Emotional trauma after IUD insertion procedure?

Discussion in 'IUDs' started by Pennies8, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. Pennies8

    Pennies8 New Member

    Hi everyone, I am new here. I actually stumbled onto this site because I've been searching the internet for answers.

    Before I start, here's a little background: I am 22, soon to be married, and generally healthy and happy. I have had (at this point in my life which consists of the past couple of years) no reason to be depressed. Also, my fiance and I lead a very healthy, active, daring sex life. Sex is one of the best parts of our relationship.

    Here Goes:

    This past Monday I went to the obgyn to have an iud inserted. I had done tons of research via internet, pamphlets, and interrogating my friends and relatives about their experience. I'd already tried other forms of birth control and they weren't for me. Finally I decided to give it a shot. I settled with my doctor (I have Keiser insurance, if that makes any difference.) that I would get the 5 year mirena iud.

    I went in like normal. There were two doctors there, both women and both very friendly. I didn't feel uncomfortable at all. The first hiccup was when they asked if I had taken midol or some sort of pain medication before coming in. I was confused and replied that I wasn't aware that I was supposed to. They both explained that the process could be painful, even more so because I have never given birth. They asked if I still wanted to go through with it. I said yes. Also, they gave me a papsmear before the beginning the process of inserting the iud (because they didn't have one on file or something, I had just switched insurance companies and doctors.) I've had papsmears before. I've been tested for stds before. Usually these things aren't enjoyable, but they never upset or stress me out in any way. They're like any other medical examination.

    Then they began to do the procedure by inserting the speculum, which was uncomfortable but normal. Then they used a clasp of some sort to open the cervix. It was painful. Very painful. But one of them tried to insert it but for some reason could not. She just kept trying to search for a way to insert it but couldn't. At this point the other doctor stopped her and took over. She did the same thing. She pushed it in and tried different things to get it to fit but it just wouldn't. All the while I'm feeling sharp pains up my spine.

    Finally she uses an ultrasound machine to see why. She then tells me I have a tilted uterus which is why it is so difficult. I don't know why, but I found this to be ridiculously funny in the moment. I burst into laughter, then apologized, and the laughed more.

    She asked me what I wanted to do. I said I just wanted to get it done. She began the process again trying to push down on my abdomen as she did it, and various other things. There was no way, we'd have to soften up my uterus by taking medication and also by doing the procedure while on my period. As I was getting dressed to leave, I noticed there was some of my blood from the procedure on the lid of a trash can.

    After all of that, I didn't even have it put in. I kind of just checked out and walked to my car. I don't know why, but as soon as I got into my car I burst into tears. My emotions were so heightened. I wasn't terribly angry or sad or in pain (just a little crampy) It wasn't as if I felt taken advantage of. They were explaining everything to me as they did it. I had control the whole time. They made it clear to me I could ask them to stop at any point.

    This happened on Monday. It has only really been two days, but since then I have no sex drive whatsoever. When I think about my vagina it just feels like void. I have never felt this way. I have never ever been around my fiance or even thought about him and not wanted sex (regardless of whether we had sex or not.) I've never thought about sex and then felt like, "I'd rather not." I'm not disgusted by sex, I don't feel sad or scared to have sex. I don't think it will cause me physical pain. I've talked to my fiance and he's being incredibly patient and sweet about it, there's no pressure. Ever since this procedure, I've just literally had no desire.

    What's wrong with me? Is this normal? Has anyone coped with this kind of thing? Am I just being ridiculous? I don't really know who I should talk to, I tried calling the kaiser hotline and they said they could refer me to a therapist or counselor or something but I don't know if what I feel is so extreme. Will this pass? I'm getting married in two months and I don't want this to ruin my honeymoon. I'm just hoping someone might give me some insight. I feel hopeless.

