I did lots of research before hand and decided I wanted to get the frameless Gynefix 330 (standard). There are several reasons why I decided to get this IUD instead of other forms of birth control:
- Very high success rate of 99%
- No daily or monthly routine
- Always perfect use (vs. typical use)
- Very discreet. I didn't want to snoop around with BCP in my purse. I still live at home with my parents so they would prbly freak if they found them!
- No hormones. I didn't want to change my cycle nor did I want to lighten or eliminate my period
- One time investment of only $100 CAD
- Lasts 5 years, but I can take it out anytime I want
- Doesn't interact with any other medication
- This is one of the smallest IUDs, making it suitable for women who have never given birth
Willow Women's Clinic
750 Broadway W
So I walked into their office with my boyfriend and the ladies working there were all very nice. I filled out some paperwork and paid for my IUD. It was a mere $100. For five years worth of birth control, $100 is as cheap as it gets! I didn't need a prescription or a trip to the pharmacy. They had the IUD on hand for me already. There was also one thing I found very surprising when I was filling out my paperwork:
Gynefix is actually not approved for use in Canada yet. It's approved in Europe but Willow Women's Clinic imports Gynefix specifically for their clients.
I didn't know this but from my research, Gynefix did not receive a single negative review so I decided to go with this model.
First they took a urine sample to make sure I wasn't pregnant. Then I went into the patient room with Dr. E. Weibe and she immediately asked me, "Any questions? =D". It's always nice to see a smile when you're nervous!!
She also told me there are no additional health risks for smokers and no risks for scarring when the Gynefix gets removed.
Another doctor (I think her name is Fatima) was also observing and assisting.
GynefixDr. Weibe showed me a sample of the frameless Gynefix and I was surprised at how small it was! It is incredibly tiny!! It is only 3cm! Super small.
The string is the same material used for stitches. There is a knot at the top end and this basically gets implanted into place in your uterine muscle. This knot acts as an anchor so it stays in place, making it virtually impossible to expel from the uterus, a problem that some IUD models have.
The copper beads are attached to the string and the ends of the string hang outside your cervix. This is so you can check to make sure the IUD is in place by using your fingers to feel for these strings.
Gynefix and other copper IUDs work by releasing copper ions that kill sperm and change the environment of your uterus, making the uterus inhospitable for sperm. Essentially, copper acts as a natural spermicide within the uterus. It is 99% effective.
After the Q&A, she explained the procedure. It was my first time ever visiting a gyno so it was very comforting for her to walk me through what was going to happen.
Pap Test & PreparationsBefore we began, she did a pap test and examined my vagina just to make sure I was a good candidate for an IUD.
She put her finger inside me to feel around, inserted a device to do an ultrasound, then inserted a speculum to look around inside. The speculum wasn't cold or uncomfortable. She also did a pap test and cleaned my cervix. All this was very quick and wasn't painful at all. Lasted maybe 2-3 minutes!
If you're hesitant to get tested, I encourage you to just go! It's super fast, easy, and not painful at all. On a pain scale of 0 to 10, it's a ZERO.
InsertionThen finally, she began the insertion process. First she froze my cervix using lidocaine to minimize the pain. I think she used the lidocaine spray and not the needle injection. The spray didn't hurt, it just felt umm... interesting. Just a light tingly feeling.
In addition to the lidocaine, I was also asked to take some ibuprofen (Advil) an hour before my appointment and to eat something. This is so if they have to give me medicine for whatever reason, I can take it not on an empty stomach.
After the preparations, Dr. Weibe began to dilate my cervix. This part HURT. OUCH. Pain scale out of 10, this was at least a 6!
This was also the part where she stopped explaining what she was doing so I became pretty worried!
Apparently she had a bit of trouble getting me dilated so she had to keep dilating me and every time she did this, it HURT. I think she said she had to dilate me 2 or 3 times. It hurt like a cramp and the pain level was on par with my some of my worse cramps ever. My very first period cramp put me through worse pain so this pain was definitely bearable.
