IUD? Yes You Do!
Women have been trying to prevent pregnancy since the beginning of time.
Historically there have been records of individuals using sheep bladder as condoms, lemons in the vagina as a kind of “cervical cap”, Lysol douches, and the old faithful withdrawal method (surprisingly 82% effective) to prevent pregnancy. It was not until the 1960s that the oral contraceptive pill revolutionized the way birth control was administered.
There are now many options outside of the Pill that women can use to prevent pregnancy.
Here’s a run-down of the pros and cons of long-acting contraceptives.
People are often worried about the pain associated with insertion of these devices. Different practitioners may use different medications to decrease pain and anxiety associated with the procedure. It is a crampy process, no doubt. But hey, it’s a lot more painful to push a baby out of your vagina…
Pros of IUDs:
They are long-acting, some can prevent getting your period all together or make them shorter in duration and lighter.
Once implanted, you do not have to think about it for years. Most are as effective as getting your tubes tied.
Cons of IUDs:
There are three main risks of an IUD – infection, perforation (poking a hole in the uterus during insertion) and expulsion (when it falls out). Also, in the odd chance that a pregnancy occurs with an IUD in place, there is an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy (when the fertilized egg implants in the fallopian tube).
There are 3 main IUDs that are used today:
This is a non-hormonal IUD. It is made from copper and prevents pregnancy for up to 10 years, by changing the uterine environment which prevents a fertilized egg from implanting.
It can also be used for emergency contraception.
Is a good option for women who suffer emotional side effects from birth control.
It may make your periods heavier and crampier, so if you already have heavy crampy periods, this is not the IUD for you.
This IUD has progestin in it, which is one of the hormones commonly found in birth control pills.
Mirena lasts for 5 years, and can lighten your periods or even stop them completely. It can be used for treatment for heavy periods and fibroids.
Though unlikely, it can cause minimal weight gain, spotting, and ovarian cysts.
Skyla (aka Jaydess):
This newer IUD also has progestin in it. This was created for women who have not had a delivery yet but would like a long term contraceptive.
It is smaller than the Mirena, therefore hurts less when placed and is easier to place in the uterus. It lasts 3 years, and can lighten your menses or even stop them completely.
Like Mirena, it can cause minimal weight gain, spotting and ovarian cysts.
The current implantable contraceptive is Nexplanon.
This is implanted into your non-dominant arm and lasts for up to 3 years.
It is easy and quick to insert – the worst part of the procedure is the numbing of your arm. Unfortunately, getting it out can be trickier.
Though one out of 5 individuals with it will not get their periods at all, 20% of people with Nexplanon have irregular periods.
Nexplanon can cause some weight gain and ovarian cysts.