As a sexually active woman, it my utmost priority to practice safe sex. There are a plethora of options out there to keep yourself baby-free. Personally, I have an Intrauterine Device, more commonly known as an IUD, and not to be confused with an IED (an improvised explosive device). Many women are so fearful of IUD “horror stories” that they may as well be walking in a minefield. My one mission in life is to debunk these IUD fears.
IUDs are pretty savage. An IUD is a tiny, T-shaped device that is placed by a doctor into the uterus. IUDs are made from plastic or copper, and some have a localized dose of the hormone progestin. The hormone thickens cervical mucus, which traps sperm on its journey. Sperm death by mucus — seems fitting. Progestin also helps prevent eggs from leaving the ovaries (ovulation), which means there’s no egg for any sperm that managed to escape the mucus trap to fertilize. No egg + no sperm = no preggers. Also, this means your period can lighten or go away, which seems like a total womanhood hack to me!
Now, if you are anything like me, you are SO on board! IUDs seem like a girl’s best friend. No pregnancy. No period. No pill to take everyday. No continued cost. No worries for five years. IUDs are easy to remove. And then you start googling. And then you see the symptom list. And then you read the horror stories, “gastly intense cramps,” or “I had my period for three months after this!” Now, I’m not calling this fake news, but I also want to offer an additional storyline. Call me the IUD fairy godmother. I love my IUD. I had some crampin’ and bleedin’, but I have no regrets.
The insertion process is the most mysterious and terrifying part. But like we women are so often called to do, we rise to the challenge. As I sat in the stirrups, vagina in the wind, I felt nervous, but both my gyno and the nurse literally held my hand through the process. “This will be your new best friend,” said the Doc, holding up my Mirena, a T the same size as the packet of sugar I put in my CTB iced coffee that morning. I reminded myself that for thousands of years women had been birthing babies. Women squat in fields and push out watermelons. I simply had to “reverse birth” a packet of sugar. My body, designed to expel 7 pounds of flesh and bones, now just had to make room for one inch of plastic. As the IUD was inserted, I felt pain. Holy sweet tears of Jesus. The pain was reminiscent of a period cramp, but more intense. In that moment, I reminded myself that nothing, literally nothing, had ever entered my uterus from the outside world. More man-made things have been on Mars than in my uterus; a little discomfort was something I could handle. Twenty-seconds later, it was done. I felt crampy for a couple of days, and spotted a bit, but all in all, it was smooth.
If there’s anything to take away from the process its this…
Women: I did it. The IUD is nothing a strong, powerful woman like you can’t tackle. For me, getting an IUD was totally worth it. But remember, this is 100,000 percent your choice. Never feel pressured to do or get something that isn’t right for you.
Men: Women go the greatest measures so you can stick your dick in us worry-free. I dealt with this Mars-rover expedition into my uterus, I dealt with the weeks of bleeding through underwear, and I still deal with cramping that makes me feel like I’m shitting my pants. Please appreciate the sacrifices women make for you!
Goddess Horny is a student at Cornell University. Her column, Sex in the Stacks, runs monthly.