Amanda’s Story

I got my IUD 8 weeks after giving birth to my youngest child. Everyone was pushing for it. I saw ads for it, people made tshirts and kooky little art of IUD’s being women’s liberation. Every appointment leading to the birth, I was asked by nurses and Drs if I was going to get the IUD, anything but “yes” was met with the debate of a lifetime. Even at the hospital, I was told that as a young mother I should consider an IUD as it’s more effective. Immediately it felt like something was “off”. I was cramping in a different way and it was constant. I was also bleeding heavily and there was very little break from the bleeding. My Dr denied it could have anything to do with the copper IUD, “it’s hormone free, that’s impossible”. I asked to have it out of me shortly after getting it. I was shocked to find the “strings” that hang down into the vagina are like hard plastic, fishing line. They stabbed me. “Impossible”, again my Dr said. But they did. I would have humiliating moments where sharp needle like pain would happen when I would sit down or reposition myself, and then I’d have to go to the bathroom and straighten the strings out. Which immediately relieved the pain of the sharp stabbing feeling. The strings stabbed my partner during sex. Eventually sex just wasn’t on the table, thus making the IUD an instrument of torture that only served to cause pain and heavy bleeding. Sex hurt me as well, ever since getting the IUD. I kept being told, month after month, “your body has to adjust to it, give it time”. I bled so heavily, I would leak through pads at the store, I was leaving blood stains everywhere I went. I felt humiliated and paranoid after twenty or so accidents that left stains or in public where strangers would obviously notice the blood pouring out of me. I was scared to wear anything light colored or dresses at all. I was extremely down and my anxiety issues got worse and worse, as I asked over and over to have it removed. I attended multiple appointments where they would say they were going to remove it, only to minimize my suffering and tell me it was placed perfectly. One would assume that if it is placed perfectly and I am suffering, that nothing more can be done and it needs to be removed. I also suffered more yeast infections than ever. They trimmed and trimmed and trimmed the strings. I was told that my body’s natural PH would DEGRADE the plastic strings and it would “curl up”, why that was a good thing, I cannot know. I did not want plastic degrading in my vagina. I had been promised that no one ever feels the strings except to check, and now this?! Early on in requesting to have it removed, they found I had cysts on a scan of my uterus. Small cysts on my ovaries, multiple on each one. They claimed this had to be the cause of my pain- not the IUD. The issue is that I’ve had many many scans since I was 17, NEVER had a cyst. Later, after 9 long months of depression and hating my body and my life, I told them I would rip it out myself if they did not help me. I was again advised to let this device continue to run my entire life for a longer period of time, apparently ruining nearly a year of my life that i can never get back, is not enough. I can never get that time back. I had a new baby to care for and my issues with my IUD made sure my life revolved around the circus taking place in my vagina and uterus. I hated being a woman. At the last appointment, they wanted to do ANOTHER scan to “prove” to me that it was placed correctly (which I was not ever concerned about, I wanted it removed, no matter what). At this scan, my pelvis looked like a nightmare on the screen. I had 10+ cysts on each ovary, I could not see the parts I used to be able to see when they would show me. My Dr diagnosed me with PCOS (I have no family history of this, my labs did not indicate this, I had no other symptoms of PCOS). They started to act like that was it. I started to cry and told him to please just remove it. They plopped down in their seat and sighed. They told me it wouldn’t get any better after removal since his whirlwind diagnosis had nothing to do with the IUD. They told me other birth control has hormones and is not good for you. I said I just want it OUT. They had a hard time removing it but it did come out. Within days I was back to my normal level of chronic pelvic pain, which I have had since giving birth and will always have. This pain I was experiencing with the IUD was NOT the same pain. It was like someone shoved a pencil into my uterus and left it hanging out of my cervix. It felt 100%, 24/7, like something was deeply wrong and my body was not okay. When they did remove it, it was green from corrosion and some of the little copper rings were missing. That did not concern them and they told me it was NORMAL. Recently, I have been seeing a new OBGYN, whom did a scan. I had NO cysts at ALL. Which means I now do not have even one symptom/indicator of PCOS. She requested my records because she couldn’t believe that. She saw the records and I did indeed have cysts….the entire time I had the copper IUD. And no other time in my life. The IUD is hyped up as a “hormone free” option and that’s why I wanted it. I was excited to get it and wanted it to work. I have never, in my 10 years of using contraceptives, had such a situation where medical professionals pushed me to get a form of contraceptive and made it sound like there would be zero side effects or complications, and then refused to help me switch or even acknowledge my medical concerns and complications. So many people think the insertion is the worst or most concerning part, what they should be worried about is everything after that.

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