A glowing IUD
(Dominic Frempong • The Student Life)

As some of you may be aware, Donald Trump has been elected the next President of the United States. While this means a number of things, one major change that will likely come throughout the next four years is a more conservative take on reproductive rights (or lack thereof). Trump has publically announced he intended on defunding Planned Parenthood earlier in the election season, and as a result, many pro-choice supporters have donated money to the organization to show their support. There have also been many posts circulating around social media stating those who can get pregnant should look into getting affordable methods of long-term birth control as soon as possible.

In light of all these events, I decided to share my experiences with getting an IUD. I currently have the Skyla, a hormonal intrauterine device that is inserted non-surgically through your cervix and into your uterus. It’s 99 percent effective and a get-it-and-forget-it type of birth control, and once it’s in, it lasts for up to three years! The other most popular hormonal is the IUD is the Mirena. It’s slightly bigger than the Skyla, emits slightly more hormones, but lasts five years as opposed to three. You can go to your gynecologist to get them inserted. Or, within the next month, a clinic like Planned Parenthood.

I personally love my gynecologist. She calls me “m’dear” and makes me feel very comfortable. I wasn’t worried in the slightest about the procedure, so I didn’t prepare for it at all. It was probably good that I was calm, but in retrospect, I really wish I had taken pain medication before I went in.  

Everybody’s body reacts differently, and mine didn’t react well. For most people, it’s a few moments of pain that feel like a really intense period cramp. I’m going to be real with you all: it’s true! It’s so intense! It will make you appreciate all that your birth-giver has ever done for you! But after those new moments are over, it definitely dulls to normal-range period cramps. I’d suggest then taking some ibuprofen, especially if you didn’t listen to my earlier advice to take some preemptively. My cramps lasted for a couple of days afterwards, but they were only a fraction of the pain during the initial insertion.

Just to be clear, I don’t handle pain well at all. I think my experience was definitely one of the more extreme ones. For some inexplicable reason, my period cramps sometimes make me need to use the bathroom, also … so, to spare you all the details, I ended up spewing out of both ends at my gynecologist’s office at the end of my appointment. Anyways … I haven’t heard of this happening to anyone else. And, despite my unfortunate reaction to insertion, I absolutely love having my IUD.

I spotted for the first couple of months, but now my periods are much lighter and pretty much back on schedule. When I was in a monogamous relationship with someone who had a penis, having sex without a condom was really nice. I still use condoms now for a variety of reasons, but I no longer have that underlying paranoia about getting pregnant I felt like I couldn’t really escape when I wasn’t on birth control.

For me, the decision to get an IUD wasn’t a hard one to make. It was mostly covered by my insurance, I wanted to mess with my hormones as little as possible, and I didn’t trust myself to take anything on a regular basis. Also, I didn’t want to get pregnant. Over a year later, I’m very satisfied with my decision. To quote a favorite meme of mine, I love being a twinkie instead of a toaster strudel.

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