Finally she had dilated me enough to sound me. Sounding is when she takes a measurement to see how deep my uterus is. This measurement lets my doctor know how deep to insert the IUD.
When she sounded me I wanted to know what my measurement was.. just out of curiosity and for lolz but I was in so much pain, very nervous, and scared so by this point I just wanted her to finish!
Then finally she jabbed the IUD in me. OUCH. It was a sharp pain and hurt like a really bad cramp but it was very brief so in that sense it hurt less than a cramp. On the pain scale, it was a solid 7.
And finally, I was DONE! She took the speculum out of me and did another quick ultrasound to make sure it was in place. She explained to me that I was the 1 in 10 girls that have a small problem getting dilated. That's why she took longer than usual.
And then I got a bad reaction...Before I got up, I asked if I was bleeding. Dr. Weibe said "just a little bit!"
I'll admit, I'm a *little* scared of blood. Just the sight of blood that should be inside my body is pretty terrifying so I was relieved to hear that there was so little.
The doctor closed the curtains so I could get dressed but when I got up, I got to witness how much I had actually bled.
There was a little blood on the wipes in the trash bin, a spot of blood on the floor, and a little blood on the towel she had laid down for me...
Then I started to not feel so well... I felt very light headed and dizzy. I believe I had a vasovagal reaction.
Immediately my two doctors knew what to do. She asked me to lay back down and she took my blood pressure and said it was very low.
It really felt like I was having my period. I could feel something going on inside me and I was having hot flashes. Hot then cold then hot then cold. I also felt like I had ghost poop. I felt like I need to go poop even though I knew I had nothing to poop!
I wasn't scared because it was a familiar feeling, very similar to having my period but more extreme and also because I knew I was in good hands.
She gave me some medicine (needle injection in my arm but I forget what it is) to bring my blood pressure back up and within minutes I was feeling better.
Dr. Weibe explained that this was a common reaction and that I had just felt scared and faint.
AftercareAfterwards, she lead me to a resting area where there was a cot and heating pad waiting for me. She also gave me some crackers and antibiotics. I wasn't given a debriefing but I was given the Gynefix brochure that comes with the IUD and that explained the aftercare procedures.
The brochure recommended no sex 3-5 days after the procedure. This is because the vagina is more susceptible to infection after the insertion so it's best to wait. But I have also heard from other girls that it's not necessary to wait.
This whole procedure took about 30-45 minutes. It was a little uncomfortable and painful but it was definitely worth it.
RecoveryFor two days after the procedure I was spotting and cramping consistently. It was a very minor cramp though but it was persistent for two days straight. I could also feel where she jabbed the Gynefix knot in me.
For the next week my discharge also had blood in it which is expected. I just wore a pantiliner on those days. By the end of the week, my discharge was mostly back to normal and for the most part I had stopped spotting.
However, my period did start a bit earlier. Not sure why but my period isn't heavier so far. Cramps feel a bit different. I used to have long and persistent cramps that would last for over an hour and now I am having sharp cramps that last tops 5 seconds then they go away.
So this whole process in its entirety took a little over a week. It hurt a bit during insertion but now I have 5 years worth of birth control with no daily or monthly routine!
If you're exploring birth control options or thinking of getting the Gynefix IUD, I highly recommend it. It's economical, low maintenance, and it's super effective.
Check UpSix weeks after the procedure I was due for a check up. Basically, this check up is just to make sure that the IUD is still in its proper place and hasn't moved.
The check up lasted for about 10 minutes. The doctor took a quick ultrasound and the screen showed that my IUD was perfectly in place :)!
Click here to read about my first couple periods after getting my IUD.
Helpful ResourcesWillow Women's Clinic
IUD Divas: blog with collection of IUD stories
Wikipedia page for "IUD with Copper"
Contrel.be: manufacturer's website for Gynefix
The Period Blog does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, or treatment. Please check with your doctor regarding your personal health care decisions, and seek immediate care in emergencies. The Period Blog is not a substitute for medical or other professional care. If you are experiencing any problems with your period, please DO see your doctor! After all, it IS your uterus and you only get one.