Hey there, period-havers. Chances are, if you have the ability to get pregnant, you also have the ability to stress the fuck out about it. This is where birth control comes in. Sure, we all know about the pill, but the real champions of period management / not having a child are long-acting reversible methods.
These are your things like the rod, the injection and the IUD. These things do not mess around and are much more effective than the typical use of the pill. They’re also much less hassle than remembering to take a pill every day.
The rod, also known as the implant, lasts for three years. It’s a plastic rod, about the size and shape of a matchstick, which is inserted into your arm. It’s about 99 percent effective.
The Depo Provera injection is basically what it sounds like. Every three months you trot down to Student Health, pull down your pants and get a needle jabbed in your left buttock. The injection, though, has a lot of side effects, and it’s not recommended you stick with it for more than two years.
The IUD is the veteran of long-acting reversible methods. The copper IUD is great for people who don’t want hormones in their body but still want to avoid becoming a parent. However, most people find their periods become heavier and more painful with the copper IUD, so if you’re wanting lighter, or even no periods, this probably is not the method for you.
The Mirena IUD is hormonal but, unlike other methods of hormonal contraception, the hormones stay in a local area — in this case, the uterus. Most people find their periods become lighter or stop altogether, and once the IUD is inserted, you don’t have to worry about it again for over five years! For people who find having a period can trigger dysphoria, look into a method like this, which can eliminate that concern for a long time.
IUDs, however, can be painful for both your uterus and for your wallet. Unless you have a medical reason (apparently “I’m bleeding uncomfortably from my uterus once a month and I kind of want to avoid becoming a parent any time soon” doesn’t quite cut it), the Mirena will set you back around $350 dollars. But if you work that out over the cost saved on the pill, sanitary products and all the chocolate you would have bought, it will probably save you money.