I Love My IUD — But Not The Side Effects

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By Kendall McKenzie
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I have the Mirena IUD, and I absolutely love it. However, I am still super wary of the fact that I don’t get my period regularly, as awesome as it is, because I’m constantly anxious about being pregnant. What are the legitimate chances that I might get pregnant with the IUD correctly in place? What are the warning signs if the device isn’t correctly in place? I ask, because my gyno actually just retired and I haven’t found a new one yet. Any IUD tips or facts would be greatly appreciated!
It’s pretty common for the Mirena IUD to shorten, lighten, and even eliminate your period. The chances of getting pregnant with an IUD in place are super incredibly slim — IUDs are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. So, you can relax. Odds are your IUD is doing a bang-up job of keeping buns out of your oven, regardless of menstruation (or lack thereof).
As you note, pregnancy is possible if your IUD moves out of place or gets expelled. If it helps you feel more relaxed, you can check the strings that hang out of your cervix every now and then. If they’re way longer or shorter than normal, or have disappeared altogether, see a nurse or doctor about it. Same if you can feel the plastic part of the IUD coming out of your cervix.
Remember, you can also use condoms if you want an extra dose of pregnancy prevention. And, condoms are the ONLY method of birth control that also protect against STDs.
It’s a bummer when our favorite doctors retire, but remember you can always visit a Planned Parenthood health center for all your gyno needs (and then some!). We happen to think our staff is pretty great.
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-Kendall at Planned Parenthood
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