Feb 26, 2013
joined My Stranger Face
Feb 26, 2013
commented on Savage Love
I have a copper IUD and have become a complete evangelist for them. No hormones (after more than a decade of unpleasant side effects, I had dumped the pill and stuck to condoms before persuading my GYN to give me an IUD). Some GYNs are leery of giving IUDs to women without children for two reasons--the cervix of a nulliparous woman is smaller and makes insertion more painful, and also some doctors still have hangovers from the first generation IUDs (Google Dalkon shield, but only if you're brave) and the complications that they caused, often resulting in permanent infertility.
There's not much to be done about the cervix--yes, it'll hurt, you'll bleed like a mofo for a few days and spot for a few days after that, and your first six months of periods will be pretty ghastly as your body adapts. BUT! Hang in there, and they will normalize. I never feel mine; I never think about it except once a month when I check the string to make sure it's still in place; and it's good for 10 years. Set it and forget it!
And the problems with the Dalkon shield and its ilk have been resolved with technology--what happened was that the string attached to the old IUDs was made of cotton, which had a nasty habit of wicking vaginal bacteria up into the uterus. The new IUDs use strings made of nylon, which are not absorbent and do not do this. There are always risks to implanting anything in your body long term, but those risks are much, much smaller than they used to be.
TL;DR I wish I'd had an IUD in college and highly recommend it.