**UPDATE (10/14/13): I had the IUD removed due to acne side effect. About 6 months after the insertion of the IUD, I began breaking out all over my face and even a little on my back! Eventually I couldn’t take it any longer and I removed the IUD myself. You are supposed to get it removed from a doctor, but you can do it yourself easily by finding the string inside and pulling it out like you would a tampon. It is quick, painless, and most of all safe. If you have any issues removing or feel pain, please go to a doctor as you may have some complications with your IUD. This form of BC is really great, but just didn’t work well for me. Let me know if you have any questions and I will be happy to answer them for you.**
First off, if you are a minor, stay away from sex! Don’t tell your parents that I didn’t tell you so! This blog post is directed to the older girls out there who are reading my blog.
Let me first say, if you are not using any form of BC (birth control) and you are sexually active, you need to get on that! You are fertile and do not want to accidentally get pregnant, TRUST ME. You think it won’t happen to you, but oh yes it will! It’s horrible to get an unplanned pregnancy and it causes you lots of unnecessary stress. Don’t put it off, get some form of BC ASAP.
The list goes on for all the different BC options out there. There’s pills, rings, patches, condoms, implants, spermicides… and the list goes on. Check out this list comparing the effectiveness of each type of BC method.
The most common form of BC is the pill. I’m sure you or your friends have tried it or are on it. I’ve been on several different ones in the last several years. The first one I had made me really moody and emotional. The second one I had worked well and I didn’t have too much trouble with it. It also made my period lighter and helped regulate it. The third one I used had less hormones in it. You can think of that pill as being the “fat free” or “lite” pill, lol. That one worked quite well too, or so I think it did since it had less hormones. The underlining problem with all of the pills that I took was that I simply wasn’t able to take it everyday at the same time. I think my problem with getting into a routine was that I was in college and didn’t really have much of a routine. I would always sleep or wake up at different times and I was always on the go. Also if you throw in partying, that totally throws off your schedule as well. Because I would always miss my pills, I ended up taking two or three pills sometimes on the same day! Yea, your probably thinking… “Well I’m not that retarded, and I am capable of taking the pill everyday without forgetting.” Pfft, well lucky you then!
Making the Switch
Recently, about 4 months ago to be exact, I opted for the IUD. What led me to this change was that I ran out of my BC pills, forcing me to either replenish them or try something new. I decided to try something new. I remember learning in my Sex and Behavior class in college that an IUD is actually one of the best forms of BC and most doctors will actually choose to get an IUD over using any other BC option for themselves.
One thing that you need to know about first is that there are two different types (Read more about IUD’s here). The one that I choose to go with was the Mirena IUD. This particular IUD lasts for a max of 5 years. It cost me about ~$400 for everything, including insertion.
What’s great about having an IUD is that you can live life freely and do what you want without having to worry. In fact, there is a survey that says many women enjoy sex more because they do not need to worry about pregnancy. The hormones released from the Mirena IUD is local to only around the cervix. If you wanted to become pregnant, you can simply remove the IUD and you will instantly be perfectly fertile without any side effects.
I called in to schedule an appointment a couple of weeks in advanced. The day of my appointment, I was told to eat something since I was given pain killers. The entire process in the office from beginning to end with a successful insertion took about 2 hours. After I checked in, they had me give a urine test to make sure that I was not already pregnant. Then I took the pain killers and waited in the waiting room for them to kick in. Next, I went in to see a doctor to go over which IUD I would want. Before you know it, I’m sitting in a room with the Doctor and an assistant with all the Doctor’s insertion tools up my parts. Supposedly, it should feel like a pap smear, but.. I’ve had those before and this actually hurt more than that. What’s crazy was that the doctor knows exactly when it will hurt during the procedure. She would tell me, “ok, you’re going to feel a bit of cramping right around here *press where she’s talking about*, just take deep breaths.” My doctor that I had was great! There were about two pretty strong crampings. They were nothing like I’ve ever felt before, and I have really high pain tolerance. It kind of felt like a switch too because I would be completely fine one second and then all of a sudden there is a strong dense pain and then its all gone again like it never happened. Once the insertion is done, the doctor cuts a string and you’re all set to go.
About a month and a half after your insertion, you are supposed to go back to the doctor to have your IUD checked. For me, everything was completely fine. It’s a good idea to check the string every now and then though. It’s really easy to check and I’m not gonna explain it here. But something I will mention is that you might feel your IUD for the first several weeks. In the beginning I could kind of tell that there was something there and I kept worrying that it would fall out. Eventually I got used to it and realized that it wasn’t going to just “fall out.” In fact it’s really hard for it to do so. Another thing to note is that at first you will also feel the strings. This is because the strings are new and a little stiff. They weren’t the type of strings I imagined them to be by the way. These strings felt like thin wires! They sometimes poke the insides of you which can get annoying. When the strings have softened after several months, they will curl up towards the top wall and they will no longer get in the way. If they are still a problem for you, you can return to your doctor and they will cut it shorter.
Anyways, I just wanted to share with you all a little bit about this. I know it’s kind of personal but I think that it helps. By the way, if you can’t afford it or don’t have insurance, I would recommend looking into getting it at Planned Parenthood. They will ask you how much your monthly income before tax and based off of what you tell them, they will give you the price that you need to pay. So if you don’t have any income, you probably don’t have to really pay anything.. Just a tip.. But don’t cheat the system if you do have the money!
Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll be happy to answer.