Donald Trump has vowed to make access to birth control very difficult for women over the next four years. The president-elect has stated he will cut funding to Planned Parenthood, which provides health and wellness services for women as well as birth control products. Trump has also stated he will repeal Obamacare, which offers FDA-approved birth control with no out of pocket cost, and if all else fails, Trump has maintained a hardline stance on abortion that women should be punished for having the procedure.
With all of the birth control strictures looming in a Trump America, women have to find alternatives to protect their bodies, and they know it. In the wake of Trump’s election, CNN reports that women are scrambling for a birth control method to last them the next four years. One of the main tips right now is to stockpile birth control supplies such as Plan B or oral medication. However, this plan doesn’t help women who rely on a Depo-Provera shot or can only access their oral birth control via monthly prescription.
The most long-lasting birth control option for women facing a Trump presidency is getting an IUD. According to Jezebel, IUDs are covered by Obamacare and can be implanted before Trump is sworn into office in January. Obamacare also covers barrier methods of birth control like vaginal sponges and diaphragms, but those options often need to be changed more frequently than an IUD, which can last three to twelve years depending on the model you get.
An IUD may be the best birth control method to survive the next four years, but if women don’t have a regular OBGYN they might need a consultation before getting an IUD inserted, which can delay the process. Women should seek out birth control options as quickly as possible to mitigate any delay in protection before Trump is sworn in.
IUDs are small, T-shaped devices that fit inside a woman’s uterus and release a small amount of hormones to prevent unwanted pregnancies. IUDs have also been promoted as a less hormone-laden form of birth control compared to oral contraception. IUDs are 99 percent effective in sexually active women, according to one top IUD brand, Mirena.
The advantage of using an IUD as a main form of birth control is that it doesn’t affect fertility, and a woman can get pregnant if she wants to almost immediately after an IUD is removed. However, there are side effects involved with an IUD, just like any other form of birth control. Spotting and irregular menstrual cycles can occur, and acne, headache, dizziness, or mild nausea could occur throughout usage, but these side effects are not prevalent in most cases.
Getting an IUD is a relatively simple, but uncomfortable procedure. The insertion procedure takes less than ten minutes, and if you experience problems in the next month, you will have to go back to your OBGYN to have it examined. However, most patients don’t experience extreme discomfort with an IUD and don’t have to get it serviced more than once a year during an annual check-up.
While getting an IUD or preparing a birth control method for the next four years is a great idea, there are other factors to consider. Plan for Trump’s presidency by thinking about how women will access health care in the next four years. If an IUD is the best birth control method for a woman, she will have to think about her access to an OBGYN if she needs a check up or if a more dire issue arises. The same principle applies to women who take oral birth control or those who plan on stockpiling contraception. Birth control pills do expire, so it’s important to portion out your reproductive measures for the next four years.
While Trump has vowed to repeal Obamacare, the president-elect has not delivered a plan to replace the program. Currently, 47 million women receive preventative care with Obamacare, so if Trump plans to repeal the health plan, that leaves a huge chunk of the female population unprotected and out of luck with no resources to turn to without Planned Parenthood.
Trump has made his lack of knowledge about women’s health abundantly clear when he grossly misidentified what constituted late term abortion, said that women should be “punished” if they get abortions, and said that women who need maternity leave in the workforce are an “inconvenience” to an employer. Trump has demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of women, and devastatingly, women’s health.
[Featured Image by Charles Krupa/AP Images]