Hands up: how many of you reading this right now are on the pill? Many, I presume. After all, it’s the most common form of birth control. It’s easy to get, with a simple method of use and good reliability – should you remember to take it regularly, that is. But unless you’re fortunate enough to be on a health plan of some sort, your daily dose of estrogen and/or progestin will cost you a pretty penny, making it far from the most economical way to keep unwanted offspring at bay. For all of the city’s sexually active and non-baby-seeking ladies, there must be a cheaper yet equally reliable way!
Fear not, poor and randy ones. The IUD is here. In fact, it’s been around since the 1950s and offers you a remarkably cost-effective form of birth control compared to the tried-and-true pill. There is a hormonal version ($350, lasting up to five years) which works in a similar way to the pill, but the savviest of you should opt for the copper IUD, which stops you from getting pregnant by preventing fertilization via a chemical change in your uterus. It will set you back $50 – a small price to pay for five glorious baby-free years.
There are plenty of reasons why the IUD could be the right form of birth control for you…
Money, money, money
Crunching the numbers makes the IUD a clear and obvious choice for penny pinchers. Five years of Alesse (about $9 a pack if purchased from a clinic) rings up at $540 while Yasmin ($18 a pack) comes up at a pricey $1080.
No more hormones!
While some of you may be sailing smooth through your cycles, the hormonal changes caused by the pill can wreak havoc with your body: mood swings, weight gain and breakouts galore. Should you choose the copper IUD, you won’t have to worry about your birth control messing with any of the above.
Sure, the pill is pretty reliable when you take it at the same time each day, every day. But let’s get real – we’re busy (and forgetful) people and missed or late pills are a common occurrence. With the IUD, you can get it on worry free.
We should note that the IUD doesn’t protect you from any of those nasty STIs, so make sure you’re using a condom with a new or unfamiliar partner. And with the good does come the bad – there are some disadvantages when using the IUD, such as accidental expulsion or perforation of your uterus (both are rare, but are risks nonetheless), a bit of pain during insertion (done by a pro, of course – your doctor or a gynaecologist), heavier periods and more cramps (boo!).
If the thought of a little piece of metal stuck in your insides makes you feel a bit icky, there are still some ways you get sexy and save. If you don’t already, be sure to fill your pill prescription at a sexual health clinic like the Bay Centre For Birth Control (790 Bay Street) instead of your local pharmacy. You’ll do way with dispensing fees and can save some decent coin. At the Bay Centre, and at most other sexual health clinics in Toronto, you can also get Plan B and some sweet and slippery Astroglide at cheaper than street price. As an added bonus, there’s a well-stocked basket of free condoms by the entrance. No broke bitch could pass that one up.