Here’s (Probably) Everything You Need To Know About Getting An IUD And Doing BJJ

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Hello, I’m openly in love with my IUD, and a lot of people have been coming to me about questions about whether it’s safe and comfortable to get one while dealing with all the squishing, bending, and smashing that goes on in jiu-jitsu. I am not a medical professional, and you should always chat with your OB/GYN before making any major reproductive medical choices, but as someone who’s been there, done that, I’m sharing my personal experience relative to the jiu-jitsu side of things.

Does it hurt to get it inserted? What are my options? How does it work? What is it? These questions all have relatively lengthy answers, and I did my best to cover them here. But again, talk with your lady doctor to find out if an IUD would be the right choice for you; she or he will be able to go in-depth and make sure you feel confident making an informed choice for your body.

Is it safe to have an IUD and train jiu-jitsu? It seems like many medical professionals don’t really know what jiu-jitsu is, and I had to compare it to wrestling for my nurse practitioner to understand that I’d be getting squished and have the weight of very large men concentrated into a single knee on my abdomen. She assured me that this wouldn’t be an issue and that I’d be able to return to training the same day after the insertion. However, my body was freaking out about having a foreign object inside it (which is a normal biological reaction), and I had pretty bad cramps for a couple days that made training impossible.

In rare cases, the IUD can push through the wall of the uterus and need to be removed surgically. However, I was told that all the bending and squishing that happens in the gym wouldn’t increase the likelihood of this, and it can happen regardless of the level or type of physical activity you do.

Does it hurt to have an IUD and train jiu-jitsu? The first few months after I got my IUD put in, I experienced light to moderate cramping that would happen at seemingly random times. However, my training schedule didn’t seem to affect the timing or intensity of the cramps, and a year later, I don’t have any at all. During training, no matter how much I get crushed, I don’t feel my IUD at all.

Does an IUD affect weight gain or loss? If your weight is sensitive to hormonal birth control, you might experience fluctuations if you get a hormonal IUD. However, copper IUDs don’t rely on hormones to prevent pregnancy, so you shouldn’t experience any significant changes in weight after getting one. If you compete a lot and have to regularly cut or maintain strict control of your weight, this may be something to consider when making your choice.

Will an IUD affect my menstrual cycle? Entering shark week unexpectedly in the middle of class while wearing a white gi is on my list of worst fears, and since hormonal IUDs (but not copper IUDs!) can alter the schedule and flow of your periods, this is also something to think about when deciding which IUD you’d like to use. Personally, I don’t even get actual periods anymore after a year with my IUD, which I love. However, I still get “phantom” symptoms around the times that my period would normally show up, including minor cramping, fatigue, and mood fluctuations. But again, everyone is different. Ask yourself if irregular cycles (which can happen as your body adjusts to the device) would be detrimental to your training or competition schedule. Or, if your periods are already having a negative impact on your training due to pain or fatigue, ask yourself if the reduction in symptoms that a hormonal IUD could provide might benefit you more.

Will an IUD affect the way I train? I was a bendy, inverting guard-puller before I got my IUD, and I’m still a bendy, inverting guard-puller now. Once my body got used to having the device inside me and my cramps subsided, I was able to train just like I always had been.

While my experience as a BJJ girl with an IUD is my own and you should always take your personal health and preferences into account when choosing your form of birth control, don’t let your love of jiu-jitsu be the only thing stopping you from getting one.

If you have any questions about training BJJ with an IUD that this article doesn’t cover, feel free to reach out or comment, and I’ll do my best to add the information!


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