**Warning: If you don’t want to read anything about my uterus please skip this post. Keep on reading if you’re interested, but know that you’ve been warned so don’t let things get weird between us!**
“It’s still in place.” I actually might have done the praise hand emoji in real life when I heard my gyno say that at my annual appointment last November. I’m a few months away from year five with my Mirena implant and I’m happy I made the decision to get it.
So, if you haven’t read my previous Mirena posts and don’t feel like reading it now, I’ll do a brief recap. I got my implant in November 2015 and didn’t experience too much pain during the procedure. Everybody’s different so that doesn’t mean that you won’t necessarily experience any pain, it just means that I didn’t. I also have an amazing gynecologist and team of nurses who made the procedure so easy. I was also part of the small percentage of women who spot for up to 90 days after implantation. It was never much, but it was annoying as all get out and I started freaking out when it lasted longer than 2 weeks. I called my doctor’s office and spoke to my favorite nurse and she assured me that it was normal and that it would probably happen a little while longer, but there was a really good chance that that would be the end of my bleeding and spotting as long as I had the IUD in.
Well, she was right. I haven’t used a tampon or liner in a very long time! In fact, when I was filling out my paperwork before my appointment I realized that the last time I actually had a menstrual cycle was September 2017 in Barcelona! I don’t know if it was the difference in altitude or what, but that was the first time in over a year that I actually had to buy tampons and liners, and I haven’t purchased any since. That’s one of the side-effects that I love about my IUD.
My Mirena wasn’t my first experience with birth control though; like many women it was a pill. I did that for about a year, and it wasn’t my favorite. It affected my mood and there were times that I forgot to take it so I would have to double up on some days. Not good. And it wasn’t just when I was traveling and in different time zones, it was when I was at home. That was actually one of my reasons behind my decision to get an IUD.
I knew that I wanted something that I wouldn’t forget to take, and while the implantation process scared me a bit at first I’m happy I decided to do it. I ended up going with a Mirena because it was the longest-lasting one my previous insurance provider would cover. My current implant is a 5-year one, but after speaking with my doctor he instructed me that there are talks of Mirena’s being good for 7 years! I was already leaning towards getting another Mirena put in this November and this cemented that decision. It’s over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy (which is something that VERY important to me) and I don’t have to worry about periods. I’ve saved money not having to pay for pads, tampons, cups, etc, and I’m no longer down for days at a time with cramps. It’s a win-win for me.
Unfortunately, women’s bodies have been heavily policed, but topics like menstruation and contraception are still seen as taboo subjects. In 2020! I think that we need to be able to discuss topics like that with as much ease as we discuss the flu or getting our eyes dilated. That’s why I’ve been very vocal throughout the years about not only my experience with my Mirena implant and women’s health rights in general.