Note that this post involves some graphic medical detail about injections and vaginal examinations during an IUD fitting.
The other day a woman put a big needle inside my vagina, and injected me three times in the cervix. I know you don’t like hearing this, my darling, but I really need you to know it. The other day, when getting an IUD fitted, I had three injections in my cervix.
It isn’t too bad, the IUD. The one I have is a copper coil, and it works better for me than any other form of contraception I’ve tried:
- The pills that made my skin itch, and put me off sex for months.
- The pills that made me weep for no reason, on a daily and sometimes thrice-daily basis.
- The injection which made me angry then sad then angry then sad, until one day I sat in a doctor’s office with tears pouring down my face, begging him to just cut it the fuck out of me.
It’s OK, this coil. It’s fine. It doesn’t hurt every month, or change my hormones, or turn me into a sobbing wreck. But I did have to have three injections in my cervix, and for some reason I need you to know.
When we talk about condoms we both agree that they’re not the ideal solution: they’re pricey, and fallible, and they don’t feel so good. They can be sexy if we make them, but there’s no amount of sexy they can be if we forget them. So we don’t choose condoms, and I’m fine with that.
But the other day, in preparation for getting my IUD fitted, I let a stranger stick dry, gloved hands in my cunt, so she could rummage to work out the position of my uterus.
When we talk about vasectomies, or the thrilling prospect of an injectable sperm-blocking contraception, you wince as if such pain could never be endured. Maybe it couldn’t. Either way, a vasectomy isn’t an option: too permanent. Too frightening. Too much about you. So we don’t choose vasectomies or experimental dick-injections, and I think I’m fine with that.
But last week someone stuck a duck bill made of plastic in the entrance to my vagina, then jacked me wide open to get right in to the meat. I felt cold air inside my body, and the scraping of cotton on my cervix. I still feel echoes of that sensation if you ask me how it went.
She talked me through everything, as she was doing it. By the book, to the letter: this doctor did everything right.
But ‘right’ means I got jacked open, prodded and scraped, then stuck three times with a long, long needle, shoved right to the back of my cunt.
I’m fine with that, I just want you to know.
When I was a kid I used to get a sticker after I’d been to the dentist: ‘I was brave at the dentist today!’ And maybe that’s why I want you to know. Because it hurts, this. A lot. It’s humiliating and awful and I dread it. The whole thing is worth it in the long run – I’ve got ten good years in me now, during which I can fuck you without fear of getting pregnant. I’m overjoyed, and I made the right choice. I’m fine with it.
But something nudges at my brain, pointing out that you did nothing for this. You didn’t book the appointment, take time out of your day, take your pants off and hop up onto a table. You didn’t muffle involuntary screams during internal examinations, or feel the cold plastic of the duck bill thing that they use to spread you open. You didn’t have a long, long needle placed carefully inside, to inject anaesthetic in your cervix.
I’d never want you to have to do this, but need you to know. I want my fucking sticker, goddammit. ‘I was brave today while feeling that gross sensation of someone prodding with dry hands at the internal parts of my body.’
At this particular clinic, they have support nurses on stand by. Have you ever heard of that? I hadn’t. A kind lady stood by me while I got my IUD fitted. I lay there splayed and semi-naked, and she held my hand as I cried. I vowed I wouldn’t cry, of course, thinking my self-worth can be measured by how stoic I am in the face of pain. In the face of someone sticking needles in my cervix.
And I was fine. It hurt, I cried, I wobbled out of there shaking and clutching wads of tissue. I had a fry-up nearby because I was too weak to get on the bus. Then I came home and ached and bled, and wished I’d said yes when you offered to come.
Because we chose the coil, and I’m fine with that. I think I just want you to know.
And I want my fucking sticker.