I remember the first time my best friend from college told me she was getting an IUD (intrauterine device).
Prior to this revelation, she also told me how birth control pills made her gain weight and go a little coo-coo (as most of us have experienced with these pesky little pills).
As if this wasn't enough to get her on an IUD immediately, she decided to hold off and first try out a NuvaRing. All was great on that front until it decided to swim out during sex, multiple times.
Awkward? Yup. Buzzkill? Definitely. So out went that Nuva Ring, and in went the IUD — literally and figuratively.
Many people get turned off by the idea of having a foreign object live all up inside them for three-plus years, but honestly, it sounds like a dream come true — maybe you don't think that right now, but you will.
After struggling personally with birth control issues since the age of 18, I was finally ready to try something new.
In the past, I have tried and wrestled with eight different forms of birth control pills that f*cked me up in one way or another — weight gain, emotional outbursts, inability to handle anger and other emotions, mood swings and depression.
When my friend started bragging about her IUD, to the extent you would think it was a new lover in her life, I was obviously eager to learn more about the miracle she discovered.
As with anything in life I thought this was too good to be true, but after gaining 15 pounds in three days on one pill, I was like f*ck it, what do I have to lose by trying this?
And thus the relationship between my IUD and me was born.
1. There is no "forgetting."
How often do you forget to take your birth control pills only to overdose the next few days to "make up" for it? Do you think that's all that effective?
An IUD essentially eliminates the forgetful factor since the device just chills in your uterus for either three, five or 12 years, depending on your preference. No alarms, no alerts — no problems.
2. You can pick the type that fits your needs.
There are two distinct types of IUDs on the market — copper and hormonal. Mirena and Skyla are hormonal devices, whereas ParaGard is a copper device.
Both are equally effective in preventing pregnancy for extended periods of time, but the way they do, as well as their lifespan, differs.
Their lifespans are as follows: Skyla is effective for up to three years, Mirena is effective for up to five years and ParaGard is effective for up to 12 years.
Once your device "expires," that does not mean you are out of luck; all you need to do is have a new one put in.
3. It doesn't infiltrate and inundate your blood stream.
When the hormonal IUD is put in, it begins to release minimal amounts of the hormone levonorgestrel into your uterus. This is how this form of birth control lasts for years on end.
This hormone is commonly found in birth control pills, but when it comes to pills, the hormones are released right into your blood stream.
Planned Parenthood fun fact: "The ParaGard IUD does not change a woman's hormone levels."
4. There are no fertility issues.
There are relatively no concerns with IUD removal and fertility. Once it's removed from your body, there is no wait time to get pregnant.
When it comes to "monogamous relationships, there is no evidence of an increased risk of infertility after IUD use."
5. It's one of the most, if not the most, effective forms of birth control out there.
According to Planned Parenthood, a huge advocate of IUDs, less than one out of 100 women will get pregnant each year.
Both types of IUDs (copper and hormonal) prevent the way the sperm moves so it cannot match with an egg. If the sperm doesn't join with the egg, then pregnancy is virtually impossible.
The failure percentage for a copper IUD is 0.8 percent while a hormonal IUD has a failure rate of 0.2 percent. Do you know what the failure rate of oral contraceptives are? Try 9 percent.
Please keep in mind that IUDs do not protect you from STDs. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, except herpes -- that sh*t comes back...
6. It's the type of pain you feel relief from.
All right, this all sounds fine and dandy, but let's get to the real stuff — does this sh*t hurt when it's put in?
Of course it does, but only for a few seconds — and trust me, it pales in comparison to real pain you will feel over the course of your life. And let's be candid for a moment: If you can't handle this, how are you expected to handle childbirth?
First of all, anything you do at a gynecologist is uncomfortable and/or painful. The appointment is basically spent with you lying on your back, legs butterflied opened while you sweat through the flimsy paper garment they force you to put on as the doctor encourages you to "relax." Sound fun? I'd rather run a marathon...
But despite the vulnerability you feel in that room, don't you feel a sense of relief once you leave? Don't you feel proud and accomplished after being violated with some weird ass appliances designed to "help" you?
7. You won't automatically assume you're pregnant because you're late.
After having the IUD put in, you will then have one checkup a few weeks later to make sure everything is copacetic. After that, it will take roughly about six to eight months for your body to adjust, which can result in irregular periods and spotting.
As annoying as that may be, at least you know you aren't late on your period because of a possible pregnancy. And honestly, that's really all the relief we need.
8. Voilà! It's covered by insurance.
Despite what people may think, IUDs are one of the least expensive and most sustainable forms of birth control.
According to Planned Parenthood, "The IUD is the most inexpensive long-term and reversible form of birth control you can get."
Planned Parenthood works with you to make birth control methods more accessible and affordable.
After deciding which IUD is best for you, you can contact your insurance company to determine how much, if not all, of the procedure it will cover. I can tell you from experience, not one dollar came out of my pocket.
9. Hallelujah! There is no blood clot risk!
Researchers found that IUDs are not associated with blood clots whatsoever. In fact, they went so far as to say, "[IUDs] were associated with a reduced risk and may have a protective effect against blood clots."
10. It results in a lighter period, or none at all!
No period and no pregnancy? This sounds too good to be true. But it isn't! Not only do hormonal IUDs make your period lighter, "menstrual flow is reduced by 90 percent. For some women, periods stop altogether."
11. It helps to eliminate cramps.
We all know Midol is essentially a crock of sh*t targeted at desperate cramping women worldwide.
Luckily, hormonal IUDs have the ability to reduce and eliminate cramps altogether.
12. It can improve your sex life.
Why? Because you aren't worrying about whether or not you took your last pill on time while your man is on top of you.
And you aren't thinking that pill has a 9 percent failure rate. The only thing you're thinking about is — oh wait, you aren't really thinking, now are you?