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Author Topic: IUDs
cmd023
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I am a 22 year old female and have never been sexually active before. The last time I saw my gynecologist I told her I was curious about getting a non-hormonal IUD. I am interested in an IUD because I am opposed to hormonal birth control (this is a really bad option for me, just trust me...) and it is highly likely that I will be taking a job assignment abroad, in a country with an unfamiliar and underdeveloped medical system. While I am not in a relationship yet, it is something that I believe will happen within the next few years. An IUD is attractive to me because it lasts for several years at a time, does not require constant maintenance, and there is no room for user error. However, my doctor was very dismissive towards me, and refused to discuss it with me. She says she does not typically insert IUDs in women that have never had children before. This bothered me, because I have done my research and have read countless articles about the safety of copper IUDs for all women. I am aware of the risks and am confident in my ability to make informed decisions about my health and my body, but after speaking with my doctor I felt very trapped and upset. I can't talk to my parents because they have raised me with a very shameful attitude towards sex. All I want to do is prevent pregnancy in the healthiest way possible for myself. Why should it have to be so hard?? I really need you to help show me how convince my doctor to give me the IUD, in the most intelligent and mature way I possibly can. Or, do you recommend that I just find a different doctor? Help!
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cmd023
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I would just like to add that I would not intend for the IUD to be my only form of contraception. I fully intend to use a condom with a future partner, at least until the relationship reaches a long-term and committed status.
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Heather
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Well, I don't think it is as hard as it might seem.

While the standards of care right now with IUDs and candidates for them do NOT exclude people who have not been pregnant before, I hear this one provider saying it's not her standard AND she doesn't usually do insertions with nulliparous women. That alone, for me, would mean to find another doctor, just from the standpoint of wanting someone who was practiced with insertion with that group of people, since it can be trickier, so you would want someone who DOES often do that.

You've got some great sexual health clinics and providers in NJ. Would you like help finding someone who can do this for you? If so, I'm happy to help you do that.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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September
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(Heather was faster)

[ 02-08-2012, 10:15 AM: Message edited by: September ]

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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cmd023
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Heather and Joey,

Thank you so much for your replies. Yes, I would love some help finding a provider in my area that will do this for me! Anything in Northern NJ would be great.

Thank you so much!

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Heather
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You got it! Can you tell me if you have insurance that will cover this care and the IUD insertion, or if you're using public health or looking for sliding-scale cash payment?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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cmd023
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I have insurance (Cigna) that will cover this!
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Heather
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Okay! Off on the awesome IUD-provider hunt I go! [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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Actually, before I search for anyone else, I know I can recommend the fine folks at the HiTops clinic: http://princetonhealthcenter.org/youth/health-clinic-services/female-health-services/

Is that within your reach?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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cmd023
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Unfortunately it's a couple hours away. It's doable but my first choice would be something in the northeast part of the state!
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Heather
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Okay. You know, they're so great, let me toss their director an email and see if I can't get a direct referral for you.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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cmd023
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Thanks so much!!
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cmd023
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Also, do you have any advice on how to present this issue in front of my parents? Since I'm not yet financially independent, they're probably going to have to know about it. They're pretty open-minded generally speaking..but also never had a sex talk with me...so I don't really know what to do.
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Heather
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So, talking with them wouldn't so much be about the IUD specifically, but about contraception, period, and also would be the first time you and they ever had any kind of talk about sex?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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cmd023
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Yes. They have never even mentioned the mere existence of contraception to me so this conversation would probably involve me having to tell them why I think I need it in the first place. I plan on presenting it to them by first telling them that I have no immediate need for contraception right now (which is the complete truth), and that the IUD is insurance against pregnancy scares for the next 5-10 years of my life, whatever those years may involve. Backup contraception is something that I would like to have in place long before I am in a situation of urgency and panic. And that's pretty much all I've got...
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Robin Lee
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Do you have any sense of how they might respond? It sounds like you have a clear path of a conversation with specific topics you'd like to cover and ways to approach them. It's impossible to predict how someone would react, but sometimes we can make educated guesses from ways they've responded in the past.

