IUD Info Dump

27 Jul

In the last few weeks I’ve had conversations with a number of young women who didn’t know what an IUD is.

This disturbs me a lot because the IntraUterine Device is a really effective, economical, and convenient method of birth control.

The IUD is a small T-shaped piece of copper (or plastic or something else depending on the brand) that is placed (non-surgically by a doctor) inside the uterus and prevents pregnancy, but not STI’s. When you decide you want to get pregnant, ask the doctor to take it out.

For a non-hormonal birth control option the only IUD available in the USA is called ParaGard.

ParaGard is an intrauterine device (IUD) that’s inserted into the uterus for long-term birth control (contraception). The T-shaped plastic frame has copper wire coiled around the stem and two copper sleeves along the arms that continuously release copper to bathe the lining of the uterus. ParaGard produces an inflammatory reaction in the uterus that is toxic to sperm, which helps prevent fertilization. ParaGard prevents pregnancy for up to 10 years after insertion. [x]

If you have been using birth control pills for their acne or ovarian cyst benefits there are hormonal options too. Mirena and Skyla are popular in the US. From Skyla’s website:

Skyla releases small amounts of a progestin hormone locally into your uterus at a slow and continuous rate. It is estrogen-free and works continuously for up to 3 years.

Skyla thickens your cervical mucus, inhibits sperm movement, reduces sperm survival and thins the lining of your uterus. These actions work together to prevent pregnancy.

IUD’s sit in the uterus, not the vagina so they shouldn’t be noticeable during sex. This means that unlike with a condom fluids are free to move about as they please. And therefore IUDs do not protect against any STIs.

Why do so many women not know they are an option? From Women’s Health Magazine’s website.

You can blame it on an old version called the Dalkon Shield, an IUD popular in the 1970s. It was pulled from the market in 1974 because it played a role in thousands of infections, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and sepsis. The conditions caused infertility in some women and have been linked to at least 17 deaths. But in 1974, the pocket calculator was considered high-tech—so comparing the old IUD with today’s versions is like pitting Pong against Halo.

IUDs can still cause infection but the rates are much much lower now. About as low as your chances of getting pregnant while using a condom correctly.

The skyla website has info about insurance coverage and how to check your brand. Here is some info on how to get privacy while on your parent’s health insurance.

There are lots of things to consider before getting an IUD and a butt-ton more research to do but they’re a great option for many people. A number of mothers including my own are more than happy to talk about their time with an IUD and the conversation never goes the way my conversations with friends on the pill always go “I always forget to take it and then have to use Plan B…”

There are endless articles on the web about getting and having an IUD. It might not be the right option for you but if you have a uterus then it is an option for you and you should know about it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: