Getting an IUD During a C-Section Comes With Strings Attached

During the prep for my second C-section, I received a form where I could add a check mark to indicate my desire for a tubal ligation. I thought it was odd that a tubal was something I could just ... check off, like a request for extra salsa on my Uterine Burrito, but I reminded the medical team that I was in fact scheduled for a different sort of birth control option during my surgery. Specifically, the placement of a Mirena IUD.

I figured that having an IUD installed while my lower half was already in the midst of a massive medical procedure was a handy way to avoid that whole unpleasant insertion business later, and while I was sort of right, I was also wrong on the avoiding-discomfort front.

Really, REALLY wrong.


I don't even know when the IUD went in, so distracted was I by that whole crazy childbirth business that was going on, and I certainly didn't notice anything later while I was recovering from surgery. Eventually, however, the Mirena made itself known. Oh, did it EVER.

You see, the Mirena has strings attached to it, which are eventually used by a doctor to haul the whole thing out when you want to have it removed. Typically, the strings are trimmed before the IUD is inserted, but in my case, since my immediately-postpartum innards were the size of a Volkswagen, they left them long—with the intent to trim them later once my uterus had shrunk back to its usual size.

I figured that would be no big deal. How bad could strings really be, after all?

The problem was, I was mentally picturing something soft. Something like a tampon string. As it turns out, however, the strings on a Mirena are less like cotton, the fabric of our lives, and more like FISHING WIRE, THE POKING METALLIC WIRES OF VAGINAL DOOM.

The worst part was that as my uterus continued to shrink, the strings problem got worse and worse. I had them trimmed at the doctor's office once, then a few days later, they came right back. I'll tell you right now, I never thought I'd find myself bent into a terrifying yoga position while rooting around in my own girl parts with a pair of nail scissors, but that's exactly what I did. It was either that or live with the sensation of having a length of hobby wire stuffed where no wire should ever, ever be.

In conclusion, if you're planning on getting an IUD, I don't personally recommend the option of having it installed during a C-section. Either that, or make sure you have a really great OB nurse afterward who's gentle, understanding, and unusually careful when wielding a pair of clippers—and available for several house calls.

Has anyone else experienced the dreaded Mirena STRINGS effect?

Image via Mirena

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