Pregnancy

IUDs: The Hottest Young Mom Trend Since Babyccinos

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There’s a new birth control method catching on with young mothers and it certainly isn’t the withdrawal method. The intrauterine device (IUD), once synonymous with women who were completely finished with childbearing, is becoming all the rage with a new generation with mommies standing in line ordering their babyccinos. Although some IUD-happy mothers aren’t officially finished with having children, their initiative to control their fertility demonstrates that for a younger sect of women — around 30 and under — unplanned babies just aren’t on the agenda.

The IUD has seen quite a jump in popularity in general, described as “making a come back” by The New York Times. Although the device was once plagued with reputations of infection and the wary speculation of infertility, modern women seem to be all about it:

The number of women in America now using an IUD has more than tripled since 2002. In the 12 months ending in August 2011, IUDs accounted for 10.4 percent of contraceptives issued by doctors, up from just 1.7 percent in the 12 months ending August 2002, according to data from SDI Health, a health care research firm.

The IUD currently exists in two forms: a T-shaped hormone emitter or a T-shape with copper wire. Although no contraception is 100% effective, the IUD is one of the most effective forms of birth control available according to Planned Parenthood, with less than one out of every 100 women getting pregnant each year.

Ever since the IUD was declared as “safe” and “cost-effective” by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists last year, mothers seem to be taking to the device with few complaints. Mothers flood forums like circleofmoms.com, espousing the joys of lighter periods, no more cramps, and of course — the main attraction — no concerns about getting pregnant.

Lynn, a mother of a toddler, writes:

My daughter will be 4 in October. I have had my IUD since, my six week check-up after having her. So November will be 4 years with an IUD and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. My periods are lighter, no more cramping. When before I got pregnant I had horrible pain, and heavy bleeding periods. Now I can hardly tell when it is that time of the month.

A mother of two named Julie chose to go with the IUD following the birth of her second child:

I got the 5yr one and it was great! There was mild cramping for about 30min after I got it, but that was all. Very worth it! I never had a problem or issue. My periods were more regular than they had ever been and were VERY light, only lasting a couple days also! Some women stop having periods after a year altogether. I had mine taken out recently as my 5yrs were up..I have tried several types of birth control, this is the most worry free, hassle free, non painful, way I have ever found!

Morgan, a mother looking to expand her family after a stint with the IUD, found that she had no problems conceiving again:

I had the Mirena IUD in after my first baby. When the doctor put it in, it went easily, just a little cramp, but nothing compared to labor and delivery, ha. Then, I bled lightly (just wore a menstrual pad) for a few weeks, and never thought about it again until I was ready to conceive my second baby. I had the IUD out in May and was pregnant in July.

One of our Mommyish readers named Amanda also used an IUD between her two pregnancies. The mother spoke highly not only of her experience, but also how the removal gave both she and her husband time to truly plan for their second baby:

After having my daughter and before I got pregnant with this baby, and I had [an IUD] and LOVED it. No thinking, and especially after having a baby the actual insertion is pretty painless. When I decided I wanted to get pregnant again, it was nice that I had to call the doctor and make plans, I couldn’t be impulsive and just stop birth control. It was nice to slow down, talk to my husband, make the appointment, talk with my OBGYN before I got pregnant, and then I managed to get pregnant the very next cycle.

Another reader in her late 20s named Vanessa, a mother of a toddler girl, told Mommyish that she has happily been on her IUD for two years now. After getting pregnant once before while on birth control pills, the young mom isn’t willing to take any further fertility gambles. She also developed a blood clot in her leg while using generic Ortho Tri-Cyclen, severely limiting further consideration of hormonal options. After deciding that she definitely did not want any more children, Vanessa didn’t have very many options.

“Condoms alone were simply too scary for me and when I found out I could have an implant and not have to think about it for the next seven years or so it sounded perfect.,” she says. Vanessa now enjoys Paragard — an IUD that releases a small amount of copper instead of hormones. When I ask the mother if she’s ever used the infamous pull out method to evade pregnancy, she describes the practice as “way too scary for me.”

“I have never been comfortable with the pull out method,” she says. “It just seems like a really bad idea, especially if you are 100% sure you are done having children.”

In response to the overwhelming popularity of the withdrawal method, she suggests that those enthused by practice must truly be okay with an “accident” — a risk that she and many other younger mothers simply are not willing to take.

(photo: safeandeffective.org)

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