Should I Get an IUD?

Betty Dodson's picture
Mon, 12/22/2008 - 15:24
Submitted by Betty Dodson

Hi Betty,

i'm a 44 year old woman and a smoker. i was on the pill from my late teens through my early 30s. since then i've used condoms for birth control. i'm not interested in having children ever.

i'm at a point though that i don't want to use condoms any longer (one partner) and i asked my doctor about my options. she suggested the non-hormonal IUD. my doctor says its safe and effective; the side effect would be heavier periods for the first month or two until my body adjusted. she said my biggest risk is possible disease, etc. from my partner but in my specific situation that's not a worry. what are your thoughts? i haven't thought about IUDs since 1980 and there certainly was a stigma about them at that point.


Dear L,

The thing I don't like about the IUD's is that if you do get pregnant and it happens, your body has a miscarriage due to the foreign object in your uterus. That's what causes the heavy bleeding from time to time. My other concern is that you are happy with your current partner now, but how can you be sure this is a "forever" thing? And how can you be sure he doesn't stray ever?

I know I'm considered "old fashioned" when it comes to birth control but for me the less I interfere with my bodies natural functions, the better. How about the diaphragm that has fallen out fashion? It safely saw me thru the sexual revolution with an abundance of partners. If that isn't an option, then let's hope the IUD works. Or have your boyfriend get his tubes tied. It's a relatively simple straight forward procedure if he, like you, is positive that no children are desired in the future.

Dr. Betty


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Vote NO (an emphatic no) to IUDs

Fri, 04/17/2009 - 19:33
Heather J (not verified)

I am no medical professional. I was, however, the not-so-happy owner of a paragard IUD (the non-hormonal one that lasts for 10 years). I kept it in for 15 months when I decided I couldn't live like that anymore. Some women are perfectly happy with these devices and I chalk it up to physiological differences and their tolerance levels. However, I could no longer tolerate the IUD.

The first few orgasms after the IUD was inserted were painful. After the pain was gone, my orgasms were weaker... quite a bit weaker to where I didn't fully feel them in my uterus anymore, only in my upper vagina in the muscles around my cervix. This never got better -- not during partner sex nor during masturbation (when they have always been even stronger than my partnersex ones which were still pretty strong and satisfying). This was so depressing. Many times I cried after sex or masturbation because try as I might, I could not recreate the pre-IUD orgasm. My periods were excruciating and not only for the first couple months... EVERY month. The day before my period and the first 3 days of my period, I lived on ibuprofen to feel like a normal human being and to have some sort of escape from the inescapable (without drugs) cramps. Also, I could feel it at times which was a strange sensation, especially when I had been sitting for a period of time and then got up, I could feel it sort of 'scrape' the inside of my uterus. I hated that thing.

I just had the IUD removed about 3 weeks ago and still, my orgasmic abilities are not where they once were. I keep practicing and am hopeful that eventually I will get back what the IUD took from me.

Needless to say, my husband and I (who have 2 children and are finished with baby-making) are now back to using condoms. I won't use hormonal methods and diaphragms and cervical caps are only about 85% effective which isn't good enough a percentage for me (who is 100% done with having children). I am not ready to have surgery though I might be at some point. My husband will never be ready for surgery so what does that leave us? sloshy old condoms. Boy, I wish they'd invent something better.