How Does An IUD Affect Your Sex Life? Here Are 4 Changes You Might Not Expect
There are a few things that make me feel like I've really got my sh*t together: a manicure, a clean email inbox, and my birth control. Taking care of your health is like Adulting 101, and this includes mental health, emotional health, and sexual health. There are many different types of birth control, and while the primary purpose is to prevent pregnancy, it can impact other aspects of your life, too. If you're considering an IUD (intrauterine device), you might wonder how an IUD affects your sex life.
According to Dr. Gillian Dean, Senior Director of Medica Services at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, IUDs offer safe, long-term, highly effective birth control for most people. Dr. Dean continues, "They’re more than 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy and the most cost-effective method of birth control, since they can provide coverage for three to 12 years, depending on the type." So, having an IUD can be easy on your wallet and knocks down the chance of getting knocked up. If you're considering getting an IUD, here are a few ways that having one could impact your sex life.
We've all been there: You're getting busy with your boo and then a little voice in your head starts nagging you with worries like, "Did I ever send that work email?" or, "Did I take my Pill?" IUDs are one of the most effective contraceptive methods out there because you can’t forget to use it, like the Pill, or use it incorrectly, like a condom.
Dr. Dean says, "IUDs are 'set it and forget it' birth control. IUDs can make you more comfortable and carefree when having sex — in control of your sexual health and without worrying about the risk of an unintended pregnancy."
Once your IUD is in, you barely have to think about it — it works until it expires (your doctor will tell you how long it's good for) or you have it removed. Not having to worry about your birth control lets you stay in the moment during sex and be confident that you're protected.
Your Period Might Change
Whether your period is light, easy, and barely a blip on your radar or totally takes you down with cramps, tears, and requires super duper tampons, your period probably has an affect on your sex life.
Dr. Dean offers, "Hormonal IUDs (Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla) can help improve your sexual health by making your periods lighter and less painful; in fact, these IUDs are used to treat people who suffer from severe cramps and very heavy periods." If you are like, "Hi, that's me," having an IUD relieve some of these symptoms can improve your sex life.
Although it's totally fine to have sex during your period, fewer bleeding and cramping days might mean there are more days when you feel comfortable having sex on your period. That also might mean that sex requires less cleanup. Win-win!
You Can Get Right To It
When you and your partner are in the heat of the moment, fumbling around for a condom or realizing you don't have one can be a major womp-womp record scratch on your sexy-time playlist. With an IUD, you can be more sexually spontaneous because your protection is already in place.
Although Dr. Dean cautions, "You may want to use condoms along with your IUD to protect against STIs, including HIV. However, if you and your partner choose not to use condoms, using an IUD for birth control means you do not need to stop and think about protection before having sex." So with your IUD in place, let the music play!
You Can Protect Your Libido
It seems counter-intuitive that a method of birth control intended to help you have sex safely and responsibly can make you not want to have sex at all. Yet some hormonal methods of birth control do just that. Using them can be like paying to sky dive, strapping on your parachute, then looking out the hatch in the plane and thinking, "Nah, I'm good."
If your libido is affected by hormones in your birth control, Dr. Dean suggest a certain type of IUD. "For people who prefer a non-hormonal method, the copper IUD is great at preventing pregnancy and has no hormonal side effects. Plus, both hormonal and copper IUDs may reduce the risk of uterine cancer." This way you can keep the babies at bay but still want to play.
While an IUD may be a great method for one person, it may not be right for another. Dr. Dean continues, "There are many contraceptive options — and all come with different benefits and risks. The best method is the method that fits your personal needs — and may even help you have a healthier sex life."
Since we're all enrolled in Audlting 101 whether we like it or not, managing our health is super important. Hopefully keeping all these variables in mind will help you decide what method of birth control looks right for you. Now go fling yourself out of that plane!
Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!