One of the best decisions I ever made for my sexual freedom and my sexual health was getting an IUD. It’s that tiny device that your gyno has probably talked to you about because it’s more than 99.9 percent effective and lasts for up to 12 years, depending on the one you get. I have one and I love it. Here’s why:
Sex stopped feeling so burdensome.
You know that anxiety that creeps in when you realize that you might have skipped your pill by accident for a few days and you definitely had sex in that time frame? And then you freak out because you think you’re pregnant? That used to be me, and it used to make sex feel less spontaneous because I was always preoccupied with worrying about whether or not I took my pills. The IUD changed that. I never have to think twice about sex and when I want to have it, I can without a fear looming over me that I’m going to get pregnant.
It’s on the inside so it’s nobody’s business.
I hated the idea of the patch and I hated taking the pill. Of course, both options are right for millions of women, and that’s awesome. After all, taking contraceptives signals that you’re taking charge of your reproductive health, which is empowering. At the same time, I like that with the IUD, it’s a non-issue. I don’t have to worry about my birth control alarm going off while I’m in a meeting at work and I don’t have to entertain conversations about the patch on my arm. It’s my business and mine only.
It was free—can’t beat that.
I got my IUD in 2013, soon after the Affordable Care Act rolled out. My device was free because it qualified as a preventive health measure under the law and was covered by my insurance. Free, y’all! I have a device that at retail costs hundreds of dollars, is more effective than the pill or any other birth control medication, and that I don’t have to think about—ever. My friends with the pill have to go to the pharmacy every month to get their prescription. The IUD has freed up my wallet and my time.
I hardly have a period, so I can have sex whenever and wherever.
One of my favorite things about my IUD is that it basically stops my period (though this is only applicable to certain types, so keep that in mind). My monthly period is so light, I don’t even need a pantyliner. I haven’t spent a dime on feminine products in years, and you know that adds up. I love that I never have to think about my period or plan around it or warn my boyfriend that this week our sexcapades might be a little messier than others.
My sex drive is out of control (in a good way).
So some studies suggest that certain forms of birth control like the pill can decrease your libido because of the influx of hormones in your body. However, a hormonal IUD localizes the hormones in your body which helps prevent low sex drive. I think that is what happened to me—all of a sudden my sex drive sprang free and I’m like ready and willing basically all the time.
I feel super in charge of my reproductive future and that supports my sexual liberation.
I don’t want children for at least five to eight years and I certainly don’t want to accidentally get pregnant. Human error is almost completely taken out of the equation with an IUD, which isn’t the case with the pill. With the IUD, motherhood isn’t this looming thing that I have to manage. Instead, it’s something I can actually put on pause, ignore, and not be reminded about. That’s how it should be.
I’m more in tune with my body.
I hardly have a period, so I have to look for other signs that my body is still ovulating properly. I usually know when it’s about that time because my boobs will swell a little, but nothing too bad. I also have to periodically check to make sure the strings are in the right place. Having to nurture my body in this different way has created a new intimacy within myself.
I feel like I’m getting to experience what it’s like to be a guy.
Let’s be honest—most millennial men rely way too much on women to do the work when it comes to birth control. It seems like the assumption is that women are on birth control anyway so condoms aren’t necessary. This is sometimes very true if you’re in a long-term relationship. I can’t remember the last time my boyfriend and I used one. While using condoms is a matter of risk tolerance and personal preference, it’s a little irritating that the burden almost always falls on the women. Now, it doesn’t fall on either of us, and that feels amazing.
It reflects who I am.
My decision to get an IUD was met with some apprehension from my friends, I think because it wasn’t as popular among young women four years ago as it is now. Plus, not gonna lie, the procedure is a bit daunting. Still, I made that decision in my early twenties, straight out of college because I wanted to give myself an option that fits the lifestyle that I have and want. I’m a busy woman who’s always on the go and I wanted a birth control option that reflected that lifestyle. Ladies, our bodies are our responsibility but our sex lives shouldn’t be a burden. We should be able to be successful, busy women who also have incredible sex when we want, have babies when we want and aren’t inconvenienced by gender and anatomy.
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