Tuesday, March 2, 2010

IUD, ironically DUI backwards* Part II

Continued from Part I

Some questions you might have at this point:

If it's so small and effective, how does it work?  Magic.  We really aren't sure, but it is proposed that it causes a local inflammation that confuses and incapacitates the sperm.  Kind of like a Nickelback concert.  The hormonal one has the same hormone as one of the hormones that is in every variation of The Pill, but it's only local so it doesn't work quite like The Pill.

Are there side effects? There are some side effects for sure.  If you have a current cervical infection, the placement of an IUD can lead to a pelvic infection.  But beyond the first 20 days, infection is very rare.  In fact, the hormonal option actually seems to decrease the rate of infections to the upper reproductive tract (i.e. your baby factory).  The hormonal one can cause spotting in between periods but usually this subsides by 6 months (this spotting is common in many birth control options).  The non-hormonal version can cause heavier bleeding, but again, usually subsides by 6 months.  The non-hormonal can also have some increased pain around menstruation, but this typically diminishes too.  It is possible to have the IUD expelled, which would obviously make it not that useful.  It's magical, but not that magical.  The risk isn't very high and you just check every month to make sure the strings are there.  It's also important to note that some beneficial effects of The Pill, decreased acne, decreased hair growth and the such, you don't get with an IUD.  On the flippy side, you don't get the bad parts of The Pill either, blood clots, etc.

How much does it cost?  Around $800.  That seems like a lot but let's do some math 800/(5years *12mo a year)= $13/month.  And for the nonhormonal one, $6.67/month.  Also, some insurance companies cover part or all.

But yo, I'm like super youngs now, and maybe want some babies on the late late, what happens then?  Get your provider to do the ol' pull out method.  Then do the ol' pull out method because your return to fertility (baby makin') is extremely quick, usually within a week (don't actually do the pull out method, that method sucks and is messy).  There are no long term effects on fertility provided there were no complications with the IUD's use.

So what's the problem, you ask?  There really isn't any. The real problem is it just doesn't seem to be popular here. My feeling is that people are just wary of something that other people aren't using when it comes to their bodies.  Women tend to hear about birth control from other women (friends, mom, those secret cult meetings I'm convinced exist) and the IUD isn't popular, so guess what? It isn't popular.

People get a little uncomfortable about having something sitting inside there (The "there" is a uterus.  It is next to a vagina.  Say it with me, "vagina". Now say, "penis".  Now put yo' hands in the air. Wave 'em like you just don't care, Peeenis! Vaagggiina!), even though it's extremely safe; safer than the pill (and much more effective, easier to use, and cheaper in the long run).  But people are pretty quick to have them removed.  15% ask to have it removed for irregular bleeding symptoms, even though, as mentioned, both kinds tend to subside by 6 months and the hormonal version actually decreases bleeding significantly and can even eliminate it (60% have no period after 5 years of use).  So obviously you need to choose for yourself.  And obviously you need to talk to your doctor about it, but if you are looking for cheap, easy, effective, long term birth control, an IUD just might be your guy.

I have one, and I'm loving it.

*you know, because both involve terrible mistakes and can lead to an 18 year loss of freedom when poorly handled.


Nicholas said...

Well, I'm sold. If I was the sort of person who enjoyed trying to talk women into switching their methods of birth control, I would. Everybody knows how much fun THOSE conversations can be.

Krames said...

Are you being paid by the IUD makers to tout their product or what? By the way, we definitely don't have secret cult-like meetings (cough cough) but my friends did say the IUD is expensive.

Meat, M.D. said...

I would totally work for IUDs everywhere if they'd hire me. They won't. They said I wasn't true to the cause because I don't have one put in my uterus.