I’m in birth control hell

February 16, 2008 Katja Presnal

I’m in birth control hell

Yes, Katja goes gyno here, and I’m not afraid to use the V word, so don’t read if you don’t want to hear me going little too personal here. The text might also make you upset if you have very religious views about birth control. I think I’m pregnant. No, I don’t want to have a flow of congratulations here, this is a serious business, and it makes me really sad, scared, and even depressed. Why do I think I’m pregnant? I’m craving black licorice, my boobs are swollen and coming out of my bra. I generally feel sick and even felt nauseous a few times. Don’t even talk about mood swings. I have taken a pregnancy test four times in my life and never been wrong with the “feeling”. I haven’t taken a test yet, because I don’t know if I even want to, and I don’t think I’ve officially even missed my period yet if it would even show anything. Well, as crazy as life is, I don’t even remember when my last period was, but I know it was this year… The thing is that I have an IUD, and that complicates things. Even if I was pregnant, that will probably make me miscarry in the next few weeks, or even if I took the test, found out I was pregnant and wanted to have the baby, it still might end up in a miscarriage, infections or other nasty stuff I don’t even want to think or write about. I hate the IUD. The whole time I’ve had it, I’ve sort of thought the heavy menstrual flow, the cramping, the mood swings, the PMS symptoms are just something I have to deal with it, but I have become to a realization, that I don’t get those every month – it’s like every other or third month. And however crazy I may seem to say this, but I think (I just know) I do get fertilized with the IUD, but it just makes the egg not to attach and makes it to miscarry within a few days or weeks. Like now – I totally feel I’m pregnant, but I’ll probably get a very heavy and painful period in a week or so. While I have lived with this for almost five years now, it is just now that I’m ready to really talk about it, and put an end to it. First 1,5 years I was still nursing Kris, so my hormones were still out of balance because pregnancy and nursing, so I decided to wait with the re-evaluating our birth control plan, maybe the damn IUD will start working for me. Then Kris had health problems, then we moved from New York to Ohio, then to Tennessee and then to Colorado, so life has been too crazy to do any changes to the birth control method we have used (read: at least our family wasn’t growing while traveling, so it worked). You may wonder why I even chose the IUD. I felt like I had no other choice. (We were both under 30 and didn’t want to do any permanent changes, who knows, we might still want another baby someday). I was on the pill before having our first one, and no problems, ever. I got pregnant after 6 months of trying, and I’ve been one baby-making machine after that. Who knew, I was made to be a mom. I was pregnant four times in three years, and two of the pregnancies happened while using contraceptives. I miscarried once (the first surprise pregnancy) when our first baby Isabella was 8 months old. But I got pregnant a few months later, and the second baby was born 21 months after the first one. Our first baby was born in Finland, the next one in Germany, and we moved from Germany to the USA when Gaby was less than 2 months old. We lived in Alabama for three months and then moved to New York. By that time I was already pregnant. I was breastfeeding, and on mini-pill. Obviously that didn’t work, I found out I was pregnant before Gaby was 5 months old, and Kris was born in New York when Gaby had just turned 13 months. While I thank God every day for the malfunction of the pill, after the first shock we couldn’t wait to have a third baby, and we feel really blessed we had Kris. BUT… when he was a few weeks old, I practically cried to have an IUD inserted, I had been a baby-making machine and not just a baby-making machine, but one, who had been also traveling around the world having babies and towing the little ones around. It has been IUD hell though. And I’ve had it. I really feel like I have gotten fertilized several times a year, and the IUD has made me miscarry. I did read that IUD can be used as an emergency contraceptive – it can be inserted up to seven days after you’ve had sex. “When inserted up to seven days after unprotected sexual intercourse, the IUD helps keep a fertilized egg from being implanted in the uterus, thus preventing pregnancy.” says Your Total Health. They also say that the way IUD works, isn’t “really known”. I think the medical profession just doesn’t want to say that it makes you miscarry, even though the Catholics pretty much say that aloud. I know many people would never use IUD for religious reasons. This is what Christian Contraception says about IUDs: “Considerations for Christians: The IUD prevents both fertilization and implantation, but generally does not prevent ovulation. Most medical organizations define pregnancy as beginning with implantation. By this definition the IUD is still considered contraception. However, life begins when fertilization occurs, so many Christians would consider the IUD an unacceptable method of birth control as it poses a risk to pre-born life, i.e. the potential to cause a very early abortion.” This is what Catholics say: “The IUD does little or nothing to interfere with sperm migration or fertilization (conception). It achieves its birth control effect primarily by preventing the newly conceived human life from implanting in the uterine lining (endometrium) and is thus an abortifacient. An abortifacient is an agent which causes an abortion by interfering with the development of the conceived child in the womb.” The U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare defined abortion as follows: “All the measures which impair the viability of the zygote at any time between the instant of fertilization and the completing of labor constitute, in the strict sense procedures for inducing abortion.” This all just makes me so sad, and even depressed when it happens to me. Please don’t tell me I should have read this before having the IUD (I did), or that this is what I get for having it. Unless you have been pregnant for four times within three years and had a baby in three different countries and moved more often than criminals when they are running away the mafia and FBI. I had three kids under three, my husband worked long days, was gone weeks of time, he was a military helicopter test pilot, and this happened around the same time the war in Iraq started. I lived in a country I didn’t know many people, my own family was on the other side of the world. My in-laws on the other side of the US. I was pregnant and/or nursing for 5,5 years straight – I even nursed Gaby until I was 8 months pregnant with Kris. I was tired, and I needed a break. And the IUD has given it to me. Now I’m tired of the side effects and mainly of feeling that I miscarry a baby a few times a year. I will make an appointment to see a doctor next week, and try to get this thing solved – the IUD taken out and to think of an alternative method (suggestions? What works for you?). Before that, I might drive to Walgreens to get a pregnancy test, but I would just freak out even more if I really knew I was pregnant right now, and I don’t know if I was able to handle me freaking out at the moment. Maybe I’m not pregnant, and I am just going crazy and my boobs just decided to try to get to the size DD.

