College Week, Day 5: Adieu, Adios, Auf Wiedersehen, and Until Next Time!
We’re wrapping up College Week with a reflection piece by Bedsider UMD ambassador Connor Davies. Interested in becoming part of the next generation of campus ambassadors? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and introduce yourself!
Fearless ambassador Connor Davies.
Working with Bedsider has been an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything—but that’s not to say that it has been a bump-free road. I know how fantabulous all of Bedsider’s resources are and how much Bedsider can help the people I see every day, so I try to not let it get to me when I am shot down or ignored. However, I recently had one of those elusive experiences where I felt like I made a real difference in someone’s life.
It happened at the Safer Spring Break Games health fair, hosted by the University Health Center. I spent about 6 hours running a solo table shouting over the too-loud DJ until I could barely croak out, “Always leave space at the tip of your condom!!!” A good number of people had stopped by and I was getting ready to pack up when I felt the lightest tap on my shoulder. When I turned around I saw a girl with the biggest deer in the headlights expression looking ready to flee. Moving as slowly and non-threateningly as possible, I asked if I could help her.
And then the floodgates opened. She was a freshman who had been raised in an exceedingly conservative Indian family and sheltered from any sex education, so she only knew horror stories about birth control. But despite it all she was considering having sex for the first time and had no idea where to start.
I dropped my stack of Bedsider’s racy coasters and whisked her off to a less public location. I whipped out my iPad and for about half an hour went through a full Bedsider walk-through. First we dispelled the major birth control myths:
- Yes, she can get pregnant even if it’s her first time;
- No, the pill will not affect her fertility in the future;
- Yes, there are way more methods out there than just the pill;
- Yes, a woman who has not given birth can still get an IUD.
Next we went on to where to find it, how much it costs, and which methods would best suit her needs. We talked about why she was making this decision, how she knew she was ready for sex, and if she had talked about things with her boyfriend.
In the end she left with a Bedsider catalog, the notes we wrote up, and about a metric ton of stress lifted off her shoulders. I packed up the final bit of my Bedsider supplies, and as I ran off to take my midterm she stayed on my mind. I can’t be sure how or whether she used the information I gave her, but knowing that she began close to tears and left smiling is enough for me.
-Connor Davies, Bedsider Ambassador UMD
How far will you go for love? A tattoo of their name? Waxing your juicebox? Getting an IUD? (If you really are thinking about an IUD, good for you. Its effectiveness is legendary.)
IUDs Winning (As Usual)
We’ll be reporting more detail soon, but in the meantime, since it is Method Monday, we wanted to share a couple news items relating to our beloved IUD.
1) A study out of Europe found that the Mirena IUD is the best way to deal with heavy menstrual bleeding. According to WebMD, the IUD “was found to be superior to oral contraceptives and non-hormonal drugs approved for the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding in reducing the condition’s effect on quality of life.” Super-effective birth control, super-effective solution to a problem that affects 1 in 4 women? Sounds like winning to us.
2) A new IUD is coming to town. It’s called Skyla, it’s just been approved by the FDA for sale in the U.S., and it’s set to go on the market on February 11th. Skyla uses a low dose of progestin like the Mirena and it works for up to 3 years. It’s not every day that a new birth control option hits the market, let alone a super-effective one. We thought it deserved a happy dance…
More to come!
A break is definitely the best thing for your body right after a pregnancy, but if you’re not exclusively breastfeeding in a very particular way, you can ovulate (or release an egg) as soon as three weeks after birth. So what’s a new mom to do? For starters, I’d recommend looking into the IUD, the implant, or the shot for birth control. All three of these methods are low-maintenance, effective, safe for new moms, and totally fine to use while breastfeeding.
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;)
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.
We’ve mentioned that we have a thing for guys who support their partner’s birth control method of choice. This guy? Takes it to a whole new level…