I got the Skyla IUD placed in July of 2017 (about 7 months ago), and it’s honestly been a bit of a nightmare for me ever since.
For those of you that are unfamiliar, the Skyla IUD is a form of birth control that is placed in your uterus and releases low doses of a progestin (which is a synthetic version of progesterone) to prevent pregnancy. The IUD has a 99% effectiveness rate, and once it is placed, you don’t have to worry about birth control until you need to get the IUD replaced (after 3 years of use).
When I first heard about the IUD, I was a huge fan. I had just gotten out of two years of heavy antibiotic treatment, and I didn’t like the idea of having to take an oral contraceptive every single day. Another reason I was excited about the Skyla IUD was because I have super terrible periods, and the IUD is supposed to lighten periods (if not get rid of them completely).
After I got the IUD placed, I experienced terrible cervix cramping and bleeding for the next two months. When I told my doctor about it, I was told that this was a normal symptom and that my body was just getting used to the IUD. But the cramps just kept getting worse and worse, and I ended up in the hospital due to the pain late one night in September. It was there we learned that the IUD was working it’s way out of my body, which was why I was having such bad cramping. They took it out, and we chose to get it replaced a week later. It’s actually pretty common for your body to try and expel IUDs. This usually only happens with the first IUD you have placed, and you shouldn’t have a problem with any IUDs after that.
The second IUD was better than the first, pain and bleeding wise. My periods were super irregular, but they lasted the normal length of time (instead of bleeding for a whole month or anything like what happened with the first IUD). The cervix cramping was still there, but it only happened right before my period and right afterwards. If you’ve never experienced cervix cramping, it’s way worse than normal cramps. Mine would last for about 10-30 seconds at a time with 3-5 minute intervals and I’ve never had contractions or anything before, but that’s sure what it felt like! However, the cervix pain was nowhere near as bad as the hormonal havoc that the IUD wreaked on my body.
I started experiencing symptoms of both depression and anxiety shortly after my IUD was placed back in July. These were things I had never experienced before, so I spent the first few months dismissing it. But as time passed my anxiety went through the roof and my symptoms of depression became a constant, underlying issue that affected every single thing I did. I had no clue what was causing it, and the emotions I was experiencing made no sense in regards to my circumstances. I eventually started counseling to try and help, but that did nothing for me, so I gave up and just kept on trying to push past it.
I also started dealing with serious fatigue and bloating as well as acne issues (which I’ve never had before) about a month into being on the IUD. Additionally, I’ve had recurring (and by recurring I mean basically constant) UTI’s and yeast infections since my first month of being on the IUD. I tried everything to both prevent and treat these infections and saw multiple doctors, but they just would not go away permanently.
For a long time, I didn’t want to admit that the IUD could be the problem. But we looked into everything else, and found no answers. When I finally did some research into other people’s real life experiences with IUDs, I found that every single thing I experienced other women had too, all starting shortly after getting an IUD placed.
So what am I doing now?
Well, I got my IUD out today. I’m spending the next few weeks intensely focusing on detoxing, and then doing everything I can to balance out my estrogen and progesterone levels. As for birth control, I have done lots of research and we have decided to go with natural family planning (NFP). If you are looking into natural family planning methods I would definitely recommend OvaCue, which is one of the best tools for NFP out there and has a 98% effective rate. I’ll be sharing more about my post-IUD journey of balancing out all my hormones and everything here on the blog soon, so stay tuned! (Or subscribe to my email list here if you haven’t already 🙂 ). In the meantime I will be doing short, daily updates on my Instagram stories.
I’d love to hear from you! Share your experience with an IUD, or any questions you have for me in the comments.
Lots of love, Anna Sagastume
*I am not a medical professional, and the contents of this post are all my personal experiences and opinions.*