  2. AnnaM

    AnnaM Member

    Yep. I have to say that Mirena insertion in a woman who has not birthed a baby is painful, the cervix has to be dilated to insert the Mirena, that's why the two fine threads can be felt coming out of your cervix. The cramping is normal, the spotting is normal, you inserted a piece of plastic into your uterus. I think your sex drive or lack of such, is related to you feeling like the experience did not meet with your expectation of how it would all occur and you sound a bit like you are in shock. I would request a debrief from the attending doctors just to clear your head and get reassurance. Each woman experiences the invasion/treatment/manipulation of their reproductive system differently. This may just be feeling a bit like violation on an emotional level, while you intellectually understand what went on. When stressed, anxious etc the libido goes into hibernation. Really go debrief with the Drs, women do it all the time ( at least they are encouraged to here in Australia- you could set a whole new trend in your country if this is uncommon practice)

  3. mauiphotogirl

    mauiphotogirl New Member

    I've had two kids vaginally and have a tilted uterus and had the EXACT same experience. Cried all the way home. It sucked. My clitoris and vagina feel numb and I've had it for 90 days. I'm at a loss and don't know what to do either. I won't even go into the ridiculous mood swings I'm having and uncontrollable crying. I have no idea what I'm going to do. I'm so sorry you are feeling the same way! :(

  4. You are not ridiculous and there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. This is your brain handling something in the healthiest way it knows how to protect you from an experience that was invasive and, ultimately, traumatic.

    I went through a very similar experience when I got mine put in two years ago, actually. The first time I went in I wound up having a panic attack right in front of my doctors, still in stirrups haha. We wound up having to schedule a later date, and I was given a prescription for medication to soften my cervix to take the night before the second attempt. It went off without a hitch with that medication, though - not that it was comfortable and pleasant, but I definitely noticed it much less and it was over in three minutes. I felt totally fine after that and couldn't wait until I could have sex again!

    If it's not too probing to ask, have you ever had any traumatic or invasive sexual experiences? If so, attempting to get an IUD inserted may have re-opened that wound for you, even if you didn't make a conscious connection. If not, then it's possible it created something kind of like that. I think how it worked for me is even though I went in there totally fine and rationally I knew I was in control and it was a medical procedure, the emotional part of my brain was just not willing to accept that - all it knew was that something unnatural was being done to me, there was something foreign inside of me, and it hurt and needed to stop. It was also a re-traumatization of my abortion, which is what caused the panic attack for me. Maybe that's how you were emotionally processing things, too. And that's totally normal and valid!

    What's good is that it will pass. I promise, it will. Are you still planning on trying to get an IUD, or are you looking for other birth control options? Try to focus on that; if you're still going to brave an IUD, know that it is a lot easier with the proper medication (which they should have to preemptively tell you about, I think...) and you can do this now that you know what steps to take. If you're looking for another method of b/c, remember that it will be a long-term thing and your experience at the gyno will eventually fade. It might be that once your contraception issue is sorted out, you'll feel right as rain and eager to test it out.

    It's possible it won't click so easily too, and there's nothing wrong with you if it doesn't. Do your best to be open and communicative about what you're feeling with your fiance, and maybe talk to another friend who has had experience with different forms of contraception or had an IUD put in. Talking things out can help you process things and realize the reason behind how you feel. Do your best to have self-care moments throughout your day. Don't worry about how you feel about your vagina right now; being worried about that disconnect will just make you anxious about having it. Just relax, eat a nice meal, have a glass of wine if you drink, take a long bath. Spoil yourself in some small way, whatever that is for you. Appreciate yourself in the mirror and notice the parts of yourself you do feel connected to and focus on those things.

    Counseling may help, but it may not be productive if you don't know how to verbalize what you're explaining. If you have the resources, your best option may be to find some free services; in my home town, we have a free Catholic service, so if you're comfortable with religious options that may be a good bet. I would personally give myself some time to process and work through it so at the very least I had an idea of what I need to convey, but you know your boundaries. A counselor might be able to help you figure that out, too. It depends on the quality of professional you talk to. If you notice that you're getting more detached or that you start experiencing other traumatic symptoms, it might be a good time to seek this out.

    I'm really sorry you're experiencing this. It's difficult to go through and hard to talk about, but you may find that it's more common than you think. Just know that you are not broken or wrong for it, you are capable, things will get sorted out, and it will pass. A year from now you'll be married and maybe you won't even remember feeling the way you do now! Give it time, take care of yourself, and do the best you can to emotionally and mentally process what happened. Don't push yourself and try not to stress about when you'll feel better; just know that it'll come and take steps to work towards it a little at a time.

  5. Petra

    Petra New Member

    I've had 3 kids and literally felt violated after my Mirena insertion 1.5 years ago. I knew intellectually what was happening and that it was a medical procedure, but it was one of the worst feelings ever. I still don't know why it felt so invasive to me. Once this Mirena comes out I don't think I will be doing another one.


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