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Intravaginal birth control : ouch!


intravaginal birth controlThere are many types of birth control out there, some of them are invasive and some are not. Trying to decide which one is right for you can be a challenge : there’s just so much to think about and so many brands to choose from! The most popular types of birth control after condoms is the birth control pill. Condoms are wonderful and prevent STd’s as well as pregnancy but they can be a pain to use if you are in a stead relationship or married. Pills are a simple choice and are easy to take. Dosage is daily but it’s not invasive at all. You can also stop taking the pills and come off it without having to visit the doctor if you do decide to start trying for a baby. Would you take birth control pills for years at a time or would the daily dosage get tiring after a while? Ever added up how much you spend on birth control pills a year?

While incredibly popular as a long term birth control option, birth control pills can get costly. Most people buy them in 3 month supply’s but it still adds up over the course of a year. Some women even come off the pill and risk pregnancy to save a few bucks here and there. Some women simply get tired of the daily dosing or repeated missing their doses hand having to start their cycle again.

If you are looking for long term birth control that is convenient and cost effective then why not go for an IUD like Mirena?

While the outlay is larger than a 3 month supply of pills you’ll quickly find that the cost of monthly pills or patches add up to more than an IUD that can last you 5 years at a time.

For this reason IUD’s are becoming an increasingly popular choice. There’s just one thing that deters women from going down this route. It’s the thought of having a plastic device permanently up the vagina and the pain of having it actually inserted. For those of us who have been through child birth the insertion pain and invasion of having the device fitted is less of a concern. However, for some women it’s the biggest concern and the reason why they shy away from IUD’s.

So, let’s talk about IUD’s and get this all out in the open.

IUD is an abbreviation for Intrauterine device. There are two different kinds of IUD’s (also known as the coil in some countries). It’s a small, flexible T shaped device that is made from plastic or copper and is inserted into the uterus (via the vagina). Some IUD’s secrete hormones into the body and some do not. ParaGuard (Nova T) is a copper IUD that does not contain hormones. Essentially, it stops the sperm from meeting and fertilizing the egg so no pregnancy can take place. If the egg isn’t fertilized and it cannot attach itself to the uterine lining then there’s no pregnancy. Mirena is a plastic IUD that does this same job but in a slightly different way. First of all Mirena is a hormonal birth control that contains Progestin is a synthetic type of progesterone hormone. It prevents pregnancy by controlling if and when the ovary releases the egg. It also prevents the sperm from moving around and finding the egg to fertilize in the same way as the copper IUD but it also thickens the cervical mucus so the sperm gets blocked by it and can’t meet and fertilize the egg.

Let’s face it having it inserted into the uterus is not fun but you don’t need surgery and your local gynecologist can do it for you. The procedure only takes 10 minutes and it lasts for years.

Once an IUD has been fitted you can experience bleeding and cramping for anywhere up to a few weeks. After the bleeding subsides your periods might be irregular for a few months or you might spot between periods for a while but after it settles down, the level of monthly bleeding and cramping become much less than before you started with the IUD. Some women even say that their menstruation stops : totally. Imagine that! Life without Tampax (or at least with little tampax)! Surely that’s got to be worth the uncomfortableness of having it fitted! It is also 99% effective with no effort involved. Another plus is that when you do finally decide to start trying for a baby you can have it removed and start trying right away. IUD’s don’t mess with your natural hormones like pills and patches do, so your body returns to its normal reproductive self pretty much right away. The effects of IUD’s are reversible once they are out.

Always discuss all options with your doctor before buying and IUD. You will need to go for a full body check and have some blood work done to make sure that you are healthy and have no vaginal, pelvic or sexually transmitted infections. As with all medications and hormonal therapies side effects can occur. It’s important to tell your doctor about all the other medications and illnesses that you have or have had in the past so they can make an accurate assessment of the birth control suitability. You should also go for 6 monthly check-ups to make sure it is still in the correct place and to discuss any other healthcare concerns.

So is it “ouch” to get an IUD fitted? If you ask most women the answer will be yes”¦.. but, it’s well worth it. With an IUD you get birth control without thinking about it, you have the peace of mind that it’s 99% effective and you save yourself some money in the long run.

Mirena on costs even less than in your local pharmacy. gives Mirena plus free delivery, a free gift and a “change IUD” reminder near the end of your 5 years for just $250. Our managing pharmacist is also always here to answer any concerns that you might have.

If the IUD does not appeal to you because you don’t want such long term birth control or because you are worried about the pain of it being fitted then look at using birth control rings instead. Vaginal rings like Nuvaring and Estring are very easy and pain free to fit (you do this by yourself at home) and they are somewhere in between using birth control pills and an IUD. Vaginal birth control rings stay in for 3 weeks at a time and release steady hormones, just like the birth control pill. The cost is also far more in line with birth control pills as is the longevity. Here are some pros and cons to using Nuvaring

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