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‘My screams were so loud’ Naga Munchetty details husband’s horror over her health ordeal

Naga Munchetty reveals her 'traumatic' coil insertion experience

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BBC presenter Naga Munchetty, 46, has bravely spoken out about the trauma she went through when she got a contraceptive coil, or IUD, fitted by her GP a few years ago. The BBC Breakfast host decided to share her story for the first time after journalist Caitlin Moran questioned, “why are women not offered pain relief for removal and insertion of IUDs?” in her latest column for The Times.

Naga opened up on her “excruciating” experience during her BBC Radio 5 Live show today, which left her husband James Haggar desperately trying to find out what room she was in “to make it stop” after hearing her screaming in pain.

According to the NHS’ website, an IUD is a small T-shaped plastic and copper device that’s put into your womb (uterus) by a doctor or nurse.

The device releases copper to prevent pregnancy, and protects against pregnancy for between five and 10 years. It’s sometimes referred to as a “coil” or “copper coil”.

Detailing the suffering she went through at the time, Naga told listeners: “Before the IUD removal or insertion, women are merely told, ‘this might be a bit uncomfortable’.

“Now, I have a very high pain threshold, and I know this from experience of pain and I’ve been told this by medical experts.

“I’m not, well I wasn’t then, afraid of being in pain, if I knew it would be temporary, nor am I squeamish. 

“Just thought I’d put that out there before I tell you my story and, I warn you, it is a bit unpleasant.”

Naga recalled: “I had a coil fitted a few years ago, and it was one of the most traumatic physical experiences I’ve had. 

 

“I’d gone through what the procedure involved with my GP and she was clear, patient, and informative, so I thought I was prepared for a routine procedure. 

“A nurse accompanied the doctor in the room that the fitting was to take place and I’d been told to take a couple of paracetamol and ibuprofen in the hours before my appointment.”

Naga went on to explain that as she’s never been pregnant before, she had never experienced her cervix being opened, which made the procedure even more painful for her.

The journalist said: “Now, I’ve never been pregnant, therefore my cervix up until then had never been opened.

“My husband was in the GP waiting area, as I’d been told it might be helpful if someone could drive me home.

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“What followed was this, I was told that the smallest sized speculum, which was used for cervical smear tests, wasn’t big enough for this procedure, so I had to have the next size up. That’s when the pain began.”

Naga went on to admit that her screams during the procedure were “so loud” that her husband was left horrified, alongside the other people he was sitting with in the waiting room.

She continued: “Now, I won’t go into all the details, but my screams were so loud that my husband tried to find out what room I was in to make it stop.

“He said that those in the waiting room hearing my screams looked horrified. 

“The nurse accompanying the doctor had tears in her eyes. I was asked by my doctor half way through if I wanted to stop, but I was so determined that the pain I’d suffered so far wouldn’t be repeated, so I said, ‘we’ve got this far, let’s finish it’. I fainted twice. 

“At the follow up appointment a week later, my GP, who is really great, said she couldn’t believe that I’d stuck with it. 

“She said, ‘most women just give up when it hurts that much,’ she also said that she had felt terrible herself after my fitting.”

Naga went on to tell listeners that she wasn’t offered any pain relief during the procedure.

She added: “Though they did ask if we should stop, at no point was it suggested that I could have any anesthetic or sedation. 

“It was removed a year later because it didn’t suit me, and the pain was again excruciating.

“I fainted again and then I burst into tears of relief when I left the GP’s office.”

“I felt violated, weak, and angry,” Naga admitted.

Naga then clarified that she wanted her story to change the conversation about how we look at women’s health and pain. 

She explained: “What this is about is not the coil itself, we know it is safe and effective. What this is about is how we look at all women’s health and pain.”

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