If you’re still searching the right birth control or you’re not satisfied with the one you’re on, Mirena or the copper IUD might be right for you. Long-acting and around 99% effective, the IUD is the contraceptive option of choice for a significant portion of South African women.
Here are the top seven reasons why South African women love the ‘loop’.
7 reasons women are grateful for the IUD birth control method
1.It works as an emergency birth control option
Did you know that the IUD is also a form of emergency contraception? That means if you have a slip-up, you can have an IUD inserted up to five days after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. Once in place, it will continue to protect you for several years, or until you have it removed.
2.You don’t have to remember to take a pill
Considered a ‘fit and forget’ contraceptive method, the intrauterine device is inserted into your uterus and provides protection against pregnancy for anything from three to 10 years, depending on the option you choose. The Mirena is a popular choice in South Africa, but there are others available too, like copper IUDs.
3.It’s more effective than the pill
No matter how careful you are about taking the pill, there are factors that can affect its efficiency that can be out of your control. Things like illness, taking other medication and simple human error can all affect its ability to keep you fully protected. Not so with the IUD, which works efficiently day after day, without human intervention. The pill is around 91% reliable while the IUD is at least 99% effective.
4.Your periods may be lighter
Some women find that within a few months of insertion, their periods are much lighter or absent altogether. While it’s true that at first, you may experience spotting or irregular bleeding, the long-term payoff could be worth it. “I know some women like to have regular periods but I’m not one of them,” says Zee, 24. “Ruined clothes? Constantly washing my bed sheets? And the pain? No thanks! I love that I don’t get my period any more.”
5.The Mirena releases low levels of hormones into your blood
Mirena in particular releases lower levels of hormones than other IUDs and certain other contraceptive methods. So, if you tend to be affected by higher-hormone methods, and if you know you function best with your hormone levels as close to their normal baseline as possible, Mirena could be your ideal option.
6.Insertion isn’t the worst thing
While every woman’s experience is different, a lot of ladies are surprised to discover that the insertion process isn’t as uncomfortable as they imagine. “I was expecting the worst, but it really wasn’t as bad as people had made it out to be,” says Lira, 29. “I took the pain medication that was recommended before and after, and one day after insertion, I was back to normal.”
7.It lasts for around five years
While it differs from IUD to IUD, the Mirena is effective for five years. What’s more, you can take it out any time before that and your fertility will return to normal more or less immediately.
Want to chat to us about getting an IUD?
Pop in to your nearest Marie Stopes centre to find out more about the IUD birth control options available to you. You may also have questions around IUD side effects, and we’ll be able to chat you through those too.