Sunday, October 17, 2010


Mirena IUD

I have an IUD. I am pretty much in love with it. Over the years, I had heard all sorts of things about them, but the biggest thing was that IUDs were mainly for married women who were done having children. AKA, not me. It also seemed like kind of a pain (pun intended) to get it inserted, cost alot of money, etc etc etc.

Well, first off, pretty much anyone can get an IUD. You don't have to be married, or "done" having babies. It turns out, IUDs are recommended for post-having babies women because giving birth stretches out your uterus, which makes the IUD insertion generally less painful and less likely to be expelled. However, that doesn't mean you can't get one if you haven't given birth.

Since I was no longer happy using oral contraceptive pills, I decided to take the plunge and get a Mirena in June. The ENTIRE thing was covered by my insurance so I figured worst-case, if I hated it, I could get it removed after three months and then go back on the Pill. I was pleasantly surprised to find the insertion wasn't terribly uncomfortable. I had cramping and spotting afterwards for a few weeks on and off. Then it was over and everything has been going swimmingly since.

I bring this up not only because I think the IUD is an underutilized form of birth control, but also because post-abortion and post-partum IUD insertion is becoming a growing trend here in the US. Since the cervix is already dilated and you already have your feet in the stirrups, it's a pretty convenient time to get your birth control taken care of for the next couple years. In addition to the convenience, there is also evidence to suggest this is a particularly useful form of birth control for low-income populations because it lasts for so long and does not require a lot of maintenance (versus having to go to the pharmacy every month to pick up pills, pay for the pills every month, etc). Plus, getting an IUD inserted at the time of an abortion is helpful because it saves the woman an additional trip to the doctor.

A very low percentage of U.S. women in general use the IUD, and even smaller amount of low-income women use it. Studies have suggested about 1% of low-income young women use it as a method of birth control. Informed counseling, I think, can change this, and there are programs out there which offer IUDs for free/low-cost to qualifying patients. For clinic-working abortioneers out there, if your clinic doesn't offer IUD insertion, or have discounts for low income women, it might be worth checking your state laws, programs, etc... maybe something is out there.


  1. I really want an IUD. Maybe it'll be my birthday present to myself, lol. Right now I rely solely on condoms.

  2. Cool beans. I've always liked the thought of an IUD for birth control but wasn't sure I could get one due to the "have had one or more children" disclamers you hear on the commercials for Mirena and such.

  3. I got an IUD last month, I love it. I tried getting one after my abortion but the insurance wouldn't cover I had to wait and get help from planned parenthood. My income was low enough to get the help I needed to finally get a birth control that wouldn't fuck with my body. Hormonal methods don't work well for me, so I had to get Paraguard, it has been awesome to not have something that gives me serious mood swings or makes me lose my hair!

  4. i love, love, love my IUD. i have the paragard and it's been fantastic.
    i will never use another form of birth control again, unless it's to be permanently sterilized, that's how much i love it.
    plus, since i was low income at time of insertion, the entire thing was done free of cost at planned parenthood.
    they are pretty much the best organization for sexual health, EVER.

  5. Great article! I tried out the nuva ring a few months ago and really dug it too. You do have to refill every month, but the hormone dosage was way less than the pills I had tried before that (which made me depressed, lowered my sex drive, etc etc.) AND you only have to remove/reinsert once a month, right before and after your cycle, respectively, making it much more effective contraceptive. And hella convenient for my crazy mixed up bartending schedule. Like ProChoiceGal I rely solely on condoms ATM because I don't have sex enough to make keeping up with it/paying for it worth it> But if I do get into a consistent sexual relationship I will definitely look into IUD, seeing as I do not want kids anytime at all within the next 10 years.

  6. I just got off the Pill after about 6 years of being on it. I'm only using condoms right now, but I'm thinking that I might need to be using something more reliable than condoms.
    Maybe I'll look into getting an IUD. Do all Planned Parenthoods offer IUDs for free?

  7. What's REALLY dumb is how unmarried/young women are prime candidates for the IUD. Think about it: it can last anywhere from 5-10 years, so if you give it to a 16 year old she's protected from pregnancy at least until she's 21. HELLO?! This is the answer to teenage pregnancy!

  8. KK, I don't think it's as simple as that, but PP is definitely a good place to start. The programs mentioned by mr. banana grabber tend offer assistance based on your income and/or whether you lack insurance coverage, but I'm not sure if that's what PP uses and if it's at every facility -- probably best to call your closest one and ask them specifically!

  9. LOVE my Mirena. I was on Depo before, which I also loved, but my coverage under my parent's insurance was running out when I turned 25, so I got the Mirena. I will also never use anything else, unless it's sterilization.

  10. I loved my ParaGard, but then my cervix said it was time for it to leave.

    Michigan's PlanFirst covers IUDs. It was great.


This is not a debate forum -- there are hundreds of other sites for that. This is a safe space for abortion care providers and one that respects the full spectrum of reproductive choices; comments that are not in that spirit will either wind up in the spam filter or languish in the moderation queue.