Following Trump's win on Tuesday, you may have seen a trend on your social media feeds: many women are talking about getting IUDs (intrauterine devices) in the next couple months before the president-elect's January inauguration. And it’s not just online chatter: representatives from Planned Parenthood have reported an increase in calls made to schedule IUD appointments in the last week.
He’s also been vocal about appointing anti-abortion Supreme Court justices in an effort to repeal Roe vs. Wade, the landmark case that legalized abortion. He told CBS’ Leslie Stahl on “60 Minutes” that if it were overturned, the decision would go to the states, in which case, some women opting for an abortion “would have to go to another state.”
While we can only guess what Trump might accomplish during his term, it can’t hurt to prepare for the worst case scenario. And getting an IUD, which lasts for three to 10 years depending on which kind you opt for and is currently the most effective birth control method — at more than 99% effectiveness, according to Planned Parenthood — could safeguard you against unwanted pregnancy through a Trump presidency and beyond.
What do you need to know about getting one? We asked Dr. Laura MacIsaac, MD, MPH and Director of Family Planning for the Mount Sinai Health Systems, to give us a primer.
An IUD is a small, often T-shaped contraceptive device that’s inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. It uses either hormones or copper to thicken cervical mucus to block sperm from fertilizing the egg.
The procedure of getting an IUD inserted, while brief, can be painful for women who haven’t had children yet and therefore haven’t had their cervix dilated. In that case, MacIsaac normally recommends a high dose of Motrin taken with food before the procedure.
The copper option, ParaGard, lasts for 10 years and is completely hormone-free. Women who already have heavy periods and cramping should know its major side effect is that it makes periods even heavier and cramps worse.
Getting it removed