The Mirena IUD
Right now I am currently laid up on the couch, my hot water bottle with its fuzzy lamb cover firmly resting on my tummy, hot mug of peppermint tea beside me. Earlier today was zero craic as I went into my GP to have my Mirena replaced. While getting a little plastic device yanked out of my womb and have another one shoved back in there isn't a very pleasant experience, I can think of far worse things - like actually having to push a baby out of me. While bringing new life into the world is beautiful and miraculous for many, and hanging out with my friends' kids gives me an excuse to pretend I have laser guns for hands, I couldn't think of much else more horrifying for me personally than having to give birth. It's a choice I made long ago, and I don't see it changing anytime in the future.
With that in mind, I love me some birth control, and my contraception method of choice is the Mirena. IUD's have come a long way since the terrifying looking devices of the 1960-70's and now are seeing a resurgence in recent years. There are 2 types of IUD available in Ireland: the Mirena and the Copper T 380. Both options prevent sperm from reaching the egg by causing your cervical mucus to thicken. The Mirena releases a small amount of hormonal birth control, while the copper in the Copper T 380 acts as a spermicide.
For me personally, the choice to switch to an IUD was easy. At 25 I had been taking the pill for nearly 10 years and always had trouble remembering to take them or bring my pack with me on holidays. Choosing a contraception method is very personal, so it's always best to discuss it with your doctor. If you're thinking of getting an IUD, I highly recommend you read about both the advantages and disadvantages of getting one. The Well Woman Centre, Planned Parenthood, and Oh Joy Sex Toy all have great information about IUD's.
I'm not going to lie, having one inserted and replaced sucks! Today was particularly difficult as my womb has a small bit of scar tissue at the opening, and it took my doctor a few goes to get it fitted properly. But for me the short-term pain and a day or two of cramps is worth it to not have periods for 5 years (I'm one of the lucky few who don't get them at all), and not have to think about taking a pill every day.