A Rant About Birth Control. And the Synchronicities Around Getting my IUD Removed.
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I couldn’t think of a clever title for this blog, so I decided to just call it like it is.
Ok. Tiny back story.
My darling boyfriend, Kris, and I have been searching for answers to our various health issues pretty seriously for the last two years. We have seen every type of practitioner you can think of and we seem to stump them all.
Fast forward to last week when the book “Medical Medium” kept coming up and I decided to read it. I read a lot. I read all kinds of things all the time. I take most of it with a grain of salt. But this book spoke to me in a deep way. All of the points brought up and things suggested resonated so hard, and Kris and I decided to try adopting a bunch of the ideas in the book - the main thing being how we eat.
I’d like to think we’re pretty healthy in that:
- we drink raw milk
- eat grass fed beef
- get our produce at the farmers market
- don’t eat any processed food
- are totally chemical-free in our house
- work out regularly
- get sunlight
- love what we do for work
- have a great relationship
- are generally happy people
Yet - our baseline was crap. Neither of us feels all that great. Not how we “should” feel living as healthy a lifestyle as we do.
So - back to how we eat. I don’t want to call it a cleanse or an elimination diet or anything like that. Because it’s not that. It’s about resetting our relationship with food. We got a shit ton of produce, some nuts and seeds, and herbs and committed to following the guidelines in the book starting on a Monday.
Sunday rolls around and I totally physically exert myself. Yoga class in the morning, acroyoga class in the afternoon, played a round of disc gold after that and then let myself get so hungry and dehydrated that I was shaky and delirious.
It was no wonder that I woke up the next day, Monday, feeling like I got hit by a truck. We went ahead with starting our new relationship with food, meanwhile I felt a head cold starting to come on. I thought what bullshit this all was - the first day of a wild new eating scene, a head cold, massive body soreness and I was on my period.
For fucks sake.
Tuesday I woke up and the head cold was still raging. Body aches had worsened, I was running a fever and had painful gas. It was awful - the pain was so bad that I couldn’t stand up straight and when I went to the bathroom I couldn’t push out - when I did it felt like something was going to explode. So, no pooping for me. The stabbing pain started to worry me. I felt like it could be my IUD because it was so low. I wondered if the fever was a response to an infection from the IUD. I kept trying to brush it off like it was just gas pain because I was actually passing gas. But I just couldn’t shake it. Kris started to get concerned too, and I was overwhelmed with the need to have someone check my IUD placement.
I started with having Kris using his fingers to touch my cervix to see if he could feel anything, and to see if his touch caused any pain. It didn’t, but he noted that the IUD string was waaaaay longer than usual. I left a message with a midwife friend of mine to see if she knew where I could get an ultrasound.
I called a dozen urgent care locations and none of them had ultrasound machines. I called Planned Parenthood and a couple of other pregnancy centers, but none of them would do ultrasounds for IUD checks. At this point I was considering going to the E.R. but did not want that experience with an issue having to do with my vagina. Doesn’t it suck to have to think like that? I knew if I went to the E.R. wanting an ultrasound that they’d want to do a vaginal exam and I would refuse and it would be a thing and then they’d do the ultrasound and see the IUD misplaced and would want to take it out, but I just didn’t want it to happen in that environment where they are so robotic and clinical about it.
Thankfully, my midwife friend got back to me and met me at her clinic. At 8 o’clock at night. Because she’s awesome. On the fuzzy ultrasound image it was hard to see much, but we could see the top part of the IUD - it was all the way at the bottom of my uterus. We could not see the bottom of the IUD, which presumably meant it was in my cervix. Where it shouldn’t be. She did a quick vaginal check and immediately was able to feel the bottom tip of the IUD at the opening of my cervix.
Even though I knew this was probably what was happening, I was sort of stunned and needed some time to think about what I wanted to do.
Kris and I went home and I called my best friend (also a midwife) to tell her what was going down. I decided that, regardless of if the IUD was the cause of my pain or my fever, it needed to come out since it was in the wrong position. It’s not like you can just push it back up to where it’s supposed to be. She offered to take it out for me right then so Kris drove me over to her house and she got down to business.
Out it came with little more than some mild cramps. We had been advised to smell it, as that would be an obvious sign of an infection, but it smelled normal. I sat up and felt better right away.
The next morning I woke up with no pain, no bleeding, no gas, no cramping, and pooped like normal. And here’s the weirdest part - the food protocol we’re following includes stuff for a heavy metal detox. And two days in my body rejects my IUD.
I still can’t believe it’s 2016 and we don’t have better birth control options. It’s either:
- take some crazy fake hormones
- have some foreign body inserted in your uterus
- chart your cycles and risk having an abortion
Ultimately I ended up getting an IUD because it wasn’t fake hormones (I got the copper one) and it didn’t mess with your cycle - you still bled and ovulated and all that as per usual.
I am bummed to not have the super convenience of an IUD anymore, but feel so great having it out of my body. There are lots of problems it can cause and I’m super curious to see if a lot of my physical health complaints will resolve now that the IUD is out of my body. At this point, I don’t think I will get another one.
I am going to try this app called Kindara that helps you track your fertility and avoid pregnancy.
And for men, there’s obviously nothing, aside from a vasectomy, which I’m not into either. I feel the reproductive system is powerful and should not be altered. It is set up that way for a reason and who are we to presume that messing with it is ok? A vasectomy is a permanent disruption to a major system in the body. We are put together a certain way for a reason. I also feel like a vasectomy is often almost forced on men with the reasoning what woman grew and birthed the babies and now it’s time for the man to “do his part”. That is such a load of shit. Men’s bodily integrity should be highly regarded and respected just as we women want ours to be. A vasectomy should not be taken lightly or treated like some awesome risk-free option that guys just need to sack up and get over with.
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