Ten Things Nobody Tells You Before Getting an IUD

Ten Things Nobody Tells You Before Getting an IUD

Ten Things Nobody Tells You Before Getting an IUD


Long-term, reversible contraceptives; women from the 19th century could only have dreamt about such things, but here it is, ready to be taken advantage of by the modern woman. As with any medical innovation, however, there are always going to be age-old, preconceived notions about a device which has come leaps and bounds in terms of product development and research. The IUD is no different, so if you are looking for a newer and more hormone-friendly birth control method, read up below on the ten most common aspects of IUD fitment that you’re rarely ever told.


IUD Facts and Fiction


1)      IUDs are more effective than the Pill

If you really don't want to have a baby, the IUD is a pretty smart bet. It's more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, which puts it up there with getting your tubes tied or having your guy get a vasectomy.


2)      They're super-safe

Your mom or grandma (told you about those out-dated notions!) might think that IUDs are dangerous, but that's not true. Blame the bad rap on the Dalkon Shield, an old IUD that led to pelvic infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, and infertility. This faulty model was taken off the market in 1974, and "current versions of the IUD don't have any of those problems!


3)      They're practically maintenance-free

Forget taking a pill every day, changing a ring every month, or getting a shot every 3 months. Once an IUD goes in, you're pretty much good to go for anywhere from 3 to 10 years (depending on the model you choose). That's largely why they're so effective: It's pretty hard to mess up when you weren't really supposed to be doing anything in the first place.


4)      They are super affordable

You may be taken aback at the upfront cost (some are in the low region of less than R 2 500.00) – but consider the amount you spend per month on your typical contraceptive – whether it be the pill, the patch – you name it. Add up those monthly costs for 5 years or 60 months, and the IUB device will undoubtedly come out the winner.


5)      Getting one put in isn't always painful

Many women do experience cramping, which may last for a few minutes or a few days. Doctors say that women who have had children may be less likely to suffer, but that's not always true: Some mom’s swear it hurts more than childbirth. Some people also get dizzy, so you may want to bring a friend who can drive you home after.


6)      You CAN get one even if you’ve never had children

Years ago, women who hadn't had kids were told IUDs were not for them. That rule no longer exists. IUDs are safe for most women, including teens. Although none of them are big (think half the size of a sugar packet), some are even tinier—which can make insertion more comfortable in women who haven't had their cervix stretched out by a baby.


7)      Your fertility should not be affected by non-hormonal IUD’s

If you're on the fence—or if you think that your first (or next) baby is at least 3 years away—you shouldn't be dissuaded: You can have an IUD taken out at any point, and it doesn't matter if the device was designed to last 3 years or 10. Your fertility will return to its normal status right away, so you could even get pregnant the following month.


8)      It should not be felt during sex

It’s almost impossible for your guy to feel it because the string is so soft. Mirena comes with a thicker string, so your guy could theoretically detect it—but that's only true if your provider cuts the string too short. (It needs to be long enough to curl up a little around your cervix; otherwise, it will stick straight out.) You can avoid this problem by choosing a doctor who's had plenty of experience inserting IUDs


9)      An IUD may affect your period

There are several IUDs on the market, and there are various pros and cons to consider. The biggest factor is whether or not you want hormones: Most IUDs (including Mirena and Skyla) are coated with progesterone, so they work by making your cervical mucus hostile to sperm. Hormonal IUDs come with the nice perk of lightening your periods: About 80% of women who get a Mirena will find that their periods only last a day or two; a lucky 20% will have no periods at all.


10)   They are one of the few contraceptive methods that do not stop you from ovulating

If the thought of putting your ovulation on hold kind of freaks you out, the IUD might be a good option. Even the progestin in the hormonal IUD stays mostly in your uterus, with very little getting absorbed into your bloodstream. For some women, these hormones may impact ovulation a little bit in the first year or so, but that will balance out after a while.  And if you're on the copper IUD, it won't affect ovulation at all.


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