Have you ever been up late at night and a commercial comes on television starting with the phrase "if you or a family member...?” Most of the time, those commercials are referencing some horrible medical complication after a particular surgery. If it's a medication, the commercial rattles off multiple side effects including cardiac arrest, heart attacks, and a little green monster under your bed...wait that may be a different commercial. Whatever is said usually scares you into never trying what they’re talking about, or it sends you to the emergency room because you just took that pill or had that surgery.
Recently, those commercials have included the “IUD.” Now, before you schedule to have your IUD removed, or vow never to get one, keep reading.
Please understand that there are side effects and possible complications to any medical intervention or therapy. So, why have they not just taken the IUD off the market? Well, there are benefits that significantly outweigh the risks in most patients.
Here are a few things that you should consider:
1. “IUD” is a general title: IUD stands for intrauterine device (yes we know it’s only two words) and is a classification of a type of long-term birth control. There is more than one type of IUD. Therefore, it is important to talk to your doctor to figure out which type of IUD is right for you.
2. It is an office procedure: An IUD can be placed in a patient at their doctor’s office and it doesn’t typically require anesthesia or hospitalization. Even though you don’t have to be put to sleep, it is still considered a procedure.
3. Insurance may have you covered: Most insurance companies will cover the majority or the total cost of the IUD. Also, the price of an IUD is a one-time cost, without the concern of "refills." Without insurance, it can cost up to $1000 depending on the type you get. Make sure you call your insurance company and ask before you get the procedure done.
4. It can be an excellent alternative to daily birth control pills: An IUD is considered a long acting reversible contraceptive. In other words, it can be undone. This comes in handy if you want children, but just not right now. You can rely on the IUD from three to ten years, depending on the type, without worrying about having it replaced.
5. Pregnancy is possible after removal: An IUD has been designed to prevent unintended pregnancies for several years. After it’s removed, a women’s ability to get pregnant returns to her baseline.
6. It can be used for non- birth control options: One specific type of IUD has been used frequently for the treatment of heavy, painful periods and for certain types of precancerous cells.
7. It’s NOT just for women who have had kids: The IUD is an option for all women, with or without children, that don’t want to worry about taking their birth control pill everyday.
QUICK NOTE: Put your TV remote down and talk to your doctor.
Remember, all medications have risks and complications. Don't make decisions from one late night commercial; talk to your healthcare provider and get the whole story.