Friday, August 3, 2012

Adventures in DIY Gynaecology

Hey remember that time I got an IUD? What a nightmare, right? Well, I have to say, I don't regret my choice because for the last year and a half, the IUD has been wonderful. Super reliable, unobtrusive, way better than any other birth control I've used.

Until last week. Well, two weeks ago. My period came when expected, but lasted eleven days(!!!) and never got beyond very, very light spotting. It was weird. Afterwards I felt for the strings of my IUD, as I do after each period, and found them to be longer than usual. Possibly. It's hard to tell, you know? So I called the Bay Centre to see what they thought I should do, and they suggested I come in for a check up.

The check up was quick and painless, but revealed that the strings were four centimetres longer than they were at insertion. Not great. The doctor told me to make an appointment for an ultrasound to see where the IUD was sitting, and told me they would probably have to remove it. Bummer.

This was all on Saturday. I made my appointment for an ultrasound (they couldn't get me in until next Friday, the 10th) but all through Sunday I kept feeling the strings poking at me. I thought it was all in my head, but when I felt for them they were SUPER long, although I could not feel the device itself poking through. It will just fall out on its own, I thought.

It didn't. By Monday morning it was annoying me so much, I started to ask around about taking it out myself. I know this is NOT RECOMMENDED by doctors, but I found a lot of stories on the internet of women doing it and it seemed like not such a big deal. I am lucky to know a lot of doctors. Two of them told me, on the down low, that tugging it out myself was ok.

Here's how I did it (EXTREME TMI WARNING): I sat on the edge of my bed so my cervix would be low (I've read some people do it standing, in the shower, or with one leg up on the toilet, and some do it lying down. I fiddled around with a lot of options but this was the only one where I could get a grip on it). The strings were super slippery - I actually had (sterile) tweezers ready but couldn't find a way to grab the string with them without pinching myself in the twat. Eventually I managed to get my get my fingers far enough up to get a firm grip on the string, and then I just pulled, gently but consistently, until the whole damn thing came out into my hand. It took ten seconds, tops. And it didn't hurt - I didn't even feel it, really.

I had tiny cramps afterwards, and some spotting, but the next day it was all normal again.

The little bastard. Who wants to make jewellery out of it? Etsy?

I am trying to decide what to do next. I do want a new one put in, but I might wait until after my impending wedding because I don't want to be stressed about it falling out again until I have room in my life for that worry. And I am NOT looking forward to the ordeal of the insertion. I'll tell you one thing, if this one falls out, I am DONE with IUDs.