* Weight gain in spite of and not responding to changes in diet & exercise;
* Increasing problems with depression and anxiety, especially not responding to talk therapy or medications;
* Increased susceptibility to yeast infections;
* Increased symptoms of ovarian cysts;
* Fatty liver that does not respond or correlate to changes in alcohol consumption;
* Bowel/intestinal symptoms that had been present before but becoming unmanageable;
* Urinary incontinence and increased Interstitial Cystitis symptoms;
* Increased acne, migraines, and PMS symptoms;
* Body pains that do not respond to pain medications;
* Extreme, increasing fatigue and lack of stamina;
* Perhaps most troubling for me, decreasing sex drive;
* And now recently, it has stopped halting my period and I'm having a 3 week cycle!
So my tiny cyborg came out 9 months early. Honestly, I've had pap smears that were worse than that. There was a moment that felt like a moderately bad cervical cramp, I started panicking and asked if we could leave it in and just let it decompose with my dying corpse after I'm old and grey, and my doctor informed me it was already over. There was a heartbeat and then I exclaimed, "THAT'S IT?! It's over? I've been putting it off for two years for THAT?!" She asked if I wanted to see it and pulled it out of the biohazard bin for me. I thanked my tiny cyborg for all her hard work keeping me not pregnant, then told her to "fuck off." We threw it away, my doctor joked about giving her a proper burial, and wished me luck with all my abdominal/reproductive issues (I'm moving so she won't be treating me anymore.) After I fainted on the table when it was inserted, I just didn't expect it to be that easy.
But you know what's amazing? I CAN SIT UPRIGHT without feeling like I have something stabbing my cervix. I CAN TAKE A POO without spotting and stabby pain! I had constant itching on my vulva for the last 4 years that has all but disappeared in just 48 hours.
I am so excited to have sex again, but suddenly I have this fear of getting pregnant that is at once strange and yet hauntingly familiar. My partner suggested we pick up a giant box of condoms from Costco but a) I feel like that's jumping the gun a bit with my libido; and b) we know at least three "Costco condom" babies all from the same month of conception.
I am picking up a basal thermometer to chart for FAM and in all fairness, we decided before I did this that we are ready to get pregnant. Not yet actively trying to conceive, I would prefer to get to know my body without hormones for a while since I've been on HBC for 13 years (this month in fact! Oh wow I just realized it was exactly 13 years to the day since I started on the pill the first time!) but IF some combination of FAM and condoms and pulling out don't result in effective enough birth control, we're not going to be heartbroken or upset over it. Just perhaps a little amused at a new set of raging hormones to replace the manufactured ones.
Summary: IUD removal was fast, fairly painless, though a bit uncomfortable. Concern about getting pregnant is entertainingly strange and yet familiar after 4 years of relative security. Costco condoms are a joke.