Turns Out, IUDs Can Do More Than Just Prevent Pregnancy

For those of you who didn’t think your IUD could be any cooler, a new study just came out suggesting that your implant might be drastically lowering your chance of cervical cancer. In honor of this news, here’s a list of some of the amazing things your IUD can do for you.

You never have to remember those pills again.

Life is complicated enough as it is. Having to remember to take a pill every day at the exact same time in order to not get pregnant can add a whole other level of stress that really isn’t optimal. IUDs can last up to 12 years, depending on which you get. After the insertion, you’re good to go. You don’t have to remember a thing.

They’re more effective than most forms of birth control.

IUDs are “almost mistake-proof,” making them not only one of the easiest forms of birth control out there but also one of the safest. In fact, fewer than one out of every 100 women who have one gets pregnant every year, and less than 1%. Compare that to the pill (91% effective), condoms (85% effective), and diaphragms (88% effective) and you can see why it’s such a good deal.

They start working right away.

Most hormonal birth control options take a week or two to start working, but IUDs are effective immediately. This means that you can basically walk out of the doctor’s office after insertion and have sex without worrying about getting pregnant. I wouldn’t recommend it because the insertion process can be pretty painful, but hey, if you’re in a hurry, you’re good to go.

You can get pregnant right when they’re taken out 

If you decide that you’re ready to have kids while you still have an IUD, you can have it removed and be fertile right away, so you don’t have to waste any time.

They can reduce cramping.

While cramping is inevitable following the insertion process, hormonal IUDs have been known to reduce cramping long-term for some women because they often lessen the menstrual flow. This is by no means the universal IUD experience, as you’ll discover if you do some research on the topic, but some doctors actually encourage women with heavy cramps to try IUDs.

They open up mental space to think about other things.

It kind of seems too good to be true, but given that IUDs last up to 12 years, depending on which one you get, you can spend a lot less time worrying about whether or not you remembered to take your pill and a lot more time on the actual sex you’re having (or, you know, other things).

You have options. 

You can either get a hormonal or a non-hormonal IUD. While the non-hormonal IUD (the Paragard) has been known to cause heavier cramping and periods, it lasts up to 12 years and is a good option for anyone who wants to avoid hormonal birth control. Hormonal IUDs last anywhere between three and six years, depending on which you get, and vary in size, making the insertion process a little more comfortable.

You may not have to deal with your period every month.

Many women experience very light periods or lose them altogether while using a hormonal IUD. This is amazing if you’re kind of over the whole thing, but if you want to keep your cycle running regularly, the non-hormonal IUD keeps your cycle up an running.

Most insurance covers them.

Depending on your copay, getting an IUD is often extremely affordable, if not free. Plus, it’s a one-time thing. No need to call the pharmacy every month to get a pill refill or keep buying condoms.

If you’ve had emotional issues with the Pill, IUDs might be a lifesaver.

The Pill and other hormonal birth control options have been known to cause severe depression in some people. Because hormonal IUDs emit very small doses of hormones into a specific part of the body rather than a large dose throughout the body the way the Pill or the shot do, it’s not as likely to cause mood swings and depression. While some people have reported depressive symptoms from IUDs, the trend is not nearly as prevalent as it is with other forms of hormonal contraception.

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