The first time I went in to get my intrauterine device, or IUD, my doctor asked me if I was in a relationship.
“Um, kind of?” I stammered. “I mean, no. But you know, I hear this is the way to go as far as, you know, protectiveness.”
“Hrm,” she said, flipping her chart closed. This was the first time I’d been to this gynecologist, who ran her practice in my tiny suburban hometown. I was 20, home from school on Christmas break, and tired of frantically eyeing the moon and waiting for my period once a month. Keep reading »
I’ve been walking around with a sketch of a uterus and cervix in my reporter’s notebook for several weeks now, courtesy of my gynecologist. She drew it while explaining to me how an IUD works. I keep it around both because I like it as a conversation piece and because when you write about ladyparts as much as I do, it’s actually quite useful as a reference tool at the office or, you know, the bar. Wherever.
But what I like best about my little IUD sketch is that I don’t need it, because my husband is getting a vasectomy. When it comes to long-term contraception that isn’t sterilization, vasectomies are the bee’s infertile knees. The benefits are many: I don’t have to live with a foreign body inside me (either of biological origin or one made of copper), condom breakage isn’t a constant concern, and neither do I have to rely on hormones or head back to my doctor’s office regularly for a Depo shot. Keep reading »
It’s worth a reminder sometimes that the term “reproductive rights” doesn’t just mean the right not not reproduce, like with abortion. Reproductive rights can also mean the right to produce, like in the case of Mei Fun Wong, a Chinese woman seeking asylum in the U.S. because she fears she’ll be persecuted for removing her IUD. Wong, 44, lives in New York City and has been fighting to stay in the U.S. for years. Back in 1991, the Chinese government forced her to get an IUD implanted as part of its one child per family population control policy. Wong said the IUD caused her physical pain, but doctors refused to remove it. She had it secretly removed by a physician she found for herself. When another doctor discovered during a routine exam that the IUD had been removed, the government held her for three days until she agreed to have it re-implanted. She tried to flee to Hong Kong, claiming she wanted to get away from being forced to wear the IUD, and was jailed for four months and fined. Finally, Wong arrived in the U.S. in 2000 — following her husband, who fled to the U.S. after his involvement in Tiananmen Square — had her IUD removed in New York, and now she wants asylum so she can escape the Chinese government’s “menacing” behavior. Keep reading »
I went off birth control and got a ParaGard IUD. Now I’m horny, like, all the time. When I wake up next to my boyfriend, forget it—we’re barely getting to work on time. If he emails me during work, I need two minutes to regain my focus. After work … well, you get the idea. Spending eight years on the pill and then bidding it adieu has led me to a sexual renaissance. It’s puberty all over again, only now I’m 27 and have enough experience to appreciate my freer-flowing juices. Keep reading »
When I was 19, I fell in love. He was small but mighty, a cheap date in those days, easy to swallow at any kegger and, most importantly, eased my mind. His name was Ortho. We just broke up.
My relationship with the birth control pill lasted eight years. I never got pregnant, and despite a few blips during the dark days of no insurance, it was relatively easy to acquire. If my calculations are correct, I ingested over 2,000 of those suckers. Keep reading »
Every month, when my period arrives at 9am on the dot on (usually) the first Sunday of the month, I say a little silent thank you to the person who created Ortho-Tricycline Lo. Birth control, in all its many forms, is a wonderful thing. Which do you use? Keep reading »