In the past few years, it seems like everyone — from your best friend to even lawmakers — has been talking about getting an intrauterine device, aka an IUD, as a form of birth control. It's easy to see the appeal of these devices: once inserted inside the uterus, they can prevent pregnancy and reduce period symptoms for a number of years. Now, actor Lucy Hale is opening up about why she chose an IUD in a new campaign with Bayer.
"I just turned 30, my career is in a really exciting spot, I'm all over the place and I've got a million things to worry about — and birth control just shouldn't have to be one of those things," Hale tells Refinery29 exclusively. As someone who had "the most painful periods and cramping," and often can't take pills on time due to a rigorous filming schedule, the Kyleena IUD, a hormonal IUD that lasts five years, seemed like the right choice. "I want a family someday, but not right now, so [the IUD] just one of those things that fits in perfectly with my life, and it was a no-brainer for me."
Growing up in a medical family with a mom who was a labor and delivery nurse, Hale was used to having frank discussions about birth control and other women's health issues at home. "I've always been the type of person who’s been an open book about my body and myself," she says. "I feel really lucky that my mom paved the way for me." From a young age, Hale recalls being aware of what birth control was and how it worked, although she recognizes that not everyone had the same freedom. "A lot of girls didn’t have that access, and they were scared or embarrassed to talk about these things," she says. "It seems to me that's more of the norm than what I grew up with."
Even now as an adult, Hale says she had heard some horror stories from friends about how IUDs worked, and what they really felt like, which gave her some pause. Luckily, her experience getting an IUD was "so painless," she says. Witnessing this discrepancy first-hand was one reason why she was inspired to create a video series with Bayer, which dispels some common misconceptions about IUDs in a lighthearted way. "The main thing is that every woman is different, every woman’s body is different, and you've got to make the right decision for you," she adds.
Hale hopes using her platform to speak up about her experience with birth control will empower her support system and fans to explore the birth control options that are available to them. "We’re in a really cool time for women that we can make these decisions, and it’s a scary time for women," she says. "We need to just really take our power back and learn as much as we can — and if it turns out it's right for you, that's totally cool."