My friends are always coming to me with questions about my IUD. Another friend of mine has one, and I’d say about 25 percent of our texts end with #MirenaProblems. I absolutely love having an IUD, but there are certain things only people with IUDs can really relate to. Like PMSing when you don’t ever get a period. Anyway, IUDs are awesome! While I hate the reason I had to get one, I love having it so my situation ended up being a win. IUDs are becoming more and more common because they’re so awesome.
I didn’t know much about IUDs until I started talking to my gynecologist about them. I had run out of birth control options that worked for me, and my gyno finally said I should get an IUD. It was safe for me after having a pulmonary embolism, and it would help take care of my awful periods that I was still getting. (You try having your period on blood thinners and tell me you don’t want them to stop!) Anyway, I did my research and decided it was the best thing for me, but I wish I had more information when I was figuring things out. So if you’re considering an IUD, or you’re just curious, read through these IUD facts:
There Are Different Kinds
There are two types of IUDs: hormonal and copper. The copper IUD, called Paragard, doesn't contain hormones and can be used for up to 10 years. The copper IUD works by making the uterus toxic to sperm. Hormonal IUDs, like Mirena and the new Skyla, can be used for up to 3 (Skyla) to 5 (Mirena) years. Mirena and Skyla both release levonorgestrel, a form of progestin that prevents pregnancy. Skyla is fairly new and a bit smaller than Mirena, which is why doctors are suggesting it for teens and young adults.
Gynos Love IUDs
Gynos are ALL about IUDs, you guys. They love them because they are safe and effective. The American College Of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that IUDs are the most effective reversible contraceptions there are and that IUDs are first-line treatments that every doctor should be recommending.
IUDs Are Super Effective
They're actually the most effective form of birth control next to abstinence and sterilization.
IUDs Can Stop Your Periods
I haven't had my period in two years. Some women will continue to have periods, but most women stop getting them altogether. You might experience some spotting every now and then.
They Don't Help Your Skin
I wish this weren't true, but it is. Some birth control pills can help control acne, but IUDs do not. If you have a hormonal IUD like Mirena or Skyla, they don't contain hormones that will affect your skin. The hormones are also local, so they wouldn't affect your skin anyway. If you're concerned about your skin, discuss it with a dermatologist so you can go on a regimen before getting an IUD.
You Will Cramp
Look, I won't lie. Getting my IUD inserted was no cake walk. It hurt, and I cramped for about two weeks. However, the cramps are no worse than cramps you get during your period.
Infections Are Rare & IUDs Don't Cause Infertility
People are afraid of IUDs because old IUDs were not safe like the ones that are available today. Risk of infection is extremely rare. Mirena lists that less than 1% of women who use Mirena develop Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. And the whole myth of IUDs causing infertility is just not true.
No, You Can't Skip Condoms
While having a birth control you don't have to think about is awesome, IUDs do NOT protect against STDs. Just because you have an IUD does not mean you can skip condoms and go around having unsafe sex. Condoms protect you and your partner from unwanted diseases so just use them!
They're Expensive, But A Lot Of Insurances Cover It
IUDs are birth control, which is covered by most (if not all) insurances. The procedure to have it inserted might not be covered, but check with your insurance provider. IUDs are expensive upfront, but actually end up being cheaper in the long run because they last for so long.
You Don't Have To Have Kids Already To Get One
This was a myth for a very long time, but it's not true, especially now with the availability of the smaller Skyla IUD. Your cervix has to be a certain size to insert an IUD, and it's easier to insert after you've had a child already. But I did not have a baby and was able to get Mirena without any issues.
What do you think about IUDs? Do you have one? Are you thinking about getting one?Tell us in the comments!