The Painful Reality of IUDs: Why It's Still Worth It
BY ROXY ALLNUTT
A classic weigh of the risks and benefits
16 APR - 2022
Pain, Pain, Go Away: The Physical and Emotional Discomfort of Getting an IUD.
Okay so IUD insertions, let’s talk about it. And, no, I won't sugarcoat it: inserting one can be a real pain. Literally, but bear with me because the benefits of having an IUD far outweigh the inconvenience. Especially now, after Roe v. Wade, when access to birth control is more important than ever - not just in the U.S.
The reason I want to talk about IUDs today is that A. I have one and have been using it as my method of contraception for the past eight years, and B. Because I have been there for the horrific pains and gut-wrenching experiences, but I actually still recommend it to anyone who is thinking about it. That’s got to say something about it, right?
For those who are unfamiliar, an IUD (intrauterine device) is a small T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUDs are classified into two types: hormonal and copper. The hormonal ones cause your body to produce a small amount of progestin, which thickens your cervical mucus and prevents sperm from reaching your eggs. The copper ones create a toxic environment for sperm and eggs, preventing them from meeting and making babies.
Not having to worry about getting knocked up for up to 12 years is a dream come true. The catch is that getting an IUD inserted can be a lot to go through, and not just because it’s a foreign object is literally being shoved up your uterus.
For starters, there's the pain. Oh, the agony. I'm not going to lie to you, ladies: it hurts like hell. And I'm not referring to a minor pinch or cramp. I'm talking about gut-wrenching, screaming-at-the-top-of-your-lungs agony. The intensity causes some women to faint or vomit. That's not even counting the days of cramping and spotting that can follow.
But it's not just the physical discomfort that's a problem. It's also an emotional anguish. Because, let's be honest, having an IUD implanted can feel like a violation. You're essentially allowing a stranger to stick their hands up your hooha and mess with your internal organs. Even if your doctor is the sweetest, most caring person on the planet, it can feel like a violation of your bodily autonomy.
So, why get an IUD?
Because the benefits are worth it, my dear friends. An IUD not only lasts for years, but it is also one of the most effective forms of birth control available. In a world where abortion is becoming increasingly difficult, having a long-term contraceptive option like an IUD can literally save a woman's life.
Not to mention that women are frequently the ones who bear the burden of birth control. We have to remember to take a pill every day, get a shot every few months, or use whatever other method we prefer. Even so, none of these methods are without flaws. However, with an IUD, you can essentially set it and forget it. No more stressing over whether or not you took your pill on time or whether or not your condom broke during sex.
Now, I understand what some of you are thinking about the horror stories you may have heard about IUDs getting embedded in the uterus, causing infections, and even infertility! And, yes, those are all possibilities. They are, however, extremely rare. The chances of a serious complication from an IUD are extremely low. And if you're concerned, just talk to your doctor or family planning. They can assist you in weighing the risks and benefits and determining whether an IUD is right for you.
I'm not going to lie and say that getting an IUD inserted is a piece of cake. It isn't. However, it is not the end of the world. But for those who are willing to endure the discomfort, the benefits can be life-changing. With access to abortion becoming more limited in parts of the world, having a long-term contraceptive option like an IUD can be crucial. And while there are risks associated with any medical procedure, the chances of experiencing serious complications from an IUD are low. So, if you're considering getting one, don't let fear hold you back. Remember, it's your choice - and that's something to celebrate.