The Quest for the Perfect Birth Control

The Copper IUD

Can I just take a moment to say that I’m a little bitter that I am on the quest for birth control so soon? I guess I’m just one of the lucky ones. Well, whether I like it or not, here I am. And I REALLY don’t want to get pregnant anytime soon. It’s time for me to see what my options are. So, I checked-out a cute little slideshow by WebMd that highlighted all the various forms of birth control. It wasn’t very encouraging. Most methods have alarmingly high pregnancy rates, well, high by my standards. Remember, I REALLY do NOT want to get pregnant anytime soon. The most effective methods, according to WebMd are: Implant, IUD, Vasectomy, Tubal methods, and the birth control shot. Those are the methods which have a 97-99% effectiveness rate. Anything lower than that makes me nervous. 

Well, in case you didn’t notice, most of those methods are pretty invasive. I also don’t want a method that has any hormones (they make me wacky) so that really limits my options to: Copper IUD, Vasectomy, and Tubal methods. “Tubal methods” and a Vasectomy are both permanent so those are off of the table because I may get some sort of “mommy amnesia” and decide to do all of this craziness again. I know that Caleb definitely isn’t ready to make that permanent of a decision either. So that leaves me with the Copper IUD.

So, I go to my primary care physician today and ask her what she thinks of the Copper IUD. She tells me that if I do the Copper IUD that I won’t be able to get pregnant for at least 10 years (not true) and that the method works by scarring the uterine tissue (also not true). How do you tell your doctor that they’re wrong? Well, I’m a chicken so I just smiled and nodded as she handed me a referral to an OB/GYN. I figured I’ll just talk about it with the next doctor and hope that she has more knowledge on the subject. My doctor had recommended the Merina IUD instead. She said it would be a great option because it’s a “progestin” based implant and can be removed at any time. Again, I smiled and nodded. I just figured I would do some research and then talk to the OB/GYN about it.

Sure enough, I go online and google Merina IUD only to find a million horror stories. So then I google Copper IUD and find more horror stories. What is it about these online forums? It’s nearly impossible to find anyone who has something good to say about anything. I remember in one of my Social Psychology classes, our professor talked about this phenomenon. Apparently, people are much more motivated to share negative experiences than positive ones. It makes sense. We have a bad experience, we never want it to happen again, we hope that by complaining about it things will change. I get that… but seriously people, I’m starting to feel like I’m just trying to find the best bad option.

All that to say that I still don’t know what I’m going to do. If any of you have some experiences you would like to share it would be greatly appreciated!

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17 thoughts on “The Quest for the Perfect Birth Control

  1. Hi Jaclyn,

    Thanks for the linkback to the post about my Mirena experience. I wrote that post (and a recent follow up one) not because I wanted to complain about it, but because I wanted women to understand that there can be very troubling side effects to this BC method and some that we are never told about. Just like your doctor telling you a lot of misinformation about the copper IUD, there is a lot of missed information about the Mirena IUD as well.

    Good luck with your quest!



    • Hi Natasha!
      I was very thankful for your post about Mirena, it was very informative. I think it’s ok to have complaints. The Mirena IUD shouldn’t be touted as the “perfect solution” because it comes with risks. My frustration is with the fact that there is so much to complain about on the topic of birth control, not with the people who are rightfully complaining. I’m sorry I didn’t make that more clear in my post. I appreciate yours (and others) willingness to share their experiences candidly as they are more valuable to me than the shiny pharma advertisements in my dr’s office!
      Take Care (and I love your blog btw!),


  2. I had the Mirena for five years without a problem. I also know a few other women who found it to be fine. I initially thought it was causing some grief, but that turned out to be my thyroid.

    I had the Mirena removed two months ago because I was ready for a permanent option.

    You really won’t know until you try, and either the Mirena or copper can be removed quickly if you need to.

    Stay away from the online forums! They will scare the pants off anyone 😉

    Good luck.


