Many young women start “the pill” around 16 years old, to help with hormonal acne and to regulate irregular periods. As women mature and become more educated about their natural cycles they have a tendency to explore alternative birth control methods. There are a total of 12 birth control options on the market but, today we are focusing on IUD or intrauterine devices.
What is an IUD?
Imagine a birth control with no hormones, no daily pill and no monthly pharmacy trips. Sounds too good to be true, right? An IUD, or intrauterine device is a copper T shaped device that is inserted into the uterus to block the fertilization of a sperm and egg. They are 99% effective and can last 3-12 years depending on the type of IUD inserted.
The Step by Step process
STEP 1: Consultation
The whole process begins by going to the gynecologist for a consultation and explaining concerns about your current birth control method. Make sure to ask about ALL 5 IUD options, as some contain hormones and some don’t. Your doctor will guide you to choose the best type for your specific body and needs.
STEP 2: Make an Appointment
You will have to make another appointment for the actual insertion, and some doctors may recommend taking some sort of Advil, Tylenol, or medicine 30 minutes before the insertion because it can be a bit painful for some people. The doctor will begin by measuring the opening of the cervix to make sure the IUD fits properly. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes. It is super quick and easy, but known to be uncomfortable. Some women may feel a couple of cramps during the procedure which is painful but goes away quickly.
STEP 3: Possible Downtime
The next few days following the insertion can be rough. Some women experience cramping and bleeding. Other women might not have any pain at all and can go about their daily routine.
Everyone’s bodies are so different and react in various ways. When it comes to birth control, it’s important to pick the best option for YOU and ONLY YOU. You know your body the best, so listen to it. If that means an IUD, then go for it. If that means natural cycles, then do that!