Why Women Are Ditching The Pill For IUDs

Tired of having to remember to take your birth control pill every day? You're not alone. According to a report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more and more women are ditching their birth control pills for the convenience of IUDs. No more pills? Sounds perfect, right? But don't throw your pills to the wind just yet — let's make sure we know just why IUDs are gaining so much attention.

They're effective

Alyssa Dweck, M.D.,author of V is for Vagina stated, "IUDs and other LARCS [long-acting reversible contraception] offer incredibly effective contraception." How effective? According to Planned Parenthood, IUDs are the most effective way to prevent pregnancy! Other contraceptives, like birth control pills, have about a 6 percent fail rate. Now, that number might not sound too high. But if we're comparing the two, IUDs win by far as they're over 99% effective. With that kind of coverage, you and your partner will be able to live your lives without worrying about an accidental pregnancy.

They've been around for a while

This type of contraceptive isn't exactly new — it's just become more mainstream. This report from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention explored data from 2011-2013. It turns out, 7.2 percent of American women, between the ages of 15-44, opted out of birth control pills and started using "long-acting reversible contraceptives" (like, IUDs). That's a relatively high percentage considering the multitude of options and the popularity of pills — and it's only going to keep growing as IUDs become more popular.

A one-and-done deal

Unlike birth control pills, you don't have to deal with your IUD on a daily basis. No more setting daily alarms to remember to take your pill. IUDs are a one-and-done type deal. According to Planned Parenthood, depending on which IUD you choose, it could last up to 12 years. You read that right! We don't know about you, but 12 years without having to worry about refilling birth control pills sounds pretty nice.

They can easily be removed

While your IUD can stay in place for years, you can always have it taken out. Now, you might be worried about the pain that comes with removing an IUD, but don't! It turns out, there's no pain at all. "Everyone get's nervous about [removal], but it should almost not be felt. Just one deep breath, and it's done," Jacques Mortez, M.D., an ob/gyn at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian Hospital told SELF. If, for whatever reason, you want to remove your IUD, just make an appointment with your doctor. Sounds easy enough.

No more heavy periods

Just like with birth control pills, there are many different types of IUDs. Some of them, like Mirena, have been found to greatly reduce your period. During a clinical trial, women with heavy periods reported 80-90% reduction in bleeding after just six months of having the Mirena IUD. Depending on the type of IUD, you might be able to say goodbye to heavy periods and the side effects that go along with them (like cramping and headaches — you know what we're talking about).

They are trying to prevent teen pregnancy

The American Academy of Pediatrics released this statement in 2014, "Given the efficacy, safety, and ease of use, LARC methods should be considered first-line contraceptive choices for adolescents." LARC (long-acting reversible contraception), includes progestin implants and IUDs. We've already learned that IUDs are effective when it comes to preventing pregnancy — more effective than birth control pills. Their effectiveness, combined with the fact that users don't have to worry about forgetting to take a pill, makes IUDs a great option for sexually active youth. Not only are IUDs gaining popularity, but they are quickly becoming the safest option for all women engaging in sexual activity.

They don't prevent stds

IUDs are similar to birth control pills in one very specific way — neither of them protect you against sexually transmitted diseases. According to Planned Parenthood, using a condom is the best way to prevent STDs, no matter what type of contraceptive you're using. If you decide IUDs are the right contraceptive for you, don't forget — they don't protect you against everything. Make sure you and your partner are safe, protected and know the facts about your IUD.

They're becoming popular

Long-acting contraceptives are gaining more attention as time goes on. Remembering to take a birth control pill every day isn't always easy. That's why contraceptives like IUDs have become so popular! According to the Center for Disease Control, the rate of women using long acting contraceptives has almost doubled between 2010 and 2013. Condoms, birth control, and other mainstream forms of contraception are still widely used, but it's clear that IUDs are gaining momentum and recognition.

IUDs might be right for you (or not)

Knowing the facts about different contraceptives is key. There are so many different methods out there and educating yourself on the topic will help you make a smart decision. Whether or not you choose to switch your birth control pills for an IUD is completely up to you. Everything has it's pros and cons — make sure you are aware of what to expect before taking the plunge. The information above might make you want to run out and get an IUD today — and I can't say I blame you. However, do your research and consult with your doctor to find a contraceptive that will work for you and your partner.