  3. Hey Jaclyn,
    I know everyone’s experience is different, but I’ve had the mirena IUD twice now…once after my son and now after my daughter. I have LOVED it both times, have no issues what so ever with it and I actually got pregnant with my daughter the month after I took it out. Just thought I’d share my experience with it:)


  4. I hear you! My baby is *only* 7 months. I love him so much but I don’t feel quite ‘ready’ for another. If it happened, I’d of course welcome another baby with joy but it is nice to have some time to breath if possible.
    That said, I heart Natural Family Planning. I hate to share it in a ‘birth control’ post because I don’t look it at like that. It’s more of a way of life than a ‘birth control method’. It’s 100% effective (when done correctly of course like with anything), it’s 100% natural and therefore 100% safe.
    The only ‘side affects’: Couples who practice NFP may grow closer together, improve their communication skills with each other, and learn to appreciate each other’s fertility and bodies at a higher level.
    Aside from that, using NFP has helped me personally be more aware about my own body and my fertility. It’s helped me pinpoint the causes of certain issues (acne, pms, ppd, etc) and find natural and effective solutions. It’s quite empowering actually knowing and appreciating the natural cycle of my body.
    Now, as great as it is, it can be ‘difficult’ as it does require a lot of individual and mutual responsibility, constant communication between the couple, and discipline.
    That’s why it’s more of a way of life than a ‘quick fix’.


  5. I’m on the quest as well…I’m currently using Sprintec, but I have horrible side effects that I’d rather not discuss! I thought about getting the shot, but it’s not permanent. I thought about getting Essure because it IS permanent, but then I read about all the nasty side effects to THAT. So I’m interested to hear what you decide. 🙂


  6. Oh Jaclyn, once again you’ve voiced some of my own concerns oh so well. I really struggled with making this choice. It was hard to do research because you are right, everyone complains. I finally just had to take what I feel as a leap of faith. I made my very best guess, and am trying not to think much more in it, because ultimately, whatever will be will be. I cannot predict the future, as much as that angers me, and at some point I decided I have to learn to just let go and live, otherwise I might be afraid all the time. And that is no way to live. So now that I’ve read your post I’m going to forget about it. 🙂


  7. Hi Jaclyn – Boy, can I tell you that I totally RELATE! I hope you have looked at alternative contraception and birth control that are natural, often inexpensive and when practiced right, effective. After looking around your blog (of which I am now following, I found you via “Birth Control” on AllTop), you seem like the RIGHT type of person that these methods will work! Don’t give up, please check out my process and I hope you see something you can implement! Also, please ask anything in my comments or contact form OK? Wishing you and your family the absolute BEST! 🙂


  8. I guess I’d be mostly in the natural family planning camp because I’ve not used any hormonal birth control during our entire marriage. That and the good old fashioned condom. And we didn’t get pregnant until we wanted to (and then we got pregnant very quickly) so I’m a fan of the simple stuff, I guess. 🙂 Everything else has side effects that I don’t want to mess with! I hope you figure out what will be ideal for you!


    • I would usually be in the NFP camp too but I just know way too many people who accidentally increased their family using that method! Ha! Maybe when I’m a little more comfortable with the chance if possibly getting pregnant I’ll take that route. It’s definitely very appealing to me. We actually used it to help me conceive. I loved being so in touch with my body. I’m glad that it worked well for you guys!


  9. Well, I use the FemCap. It has a 98% success rate and requires no hormones. I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned that, but it has worked for me so far. I’d look into it if I were you, but it isn’t for everyone. I love it, however.


    • Thanks for the comment! Yes, I did look into that. Unfortunately, for women who have had a baby the percentage of accidental pregnancies increases dramatically. It is definitely no where near 98% effective. I wish it were or I would have taken that route! I used a diaphragm before and really liked it. My midwife recommended the femcap until she realized how much I didn’t want to get pregnant… Then, she recommended the copper IUD. 🙂


      • Wow. I didn’t know that. I’ll have to look into that since I’ve had a child, but have you looked into feeding your husband Neem oil? There aren’t really any western studies done on this, but I do know there are some out there from other countries. Apparently, it disables sperm, at least from my understanding. Although, you probably don’t want to risk it. Ha ha. 🙂


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