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What Is An IUD? Everything You Need To Know About IUDs

Today we’ll be talking about one of the best, most effective forms of birth control available; the IUD, which stands for Intrauterine Device.  At the end of the article I’ll share a few stories and experiences with IUDs from my own life which I think you’ll find entertaining and hopefully educational.  Now, I know this isn’t a form of male birth control, but it’s still a very important one to know about.  There are two main types of IUDs; Hormonal, and Non-hormonal (copper).  Both are inserted through the cervix and sit within the uterus.  The procedure to get either is the same but there are some serious differences between the two as we’ll discuss below.  Any of these devices can be removed at any time and fertility will be restored. 

One of the very best features of these little guys is that a girl can actually show you PROOF that she has one.  It will be available in her medical record which she could potentially print out and show you, plus you can feel the little string which protrudes from the cervix slightly, letting you know that it’s still in place.  It would be very difficult to lie about this kind of birth control for these reasons, but you should be having THE TALK regardless.

Hormonal IUDs – 99% effective and last up to 6 years

(Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla)

These IUDs have a small amount of hormones (typically Progestin) inside the device which act locally on the tissues within the uterus, preventing sperm from moving properly and sometimes preventing release of an egg from the ovary, therefore preventing pregnancy.  This mechanism has huge advantages over traditional hormonal birth control which is taken as a pill and can affect other parts of the body, increasing risk of blood clots, heart attacks, and in rare cases death.  These kinds of IUDs can also help with cramping and may decrease the severity of periods or stop them altogether (score!). 

When one of the hormonal IUDs is inserted, the woman can still get pregnant for a week afterwards so a backup form of birth control is still necessary during this time.  There is a way around this though.  If the woman takes Plan B (Levonorgestrel) right before or right after the insertion it will take care of the gap in effectiveness and she cannot get pregnant during this time.  This only needs to be done once, the IUD is then effective for up to 6 years.

Non-Hormonal IUD – 99% effective and lasts up to 12 years

(Paragard)

This type of IUD has a small amount of copper integrated into the same T shape design, and no hormones.  The copper drastically changes the way sperm move and prevents pregnancy by making the sperm unable to get to the egg. 

The copper IUD can also be used as an effective form of EMERGENCY BIRTH CONTROL.  It is effective if inserted UP TO 5 days after unprotected sex.  Once inserted, it is immediately effective and will prevent pregnancy for up to 12 years.

There are a few drawbacks to the copper IUD though.  Many women report worse cramping, heavier bleeding, and generally worse periods, but not all women have this experience.

So yes, IUDs are amazing and are THE BEST form of birth control available at the moment.  You’ll hear all kinds of horror stories about IUDs when you ask around, but the newest ones are far better than the old ones people will likely be talking about, trust me.  I highly recommend them. 

Story time…

I’ve had quite a few amazing women in my life who have had IUDs, so I’ve got my fair share of little tidbits, pieces of advice, and a couple misadventures.  I’ve never gotten any woman pregnant who had an IUD (or any woman for that matter because I’m not an idiot!), and yes, I have a normal sperm count when I’m not killing them off using the methods in MY BOOK.

One of my very first girlfriends back when I was a youngster, maybe 21 years old or so, had the copper IUD inserted about a year into our relationship.  I went with her to the appointment of course, because I’m a gentleman 😉  I watched everything the doctor did, I asked questions, she answered them, and I got to see the whole thing!  It was crazy to me.  They put the “duckbill” thing in (which is called a speculum) to open her vagina enough to see the cervix.  They clean the cervix with iodine, then insert the IUD which is folded into a small tube.  What I wasn’t expecting, and I don’t think she was either, was the immense pain the insertion caused her.  I later learned that Lidocaine (a numbing shot) to the cervix is a much nicer way of inserting an IUD.  I wish all doctors did this but not many do.  (If your girl is thinking of getting one, find a doctor that will put it in with lidocaine, seriously.)

I was so excited that we were going to be able to have some REAL fun now!  Woohoo!  But alas, she was too sore for a few days after for any sex, and once we started having sex again it would hurt her for a couple weeks.  Once things were settled however, it was great!  Aside from the occasional poke from the string…  I distinctly remember having some slow, passionate sex with her in missionary.  Things started heating up and I wanted to go deeper so I thrust as deep as I could.  As I did so I felt an odd sensation.  Not quite a poke…  and when I went as deep as possible I felt the string go INTO MY PENIS.  Right up the urethra!  Good god.  I know some guys are into that kind of thing but for me it was an instant party stopper.  Ouch.  Not fun but thankfully it never happened again.

Fast forward to a year or so later, after we were done making sweet, sweet love, she was going to the bathroom.  I was brushing my teeth next to her (yeah, we were that couple), she said “Hey, what’s this?” with a funny look on her face.  She reached down and put a finger inside her and pulled out her IUD!  AAAHH!  What the fuck?!  That’s not supposed to happen! 

We went to Planned Parenthood that day and told them what happened.  They immediately gave her the morning after pill (Plan B) because once the IUD is out she can get pregnant again.  And since sperm can live within the vagina/uterus for DAYS, we weren’t taking any chances on an accidental pregnancy.

While this is a crazy story, having an IUD actually come out like that is extremely rare.  Just make sure you have some Plan B on hand just in case (as you should anyway), and everything will be fine.  None of my other partners ever had a problem with any other IUD (aside from the occasional string-poke), I promise.

-Freeman

Resources

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/iud

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/mirena/about/pac-20391354

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/paragard/about/pac-20391270

Freeman