I avoided getting an IUD for years because my provider had never told me it was an option for younger women and because of all the negative rumors I had heard about them. When I finally decided to get one after doing research, and talking to my provider, my friends and family had lots of questions for me, mostly because there are so many myths and misconceptions surrounding them.
Many of the negative facts about the IUD that you may hear are talking about the Dalkon Shield that was on the market in the 1970’s and not the Mirena and Paragard IUDs that are available today. Also, the people I talked to thought that I wasn’t eligible to get an IUD since I haven’t had children yet, but that is definitely not true! Many of the concerns about IUDs for young women are tied to the fact that IUDs don’t protect against STIs and that infection can occur if you have an activgetting e and untreated STI when the IUD is inserted. Your provider will give you an STI test before insertion to be sure that you don’t have an STI and will recommend using condoms to protect against future infection.
IUDs can last up to 6 years for the hormonal options and up to 12 years for the non-hormonal IUD, but there is no minimum requirement for how long that you need to keep using it. All you need to do when you don’t want your IUD anymore is call your doctor and make an appointment to have it removed. While using IUDs only 0.05-0.8% of women experience unintended pregnancies compared to 9% of women who use the pill and 18% of women who rely on condoms. The best part is that after IUD insertion, users don’t have to remember to do anything to prevent pregnancy. I know that I definitely don’t miss remembering to take my pill every day.
IUDs aren’t for everyone, but are an option that should be considered if you are looking to start using a contraceptive method or want to change methods. Check out this step-by-step guide from Bedsider for more information.