Birth control is a topic that often isn’t talked about in-depth, and as young womxn, we’re typically left in the dark when trying to make informed medical decisions. When most people think about birth control, what comes to mind? For me, it’s the well-known pill, which is only one of the many methods of birth control available. Thankfully, nowadays, medical information is more readily available to us online or via social media. When I was trying to decide what birth control method was right for me, I couldn’t find any personal accounts of what the experiences were like. So right now, I’ll be talking about my personal experience in deciding to get an intrauterine device (IUD) and what it’s been like since!
First things first – what drew me to the copper IUD? I had been on the birth control pill since I was 16, and I’m coming up on 22. Something about being on hormones for nearly six years and not experiencing a natural period during that time made me uncomfortable, so naturally, I decided to look at non-hormonal methods. I also have a partner and didn’t want to risk an unintended pregnancy. The copper IUD is a 100% hormone-free, long-acting, and reversible method of birth control – it was my ideal method.
The copper IUD is a bendy plastic T-shaped device that is wrapped with copper wiring. The copper currently hanging out in my uterus is what’s protecting me from unwanted pregnancy. The insertion is quick and fairly easy, you just lie there – though it’s uncomfortable and I found mine was painful.
We had a rocky start to our relationship, my IUD and I. I had some cramping and bleeding for a few days after I got it, but it’s been smooth sailing since. I love that my IUD allows me to learn about my cycle off of hormones. I love that my IUD keeps me protected from unwanted pregnancy, and lets me experience my sex life in the way that I want to. We have our struggles, like every dynamic duo – I’ve found that coming off of hormones has given me some wicked mood swings and my periods have changed pretty significantly. What’s so awesome about my copper IUD is that my life is exactly as it would be if I wasn’t using birth control. This can be said for a lot of methods but I like that I don’t need to remember to take a pill, or consciously think about using birth control – because it’s just there! I’m so excited to continue my relationship with my copper IUD for the next 4 years.
Of course, with any prescription birth control, there’s important information that you should be made aware of. It’s important to note that my IUD does not protect me from sexually transmitted infections. If you’re thinking of switching methods or starting a birth control – talk to a doctor! They’ll help you pick one that’s right for you and hopefully, you’ll find yourself writing a love letter to your birth control (or lack thereof).