Skepchick Quickies 8.9


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. The IUD? Really? Both of the women I’ve known who have used the IUD became pregnant while using it. That’s a tiny sample size for sure, but a 100% failure rate doesn’t inspire confidence. Also, whatever doctors say, you can totally feel those little plastic ‘tails’ when you’re having sex, and it doesn’t feel good.

    1. Anecdotes /= data. And if you read the article, you’d have seen that the effectiveness rate of the 2 current IUDs on the US market is the same as sterilization.

      And for a lot of women, it doesn’t feel good to be on hormonal birth control, so I think guys can suck it up and deal with the occasional inconvenience of strings.

    2. Knowing two people who became pregnant while using the IUD does not equal a “100% failure rate”. Anecdotes for the lose. It’s possible they weren’t inserted correctly.

      http://contraception.about.com/od/contraceptionfailure/ht/IUD.htm <– it's up to the woman to check within the first few weeks to make sure they don't slip. I'm sure that's what happened to those two women, and they weren't diligent in checking. A good doctor would let you know this.

      Furthermore, it doesn't matter if YOU are uncomfortable. You're not the one trying to prevent pregnancy. You're not the one on birth control. It has nothing to do with you. At all.

    3. …and I’ve heard from four women who’ve been on it and it works perfectly. My 100% ancedata totally beats yours.

      As for “Wah, I can feeel it!”, if it’s that much of problem, the string CAN be cut a little shorter. Otherwise, start using condoms or deal already.

    4. Think about it this way. If a woman you knew were using an IUD and didn’t become pregnant, how would you even know? Unless you were close to her, you probably wouldn’t know what kind of contraception she is using. So you really need to factor in those women when calculation your failure rate.

  2. Evangelicals have been wearing metaphorical fig leafs when it comes the genomics issue for a long time, this will not be enough to convince them to frolic amongst the naked truth.
    Kind of blows a big hole in the side of the Noah bottle-neck as well.

  3. When I turned 35, I got a lot of pressure from my gyn to get Mirena. But I have a long memory and I remember women getting PID (and worse) from their IUDs. I had so much trouble with BCPs that I was also afraid the hormone dose and strength in Mirena might not be right for me, then I’d have to have it removed. I’ve decided to stick with the pill.
    That being said, I have a lot of friends on IUDs and they are all really happy with them.

    1. Did you flip through the slide show of old IUDs? Gah, no wonder they were more problematic, those things look like torture devices (or trilobites, as seen above). And the main problem was the use of absorbent strings, which allowed bacteria to be absorbed into the uterus. Now they have plastic strings, so that is no longer an issue.

      And there’s always the copper-only IUD option. Though the hormone-containing Mirena doesn’t have estrogen, which is the main cause of women having trouble with BCPs.

  4. I was disappointed by the complete lack of weasels in the middle school infiltration article. All there was were christian proselytizers who were being compared unfavorably to weasels. All the weasels were deeply insulted. Except the otters. They like this sort of thing, evil trolls that they are.

  5. I’ve been struggling with trying to decide what I want to switch to for birth control between (finally!) getting the snip or getting the Mirena. No pills, no bebbehs, even light to no periods? It almost sounds too good to be true, it does. :)

  6. My gf uses the Mirena and loves it. She used a non-hormone IUD before and didn’t like the heavy flow during menstruation.

    And I don’t notice a thing. ;)

    1. I am a big wuss and insertion went fine for me. One big cramp, and then some just general soreness. I did have some very minor cramping off and on for a couple months (not even worth taking painkillers for) but it was worth it.

      The IUD divas community on livejournal is a good source of info (I know, the one remaining use for livejournal).

        1. i love my Mirena. i live in the UK, so it was free, but i did have to push the doctor to give me one, as i’ve not had kids yet.

          when i pushed, and asked why, he admitted it was only because it might hurt more – not due to any fertility risk!

          i got a few cramps on the day (i’d recommend having the day off when you get it inserted, just in case).

          otherwise, it’s been wonderful. i rarely get my period any more, and never had any side effects. it really is so much easier than having to remember to take the pill – plus the hassle of getting condoms when you forget!

  7. The pill is really perfect for me. I’ve always had really regular, light periods, anyway. Only sometimes do I get PMS, and I always know ‘cuz my breasts killll me when I do. But for the most part, I have the easiest, lightest periods of anyone I know.

    Yes … I KNOW I’m lucky. Super lucky.

    1. I also have light and uneventful periods and rarely any PMS. I think it’s more common than we realize, but women who have unremarkable periods are less likely to say anything about it because it’s, well, unremarkable.

    2. Yes, yes, very, very lucky you are :)

      Mine have been a bane to existence since they started at 12, with the only relief when I started on BCP. And what’s really annoying is that even if I decide to get snipped (now that I’ve found a doc willing to snip a nullipara chick of 30), is that I’d still have to keep popping pills to keep the ick and and pain and the cysts and such away. Truly a freakin’ joy, I tell ya.

  8. I’ve heard one very recent account where IUD insertion was very painful and done without any anesthetic.

    The question is, is it more or less painful than an abortion after the condom breaks?

    1. An actual abortion shouldn’t be painful. It might be uncomfortable, but not painful. The cramps after can be painful, though, but it depends entirely on the women and the procedure. Someone I know who had one and said the first few hours after were super-crampy (like having a really bad period), but after that it was fine, and the actual procedure she doesn’t even remember.

  9. I’m so glad there’s a birth control conversation going on in this comment thread. Reading that article this morning renewed my interest in the Mirena, but aside from re-reading the pamphlet my GYN gave me last year and checking out Planned Parenthood’s website, I wasn’t really sure where to look for information. Happy to be able to turn to skeptical ladies (and skeptical lady-loving dudes).

    I feel like switching to the Mirena should be a no-brainer, except that I’ve been on the Nuvaring for over 7 years now and have had a really positive experience (also, it’s the only bc I’ve ever used). Switching to something else when I’ve got not complaints feels like courting disaster. I like that Mirena would be cheaper in the long run (I pay a ton for my Nuvarings), but I already know how the hormones affect me and I have light, super-regular periods (after putting up with heavy, long, irregular ones through late elementary, middle, and high school).

    tl;dr I have no complaints about the nuvaring. Is the lower cost worth the risk of switching?

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