This article is a part of the “I Heart My Birth Control” series that describes personal accounts of women and their birth control methods. These wonderful sheroes share their journey to finding the best option for their unique lives. If you’d like to contribute a piece, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To the quarter-sized T-shaped device that sits comfortably in my uterus and has become my friend,
I had hopped unsatisfied from birth control method to birth control method: abstinence, pull-out, pills, ring, and pills again until finally deciding to have an IUD placed.
So I went to my nurse practitioner who said:
Her: “I don’t put IUDs in women who haven’t had children.”
Me: “Is there any research to show that child-free women shouldn’t have IUDs?”
Her: “No, I’m just old-school like that.”
So I switched providers because “I’m just old-school,” isn’t how I want my nurse practitioner to provide my care. And yes, it hurt during the five-minute procedure to put it in. And I bled a little, and cramped a lot. But I appreciate the IUD’s put-it-in-and-forget-about-it approach to birth control. I appreciate that through school and work and late night dinners and early morning appointments I don’t have to worry about making sure I am using my birth control correctly day in and day out. I also appreciate that the IUD is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy for up to five years; but if I want to become pregnant before those 5 years are up, I can easily have it removed and my fertility will come back quickly.
I am honest about the fact that I hate swallowing pills, and love not having to do it daily for my birth control. I appreciate that Mirena is designed to make my periods lighter and shorter, and I spend less time worrying about soaking through pads or waking up with blood- stained sheets. The plastic T of the Mirena sits nestled in my uterus, and it’s soft, short strings come down and out of my cervix. I don’t feel it, my partner doesn’t feel it during sex, and it’s easy for me to forget that it’s even there.
A few weeks ago I had a pap smear done and my provider couldn’t see the IUD strings that indicate the IUD is in the right place. I had a small moment of panic and was scared about the possibility that it had fallen out who knows how long ago. It’s uncommon for an IUD to fall out of place, especially after it’s been in place for awhile, but it can happen. A simple ultrasound showed my IUD sitting appropriately in my uterus, still hormone-ing away, still preventing pregnancy.
And I breathed a little sigh of relief.
And every month when I get my period my partner and I high-five and celebrate being pregnancy-free another month. And I thank my Mirena for being so easy and reliable and helping me control when I become pregnant.
She does good work, and I appreciate it.
Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.