Tag Archives: IUD

Consider A Copper IUD The Next Time You Need The Morning After Pill


The night was wonderful but the contraception didn’t go quite as planned. Instead of a trip to Walgreens or CVS for the Morning After Pill, why not consider a trip to your doctor’s office or a clinic for an IUD (intrauterine contraceptive device)? Few ladies – especially young women – think of getting a copper IUD instead of emergency contraceptive (EC) pills. (A copper IUD means not a hormonal IUD or Mirena…) This is what a recent study found published in Contraception Journal in April 2018.

The study looked at the awareness of women between 18 – 25 years  who didn’t want to get pregnant and who were getting contraceptive counseling at 40 Planned Parenthood health clinics during the years of 2011 – 2013.  Less than 8% of these women were aware of IUD inserted within 5 days of unprotected sex as a method of emergency contraception.

Your friendly doctor

Agreed: going to a Planned Parenthood Clinic isn’t exactly as convenient as a trip to the drugstore. And maybe you know an IUD isn’t right for you. But, now you know it’s an option for emergency contraception, if you didn’t know before…

Should You Get An IUD Or Another Long-Acting Birth Control Method Before Trump Takes Office?

A lot of social media sites are urging women to get an IUD, which can cost upwards of $800 without insurance, or another long-acting method like contraceptive implants, before Trump takes office in January. Birth control is free under Obamacare (a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act – ACA) and does not require a co-payment. But, during his campaign, Trump promised to get rid of Obamacare. Now, several weeks before he takes office, Trump is beginning to say he may keep some of the more “popular” provisions of Obamacare (and what… call it “Trumpcare” or something…?)

It’s not an understatement to say women are straight up scared.  Gynecologists, Planned Parenthood and other health clinics around the country report a massive increase in calls, emails, and texts asking for birth control – especially the long-acting, reversible kind, before Trumpism spreads across our land. Women want birth control that can outlast a Trump presidency.(SuzyKnew! has to stop here and say: What a shameful way to start a presidency by making so many Americans terrified!)

Others, such as the NY Times, say not to worry. Trump can’t reverse everything the first day he walks into office. They say it will take months – maybe years – to unravel everything. Selecting a contraceptive method – especially a long-term one – shouldn’t be done hastily, and an IUD, depending on the type, can last from 3 – 10 years.

Courtesy of RHrealitycheck.org
Courtesy of RHrealitycheck.org

Just over 11% of U.S. women using birth control chose IUDs. But, the highly-effective method is becoming more popular – and affordable with ACA. However, there can be side effects when you go from one type of birth control like the pill, the most popular method among U.S. women, to another method like the IUD, implant or injectable. Different contraceptive methods affect your body and menses differently. Of course, you could have your IUD removed if things weren’t working for you. But, do some “googling” and know what to expect before making a change to an IUD or implant, and of course check in with your healthcare provider.


It is clear the most vulnerable part of the ACA is the requirement that health insurers cover contraception for all women without a co-payment. Kaiser Family Foundation claims before Obamacare, 28 states covered contraception and 85% of employer plans covered contraception.

But, what about co-payments? And, 28 out of 50 states isn’t that great of a ratio. Plus, the devil is in the details

And, ladies, ladies, ladies…

Do you trust this man not do something crazy?  And fast? It took him just over a week after becoming president-elect to appoint alt-right, white nationalist Steve Bannon as his chief strategist and select Jeff Sessions as his nominee for Attorney General. Just sayin’…

SuzyKnew! just wants to make sure you have the info. It’s up to  to you to decide what to do next.

Your thoughts, ladies…?

Liletta, the New IUD Tested On Women Of Color And Heavy Women

Photo courtesy of RHrealitycheck.org

So, you say you wish you knew whether new medical products – like contraceptives – were widely tested on women of color for safety and effectiveness. And, you wish clinical trials were done on women like you – a big, lovely woman with curves. Well, your wish has come true at least for one new product: Liletta, the new hormonal IUD recently approved by the U.S. FDA to prevent pregnancy for up to three years. The study is on-going to test the product’s effectiveness beyond 3 years.

Liletta was approved based on results from the largest hormonal IUD clinical trial conducted in the U.S. which was designed to reflect the U.S. population. Studied in women between 16-45 years of age, of which 13.3% were African-American and 14.7% Hispanic, Liletta was found to be 99.45% effective.  The product prevented pregnancy in women regardless of age, whether they had had children and regardless of their body mass. The mean BMI of the women studied was 26.9 kg/m2 ranging from 15.8kg/m2 – 61.6kg/m2

Currently, there are 3 IUD options in the U.S. including 2 hormonal options: Mirena and Skyla. IUD’s are one of the fastest growing contraceptive options in the US and this 4th option will aim to be the most affordable hormonal one.  Not expected to be available for insertion until this spring, the prce of Liletta should be low enough for women to purchase it out of pocket without insurance.

