Maybe a friend recently sang the praises of her IUDan excited gleam in her eyes as she tried to get you to join the club. Or maybe you want the option of an incredibly effective, reversible, yet hormone-free method of birth control. There are plenty of reasons why you might consider an IUD, but before you settle on one, there are few things you need to know.
A woman's photo of her newborn baby — just delivered, and with the intrauterine device IUD that failed to prevent her pregnancy clenched in his tiny fist — has gone viral. But how does a woman get pregnant while using an IUD? The photo has since been removed, but not before it was shared tens of thousands of times on social media.
After years in unofficial exile, the IUD is finally making a much-deserved comeback in the U. Fortunately, medical providers and researcherswith the help of the mediaare making major progress in spreading the word that new models of the IUD are safe, low-maintenance, super-effective, and can be used by most people with a uterus. In spite of all the good news about IUDs, there are still lots of myths and misunderstandings about it rattling around the internet and even among health care providers.
When people think about practicing safe sexthey have two basic concerns. The first concern is, at least in theory, universal. Everyone needs to consider protection against sexually transmitted diseases. The second concern is unique to heterosexual couples.
Pediatricians and gynecologists met the news with great enthusiasm, since it demonstrates that IUDs can be safely and effectively provided to teens and adds to birth control options for young women. IUDs are one of the most effective contraceptive choices that are controlled by women, overcoming the challenges of condom negotiation that many women are unable to navigate. A condom requires men to be complicit in pregnancy prevention, whereas IUDs empower women to make their own reproductive decisions.
Contraception can be used to prevent pregnancy and some types will also protect you from sexually transmissible infections STIs. You might find yourself asking: Which method will be best for me and my lifestyle? Which method protects against STIs?
Teen mothers are much less likely to use condoms when they have long-acting contraceptive implants like intrauterine devices IUDs than peers using other types of birth control, a U. Because long-acting contraceptives are so effective against preventing pregnancy, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists ACOG recommends that new mothers of all ages be offered this type of birth control before they leave the hospital with a new baby. In a sign of success with this approach, increased use of IUDs and other forms of long-acting contraception have been linked to declining teen pregnancy and birth rates in the U.
And unlike other birth control options like the pill, the ring, or condoms, there isn't a risk for straight-up human error. Your doctor inserts the IUD and it just stays there. It's a set-it-and-forget-it thing.
And if it fails, you too will be on the hook for all the joys and horrors of parenting, including but not limited to: staying up through the night with a colicky baby, moderating temper tantrums on a long flight, and eventually the cost of orthodontia. According to the Guttmacher Institutethere are 43 million women in the US right now who are at risk of unwanted pregnancy, which means there are a whole lot of men out there who are similarly at risk. Of course, not everyone at risk is female nor does everyone subscribe to the gender binary.
Intrauterine devices are one of most effective methods of birth control on the market, especially when you account for human error, such as condoms breaking during sex or occasionally forgetting to take a birth control pill. Based on typical use, IUDs are 45 times more effective that the pill and 90 times more effective than male condomsaccording to the Guttmacher Institute. The small, T-shaped devices -- we're talking half the size of a tube of Chapstick -- are also long-lasting and easily reversible.