I’ve got a lot to say about IUDs and different methods of hormone regulation for women with PCOS, so I’m going to break this up into sections. I don’t want to overwhelm anyone!
I’m not entirely sure why, but I’m nervous to write this post. I made the decision to have an IUD put in because Donald Trump was elected president and I instantly feared what was going to happen to my free birth control. I, fortunately, live in California where I feel I’ll mostly be covered in the same manner as I have been over the last three years, but nonetheless I wanted some kind of guarantee that I would always have some progesterone flowing in my system. For women with hormonal disorders, the attack on Planned Parenthood and Roe v. Wade is extremely serious. If I wasn’t on some form of hormonal birth control I would be in a completely different state, much worse than I am now. There’s still a ridiculous stigma attached to birth control, being that it’s used only for protection against pregnancy. I suppose that’s only fueled by calling it birth control. In reality it’s hormonal regulation supplements that help manage extreme pain, balance weight, and acne. A perk is also family planning!
But back to the IUD. I had the Mirena put in, which is the one with hormones built in. I have talked to multiple doctors about what kind of complications would affect my PCOS, if there were any, how the change in the amount of progesterone would affect me, and I received a different answer each time. One doctor was completely against the idea because she said it would cause me to gain an extreme amount weight, another said it would destroy any chances of me getting pregnant (more on this ridiculous bias later), and another said it simply wouldn’t work for me. None of the answers really sat well with me. Not because it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but because each doctor kept giving me odd reasons why it wouldn’t work, and they were never the same reasons.
Ultimately, the IUD is going to affect each person differently. Before I went in for the insertion I went on Youtube and watched a bunch of different women’s reactions from what it was like to have it inserted, how it was going three weeks to three months later on. It was helpful in the sense that I was terrified about the procedure going in, but it didn’t help me figure out how it would affect my PCOS.
The doctor I ended up working with was the more forward thinking woman I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. She was very accepting to the fact that I never want children, and wanted to work with me to help manage my PCOS. She said no matter what I do there are going to be unfortunate side effects whether I decided to get the IUD or stay on the pills. That was what I needed to hear. It wasn’t going to destroy my chances if I ever changed my mind about bearing children (definitely not happening after having my cervix cranked open...never ever never), and I’m going to gain weight and lose weight no matter what because I have a surge of androgens and there’s not much we can do about that.
Basically, not much will change.
Or so, that’s what I thought at the time.
As of now I have the IUD in and I have had some different side effects from what was described to me, I’m also still taking my birth control pills on top of the Mirena. I was able to talk my doctor into letting me give that a go in case the lower dose of progesterone wasn’t enough for me, turns out it’s actually helping the different side effects I’ve been experiencing. I’ll be doing a full post on what my experience was during the insertion, after, and what I’ve learned after having it in for a few weeks.