Adventures in Gynecology: Mirena

Since several of my girl posse have enquired, I shall regale you with the goings-on today. Menfolk, you should just go elsewhere.

Ok, so most of you know about my bad relationship with my lady parts. I hate the vile organ, it hates me, I want it gone more than anything but can’t afford it. Meh. My gyno pops up at my last exam and says “Well, why don’t you get a Mirena? It should totally clear up your issues for 5 years!” And of course my reply, “Have you been holding out on me? Of course I’ll do it!” Even though an IUD is a bit scary to me, it’s worth a shot at feeling better, yanno?

Mirena, btw, can be used by anyone, breeder or not. They’ve used IUDs in Europe for years to alleviate the kind of shit I’ve put up with forever (heavy periods, endometriosis, etc.), but of course the US has just “apporoved” it for use. Fuckers. As we say at my gyno:

If men had periods, you would be able to get a hysterectomy for free. At Kroger. In a kiosk. Painlessly.

Mirena is an IUD with hormones in it, so they are applied directly to the offending organ and therefore very effective at relieving nasty, heavy, hurty periods and even endometriosis. First you go get the vagcam (aka sonogram) to determine if you’re the right size (I kid you not) and do not have anything going on like cysts (which would be very bad w/ something shoved in there). I checked out fine and the vagcam was NO big deal. Apparently there are a couple of different kinds of vagcam and this is the non hurty one. If you’re all good, then you order the Mirena thingy from CVS/Caremark and arrange payment. I did the $38/mo thing rather than one lump sum (about $850 to CVS, plus prelim sonogram $195 and install $135 by the Dr).

Ok, then you wait for your next period and you go get it installed about midway through, unless you’re me and the damn holiday got in the way. I had to take some stuff (misoprostal, most likely) to “soften the cervix” and it made me feel a little nauseous right after the procedure and wonky for about 5 hours after that. >:-(

So, you take the stuff (or not) and then they do the usual with the speculum and proceed to measure you again. BUT. This time they use a “sound” (we all agreed it’s a dumb name no doubt made up by a MAN) to get a physical measurement of the vile organ. Yup, it’s just what you’d expect: a freaking dipstick. IN THERE. GAH! NOT FUN. That was more painful than the actual IUD install. No likey. Good news: it’s pretty quick. [Update: After hearing a couple of horror stories about the painful install of this IUD, I’ve come to the conclusion that the cervix drug should be used as a standard practice. My experience is no doubt easier because of it. My gyno RAWKS!]

They get the exact measurement and then insert the IUD. Kinda scary, but not a big deal, really. It felt like a weird pressure. Then they trim the strings and you’re done with that part. But of course, there’s more. There’s always more fun at the gyno, isn’t there? Yep. After all this, then they have to use the vagcam again to make sure the damn thing is in the right place and the arms have extended. But, hell, after the previous 10 minutes, the vagcam is NOTHING.

That’s it. The actual procedure takes about 20 minutes. My visit was over an hour because I had to take that cervix stuff and wait 40 mins for it to work.

Now that I’m feeling pretty normal again, I’d say it’s not too bad all round. I’m bleeding more than I’d like, but with naproxen, the cramps have been minimal. I’m just really tired. It’s 9:30 now and I’m probably going to go lay in the bed and read. I really think that between the drug and my anxiety fueled adrenaline overload, that’s what made me feel so crappy. I have to go back for a check up in 5 wks to make sure the thing is where it’s supposed to be, etc. I highly recommend my gyno, btw, if anyone is looking for a good one: Juaquita Callaway, MD her office is Holistic Gynecology. She’s the bestest. <3

I tell you this: If this doodad ends my periods all together and/or I can live a normal life, then by the gods, it will be so totally worth it. I’ll post again in a couple of months with a progress report. :)

First Update
ALL UPDATES UP TO CURRENT TIME

6 Replies to “Adventures in Gynecology: Mirena”

  1. Woot! You know, I tried to tell you once that my gyno said an iud would help. :P I’m so glad you have one! Once you know for sure that it’s stopping the vile organ from harassing you, we must celebrate!!

  2. Heather, prior to Mirena, the FDA would not approve use of an IUD in women who had not given birth, hence it was not an option. Despite the use of IUDs in Europe for years w/out problems I might add. My particular gyno began prescribing Mirena for non breeders before the FDA ink had dried. You’ve got to have a progressive Dr to get progressive care. And I can tell you, Dr Callaway is VERY progressive.

    Caroline: your string problem was due to the Dr cutting them too short – according to my Dr. Keep that in mind if you get another. :)

  3. I swear to God, life would be so much CHEAPER and easier if the FDA weren’t such a heaping pile of dicks.

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