I Got An IUD & Hated It—Here’s Why It Was Such A Disaster

IUDs are 99% effective in preventing pregnancy, making them a very popular and reliable method of contraception. They can be left in for anywhere from three to 10 years depending on the device, which sounds great in theory but was a total nightmare for me.

  1. Condoms just weren’t enough for me. I was previously on the combined pill for a long time but came off it to give my body a break from the hormones. I was just using condoms then, but a simple sheath of latex wasn’t enough to make me feel confident. I didn’t want to have children, so I thought a long-term method of contraception would suit me well. I made an appointment at my local sexual health clinic and talked through my options. I was offered two different kinds of coils, the copper coil (ParaGard) or the hormonal (Mirena) coil.
  2. The copper coil contains no hormones and can stay in for up to 10 years. Winner! I was warned that my periods might get heavier and last longer but since they were very light, I decided to take that chance. I was absolutely terrified about having it inserted, but the people at the sexual health clinic were so lovely and it made the whole experience much easier.
  3. A nurse held my hand through the whole thing and talked me through it. It’s a bit like having a pap smear but longer and with a little more discomfort. They measured my uterus and then inserted the device which only took a few seconds but it felt like a sharp period cramp. It wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I expected. I felt a little dizzy after but I sat for a while and drank some water.
  4. The rest of the day was a write-off. Thankfully, I’d already cleared my schedule in preparation. It was like a period from hell but without the bleeding. It didn’t last long—by the evening, I was feeling a little better. I just gave myself time and tried to relax with the help of Netflix and chocolate.
  5. I expected my periods to get worse and boy, did they! The heaviness I could cope with, but the pain and the mood swings were harder. Even though the copper coil has no hormones, it seemed to make me have uber-periods: ten days long, mood swings, cramps and all. But in-between my periods, I had pains as well, sharp and sudden. I started to worry that there was something wrong. Had my IUD moved? Was my body trying to push it out?
  6. I went to get checked out after three months. They said it could take a while longer to settle down, but the pains seemed to be getting worse. They checked the strings (which I couldn’t feel myself) but they said all seemed fine and encouraged me to give it another three months. I hoped that putting up with a few more months of pain would be worth it for 10 years of protection.
  7. By six months, the pains were excruciating and continuing to get worse. They’d come at different times in the month with no warning, sudden and stabbing as if my uterus was saying, “What the hell is this? It doesn’t belong here!” One day it got so bad that I was curled in a ball on the floor at work. I’d really wanted to stick it out in the hope that it would settle down, but I was beginning to think it just wasn’t worth it.
  8. After seven months, I went back to the clinic and asked to have it removed. They tried their best to talk me into keeping it in but I knew it had to go. I loved the idea of having a coil but I had to listen to my body. Even when I had my legs up in stirrups, the nurse was asking if I was sure I wanted it out, and I pretty much begged her to just get on with it.
  9. I was disappointed – I’d really wanted the coil to work out for me. Now I had to try something else and I didn’t have the energy to try another coil, the injection, or the implant. So I went back on the pill, but a different one with a lower level of hormones—a progesterone only pill. That was seven months ago and I’ve had absolutely no problems at all. In fact, it’s a dream because my periods have stopped altogether. I know I said I didn’t want hormones, but it’s worth it. The pill works for me so I’m sticking with it for now.
  10. I would still recommend IUDs despite my bad experience. I’ve met lots of people who’ve had great experiences with coils. The Mirena coil can often make your periods lighter or stop altogether, so it seems to be a good option for many people. Everyone’s bodies are so different, so it’s a case of just having to try different things. There are lots of different contraception options available, so there’s bound to be one that suits you. Talking through your options at a sexual health clinic can be a helpful starting point.
  11. I don’t regret trying it. It helped my sex life! I found I was always a little worried when only using condoms but having a coil as well meant I could fully relax and enjoy sex. In a way, I felt empowered. These little devices are so effective, it’s awesome when you think about it. So don’t be put off giving it a go—if it works for you, it could be wonderful!
Mel Ciavucco is a freelance writer from the UK. She is a blogger, fiction writer, screenwriter, content writer and editor.

Mel is passionate about writing stories that challenge social norms, showcase diverse characters and contain realistic portrayals of mental health. She believes that sharing our stories and stepping out of our comfort zones makes us all better human beings.

Mel is the founder of Write Kerfuffle: Writing and Editing Services: www.writekerfuffle.com
She writes about gender equality on her personal blog: www.melciavucco.weebly.com/feministramblings