Katja Presnal

Katja Presnal shows how to live Nordic inspired life to the fullest and plan your dream life. Katja owns Presnal5 strategic marketing intelligence agency and wants to help marketing professionals to combine a dream career and dream life via freelance work. Katja is an award-winning marketing strategist, and a well-known speaker. Katja has lived in five different countries, and seven states in the USA. Her three children were all born in different countries within three years. When not working or jet-setting the world, Katja is at home cooking big family dinners. She has been featured in NY Times, Glamour, Redbook, Fodor's, Forbes and Woman's Day magazines among many other national and international publications and written for MTV3 and Lifetime TV networks.

Comments (9)

  1. Katja of skimbaco.com

    I got my period today!

    And I got a doctor’s appointment for March 17th, so I guess I’ll need to wait until then with the IUD etc.

    Marja ja Sanna,
    Kiitos neuvoista, en tiedä onko täällä tuota kapselia ollenkaan, mutta mikä täällä on uusi ja suosittu on neljä kertaa vuodessa otettavat ruiskeet – eli hormoniruisku ja sen kanssa ei edes tule menkkoja. Kuulostaa omituiselta ettei edes tule menkkoja! Ja täällä saa ainoastaan yhden merkkistä hormoni-kierukkaa (mirena muistaakseni) ja kokemukset tutuilla 50/50 hyviä ja huonoja.
    Ollaan miehen kanssa juteltu asiasta, ja mielummin käytetään sellaista ehkäisykeinoa, joka on minulle mukavampi käytössä, kuin tuota kierukkaa. Ja jos vahinko sattuu, niin sitten sattuu. Tuskin sitä koskaan sen vauvan syntymän jälkeen sanoo voi kun tota ei olisi koskaan saatu – samalla tavalla siitä neljännestä sitten iloitaan jos ehkäisy pettää, mutta en näitä kierukan sivuvaikutuksia ainakaan enää jaksa!!

    Kiitos kannustuksesta, halit teille molemmille!
    Katja

  2. Anonymous

    Hei taas! Tarkoitus ei ole vouhkata tämän asian kanssa mutta “pakko” kommentoida vielä tuota kapselia. Luin siitä netistä, innostuin ja juttelin lääkärin kanssa mutta sitä ei ainakaan täällä päin suositella. En muista tarkkaan mitä sanoi siitä mutta suositteli nimenomaan hormoni-kierukkaa. Sanna A

  3. Anonymous

    Moi Katja!
    Tsemppiä ja tuttavillani useilla täällä Suomessa on tuo hormoniversio ja sitä kovin kehuvat. Yhdellä ystävällini on sellainen ihmekapseli ihon alla ( lue YÖK se näkyy siinä ) mutta se on sitten pidempään voimassa jos en väärin muista 5 vuotta… siinä taitais noin sivuvaikutukset olla pienempiä.

    Voimia :) Marja & pojat

  4. Anonymous

    Hei taas! Ystäväni otti nimenomaan sen hormoni-version, vaikka imetti (ei kuulemma haittaa). Ompa eroavaisuuksia maiden välillä. Joka tapauksessa, oon edelleen hengessä mukana! t. Sanna A

  5. Katja of skimbaco.com

    Hei Sanna,
    Minulla on kupari-versio – imetin kun otin sen, joten en voinut tuota hormoni-versiota ottaa. Olen miettinyt, jos siihen vaihtaminen auttaisi, mutta toivottavasti saan ajan lääkärille pikaiseen ja juteltua hänen kanssa asiasta.

    Kiitos mukana elämisestä,
    Katja

  6. Anonymous

    Voi Katja, voimia tämän ison asian kanssa. Toivottavasti kaikki järjestyy parhain päin!

    Suomessa käsittääkseni suositaan tuota hormoni-versiota (en ihan ymmärtänyt mikä sinulla on)ja siihen olen itsekin suunnitellut vaihtavani. -Sanna A-

  7. Naomi

    Whatever happens, don’t blame yourself! You can only do so much and it felt like the right thing at the time. If this is only a “scare” then you should definitely re-evaluate birth control soon, but don’t beat yourself up for trying to pace yourself…

  8. Anonymous

    Moi Katja,

    I went back to the pill and have not been happier since… I also hated the IUD, and the horrible side effects that came with it. Of course there have been times when I freak out “Did I take it this morning…?”, but overall I like it. No more acne, mood swings and heavy periods for me!

    Good luck,

    Anna

  9. Deb - Mom of 3 Girls

    Oh Katja, I’m so sorry. It has to be so difficult to go through that every few months. I hope you can find another solution that works for you.

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