After the birth of my second child, I was 24 years old and was told that it was not a good idea to have another pregnancy due to the complexities of my first two pregnancies and births. I decided to have a hormonal IUD inserted as contraception. I had a really good discussion with my GP about what contraception option was the best. I felt really informed about what was going to be best for me.
The GP was very good and went through it all in detail with me. I felt a bit embarrassed going to the chemist to get a big long box that I thought was obviously an IUD. I had it inserted during my next period when my cervix was open, I was advised to have period pain relief and pain relief prior to having it inserted.
It was quite uncomfortable but I was ok with this and for a couple of weeks I had back pain but then things settled down. I stopped having my periods and things were going really well and this lasted for two years.
Then one day I just started bleeding again. This was a real shock because I had no reason why this could have happened. I thought maybe it has dislodged, or its been expelled so I booked int to see my GP to get it check. She check and thought that it would be good to replace the IUD and took the old one out and inserted the new one exactly the same and I was happy with this as it had been working well for me. We also discussed the possibility of having a hysterectomy because of the difficult pregnancies and traumatic birth experiences for me and the babies. There was a lot of medical reasons why having another pregnancy would not be good. But because of my age at the the time this options was not given to me.
Afterwards, I got breakthrough bleeding on a monthly basis, I thought that this might just have been the IUD settling in. These were light and I didn’t think much of it. After awhile I became unwell with nausea, tiredness and I was also going through a marriage break up.
I saw my GP who ran some tests and this came back showing that I was I was 9 weeks pregnant in spite of having a IUD at the time. I went into shock when she told me because I found it hard to believe that this could have happened, especially considering my marriage had broken up and it just felt really unlucky. We talked about what to do with the IUD, I had the choice to leave it in throughout the pregnancy or to have it removed and risk the pregnancy naturally aborting. I decided to have it removed and went on with the pregnancy.
I still am baffled by the fact that one IUD worked perfectly fine and the second one failed. I guess nothing is 100% effective and because my partner at the time would not take any responsibility for contraception I did the best I could. I was fortunate in some ways because this pregnancy whilst it still have challenges gave the chance to have a positive birth experience which I had not had before.
This story was a contribution to the Storylines: Her Voice Matters project, a collaboration between Women’s Health Goulburn North East, Women’s Health Loddon Mallee and Murray PHN.