At 23 years old, getting an IUD sounded like the best thing I could do at the time. Considering all I had already experienced when it came to menstruation and the female anatomy, this small, hormonal contraceptive device was bound to change my life in a positive way. My doctor said the IUD would help me have a regular period, which for me, would be the first time in my life.
My journey with menstruation has been no walk in the park. After first getting my period at the age of ten, I began experiencing uncontrollable bleeding that caused me to become anemic at 12 years old. It was at that time I went on the pill and for roughly the next ten years I didn’t have a period. You can imagine how frustrating it was when the “cure” for my problems suddenly didn’t work anymore and I was back to bleeding daily.
Right after discovering these newfound issues, I also learned that I carry blood clotting genes. Not only was the birth control pill no longer effective in the way I needed it to be, it also was posing a threat to my health. That was when my doctor recommended the IUD because it would get me on a regular cycle, or possibly stop the bleeding all together.
Unfortunately for me, the IUD and I were ultimately not a good match. For the next couple of years, I continued to suffer from daily spotting and my acne got increasingly worse on both my face and back; this after years of already dealing with cystic acne. Birth control had worked so well for me for more than a decade and now I felt as though it was changing my life for the worse.
In March 2019, I began seeing an esthetician about my acne and it was then that we talked about a holistic approach to clear skin. Already knowing that a main cause of my acne is coming from within, I started thinking more about my hormones (they are definitely at play) and how maybe hormonal birth control was no longer serving me. After a lot of time and research, I decided to remove my IUD. Nervous that I would relieve my days as a 12-year-old, I was pleasantly relieved when just three days after the removal I had my first normal period.
For the first time in my life, it felt like my body was starting to get on track to becoming the best version of itself. Not only do I count regular menstrual cycles as a huge win, I’m equally pleased with how well my skin in doing. Almost immediately, the inflammation on my face and back started to subside. My battle with acne is far from over and I am doing a lot to try and heal it. However, I believe removing the IUD has played a huge roll in the successes I’ve had over the past year.
Every woman’s body is different and reacts differently to hormonal contraceptives. Some people experience no negative side effects from the IUD and for others, the pill works just as well today as it did ten years ago. On the other hand, some women may experience the very common side effects of weight gain, breakouts, ovarian cysts and more.
For me, starting fresh with no added hormones has been the best choice for my body. If you’re noticing negative changes in your body and think it could be caused from your hormonal birth control, do research, speak with your doctor, and take control of your feminine health!