Thursday, 3 July 2014

The Mirena Coil - My Experience

^ That's not my stomach.

Contraception. It's great right? Let's all avoid unwanted pregnancies! YAAAAAY! Not so great are the minefield of hormones, lubricated bits of rubber and embarrassing appointments involving stirrups. Let's talk about those shall we...

Before we start this magical journey I shall get something rather important outta the way. This is MY experience and was MY choice. No judgement here please and no toddling off thinking things will be exactly the same for you as they were me. We are all individuals with individual views, individual beliefs and very, very individual bodies. This is not pro-coil propaganda, this is not an anti-pill campaign it's simply me explaining my experience to give you lovely lot some in depth info about the Mirena or 'IUD' coil. Until I had to consider it as an option I didn't have a freakin' clue about the thing and I feel like, in general, it's one of the lesser known and understood forms of baby blockage and that just maybe my insight would be helpful for some of you. So here goes...

The Decision

So I've been on a few pills over the years. I started out when I was much younger (I think around 16/17) on Microgynon, which didn't seem to do a whole lot for me, screwed my cycle up and made me feel pretty icky. I moved onto Cilest which I loved. We got on really well, regular cycles, no spots or weight gain, generally we had a general jolly good time together. However some sort of legislation changed and due to my mother having had a blood clot when she was pregnant with my little bro I was told I would have to switch to a progesterone only pill, which I did, which sucked.

Cerazette you little fuck. This bastard mucked me around for a good year or so cycle wise, seemed to get things vaguely into some form of rhythm for a while and then decided to totally freak out and give me multiple periods per month and turn me into an absolute nutter. I went mental. Totally insane. I couldn't get out of bed every couple of weeks because a big black cloud of depression would descend over me and make me feel like nothing would ever be ok again ever, I became severely anxious, irritable, unreasonable, and I was damned exhausted. Not cool.

After various visits to the doctor, life style changes and a lot of 'waiting around to see if it'll settle down' < YEAH FUCKING RIGHT, I'd had enough. I spoke to my GP about coming off the pill and what other forms of contraception there might be for me and he directed me to my local Family Planning Clinic.

Before going I thought I'd look into my options and chatted to a few friends about what they were using (including a trusted pal who happens to be a GP, super handy!) and the coil started to present itself as a pretty suitable option. So I did what anyone in my situation would do... I googled the absolute crap outta this thing. I got the medical low down from the NHS website, scared myself shitless with horror stories on various forums and stared wide eyed at gruesome images.

Guys and Dolls... initial research on the internet is great, and it means you can look at cat pictures, but it's not the place to make a decision. After reminding myself of this, I swiftly turned off my computer and trundled down to the clinic.

The Clinic

Family planning clinics are all over the place. Just google it! My GP directed me to mine but there's lots of sites to help you find your nearest one. Most do morning and evening as well as daytime slots, though usually they are on a first come first serve basis so get there early on.

Anyways... Once it was my turn I headed on in and had a friendly chat with a wonderfully smiley woman about why I was there and what I was looking into, answered a few medical/lifestyle questions and then we were away! She explained about the two types available and we decided that the IUS or Mirena Coil would be the way to go rather than the  IUD or Copper Coil as this can increase the heaviness of periods and mine are already weighty buggers. Now the Mirena coil uses hormones, but they are localised, they hang about in your nether regions rather than floating around your body, meaning that the horrific mood swings and crazed dark days are far less likely than they are with a contraceptive pill. My lovely lady then went over the procedure, the pro's, the cons, I asked a couple of questions, I made my 'fitting' appointment for a week or so later and waltzed out and off home to bung on an episode of OITNB.

The Fitting

I booked my fitting for first thing in the morning, figured I'd get it popped in and head off to work after. I'm not one to get worked up about these sort of things so just sort of turned up and trousered down as it were. The people that work at these clinics are usually absolutely wonderful at putting you at ease, letting you know exactly whats going on, really calm, polite and are generally really lovely human beings. Never be embarrassed to ask questions or let them know if you are feeling uncomfortable or nervous, they only want to help my loves!

The appointment took all of twenty minutes. I went in, went over things with the lady and then we got on with it. I'd say that the actual 'insertion' only took a couple of minutes, it's pretty uncomfortable the whole way through and for me there was a couple of seconds of proper *ouch* when she actually popped the thing in, but it really wasn't bad at all. A very different experience to all the horror stories I'd read online about 'blinding pain'. After it was in, I got dressed and I had to sit about for 10 minutes to make sure I was alright and then I was on my way.

The Cramps

Ok. So at this point I need to admit that I maaaay have made a mistake in heading off to work. Being very much of the 'I'll be fine' attitude when it comes to most things in life I jumped on the underground and off to central London. About twenty minutes into my journey I realised that this was perhaps not the best idea as I was struck with awful cramps. Think period pain on steroids. Shit got real ya'll. I was warned in my initial appointment that some women get cramps and in hindsight maybe I should have booked the day off work. After all, you are essentially invading your womb with a little plastic outsider! They eased off after a couple of days and continued as sort of normal strength cramps for a good week after. However everything seems to have settled now and ladies... I'm baby free for five years! FIVE YEARS!

A Few Weeks On

So I had my coil fitted around a month ago now and all seems to be just fine. I still get the occasional twinge but nothing like normal period cramping. Shark week itself has pretty much become non existent, there's no longer a crime scene in my pants! Still the tiniest amount of blood for a couple of days but, seriously ladies, it's pretty much fucked off. PMS has stuck around, (I got so irritable the other day I honestly thought I may kill someone) but I've not had a full on 'I am not getting out of bed because I'm a useless pile of crap' day yet. I know it's only a month in so we'll see how it goes but I'll do an update for you again around christmas and let ya'all know whats occurring shall I?

I really hope this has given some of you a little more insight into the Hormonal Coil and maybe provided a bit of a cushion amongst all those shit scary forum stories. I'm no doctor so if you have any medical questions then honestly just pop along to your local clinic and have a chat. They are lovely people and they only want to help!

Stay awesome ladies, stay in control and for fucks sake stay safe. FYI Coils don't protect from STI's. I'm in a commit relationship so that aint an issue for me but all's you others WRAP THE HELL UP. Remember  -  bareback bitches be loco. xxx


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    1. Ah Lena! Thank you for such a lovely response. I honestly hate the fact that women have to go through all this crap. I swear if the heads of the pharmaceutical companies had ben female from the word go it'd be a whole different ball game.

      So glad the IUS is working for you! I'm really hoping mine will prove to be *the one* for me. Just gotta give it a few months to check everything's alright I guess. *HIGH FIVES FOR NO BABIES!*


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    3. I'm hoping I'm lucky too! Ha! x