IUDs Now A-OK?

I’ve been looking for a new form of birth control for a while. The pill never really interested me—I was on it for nearly a year in high school, but the side effects, along with actually remembering to take it—made it more difficult than helpful. Condoms work, but are expensive and often hampering. And while the withdrawal method has been receiving some good press recently, it still, to me, feels about half a step above crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

However, Kate Klonick made a suggestion on Slate yesterday that could be a potential solution. The IUD, long out of vogue in the US since a series of studies deemed a certain model dangerous in the 1970s, is apparently very popular overseas, and becoming more widely-used stateside.

“The intrauterine device is a small—roughly 1 inch—plastic "T" inserted into the uterus that hampers the interaction and implantation of the sperm and egg. It has to be placed by a gynecologist, but once in, it’s a practically foolproof method of birth control—99 percent effective—that can last up to 10 years. While daily or monthly forms of birth control can cost up to $60 a month, an IUD is a one-time cost between $300 and $500—though it’s often covered by insurance.”

Not only is it effective, but I can’t mess it up—unlike almost every other form of birth control out there, which is subject to my own human deficiencies. Sounds ideal. Hopefully more women looking for hormone free, safe and reliable birth control will find that IUDs aren’t just for our second-wave mothers anymore.

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  • invalid-0

    I took a LOT of flak from the ladies at my state/federally funded Family planning clinic here in western South Dakota when I went in for the preliminary Pap etc. for my Paragard IUD. In fact, they told me I wouldn’t be able to get an IUD (despite already having the green light from the ob/gyn at the local hospital), because, at the time, I wasn’t married. Huh? I quietly wondered if my reproductive organs would experience some transcendent moment of reconfiguration on completion of wedding vows (Still waiting. Maybe my vows weren’t spoken with the right accent on the syllables ;P). But my Ob/gyn was awesome, and I LOVE my IUD. No hormones, no worries! I have a few friends who have also chosen the IUD option, some love it, some it wasn’t perfect for, but I remain very positive after several years with mine.

  • invalid-0

    The mechanism of action of IUD’s is not fully known, but most recent studies show that it is very spermacidal and its actions actually do not allow sperm to be in a position to fertilize an egg. One study in particular showed that there were NO sperm in the fallopian tubes (where fertilization takes place) after sex in ANY women in the group with IUD’s. This is an important distinction for those of us who are pro-life and believe that life begins at conception. I think if this were more widely known, more women would be comfortable using the IUD.

    I just recently got an IUD and love it as well. The reason that many doctors are reluctant to put an IUD in a woman who is not married (i.e. statistically not as likely to be monogamous) is the devastating effects of infections (scarring, difficulty conceiving later, ectopic pregnancy). Many ob/gyn’s do not wish to be liable in this case. At any rate, I support IUD placement in women and I hope this becomes more prevalent in the US.

  • invalid-0

    Hopefully more women looking for hormone free, safe and reliable birth control will find that IUDs aren’t just for our second-wave mothers anymore.

    IUDs aren’t even just for people looking for hormone-free birth control. My hormone-containing Mirena IUD is vastly improving my quality of life (I wanted to type “saving my life” but thought that might be a bit of an exaggeration) by keeping my menorrhagia and resulting anemia under control. :)