I'm Lena Chen, a writer, activist, and media producer who's been called a "skank" (by Bill O'Reilly) and "a small Asian woman" (by The New York Times). My favorite part of my workday is the hate mail.For the unlikely story that is my life, read on.
…I’m led into a room, where I get my blood pressure taken and am told to undress from the waist down. The nurse asks whether I’m getting the five- or ten-year Mirena, and I decide on the five-year since it has a small amount of estrogen which decreases menstrual flow. She leaves so I can undress, and I’m generally feeling pretty good —- a little nervous, but calm (thanks meds!). And then, everything goes downhill…
Sorry, but the Planned Parenthood in me just had to say something.
The Mirena is an IUD that is effective for up to five years. It is not estrogen that it contains, but progestin. This is an important distinction because it means that women who are breastfeeding can use it, as can other women who might otherwise be advised against birth control methods that contain estrogen.
The ten year IUD that Lena mentions is most likely the Paraguard, which contains copper but no hormones. However, I would point out that it is actually effective for up to twelve years.
Thanks for the correction. Note to self: in the future, fact-check what I’m told by nurses.