strategies to minimize the pain
Birth control is a mixed bag of options for a woman in the United States.
From the pill, shot, condoms, patch, implant and now the Intrauterine Device (IUD), it can be hard to decide what option is best.
Personally I was on the pill years back and it really impacted my mood and health in a negative way.
I didn’t want to experience the same thing this time around and so I did a bit of research on hormone-free birth control options.
Hormone-free birth control exists.
The most popular hormone-free birth control besides condoms is the IUD — a small, flexible contraceptive device that is inserted into the uterus.
An IUD is usually made of plastic and is shaped like the letter T.
There are three main types of IUDs on the market: Mirena, Paragard and Skyla.
The Mirena and Skyla IUDs both release a small amount of progestin levonorgestrel over time.
The Paragard is also made of plastic and wrapped with copper and hormone free.
It’s 99.99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
It can make your periods heavier and crampier and has been known to be a painful procedure when you get it.
The Paragard releases a tiny amount of copper over a 10 year period to prevent pregnancy.
Some of the risks involved is it can puncture your uterine wall, infection and should you get pregnant with it inside you can face complications carrying the baby full-term.
Overall research has shown the IUD to be highly effective and safe.
Strategies to minimize the pain.
Before I got the IUD I heard a lot of horror stories about how painful the procedure was.
To my surprise it actually didn’t hurt as bad as I thought it would.
And I am a lightweight to pain especially in the OGBYN’s office.
During the procedure and after I used some strategies to minimize the pain.
My office didn’t offer a sedative as part of the procedure but you can try to ask for an IV sedation.
Here’s what worked for me:
- CBD — CBD or Cannabidiol is known for many benefits including anxiety, inflammation, and relieve pain. I took a dropper of 1000 MG post-procedure and it helped calm my anxiety and relieve the cramping. If you can get yourself a bottle of 1000 MG pure CBD oil, do it. It’s worth taking before your procedure and the days after.
- Stay informed — Personally I like to know what my doctor is doing inside of my vagina every step. It calms me and lessens my anxiety knowing what to prepare for next. Ask your doctor before the procedure to keep you informed of everything they are doing before and while they insert the IUD.
- Sing — yes, really. I hummed and sang the Baby Shark song during the moments when I’d feel more “pressure”. I sing that song to my son who finds comfort in it so I thought it might do the trick for me. To my surprise it helped take my mind off the experience.
- Breathe — I would breathe a little deeper during the insertion and any time I felt some discomfort. A simple technique to try is taking a natural breath in and exhaling out while counting to 4 in your mind.
- Talk — It can be uncomfortable with your legs spread open with a doctor feeling up your vagina. Talk during the procedure. Engage the nurses. Ask them to talk to you about something, anything.
These tools helped me to cope with the discomfort during the procedure and also after.
In the end this is your body and you have complete control over what is happening.
Stay in the loop, ask questions and be a pain in the ass if you need to.
Don’t be afraid to ask for support.
Your body, your choice.