The IUD is a very small T-shaped rod inserted by a doctor into the uterus, where it emits either the hormone progestin or copper, both of which are hostile to sperm. There are three FDA-approved IUDs available in the U.S.—Mirena and Skyla, which are hormonal, and ParaGard, which is wrapped in copper coils—and they are all extremely effective, with a failure rate of less than one pregnancy per 100 women—compared with 9 per 100 women on the Pill.
Aren’t IUDs expensive? If you have insurance coverage, you might be pleasantly surprised. And if you don’t, you might be able to find discounted or free birth control anyway.
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Method Monday: Birth Control for TV Characters - Round Three!
In Round Three of this Method Monday special (here’s Round One and Round Two), join us in speculating about how Nashville star Juliette Barnes keeps her life baby-free, which methods the detectives on Brooklyn Nine-Nine rep, and whether there’s any birth control option in the Game of Thrones universe, other than magic.
Character 1: Juliette Barnes, Nashville
Her method: The implant
Here’s why: Know what annoys Juliette more than her manager, her record label, and her multiplying rivals combined? Any risk of getting knocked up. It’s true that our girl Juliette may not always be sensible about her choice of romantic partners, but we predict she’s more vigilant about the impact an unplanned pregnancy would have on her career (not to mention her image). And does she want to think about popping a pill every day?
Probably not. That’s why the implant is perfect for Juliette: it’s easy, incredibly reliable, and lasts up to three years once in place. A bonus for Juliette is the implant’s discreetness—no one can see it once it’s inserted, which, for a paparazzi-hounded celeb like Juliette, just might be the winning feature. Don’t worry, Juliette: your secret’s safe with us.
Character 2: Mouse,The Carrie Diaries
Here’s why: The CW’s Sex and the City reboot has charms galore, and the chief one just might be Jill “The Mouse” Chen. Mouse’s nickname is only half the story: she is quiet, studious, and completely loyal to her friends. But she’s no stick in the mud—she’s feisty in standing up for her beliefs, and she seems to have a more satisfying sex life than most of the other characters on the show—though not without the occasional mishap.
Mouse is the kind of girl who takes no chances with her future—an unplanned pregnancy or an STI might tank her chances at the Ivy League (and would be difficult to explain to her strict parents). That’s why we’re guessing she’s using not one, but two methods of birth control—male condoms and the pill. Condoms protect her from STIs, and the pill adds an additional layer of protection from pregnancy: each method complements the other. Our hat’s off to Mouse, who knows how to have fun, protect herself, and deliver real talk to her friends with just the right amount of love.
Character 3: Detective Amy Santiago, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Her method: IUD
Here’s why: Santiago’s a classic Type-A personality: extremely focused, detail-oriented, and a stickler for getting things right. She’s no slouch in the brains department, either, and clearly knows her way around an interrogation room. Best of all, despite her goody-two-shoes attitude, Santiago can hold her own in a bullpen of experienced cops and sling mud with the best of them.
When it comes to birth control, we predict Santiago likes to have her bases covered, which is why an extremely reliable, low-maintenance choice like an IUD seems like a perfect fit. It’s low fuss—no remembering to take a pill on a stakeout or forgetting you’re out of condoms after three night shifts—and it’s effective. So Santiago can focus on the things that really matter. Like showing she can handle the heat.
Character 4: Margaery Tyrell, Game of Thrones
Her method: Not right now
Here’s why: Poor Margaery—first married to a man who was in love with her brother and then was assassinated, then engaged to King Joffrey, a sociopath, who was also assassinated…Westeros must be wondering at her string of bad luck. But nothing stops Margaery; she’s ambitious, politically savvy, and single-minded in the pursuit of her goals.
It’s hard to say whether there’s any reliable method of birth control in Westeros, but even if there was, Margaery wouldn’t need it—yet. She’s made a habit of abstinence, first with her husband, who wasn’t interested in getting down with her, and then with Joffrey, who died before consummating their marriage. So Margaery’s sex life is a non-starter, which may be just the way she likes it. For now, at least.