Paragard IUD: The birth control for you and me

Samantha Cabeza, Staff Reporter

Starting any form of birth control can be scary, overwhelming and a very tough decision to make. 

If you are thinking about going on any form of birth control, I highly recommend using the Paragard. You may know this as the copper IUD, which is a non-hormonal, reversible form of birth control. IUDs prevent pregnancy by releasing either copper or hormones into your uterus. This impacts the movement of sperm and helps prevent them from reaching an egg. 

It is inserted into your uterus and the whole process takes about 10 minutes to complete. It is extremely painful but every woman experiences pain differently. Planned Parenthood recommends taking Ibuprofen before the procedure to reduce the significance of the pain. Scheduling your insertion around ovulation or your period may also reduce the pain you are in during and after your insertion. 

The Paraguard is 99% effective and reversible. You don’t have to worry about it for 10-12 years, meaning you never have to remember to take a pill or worry about accidents that may happen during sex. In the case you are to remove your IUD, you are able to get pregnant the day of removal if you wish. If you were to have a permanent form of birth control, such as tying your tubes, there is only a 50% to 80% chance of becoming pregnant if you were to reverse the procedure, according to the John Hopkins Medicine website. 

What I love about the copper IUD is that there are no hormonal side effects. The reason I got mine was because I am epileptic and almost no birth controls  can mix with my medication, which gave me limited options. Having non-hormonal birth control means you will experience none of the side effects (weight gain, mood swings, etc.) and still get your period monthly. 

When I got my IUD put in, the doctor who worked with me said that he has put in over a thousand IUDs. The most important part of this whole process is to find a doctor that is reliable and experienced. In that case, I would recommend going to CWUs Student Medical and Counseling Center (SMaCC), because the doctors and nurses there are extremely experienced with birth control and will make sure you feel comfortable with the process. 

I believe that the IUD benefits outweigh the potential side effects. There is a small chance that an IUD could become lodged, but this side effect only occurs in about 0.01% of cases. This can only happen if the uterus is torn during the insertion process, which again only happens in rare cases. This is why you need a doctor who is experienced in this field. 

Although the IUD is 99% effective, you still need to wear condoms due to the fact it does not prevent STDs. Even if you are with a partner that you trust, having a backup is still extremely important when it comes to possible accidents. Wearing a condom makes your IUD even more effective. Your IUD can also act as an emergency contraceptive if it is placed up to five days after an accident. 

College is a great time to explore what you like and who you like. Pregnancy is not something a young woman or couple should have to worry about while being in school. Having the most effective form of birth control can make sex more exciting without the worry of having an accident.

The SMaCC offers the service of putting in your IUD if approved by your insurance or if you are willing to pay out of pocket. Students must make an appointment to talk about their options first before making an appoinment to continue with the process of the insertion.