I wrote that most women of childbearing age are too young to remember the Dalkon Shield IUD and the surrounding controversy. I take it back. I'm sure we all remember the "very special episode" of "Gimme A Break" where the oldest daughter (the slightly slutty one....oldest one was a little trashy, middle one was smart...Julie I think she was, and the youngest one Sam was the tomboy) wound up in the hospital with IUD troubles. Apparently her mom knew she was dying and wanted to set her daughter up with long-term birth control....remember this is pre-AIDS era. So, we might remember that.
Anyway, I like the IUD. In fact, when I first went on the pill a million years ago, I wanted an IUD, but I was not a good candidate. They prefer to give it to women who have had a child. Our uteruses don't seem to mind having a foreign object in them and our cervixes have dilated before so they are easier to insert. Today's IUDs are smaller than yesteryears' IUDs. They are drug covered with a sythetic progesterone compound. That progesterone lightens period bleeding in almost all women and completely stops menses in many more. That for me would be great. I would love no periods.
(sidebar: if having no period freaks you out because you are worried you would accidentally get pregnant and never know...you could take a pregnancy test every 6 weeks or so....now you're saying that $15 added to the cost, blah blah blah. Anyway, both Dollar General and Family Dollar offer pregnancy tests for one buck. A single dollar. They aren't the pee on a stick type. They are the pee in a cup type and use a dropper to put the pee in the well on the top of the test type...far superior if you like science, anyway. So, every six weeks, drop a Washington on a pg test from the dollar store.)
The progesterone coated IUD lasts about 5 years. The uncoated kind lasts up to 10 years. You can, of course, have either removed at any time if you want to get pregnant. Economically speaking, the cost of the IUD plus insertion in the doctor's office only makes sense if you want to wait at least 2.5 years before you have another baby. But, if you have insurance that covers it, it doesn't matter. If you aren't sure you ever want another baby, it's pretty good while you decide. If you are trying to talk your husband into a vasectomy, you could use it while you work on that.
I love the idea of an IUD, but like I said, I am not a good candidate, so I will continue to take my birth control pills.
Speaking of my birth control pills. I am on Seasonale (4 periods/year). I am about half-way through the 4th week (the week you would normally have a period), so this is great. I'm still looking toward January for my first period since July 2004 (pre-baby). Woo Hoo. No period! Yay.
By the way, I think I mentioned I was on a special low-dose progesterone only pill while nursing. If you are nursing and need non-condom birth control, try one of these "mini-pills". They're good. I am sure there is someone out there wondering why you would need a non-condom birth control method...well, if you have never had a baby and never nursed, I am going to clue you in. Ready? After you have a baby and you are nursing, things get a little, uhm, dry in the nether regions. Nursing shuts off your estrogen production and estrogen makes things wet. So no estrogen = sahara desert down below. I highly recommend the liquid K-Y (not the gel) if you need some help in that area. Anyway, condoms make the whole no lube situation way worse, in my opinion. So, using birth control that does not require a condom works much better for me. Oh, and nursing does offer a fair amount of pregnancy protection anyway. The body is sort of designed not to get pregnant again until the first kid is weaned, but it's not 100% and if you don't want a set of Irish twins, you might want to use something just in case. So how is that for Too Much Information?