Are IUD users the Avon ladies of birth control?
A week late, allow us to recommend checking out Kat Stoeffel’s piece for New York Magazine, “IUD Evangelism: The Birth Control that Converts,” in honor of Method Monday. A snippet:
You can’t tell a woman’s method of birth control by looking at her, but you’ll know if she’s using an IUD, or intrauterine device, because she won’t be able to shut up about it. My friends who have IUDs, not known to recommend so much as a hairdresser, extol the virtues of the device with the unsolicited but contagious conviction of the Avon lady. The difference is they’re not making a commission.
As something of IUD evangelists ourselves, we’re psyched to be in such good company. And as Stoeffel notes in her article, the evangelizing appears to be making a difference. Which is of course fabulous since more women learning about—and using—super-effective methods like the IUD and the implant could actually mean a fewer unplanned pregnancies.
And let’s remember that IUD evangelists don’t have to be ladies;)
It’s Ladies’ Night in Austin
We hope you are enjoying your hump day this LARC Awareness Week! Bedsider ATX wants to get your engine revved up with anticipation for Ladies’ Night at Holy Mountain next Saturday, December 8th. Ladies get in free all night long and everyone can RSVP here at Do512. There will be nail artists, photo booth, Bedsider gear, and musical performances, including everyone’s new favorite rapper G-Eazy. Doors open at 9PM and the show will start at 10PM with 18+ welcome!
If you are looking for something to distract you from work or school as the end of the year nears, I have a few documentary recommendations for you: These Amazing Shadows and A Program About Unusual Building and Other Roadside Stuff. If you enjoy film history or oddball architecture, you’ll have a blast with these!
P.S.—For all you men out there, Knuckle Rumbler is offering a $10 advance tickets so get on it! And speaking of getting on things, everyone should get on keeping up with the birth control method that’s right for you.
Alyssa is a senior at The University of Texas at Austin studying Psychology. She is a sex educator for the Healthy Sexuality Peer Educators at UT and has a huge passion for public health and all things quirky. Alyssa is an intern for Bedsider’s ATX campaign and will be reporting every Wednesday with the inside scoop on all things Bedsider (along with the occasional band, book, or documentary recommendation and a baked-goods recipe or two) in the wild of Austin.
LARC Awareness Week kicked off yesterday and we are SO ready to spread the good word about LARCs (long-acting reversible contraceptives) like the IUD and the implant this Method Monday. A few of the many reasons LARCs rock our world:
- They’re ready when you are. Anytime, any place.
- For folks struggling with stress or depression, they can mean one less thing to worry about.
- They can be discreet (or not—totally your call).
- They work really, really well.
- They’re getting more popular in the U.S.—and making some new users very happy.
- They might be less expensive than you think (even free!), especially if you have health insurance or qualify for Medicaid.
We could go on, but someone told us brevity is the soul of wit. If you love your LARC—or if you want to learn more about them—check out the #LoveMyLARC conversation on Twitter this week.
So much love for this Hairpin article on IUDs (a.k.a. “sperm scarecrows”)
We found this fabulous post from Lola over at The Hairpin a little late to the game (it was published on March 12th), but in case you missed it like we did, we’ve pasted our favorite of favorite part here. Read the excerpt and then check out the article in its entirety—yes, we love it for its Bedsider shout-out and construction paper infographic, but it’s so much more than that…
Depending on what graph comparing IUD use by country you’re looking at, our rate of 5.5% is either “very low” or “dead last,” even though the usage rate almost doubled between 2002 and 2008. This is to say: if you want an IUD, you might still have to safari into medical self-advocacy. A common species you’ll find there is a well-meaning clinician who thinks they’re preventing you from harm: you can tell them by their suggestion that you first try another “less drastic” method, like the pill. They’re most likely just under-informed, so you can go so far as to furnish research like ACOG’s recommendation that IUDs be offered to most women as first-line contraception. Or share this thought experiment!
“You’re sick and there’s two treatments: a device that sets up in minutes and works for years and a pill that’s only as effective as the device if you take at same time every day forever, which is actually so difficult that31% of users fail at in the first 6 months. Wouldn’t you be like, ‘Fucking give me the easy thing!’ (put on sunglasses) So why is preventing pregnancy so different that you wouldn’t treat with the most effective, least likely to fail treatment first?” (drive away in red convertible)
Every provider has a different risk tolerance. It’s possible that the reason they don’t want to insert a Mirena is because they’ve never done it for someone without kids before. If someone says they won’t insert an IUD for you, they should able to tell you where they’re coming from and give you suggestions about other options to consider. But also be on the lookout for clinicians who make their recommendations against scientific evidence to rationalize their own moral beliefs. You’ll know this species when any questioning about why the IUD can’t happen for you is dismissed with a moral judgment, like “you have too much sex” or “because you’re not married.” Say thank you, disarm them with one of those hoods you put on birds to make them sleep, and switch to someone else in their practice. Or another practice entirely!
Method Monday: The Implant
This Method Monday we’re featuring the implant—and not just because it’s tiny and cute. Nope, that matchstick-sized rod means business, in spite of somehow managing to be oh-so-low-maintenance. It’s one of the most effective reversible methods of birth control and, thanks to a recent make-over, is going to be easier to use than ever. Intrigued?
- Read about Nexplanon, the next generation of the implant.
- See why real people (ladies and gents—well, one gent so far) think the implant’s awesome.
- Worried the implant might be a tracking device? SPOILER ALERT: It’s not. Yep, we’re sure. That said, you should still watch our Fact or Fiction video about it, just for fun.
- Loving the implant but less than charmed by the spotting it sometimes causes? Check out our Provider Perspective “Side effect spotlight” on spotting to see what you can do about it.
- Highly effective, low maintenance, and super-private? Yep, the implant has many charms.
Using the implant, or just think it sounds cool? Show your support by “liking” it on our Facebook Method Explorer and/or tell us about your experience in the comments!