Women Shouldn't Fear IUDs for Birth Control -- Especially Now That They're Free!

Health Check 74

woman deciding between pill and condomNow that the road just got a little bit clearer for women (at least those with private insurance) to obtain preventative health care without a hefty co-pay, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, everyone's raving about how their birth control pills will be free. And that's awesome for the ladies who don't mind hormonal birth control (and all its side effects and potential side effects), but the enactment of the reform actually offers an awesome opportunity to take a second look at a different form of birth control -- one that's totally hormone-free.

As it turns out, use of intrauterine devices (IUDs) has been on the rise over the past few years, as more American women are choosing IUDs and contraceptive implants over the pill and condoms, according to a new national study. That's the good news.

The bad is that the numbers are still way lower than in other countries -- only 8.5 percent of us chose an IUD or implant over other forms of birth control in '09 vs. one-quarter of women in France and Norway! -- due to outdated misconceptions about the device. Like that they can cause pelvic infection and infertility. Agh. So not true!

In fact, the IUD hasn't been associated with such threats since the '70s when women got the first model called the Dalkon Shield. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) have endorsed IUDs and implants, which these days include the hormonal IUD Mirena, the copper-T IUD ParaGard (which gets rave reviews from women I know who have it!), and Implanon (a progestin-only hormonal implant). All of these have a much lower rate of unintended pregnancy than the pill or condoms. And for young women, IUDs are 20 times (!!!) more effective in pregnancy prevention than the freakin', libido-killing, blood clot risk-raising pill! (That's because it's a "set and forget" method.)

And yet ... 30 percent of docs aren't recommending them to younger women who have never had kids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, because they're hung up on some antiquated, disproven issues from 30+ years ago. Ugh! It's enough to make you want to bang your head against the wall.

But being that cost-sharing for the device (which used to be a few hundred bucks) will soon be nil, it'll definitely be worth putting up a fight with any health care provider who tries to steer you away from the form of birth control that suits you best.

How do you feel about IUDs?


birth control, hormonal imbalances, menstruation, sex life


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the4m... the4mutts

Don't be stupid. Women CHOOSING the pill isn't some tragedy. Neither is a doc wanting a woman to be as comfortable as possible when having something shoved in hr cervix that has to be surgically removed!!

Btw, if you've had a c-section, and get an IUD, I can perforate the uterine wall where the incision was made, and float around in your abdominal cavity, or even lodge in your intestines.

This isn't some urban legend. Its happend to 3 women VERY close to me. My SIL, my best friend of 8 yrs, and my next door neighbor.

If you want an IUD, by all means, get one. But knock it off with trying to shame American women because fewer of us have them than other countries. An IUD isn't exactly a milestone that just has to be crossed.

OoOJa... OoOJanisOoO

I just had a friend get pregnant with an iud still inside her. Thankfully they were able to remove it without harming the baby. I would never get one.

Stasi... Stasiaandkksmom

I have a IUD and I wouldn't change it for anything. For some people they work and for some they don't, with the exception of heavy cramping I love my IUD

nonmember avatar Stephanie

I have a Mirena and I love it. I wouldn't use anything else.

As a side note, the IUD's aren't surgically removed. There are "strings" attached to it that the doctor cuts to size right after insertion. When you want it removed, they pull on the strings and the IUD folds up and comes right out.

There are some people that are at a higher risk of perforation than others, but the risky part is during insertion. Once it is in there, it doesn't move around.

The doctor actually uses a device called a "sounder" to test your uterine walls before inserting the IUD to make sure that your uterus is the right size and what direction it is tilted.

@the4mutts, I'm thinking that maybe the women in your life got them early on in the IUD evolution where they didn't have all those safeguards in place? I asked my doctor about perforation and she said that it mostly happens during the insertion and you know almost immediately. Hopefully there wasn't any permanent damage done to any of your friends/family.

Candace Hellvira Miller

I have one and it has saved my life. I had a mini stroke from birth control and found out I can't take anything with hormones. They recomended the ParaGaurd copper IUD, it doesn't use chemicles of any kind since the copper is a natural sperm repellant. I have had it going on 5 years now and can't believe no one had ever told me about it before. No side effects, no moodiness, I can't feel it, I don't have to remember to take anything and if I decide to take it out I can get pregnant right away since there are no hormones to leave my system. Oh and no waiting in the beginning either- it starts to work the minute they put it in. I tell everyone about it now....and the dangers of birth control.

first... firsttime_mom27

absoeffinlutely LOVE MY IUD! But, i'm no longer sexually active. OH well...lol

Maias... MaiasMommy619

I love mine and I would do it again!


If it's "FREE", I'll take it!

Good god!

Serious *eye roll*

poshkat poshkat

I loved my paragard. I needed a more permanent solution so I had a tubal, but the paragard was the best B.C. I had before my tubal

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