I have been on Rigevidon for a fair few years now and I can honestly rate it "not too bad". It struck me when I first started on it how much my sex drive decreased - it has taken a long time for it to come back, and it's still definitely not where it was without hormonal contraception. That and the weight gain (I have gone up two sizes since starting it) are the definite "cons". However, it is not all bad. I like that my periods are very short and light (3 days max), and I like that I can skip them when I want by taking packs back to back, meaning I can enjoy my seaside holidays without bleeding. My skin has definitely improved, it is glistening now and I used to suffer from dry skin and dermatitis, that is completely gone. I do get headaches from time to time but they are less strong and piercing than those I used to get without the pill. Overall I feel my hormone levels are better managed on the pill - I don't get mood swings, I don't suffer from PMS or any period-related annoyance, no cramps, and it's easy to maintain as it's ok to take it within 12 hours of the "usual time", meaning that it's difficult to forget. I know however as I get older and overweight I should consider another option, but I tried the hormonal coil and that was horrid, so I went straight back on to Rigevidon. I would be open to switching type of pill, however I have to say the side effects get so much better after time, and I don't want to risk resetting all of that.
I had to share this experience as a warning to other women that having an IUS is really *not* for everyone. I was on the combined pill and honestly never had many problems with it, just decreased libido and definitely weight gain, so I decided to give the IUS a try as I liked the idea of a lower hormone intake. I was prepared for the pain on insertion - I went to the GUM clinic to have it, the nurses there were very nice and supportive, they really did their best to make the experience as painless as it could be. As I don't have children, I asked them to use both a numbing gel and spray, and I am sure that helped - they switched from Myrena to Kyleena as they found my cervix to be very small. It was still pretty painful but it didn't shock me as I was prepared. The bit that should be improved is the pain management - you can't just tell people to "take some ibuprofen and paracetamol" as for most people that barely cures a headache. I wish better pain relief was offered (naproxen at the very least, or codeine). If you go ahead and get an IUD, please make sure to ask for something strong for the aftermath. I went home and proceeded to experience strong cramps all afternoon. I took it easy with work, took some Naproxen I fortunately had at home and waited. The cramps (more like contractions, really) subsided after a few hours, and I went to bed feeling more or less ok. The next day I worked all day as normal and I thought I was out of the woods and I was really happy! Then during the night, 4am, I woke up in cold sweats with terrible pain. It wasn't cramps or contractions anymore, it felt like my uterus was exploding. Nowhere in the Kyleena leaflet did it say that was normal, and the fact that I had a 24hr period free of pain told me something was wrong. I called 111 and was seen by the urgent care centre, where they gave me codeine and referred me to the on call gynecologist. He asked me what I wanted to do, and I honestly could not take the idea of the codeine wearing off and the pain starting again. I started thinking how horrifying it would be to face potentially weeks and weeks of pain, cramps and irregular bleeding - none of which I had with the pill, or without contraception for that matter - and I just asked him to remove it. So overall I only had the IUS for a couple of days, but it was clear that my uterus was *not* accepting of it. Nobody should have to experience that level of pain. For women who are unhappy with their IUS but are scared about removing it, please don't be. It took one second and was far, far better than insertion. Immediately after removal my body felt better. I had mild cramps for a couple of days, but those were the "normal" ones caused by the cervix being opened, not the uterus wanting to burst out. I'm back on the pill now!