When you get an IUD, I’m not going to lie it hurts. It is the worst cramping you will experience, next to the cramps and pain caused by endometriosis(or childbirth which I have never experienced and don’t plan on). If you would like to know why I got an IUD and need some questions answered go ahead and read these first: Why I Got An IUD and Endometriosis and How I Fixed It.
I have learned over the years how to deal with cramps of any kind, I just go with the pain, whatever and wherever it may be. IUD pain is a whole new rodeo, and if you’re experiencing more painful cramps after your IUD placement it’s ok and normal. Your uterus just had a foreign object placed in it and it’s going to freak out a bit.
Now let’s get the disclaimer out-of-the-way. I am not a doctor or specialist of any kind. If you are experiencing issues, pain or otherwise always speak with your doctor first before anything else. Never EVER blindly trust internet people because everyone’s conditions and reactions are different. I am not responsible for your idiocy.
Alright, onto some decent advice and knowledge that I think will help you and is easily accessible.
Like I mentioned earlier, there is a foreign object in your uterus that will likely stay there for anywhere from 3-10 years depending on if you got the Skyla(3), Mirena(5) or the Paraguard which is a copper IUD that can stay for up to 10 years. One bit of advice, if you have the choice I would go for the Skyla because it is smaller than the Mirena. I had the Mirena a couple of years ago and it caused too much pain and also had to be removed because my endometriosis had reached its pinnacle of torture and the Mirena wasn’t doing anything but causing extra unnecessary cramping because of it’s size. I have noticed a significant difference in the intensity of camping since switching to the Skyla. It is much more manageable and the camping is not as frequent as it was with the Mirena. Obviously your doctor will know what’s best for you, but that is my choice.
The pain that you are experiencing is your uterus contracting around the IUD to try to get rid of it. What is stopping it from escaping is your cervix. So the pain can be focused on your cervix, and also around your lower pelvic region. It will stress your body and further worsen muscular pain that can be in your lower back and legs as well. So you have hit the jackpot of pain as a woman. And it will happen for a while, I am almost a year in and I get these cramps just before my period and when I ovulate. They are now only for a few days out of the month thankfully, and my periods are getting lighter. So far it has been worth it for me.
My first steps are to hydrate and keep on a regular schedule of ibuprofen to keep ahead of the pain as much as possible. It’s not going to completely rid you of your cramps, there will be residual pain that is unavoidable but much less severe. Ibuprofen works the best because it actually relaxes your muscles and is anti-inflammatory. Hydration, that’s obvious, everyone needs fluids when in pain it is just an all around good thing to do.
Sit in a warm bath with epsom salts and your favorite essential oils. The heat from that bath and the magnesium in the epsom salts will further relax your body, and create less tension. Plus, it’s just nice AF. It take’s about 20-30 minutes to get the best effect. When you get out keep warm and drink more water. Do not rapidly cool yourself down or use an ice pack, you will freak your uterus out and make things worse.
Get a wrap around heating pad that has adjustable heat settings. I use this one : YooSoo Waist Heating Pad (this is not an affilate or sponsored link). It works really well and can even be hooked to portable USB charger so you have some freedom to walk around and aren’t plugged into a wall. This thing has paid for itself 10 times over now, it is well worth it and versatile.
Stay relaxed, stay calm and keep on top of the pain.
The intensity should gradually go away over time. My doctor gave me the timeline of 6 months to a year before it eases up for the most part. Which, given the pain I was in before because of endometriosis is nothing. I’ll take a year of intermittent pain over that torture any day.
Pep talk time:
No matter what the reason you got your IUD, it was probably the right reason and worth it. Dealing with some pain is just apart of it until there are better solutions to our problems. You can do it.
I use mine as an effective contraceptive and as a way to keep the endometriosis at bay. Having a regular period without contraceptives puts me at a higher risk of it growing back with a vengeance. It is also there because it has the least amount of hormones in it and given my past brush with a blood clot, I am no longer a candidate for the pill or any other contraceptive. This is the lowest risk with the highest benefit.
Again, you will get through this and it gets better.
*If you are just using this as a contraceptive only and you don’t want children, talk to your partner/husband/long-term BF/whatever about getting a damn vasectomy. Snip it and clip it. It should be a partnership, not all of the weight of this burden(pain, hormones, breast tenderness, mood swings etc.) has to be on you. It’s a conversation worth having.