And, when you’re ready to get pregnant, the vast majority of women were able to get pregnant within 12 months of removal and some within two weeks.

ASK AN OBGYN: I Want To Use What Lady Docs Use For Their Lady Parts

I am sick of worrying about birth control and know I don’t want to get pregnant for at least 3-5 years.   What do lady doctors use? I mean they must know a thing or two about birth control and their lady parts, right?


Dear SuzyKnew Reader:

The IUD is one of the most popular methods among female physicians- the ultimate busy professional woman[3].

IUDs are safe, highly effective and low-maintenance. There are two types, hormonal and hormone-free.  Here are a few IUD facts:

*IUDs are classified as LARCs or long-lasting reversible contraceptive methods, meaning they work for a long time, but are reversible at anytime.  Many women report getting pregnant the first month or two after the IUD is removed.  Many women keep their IUDs in for the maximum time and then get a new one.


*Looking for a highly effective birth control method? The IUD ranks in at 99%.


*They are easy to start using, and immediately effective with no wait time.   An IUD can be inserted in a few minutes in your doctor’s office.  Pain associated with the procedure is highly individualized, but most patients experience mild cramping.


*No need to re-up your supply or obtain a script with the IUD.  Once it’s in you just check the strings every month and see your doctor once a year for your annual exam.


*It’s affordable and most insurance plans pay for the device, as well as insertion and removal.  Even if your plan doesn’t pay, you may look at the cost of the IUD over spread over several years of no cost for contraception (besides condoms for safe sex!).


*IUD use has increased among American women in all age groups and races over the past several years[1].  Maybe it has to do wit the increase in busy professional women.   It’s used by a lot of European women- 27% of women in Norway and 19% of women in France[2].





So if you are ready for a IUD, how do you choose which one?  There are two products available in the U.S.- Mirena and ParaGard.  I developed a little chart to help you.  Also, please refer to My Method, a great interactive tool that can help you find the best method for your lifestyle and needs.



Mirena ParaGard
Effectiveness in years Up to 5 years Up to 10 years
Contains hormones Releases progesterone only so it can be used by breastfeeding women and does not have side effects related to estrogen Does not contain hormones. The copper-filament makes it more effective.
Use by women with no children (nulliparous) Package insert says it’s intended for women with at least one child, although there is debate on this.  Best to go with your doctor’s advice. Package insert was changed in 2005 to allow for use among nulliparous women.
Side effect- bleeding Most women have lighter periods that can stop altogether. Many women have heavier periods for the first six months.  This may be a factor if you are anemic or are starting off with heavy periods.
Side effect- cramping Most women have little or no cramping. Many women experience longer, crampier periods on ParaGard.
Prevents STIs Nope Nope



Good luck.

[1] http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr062.pdf

[2] www.guttmacher.org/pubs/gpr/10/4/gpr100419.html

[3] Frank, E. Contraceptive use by female physicians in the United States.  Gynecol. 1999 Nov;94 (5 pt1):666-71

ASK AN OBGYN: Is There a More Effective “Morning-After” Method?


Dear SuzyKnew Obgyn:

Besides Plan B (also called the morning-after pill), is there any other way to prevent pregnancy if you’ve had unprotected sex?




Dear LaVinia,

Thank you for your question.  Yes, there are other ways to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex.  One that has been successfully used for over 35 years is the intrauterine device (IUD).  Inserted within 5 days of unprotected sex, the IUD can reduce the incidence of pregnancy by 99%.

A study published May 5 online in the journal Human Reproduction, reviewing over 35 years of data in 6 countries on the use of  IUD’s as an emergency contraceptive, indicates that IUDs are actually more effective than the morning-after pill. Although getting an IUD inserted requires a doctor’s visit and more upfront money  than the morning-after pill, which only requires a trip to the pharmacy and a few dollars or pounds, the IUD – a long-term method – is a lot more cost-effective in the long run. This means, if leave an IUD inserted (IUDs can remain in place for more than 8 years), it will only cost you pennies per pleasure session!

While many providers in the US (unlike in the UK) may not mention this discreet medical device as an emergency contraceptive or “morning after” option , take it upon yourself to ask your health care provider to discuss using an IUD for EC the next time the occasion arises.

P.S.  To protect yourself from HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, you’ll still need condoms with an IUD until you both have a recent HIV test. Keep it safe, ladies!


ASK AN OBGYN is not meant to be a substitute for your doctor or health care provider. Contact your provider with any health issues you may have.