Lara Answers Your Questions: IUDs

This is a question I received about a post I wrote on my experience with the IUD.  You can read the original post here.

Hi Lara,
Your IUD piece was interesting. I have had the opposite experience (insertion wasn’t a problem for me, seemingly good option while breastfeeding). I’d be interested in any articles you know of that talk about the cervical cancer link.
I know you are a FAM proponent- and while I was into that while trying to get pregnant, I just don’t feel that enthusiastic about it as birth control now that my family’s complete!

This woman raises a very important point about IUD insertion.  Once a woman has had a vaginal birth and her cervix has had the experience of opening fully, IUD insertion can be much easier.  Every woman’s body is different and this combined with the skill level of the practitioner inserting the IUD will certainly make each experience unique.  However, it is common knowledge and in the literature on IUDs that there is often pain and cramping associated with IUD insertion.  I was sharing my personal story and I experienced the insertion of my IUD as traumatic.  This may not have been so if I had been better informed of the possible level of discomfort.

I want to be clear that I was not proposing that IUDs cause cancer.  A pap smear indicated that I had precancerous cells on my cervix which basically means that the cells were abnormal.  It was proposed to me that the IUD may have contributed to a reading of abnormal cells on my cervix by creating inflammation or adhesions.  This does not mean that such cells would become cancerous rather, the IUD could have contributed to the abnormal pap.  You can see an in depth article about the cervix, pap smears and types of cells here.

Finally, I understand that there is no perfect system for birth control, there are potential benefits and draw backs to each.  We all have to decide what option fits best within our individual lifestyles.  On my blog I share my own personal experiences and try to give voice to issues that I don’t see being addressed on a wide enough scale.

I am a proponent of FAM (The Fertility Awareness Method) as the most natural form of birth control available.  (FAM uses the body’s natural cycles and looks at basal body temperature, cervical fluid and cervical changes to know when a woman is fertile).  I realize that FAM takes a certain level of commitment and personal responsibility as a method for preventing pregnancy and I don’t think it is for everyone as a method of contraception.  However, I think that every woman can benefit from understanding her body and it’s natural cycles.  Even if you’re not using FAM as your primary form of birth control, it is useful and empowering to know your cycle and what is normal in your body.

For those of you interested in Fertility Awareness and getting a better understanding of your hormonal cycle, I will be offering some more education on this soon!

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My Personal Hell with the IUD and Why I DON’T Recommend Them
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