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My missed connection with an IUD

By ‘dating around,’ I learned which form of birth control matches me
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Arts_Getting-An-IUD_Rosalind-Liang

My IUD romanced me through its one-sentence description on Planned Parenthood’s website.

Instead of roses, it promised me 99 per cent effectiveness in preventing pregnancy. In lieu of a dinner, it pulled me with the promise that I would forget about it for three to 10 years. After one of our first dates — a five-minute phone call with my doctor — I was immediately ready for the longest committed relationship of my life.

My IUD, whom I’ve lovingly named Jelly, is made of striking copper. Never have I laid witness to a lover so gorgeous. Without hormones, Jelly would never dare to cause my skin to break out. Another bonus was that it would never change my mood — it vowed on multiple sexual health websites not to cause depression. I could not wait for my blissed-out, five-year love affair to begin.

Unfortunately for my lovesick uterus, no relationship is without its problems.

Just as the affair began, I desperately raced to catch the subway to my doctor’s office. My hands were sweating through Jelly’s paper packaging. Sofia Coppola herself could not have directed an opening scene so stirring. 

Upon arriving at the office, I could tell something was not right. My desperate search found every door locked. In a hallway — lit poorly, only by floodlights — I allowed the bad news to sink in: the doctor and I had misunderstood each other when arranging our rendezvous. My date had ghosted me.

Despite my disappointment, these circumstances did not deter me. I remembered that some of the greatest romances begin with a missed connection. 

Our make-up date was scheduled for a week out. Jelly waited for me steadfastly, and I made him a cozy spot drowning under the spare change in my junk drawer. I spent our time apart productively — by this, I mean obsessively googling everything about my soon-to-be-love. 

My background research led me down disturbing passages. Jelly’s former lovers, many of whom I found on TikTok, teared up at remembering their experiences. Its reviews when googling were abysmal. Few of Jelly’s exes had been safe from the worst menstrual pain of their lives. 

Despite this setback, I stayed loyal. I was determined to be different from its past loves.

Jelly seemed to have a different plan for our romance. When our next date came, I hid tears as a kind secretary with an enormous engagement ring told me the appointment had once again been scheduled for a different time. There is a certain kind of heartbreak to a relationship ending before it has even properly started, and I was determined not to experience that. I dutifully scheduled another appointment. 

When the time came that we could finally be together, I had one final test: to pee in a cup. You see, Jelly needed to ensure that I was not pregnant, which I assumed meant that he wanted to make sure he had me all to himself. What a gentleman! 

Unfortunately, the butterflies in my stomach were flying too much for any pee to come out. Calming my nerves, I figured that drinking a half litre of water would solve my problem. If not, then I’d prove my devotion by swallowing a whole litre of water. Once the jar of pee was eventually in my hand, I knew that there were no obstacles our love could not conquer. 

But when I saw my gynecologist’s stirrups, I knew this was not true. My pelvic floor became so tense that it acted as an impenetrable wall. I was left dumbfounded about how Jelly and I would ever consummate our love; though I took deep breaths through my nose and seemingly down past my pelvis, I couldn’t offer a doctor a peek inside my body.

After far too many attempts to make the relationship work, my doctor told me to sit up. “You know you don’t have to do this?” she said, as patiently and kindly as any good lover’s friend.

“What other choice do I have?” I asked. 

Being a good wingwoman, my doctor set me up on a date with another possible suitor: the birth control pill.

Everyone falls in love differently, and we fall in love for many different reasons. Many of us needing birth control fall madly for the IUD, but later find that another lover is more suitable to our needs. My birth control pill calls me once a day. I admire how attentive it is and find it attractive how it boasts of being 91 per cent effective. 

With all the birth control options available today, there’s no need to be a hopeless romantic. Your love story awaits you — it could be a needle, a patch, or condoms. My advice is to consider that, no matter how unorthodox, any available option could be your one true love — that is, unless you believe that the pull-out method is meant for you. That’s not love; that’s an irresponsible Tinder hookup.

Finding your match can be challenging. But, as many know, the best part of dating around is learning about yourself and your preferences in the process. Besides, as someone who found their love after trial and tribulation, I can honestly say that the most uncomfortable part of my experience wasn’t the series of awkward first dates — it’s my ex still living in my junk drawer until it can find its feet.