Happy six months! (with my IUD)

As promised, I’m checking in six months after getting my Mirena. This is the third part of my IUD series (read part one, about the procedure, and part two, about the initial side effects).

If you’ve read parts one and two, you know that my IUD has caused me all sorts of grief! Thankfully, most of the side effects have somewhat subsided by now—but it hasn’t been all puppies and sunshine.

In part two, which I wrote three months after getting my IUD, I discussed the side effects I had experienced up to that point: a yeast infection, increase in acne, mild spotting on and off for a few months, and menstrual cramps.

Luckily, I haven’t had any other yeast infections, my acne hasn’t completely disappeared but is much more manageable, and I’ve stopped spotting for many months now. My period is very irregular and I’ve stopped keeping track of it, but I think I missed last month’s. Not complaining about that.

But when I did get my period, the accompanying cramps were horrendous. Two incidents in particular were pretty dang awful, with the severity of pain comparable to the cramps I had right after getting the IUD.

Due to some extremely unfortunate timing, one of these incidents was on my birthday in May. Thanks to my Mirena, I spent a good three hours lying in bed instead of eating sushi (but don’t worry, your girl did recover in time for a late dinner!).

I’ve also had some random, less severe cramps while not on my period, but fortunately, the cramps were not a very frequent occurrence.

As of now, I haven’t had cramps, spotting, or my period in at least a month. Crossing my fingers that I’ve put all of those side effects behind me!

So if you want to know if I’d recommend getting the Mirena—I don’t think there is one perfect form of birth control for anyone, especially when there are hormones involved. Unfortunately, there’s always some risk involved when you try out a new form of birth control and you should consult a doctor whom you feel comfortable with to assess the risks specific to your body and situation.

I really like that it’s low maintenance and one of the most reliable forms of birth control; I never have to worry about taking a pill or inserting a ring or getting a shot—or babies—for five years! So far, the side effects haven’t been so bad that I’ve wanted to give up and get it removed, but it’s good to know that removal is a simple procedure (although you do need to go to the doctor’s office). Plus, it was free. Thanks, Obama.

If you’re trying to figure out your birth control situation, good luck! Feel free to ask me any questions about getting an IUD.

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