Why Getting An IUD Is The Best Decision I’ve Made In Years

Why Getting An IUD Is The Best Decision I’ve Made In Years ©iStock/mapodile

I’ve been struggling with birth control methods for upwards of ten years. You name it, I’ve been on it – everything from pills (SO many different pills) to the patch (SO itchy) to the shot (SO inconvenient). Then a friend told me about her IUD. An IUD is a small, plastic T-shaped device that’s inserted into your uterus to prevent pregnancy, and getting one is basically the best decision I’ve made in a long time. Here’s why:

  1. It lasts YEARS! I’m not gonna lie: getting an IUD inserted hurts. But that hurt only lasts about a day or two and then you’re good to go for literally YEARS. Some release hormones (like mine) and last for for 5 to 7 years. Some are simply copper and hormone-free and last up to 10 years. The best part is that should you decide you want to get pregnant, the device can be removed and you can start trying almost immediately.
  2. IUDs have improved drastically since their creation. There was an IUD on the market in the 1970s that was linked to increased pelvic infections in women. It’s been off the market for 25+ years, but it caused a huge drop in IUD usage and controversy ensued (along with a lot of false information). Since then, the design of the IUD has improved and the device has been tested and deemed totally safe by the FDA.
  3. Sometimes your period slows or comes to a complete stop. If you get an IUD that releases hormones, you can look forward to an 80% reduction in bleeding as early as 3 months, and a 90% reduction at 6 months. I have had mine for 2 months and while I did have slight cramping the first month, I have yet to have a period!
  4. It’s the most effective form of birth control available. At 99%, IUDs are the best shot we have at not getting pregnant. Compare that to the 91% of pills or the 82% of condoms alone, and it starts sounding pretty darn good. And then compare THAT to the  78% of the withdrawal method (provided he actually pulls out in time) and the 72% of spermicidal lube and IUDs sound even better. IUDs allow no room for human error (like missing a pill or breaking a condom) and you don’t even have to think about it once it’s inserted!
  5. Your sex life might improve. Without having to worry about taking a pill every day or my period/cramps to get in the way, I feel way more impulsive with sex. The first time I had sex when I normally would have been huddled over in a fetal position crying because of cramps, I shed a tear and whispered, “Thank you, science.”  Your doctor will leave the two strings (really, they felt more like softer fishing wire to me) hanging out of your uterus so that you can make sure your IUD is still in place. You’ll really only be able to feel them if you manage to reach wayyyy up there, but I was really worried about my boyfriend being able to feel the strings (because I made the terrible mistake of reading what random guys on the internet thought about IUDs). So far he hasn’t been able to and it’s not been bothersome at all for either of us.
  6. IUDs can be used while breast feeding. Moms out there: If you know you’re not ready for another bundle of joy quite yet, rest easy knowing IUD’s can be inserted right after childbirth and won’t compromise your breast milk. IUDs are safe enough to be inserted right after a pregnancy or pregnancy termination.
  7. Your insurance will probably cover the cost (or at least some of the cost!) Normally IUDs cost anywhere from $500-$1000. As of right now, most insurance providers are required by law to cover prescription birth control which could mean no copay or deductible or cost to you at all.

So that’s it! Remember that an IUD does not protect against STDs so make sure you’re also using condoms if you’re gettin’ it on with someone new. And of course, be sure to to talk to your doctor first to make sure an IUD is the best fit for you.

Tiffany is a New Orleans-based boudoir photographer (lushboudoirla.com) and freelance writer. Follow her on instagram: @onesmallflower or view her boudoir photographs: @lushboudoir