Discussing my options
During the time that I was with my boyfriend, I was considering some methods to prevent any unwanted surprises down the road. At the time, we had been using the condom for our birth control method, but we wanted to experience more pleasure whenever we were intimate. We took other birth control methods (such as withdrawal, spermicide, and the female condom) off the table immediately. After this, we came to the conclusion that I should head to my college health clinic and discuss more efficient methods.
Prior to meeting with my primary care practitioner, I did my research on the various kinds of birth-control methods. I was torn between hormonal and non-hormonal methods because I do not like getting my period, but I also like how my period confirms that I am not pregnant. From my research, I decided the trimonthly birth control shot was the best choice for me.
I sat down with my primary care practitioner, and she told me the shot could weaken my bone density. That was scary enough for me to consider all the other methods. Every form of birth control has its pros and cons, and after a meeting that lasted an hour and a half, I decided to go with the Paragard.
Inserting the Paragard IUD
The Paragard is a non-hormonal, copper intrauterine device. It is a T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus and provides protection against pregnancy immediately. Since it is non-hormonal, periods still do occur. This is one of the reasons why I went for it, so I can have high protection from pregnancy and have my period every month to confirm it.
The insertion was painful, even though it lasted around two seconds. If I had to compare the insertion to anything, it felt like a period cramp. The day after the insertion was complete hell. No amount of Advil could ease the day-long pain I felt in my abdomen. This was a normal side effect since my uterus was adjusting to some foreign object. I was unproductive that day, but I was in bed for the entirety of it.
It said online that my periods would be heavy for the first six months, and they were definitely heavier. My cramps also got worse, but with a few ibuprofen pills, they went away. Sadly, my relationship with my boyfriend ended. In other words, I was on birth control without being sexually active. Eighteen months after the insertion, my periods are still heavy, and my cramps are so painful. Because of this, I am considering changing the form to hormonal birth control. Since I am not sexually active, I do not need to get my period, and it is just one last thing to worry about.
Right now, my college health clinic is under reconstruction because of the pandemic. However, once it reopens, I will definitely look into the other methods out there.