't either of those things and that we would be fine to proceed.
    My friend then said, in reference to my cervix, "It's probably just nervous." This made the doctors laugh as one of them said, "That's the best thing I've ever heard." I laughed too. I loved the moment, but hated laughing because it caused the speculum to move slightly and that did not feel good.
  15. She put some iodine (I'm pretty sure it was iodine, if not an iodine like substance) around what I think was the opening of my cervix. The iodine was brown and she let me know that afterwards I would probably see this brown substance coming out onto my pad and not to be alarmed.
  16. The next big step was the pinch. She told me that this was going to really hurt. I squeezed my friend's hand and started my deep breathing. She stuck a rod-like item inside and then I felt it. It definitely hurt, but not enough for me to curse which is saying something. She said I handled it very well.
    It felt like a pinch/cut on what I think was the wall of my uterus. The pain happened very quickly. Sort of like when you get your ears pierced. However, it hurt more than that. It was sharp, fast, and I let out an "Oh!" Definitely not as bad as I thought it would be.
  17. I don't understand what the next steps were. I was kind of confused about what was exactly happening, but I can tell you about what I felt.
  18. She said, "Ok this next part is the worst part. This is painful." She then did something else (stuck something in me?) and I started to feel heavy cramps. But it was definitely not the worst part! The sharp pinch felt much worse. These just felt like my normal period cramps, not fun by any means, but not a big deal.
    I just continued to hold my friends hand and breathe deeply. Sometimes I made some soft whimpering and moaning sounds. Later my friend told they actually sounded very sexual. Eh, what can you do?
  19. I thought that they had put the IUD in. Turns out, they left the IUD in a different room and one of them went to go get it. As they were inserting it, the cramping continued, but not as strong.
  20. Then she said, "Ok, we're all done." I was confused because we were not "all done." I still had a fucking speculum in my vagina. I guess she meant with the actual insertion.
  21. She said there was little bleeding from where the pinch happened so she used some long cotton swab like things to clean it up and make sure the bleeding stopped. She then cut the strings and explained that they would soften over time.
  22. She finally took out the speculum and got me ready to go. Let me just repeat that for me, the speculum was the worst part. The cramping I could handle, but having that inside me and being very aware of it every time I slightly moved or laughed sucked. Not necessarily painful, just bad.
  23. Then I put my clothes back on and received some paperwork from another doctor regarding how long I can have my IUD (till 2020 y'all!).
  24. I checked out at the front desk and didn't have to pay anything because I have health insurance and after the Affordable Care Act, most insurance policies are required to cover birth control 100%.
  25. My friend and I left Planned Parenthood, continued to ignore the protesters, and began to drive home. During the car ride I felt crampy, but nothing as bad as my normal, awful period cramps.
  26. We got home and just hung out the couch in my living room. I was prepared to spend all night and all weekend lying bed with awful cramps. Instead, I felt fine! Very slightly crampy and kind of tired, but in great spirits. The next day, I continued to feel great.
    The day after that I felt kinda crampy at night after running errands all day (this was the first time after the insertion I needed to use a heating pad to ease the pain). It's been a week now and nothing since. Also, I experienced no bleeding (just that iodine residue). I often hear about spotting for days afterward so I guess I was just lucky.
  27. Overall, I am SOOO glad I did this. My fears were way worse than what I actually experienced. I love the people at Planned Parenthood, I love my friend for being a huge help, and I love myself for making this smart decision for my body.
  28. Here is a link to a list of tips and recommendations I have for anyone planning on getting their own IUD: TIPS FOR GETTING AN IUD
  29. Update: It has been about two months since my insertion. I have been spotting on and off again throughout the entire two months. That has been annoying, but no cramps since then! So big win for me.