An Open Love Letter to My IUD

paragard IUDDearest Para,

I am assuming it's all right for me to call you Para. We are, after all, quite intimately acquainted at this point. You've been inside of me, for heaven's sake, first for five years, then again more recently for the past eight months. And all that time, you, my trusty ParaGard IUD, have been stealthily providing me with monthly reassurance that no more little people are going to grow in there. Not with you guarding my uterus.

And let me just tell you, I love you for it.

As one of the few non-hormonal birth control options out there, you are already a close friend. But it's so much more than that, too.


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You have given me an option somewhere between the painful decision to permanently end my husband's and my collective fertility and the fear that comes from using one-off birth control you have to remember to insert or take with a glass of water. And I should know how lucky I am to have found you.

I have used everything from the pill and a sponge to condoms and a diaphragm and back again. I even used VCF (vaginal contraceptive film) -- that weird thin, paper-like film that you push inside yourself. Yuck. They were all okay (as in, look at all the babies I DON'T have!). But they were nothing like you.

There were side effects galore. The reason I left the pill -- the one before my first child and the one before you -- was because of those. I would cry all the time for no good reason, had trouble losing weight, and generally felt that messing with my hormones, given my family history of breast cancer, was a bad idea.

Then you came along. And everything was different.

Just six short weeks after the birth of my second child (which happened 18 months after the birth of my first), there you were. Like a T-shaped knight in shining armor. The doctor put you in my body, which I must admit was a little horrifying and sci-fi -- "it can stay in me for 10 YEARS?!" -- but we got over that. And for five years, you stayed just where I wanted you and did everything you were supposed to, all with relative ease and not much pain or inconvenience.

Sure, my periods were a bit heavier for a few months, but that was a small price to pay for being able to be intimate with my husband whenever I wanted without having to remember to take a pill every day at the same time or run to the bathroom and insert something first.

Spontaneity. That's what you gave me. Among other things.

When we finally decided we were ready to have a third baby, I had you removed. It was a painless procedure. So painless, in fact, that I asked the doctor, "Have you started?" five minutes AFTER she'd finished. Impressive you are, little one.

Within two weeks, I was pregnant again, and nine months later, I had my daughter at home. No complications. No perforated uterus or any of the other "scary" side effects that fringe groups want to claim you cause. Really, what they want is to limit women's access to you for religious reasons. Well, forget that.

In a market with a dearth of palatable birth control options, you shine like a beacon. Don't let anyone tear you down or tell you otherwise.

No, you aren't perfect. But perfection in birth control is too much to wish for. Until we get that awesome on-off switch for a man's semen, you are it, friend.

No hormones. No pain. Spontaneous sex. Babies when we want them. You're every woman's dream come true!

Do you have a ParaGard IUD? Do you like it?


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