Ha. HAHAHA. Right?
It’s been awhile since I’ve done a TMI post, so I figured it’s about time, right? 🙂
6 years ago when we were desperately trying to conceive a baby, I spent hours crying and railing at the fact that I’d chosen to actively prevent pregnancy through hormonal birth control for 10 years. I felt like I had missed my window of opportunity to become a mother, and I still believe that 10 straight years of being on hormonal birth control (age 18-27) couldn’t have been great for my body.
Fast forward 5 years to last summer when I had a 2.5 year old and a 6 month old and a husband who wasn’t (yet?) on board for a third baby, and we suddenly found ourselves thinking about contraception & actively preventing another pregnancy. It was SO.FUCKING.WEIRD.
At any rate, I know a lot of people with PCOS or Endo or other issues go on hormonal birth control to help control their symptoms, but I just can’t get on board with putting synthetic hormones in my body again, so I knew that traditional birth control pills or the Nuva ring (my previous go-to methods) were out. I’m still holding out hope that my husband will come around to the idea of a 3rd child someday as well, so a vasectomy was also off the table.
There are a couple non-hormonal options out there like the diaphragm & spermicide (nope) and condoms (ugh, hell no), but really it was the IUD that interested me most. Paraguard is the non-hormonal version of the IUD (Mirena has hormones), it’s good for 10 years (but easy to remove sooner if you’d like), and it was covered by my insurance (good to know, because they usually cost $800-1000).
I’ve heard/read some horror stories about how painful insertion was, how horribly heavy periods became, or that a partner felt them during sex, but honestly – none of the above were true for me. This cycle I’m on now is the first one I’ve even had breakthrough bleeding on, but that’s the only annoying side effect I’ve noticed.
- Insertion of the IUD was quick and (mostly) painless – it basically felt like the twinge you get when you’re having your PAP done and they swab your cervix. I’m sure every woman is different, but for me it was no big deal.
- Periods – mine have always been super irregular (thanks PCOS), and that’s no different since this is a non-hormonal form of contraception. Some people report heavier periods, and mine were definitely heavier than before on days 1-3, but they’re still about 5 days long, and it’s not crazy heavy.
- Partner feeling it – nope, never. I check for it once every month or two to make sure it hasn’t slipped into my uterus or something, but Charlie’s never felt it. To check for it you just squat like you are going to check your cervix (am I the only TTCer that did this?) and with your fingers you should be able to feel the little coil curled around by your cervix. Easy peasy.
Finally, the copper in Paraguard interferes with sperm movement and egg fertilization and is over 99% effective (with no user error to worry about like forgetting to take a pill).
So there ya go… a quick, slightly TMI post for any of you other there considering a non-hormonal form of birth control!