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Copper IUD

Wondering why people are saying you should drop everything and go get an IUD? Well, there’s a strong chance that federal funding for birth control and other reproductive rights will be cut under a Trump-Pence administration.

You know what will last longer than the Trump-Pence administration? An IUD! With an average life of five years (though some IUDs last a whopping twelve years), this physical form of birth control will protect you from now until the end of this political shit show.

https://youtu.be/BfNqNNLmHE4

You may be asking yourself, “What is an IUD?” Well, IUD stands for intrauterine device — a device that kicks it inside of your uterus. It’s a small piece of flexible plastic often shaped like a T. In some cases, folks opt for the longer-term copper IUDs. Sometimes it’s called an IUC for intrauterine contraception.

Basically, an IUD:

  • Is a T-shaped device inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy
  • Is safe, effective and long lasting
  • Must be inserted by a health care provider
  • Costs between $0 and $1,000 up front, but lasts up to 12 years.

While it may sound exoensuve, if you hustle on down to Planned Parenthood or your doctor’s office, most insurance plans cover some, if not all, of the cost.

How does it work?

IUDs block sperm from traveling to the egg. They are 99.9 percenteffective — even more effective than the pill!

Related: Male Birth Control Trial Halted Because of the Same Side Effects Women Have Dealt With for Decades

While copper IUDs physically block the sperm from traveling to the egg, hormone-supplemented IUDs prevent pregnancy in two ways.

First, they thicken the mucus that lives on the cervix, which blocks and traps the sperm. Second, those hormones prevent ovulation, so your eggs aren’t going anywhere and those little sperm dudes are swimming around without a job. No egg, no pregnancy.

If you decide that it’s time to have a kid, you just get the IUD taken out.

What kinds of IUDs are out there?

You’ve got options! There are several different types of IUDs, so educate yourself on the basic differences and ask your OB/GYN which works best for you!

There are five different brands of IUDs that are FDA-approved: ParaGard, Liletta, Mirena, Skyla and Kyleena.

IUDs are divided into two types: copper IUDs (ParaGard) and hormonal IUDs (Liletta, Mirena, Skyla and Kyleena).

ParaGard is hormone-free. It’s wrapped in a tiny bit of copper and it protects you from pregnancy for up to 12 years.

Liletta, Mirena, Skyla and Kyleena use progestin to prevent pregnancy. Progestin is commonly used in the pill and mimics naturally occurring progesterone. Mirena works for up to six years. Kyleena works for up to five years. Skyla and Liletta work for up to three years.

Bonus! IUDs work as emergency contraceptives!

Have an accident? It’s okay, it happens to everyone. The good news is that you can kill two birds with one stone. Instead of just using Plan B, you can get an IUD; it’ll prevent the current whoopsie from turning into a pregnancy and will provide long-term protection from future mistakes.

The ParaGard IUD is the best option for emergency contraception. You can think about it for a day or two because you’ve got up to 120 hours (five days!) after unprotected sex to get one. It’s more than 99.9 percent effective, which is more than we can say about our sexual partners — amirite?

Of course, there’s still the morning-after pill. You can take it up to five days after unprotected sex to reduce the risk of pregnancy.

Worried it might not be around after Trump and Pence get into office? It’s okay to stash a couple.

We’ll get through this. This is not the first time a Republican has threatened to de-fund health services. With a little bit of planning, some things can be relatively smooth sailing.

For more answers about removal of IUDs, advantages and disadvantages, safety, and understanding the process of getting one a bit more clearly, check out PlannedParenthood.org.

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Laurel Dickman is an intersectional feminist, plus size model, stylist, and fat activist that can also be found via her blogs, Exile In Dietville and 2 Broke Bitches. She grew up in the south between Florida and North Carolina, migrating to the Portland, OR in 2005. All three places inform her perspective of the world around her a great deal. While in Portland, she worked with the Alley 33 Annual Fashion Show, PudgePDX, PDX Fatshion, Plumplandia, and numerous other projects over the near decade that she was there. In August of 2014, she moved to the Bay area with her partner, David and trusty kitty, Dorian Gray. She continues her body positive and intersectional feminism through various forms of activism, fashion, photography projects, and writing from her home in the East Bay. She can be reached at laurel@wyvmag.com and encourages readers to reach out to her to collaborate!

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