I’m 15 and I want to get an IUD it’s the best choice for me I think. I’m sexually active and I have heavy periods…

…so it’s better to get this since I am not good at remembering things like birth control.  Am I allowed to get it even though I’m 15?  Also, I talked to my mom and she agrees with me, but we do not have the money to afford it.  Is it free?

It’s great that you’re thinking about your health and  birth control methods that would and wouldn’t work with your lifestyle!

IUDs (Intrauterine Devices) are long term, reversible methods of birth control used to effectively prevent pregnancy. An IUD is a T-shaped device that rests in the uterus.  There are two types of IUDs: Mirena & Paragard. Mirena works by releasing hormones to prevent ovulation – the process where the ovaries release an egg – and thickening the cervical mucus. The Mirena is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy and lasts for up to 5 years! Paragard is made of copper which causes sperm to die within the uterus before it can fertilize an egg. Paragard contains no hormones, but is also 99% effective in preventing pregnancy for up to 10 years!

We recommend Mirena for those who have heavy periods. Because Mirena contains the hormone progesterone,  it can make the period lighter. Some people who use Mirena don’t get a period at all! Others may experience spotting (small amounts of irregular bleeding) instead. Paragard, on the other hand, can increase cramping and period flow. We recommend Paragard for people who experience light, easy periods, and who would like to menstruate on their regular cycle.

It has also recently been released that intrauterine devices may also reduce the risk of cervical cancer by 45%, as stated by a recent New York Times article.  The new information comes out of a review of studies conducted in Asia, South America, and Europe between 1985 and 2007. Researchers believe that inserting an IUD may create an immune response that helps the body fight off HPV. Check out the whole article here!

However, it’s important to note that IUDs do not prevent against any STIs! IUDs can be a great form a birth control, but you will want to use condoms 100% of the time to help with the prevention of STIs. Give Teen Clinic a call to schedule an appointment to talk about the IUD and if it will be the best choice for your body!

There was another great question about the process of getting an IUD that you can check out here.