What is your sense of your parents' attitudes about sex and contraception? How have you dealt with serious conversations in the past?

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Robin

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Heather
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Okay, so how about opening with your version of something like this:

"Before I say anything else, know we're not about to have That Conversation about me having sex. We're not. Please breathe again now.

But I would like to talk with you about something sex-related, which is awkward because these aren't things we've talked about. So..."

And then you say pretty much exactly what you have said right there. Your truth and issue, that you want to speak, just like you typed it out.

How do you think something like that would go?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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cmd023
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That helps a lot, actually. Because I guess my biggest fear was the initial freak out. Thanks [Smile]
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cmd023
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Oh and sorry for not answering your question Robin! I literally have zero previous experiences to base any kind of judgment on, so your guess is as good as mine. My parents generally avoid serious conversation of all types (yes, it's a huge problem, don't even get me started...). What I do know is that they, in a political sense are very liberal when it comes to women's reproductive rights. So hopefully that applies to their own child as well.
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Heather
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I think worries about the freakout are valid.

My impression is that how initiating these talks tend to go when a person's parents never did at all themselves is that those parents will often assume their child (even if they aren't a child anymore, per age) is only bringing it up because a) they're having sex, or b) they're having sex and something like a pregnancy or STI has happened. Thus, that freakout. And that's of course amped up by an anxiety about talking about sex which was obviously there in the first place, otherwise those parents would most likely *have* had talks about sex and sexuality well before this.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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cmd023
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Yes, I think you are right. Well, now that I have a plan of attack, I think I can conquer the parent portion of this challenge!
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Heather
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I heard back from the director of HiTops who unfortunately didn't have anyone they could give me to directly refer you to closer.

Do you want me to keep looking, or do you think you can get there to see them?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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cmd023
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Hm...If I have no other option I can get there to see them. I think it would just raise some red flags with my parents though, if I have to travel so far to get one. I would also at this point honestly be ok with looking up local OBGYNs that are on my insurance plan and calling them just to see if they will insert an IUD into a young, never-pregnant woman. What do you think?
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Robin Lee
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This is all about your comfort level. [Smile] So if you feel comfortable making those calls to ob-gyns, that's a good place to start.

How are you doing with planning to talk to your parents?

--------------------
Robin

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cmd023
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I'm fairly comfortable calling the doctors. It's my parents that I'm a lot less comfortable about...

It's the timing that gets me. I'm trying to find a "right" time, but unfortunately there probably will never be a time when it is easy. I'm a recent grad and will hopefully be hired and moving on come summertime, but even if I wait until I have an escape hatch in sight to tell them, it's still going to be stressing me out. So, I'm thinking I should just bite the bullet and do this sooner rather than later.

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cmd023
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Hi, I know it's been a couple of weeks since I posted...but I finally talked to my Mom about it. It was intimidating but she was actually totally ok with it. She told me to do whatever I think is best for me and to go ahead and find a doctor that will give me the IUD! I'm going to start calling doctors on my insurance plan...but I'm a little worried about this task. I need to find a way to phrase my question in a way that leaves little room for ambiguity. My fear is that they will claim to give IUDs to nulliparous women, but then when I finally go and meet this doctor she still gives me a hard time about it. Any ideas?
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Heather
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A provider's office saying they do those insertions when they don't is not something I'd expect to happen at all. I can't figure why they'd do that, and can think of a lot of reasons not to. Claiming you offer a service you don't opens you up to fraud, after all.

So, I think calling the providers on your list is fine. Remember you always have the option of going to Hi-Tops, too: since it sounds like your Mom is on board, she might be willing to take that drive with you?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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cmd023
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Ok, yeah I'm still considering Hi-Tops as an option as well, and my Mom might even consider going with me.

I think I feel ready to tackle this now. I cannot thank you enough for all of your help!!

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