Sexual health and awareness is a topic that NEEDS to be talked about, so let’s talk about a form of birth control called an IUD.
*Disclaimer* Men – if you think this topic does not pertain to you, you are wrong. This topic pertains to anyone who has gone through puberty.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s start off with the definition of an IUD in case you have never heard of it before.
Intrauterine Device: “a little, t-shaped piece of plastic that gets put in your uterus to mess with the way sperm can move and prevent them from fertilizing an egg. Sounds odd, but it works like a charm. IUDs offer years of protection—between three and twelve, depending on the type you get. And if you want to get pregnant, you can have the IUD removed at any time.” (Thanks for that, The National Campaign To Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy!)
The sound of it can be scary – “A t-shaped plastic thing being inserted into my uterus? No thanks!”
But in reality, according to Planned Parenthood, they have seen a 91% increase in women seeking IUDs over the last five years. (link here)
I had a hormonal IUD (Skyla) inserted about a year and a half ago for many reasons – one being that I was moving to China and knew my body couldn’t handle switching birth control pills once I got out here. On top of that, having to pick it up every month and remembering to take it at the same time every day use to be such a hassle.
The convenience alone of the IUD was enough to get me interested, but I was still unsure about if it was worth going through that 10 minutes of initial pain, and the possibility of cramps/spotting for a few months after. Reading about how hormonal IUDs can be used to help lighten periods, ease severe cramping, and even help those who suffer with anemia is what hooked me.
After the first few months of my body getting use to the foreign object in my uterus, I noticed a big difference in my monthly cramps – they still happen to this day, but not nearly as severe as I once had them. Before starting birth control, I can remember countless times in middle and high school of going to the nurse’s office for ibuprofen and a heating pad, where I would lay for an hour until the pain subsided or at least eased up. I would stay home from school, vomiting, on the verge of passing out due the the intensity of the pain. Luckily for me, after two month of having the IUD, I was having relatively normal periods with minor cramping! YAY!
While IUDs aren’t for everybody, we are in the works of a revolution in women’s health around the world! Here are some facts about IUDs that might buy you in, too!
IUDs come in two types – hormonal and copper – and have a few differences you’ll want to look into before deciding. Your gynecologist will typically have a suggestion as to which is best for you!
IUDs are known for their 99% effectiveness at preventing unwanted pregnancies, in comparison to other less-effective contraceptives.
IUDs can effectively stay in the body anywhere from 3-12 YEARS depending on which type you go with.
Once inserted, IUDs can simply be forgotten about until the time comes to replace it or just remove it. Besides your usual gynecology check-ups, there is hardly any upkeep!
Another cool thing – if you decide you want to get pregnant, the IUD can be removed at any time by your gynecologist, and you’re free to attempt procreating! Whereas with birth control pills, getting pregnant shortly after can be much harder due to the drastic hormonal changes in your body that comes with the getting off of the pill.
Honestly, I am truly grateful for science coming up with this little do-hickey. My life has been a thousand times easier having more regular periods that don’t restrict my every-day life.
What are your experiences with IUDs?
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