|IUD cookies, anyone?|
I debated whether to write this post, and I very well might still delete it. Kamila recently wrote about her experiences with the pill, and after a few comments back and forth, urged me to write about my experiences. So here goes nothing.
I've had an IUD for more than a year now. I get a ton of questions about it, so I wanted to get my thoughts together on this.
About IUDsIUDs, or intrauterine devices, are long-term birth control devices that are placed in your uterus by a doctor. There are two major brands in the U.S., Mirena and ParaGard. Mirena contains hormones and lasts for five years, whereas ParaGard is a copper-based device that's good for 10 years.
In the U.S., IUDs get a bad rap because back in the '70s, they tested them on prostitutes who had horrible reactions because the profession puts women at higher risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause permanent infertility with and IUD. As a result, they fell out of favor for a long time - domestically. In other countries, there are dozens of different types of IUDs because they never had the controversy (learn more about the Dalkon Shield debacle).
Until recently, doctors only recommended IUDs for women who have already had at least one child and are in long-term relationships.
I found an IUD attractive because it was long term and reversible. Mirena also has the distinct advantage of reducing or, in my case, eliminating periods. Like ever. #winning
The IUD surgeryThe process here started with calling my OB/GYN. She actually referred me to a nurse practitioner who saw me for a consultation to see if I would be a suitable candidate.
Because I don't have kiddos, the nurse told me to call the office as soon as I got my period next because my cervix would be slightly open. That night, I took a pill to exaggerate the effect as much as possible, then went in for my little procedure the next day.
I won't lie, it hurt. A shit ton.
|This is why this shit hurts: A video|
|There it is.|
The side effectsI had a period for about a month, on and off, as my body adjusted. I also had little contractions for two or three days, which scared me because they hurt a lot and I was afraid my body would push it out. If it did, I'd have to pay and go through all of that twice. No bueno.
For the first few weeks, I constantly worried it would fall out and I wouldn't notice. I eventually stopped thinking about it after I saw a picture of it on an Xray and realized I'm being paranoid.
The costI have insurance as well as a flexible spending account provided by our employer, so this cost me nothing out of pocket. If I didn't have insurance, it would have been $2,000. Insurance covered all but $500 and the FSA paid the rest. I hear that this is covered under ObamaCare, though. For comparison's sake, the pill cost me $28 for three months, or $560 for five years. So we're not talking about a big cost savings here.
Long term side effects
- Not getting pregnant?
- I don't get periods. I like this, but I'm sure some people find it freaky. As a result, I don't get PMS or cramps.
- I can occasionally feel the thing. It's weird.
My final thoughtsI love my IUD and would get it again. It was painful and slightly expensive, but it's birth control that I don't have to think about and has less of a margin of error (eliminating user error). It was actually a relief to get this done because the idea of an unplanned pregnancy freaked me out. I am nowhere near ready for kids, and I feel like getting knocked up right now would send me into a flailing panic spiral because I've already screwed up in raising a dog, and he can't even talk. It's basically bought me five years to get my act together and plan, decide and budget for the next stage in life ... whatever that may be. Until then, I'm really happy with my little family.
Questions? Leave me a comment or e-mail me.