Given the nature of this post, she politely requests that if you stop by her blog, maybe don't mention this particular post (specifically, it's content). As you can imagine, it would be extremely awkward for some of her IRL friends/family to read about her sex life and birth control methods, yes?
Anyway, if you've ever been curious about IUDs (inter-uterine devices) - which I'm sure most of us have been at one point or another - this is a great first-hand look at this under-the-radar option as compared to ones you may already know about and have possibly even tried.
TMI: An Ode to my IUD
When i wrote this post originally, i had had my IUD for about one year. It's been several months since then, but i've decided that i can't post this on my own blog. The thing is that I love my IUD and I want to tell women everywhere about it, but I don't particularly want people who actually know me to have to read about it and know more than they ever wanted to about me (besides Kelly and our mutual blog-reading IRL friends, that is). So, dear reader, you've been warned. TMI stands for Too Much Information, and if you don't want it you had better stop reading right now.
I've been using contraception for many years. Here's a list of what i've tried and how it worked for me:
I had my suspicions, though, that constantly putting extra hormones into my body was probably not a really great idea. I couldn't put my finger on why exactly it was a bad thing, but then I started having more overt conversations with some female friends of mine, and I came to realize that my near-total lack of libido was not a normal thing for a woman my age. One by one, I eliminated the possible causes: anti-depressants? Not on them. Depression? Not usually a problem. Exercise? I do it regularly. Overweight? Nope. Stress? Well, yes, but only recently (with the wedding planning). I decided it had to be the pill, and so I made an appointment at the OB clinic. It was time to get off hormonal birth control.
At my consultation, the doctor told me that it was possible but not very likely that the pill was what was suppressing my libido. People are just busy and tired, she told me, and nine out of ten patients at the clinic ask her the same question. She also told me that very few women choose the IUD as their method of contraception, and only a fraction of those women opt for the hormone-free Paragard, as I planned to. I decided to go ahead with my plan anyhow, and I'm certainly glad I did.
I'm not going to lie to you—the insertion was painful. It used to be that they didn't even put IUDs in women who haven't had a baby, because there was too much risk of damaging something during insertion. Thankfully, that isn't an issue anymore, although it is a little trickier to perform the insertion on a childless woman. At first the doctor fished around a bit and said that she didn't think she was going to be able to get it to go in. Then I felt a stab, and we were clear for takeoff. I went right back to work that day, but I had horrible cramps unlike I had ever felt before. Within a couple of days I was back to normal.
At first my fiance thought that he could feel the strings of the IUD during sex and it freaked him out a little, but gradually he started to feel it less (and he also realized that, either way, it wasn't going to do any damage to him). My first few periods with the IUD were painful and extremely heavy, but they have lightened up now to an almost-normal flow and little cramping (though I can scarcely remember what my normal period was actually like, I was on the pill for so long).
I noticed a difference in my sex drive right away. I've read enough about psychology, though, that I had to wonder if I wasn't just experiencing the placebo effect. Not thinking too much of it, I went back on the pill for a few short weeks in the spring in order to "reset" my period so that I wouldn't be on it during my wedding and honeymoon, and I immediately felt completely dead in terms of sex drive. Luckily, its effects did not last and the honeymoon was not spoiled in the least. And my libido has been at a level that my husband and I are both very happy with ever since.
So here I am now with what is practically a perfect method of birth control. I'm not the least bit worried about getting pregnant, my husband is happy with it, my insurance paid for it, I don't have to buy pills or condoms or rings, I don't have to remember to take anything, and my body is practically its own natural self. I highly, strongly, enthusiastically recommend that other women give the IUD a try. The only thing I miss about the pill is having fewer periods, and most women who take the pill don't seem to opt for that anyhow.
Well—and I also really miss being able to (barely) fit into a C cup. But what good are boobs if you don't want babies or sex?