Health And Wellness

I Got An IUD To Help With My Period Pain — Here's My Experience

Photo: JLco Julia Amaral / shutterstock
woman surrounded by birth control options

By Fairley Lloyd

I happen to be one of the people who gets extremely painful periods. While I have a low tolerance for pain, in general, period pain is something I don’t wish upon anyone.

I don’t remember my periods being super painful in middle school.

As I aged, I experienced increasingly painful menstruations. I had the worst PMS symptoms beforehand: headaches, nausea, and even depression.

My cramps felt so awful that I once crawled on the floor in the middle of the night so I could beg my mom for some painkillers.

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Eventually, I couldn’t deal with my painful periods any longer.

I researched the best birth control methods for managing periods and landed on the IUD. It checked a lot of my boxes: I didn’t have to remember to take it like the pill, I only had to change it every five years, and it was an easy procedure.

My biggest pain point was the intrusiveness of the IUD.

I heard some people experienced pain, and the whole process just sounded uncomfortable. However, I also heard a lot of success stories afterward, so I figured if I had to go through a moment of pain to get on the other side, it was worth it.

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I scheduled an appointment with my gynecologist. I felt very nervous, but my gynecologist asked me how I felt beforehand. She reassured me and talked me through the entire process from start to finish.

The doctor completed the procedure very quickly, which surprised me! Although the initial pain felt like the worst cramp in the world, the pain did not last.

When my period started in the month following the IUD placement, I still experienced painful cramps during the first day of menstruation.

The cramps settled down a day or two later, but my period also lasted longer than normal — 10 days!

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After that first cycle, I worried that maybe this birth control method would not work for me. In fact, I wondered if the IUD actually made things worse.

Thankfully, these symptoms did not last for a long time. Not only did my flow lighten, but I also didn’t experience those incredibly painful cramps I did before.

I also noticed a boost in my libido. Not that it was lower before, but it turned up a notch. It was an unexpected upside!

For now, I will just continue to listen to my body. The IUD works even better than I expected, and I appreciate that.

Although IUDs aren’t the best birth control method for everyone, they definitely helped me gain control over painful cramps and other unpleasant symptoms.

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Fairley Lloyd is a contributing writer to The Mighty and Thought Catalog, and former editor in chief of The Things Unsaid. Visit her website for more of her work.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.