In the wake of the election of Donald Trump, one message spread by and aimed at women — aside from the usual total emotional devastation — has been resoundingly clear: get an IUD and get it now.
This comes as no surprise to those who have been following along with the minute details of the president-elect’s campaign or to anyone who has ever had the misfortune of doing a quick Google search of Mike Pence’s voting history. Trump and the GOP have been clamoring to remove the Affordable Care Act more or less since the first day it passed, and it seems unlikely that whatever takes its place will have the same stipulations requiring health insurance companies to provide no-cost contraceptive options.
This has left many women nationwide — and at NYU — wondering if they will be able to financially maintain their sexual autonomy if they are left out to dry by their insurance providers for the next four to eight years. Hence, the push for IUDs.
An IUD, or intrauterine device, is one of two main forms of long-acting reversible contraception. It is a small, T-shaped device that, once inserted into the uterus, can effectively prevent pregnancy for anywhere from three to 12 years, depending on the brand. IUDs are also more than 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy, making them by far the most effective option — even more so than sterilization — on the market.
It is this effectiveness, combined with the device’s lengthy lifespan, that has piqued the interest of many women nationwide, who are comforted by the fact that this form of protection would likely outlast Trump’s presidency. And for NYU students, finding out more information on the IUD — and obtaining one — is both easy and, at least for the present, still free.
Currently, all Bobcats — no matter their insurance provider — can make a free IUD Consultation appointment at the Student Health Center by visiting its online appointment portal and selecting a time that best fits their schedule. During this appointment, students will meet with a provider to discuss whether the IUD is the right choice for them, and, if it is, what type best fits their needs.
After choosing which IUD is right for them during the consultation appointment, the SHC provider will issue an IUD e-prescription to the student’s pharmacy. If the student has NYU’s basic health insurance plan, the comprehensive plan or the graduate student health insurance plan, this service will be done free-of-charge by the Student Health Center pharmacy. If the student has another ACA-compliant form of insurance, this step will be completed free-of-charge by their primary pharmacy.
Students will then schedule an insertion appointment for a day on which they anticipate having their period, as the ideal insertion time corresponds with the heaviest day of one’s flow. Many women experience some intense cramping during the insertion. However, once the device has been placed, cramps usually only subsist for a few hours.
Overall, the process is a simple one for NYU students. Consultation appointments are frequently available, and the SHC staff
provides students with the appropriate resources to make an informed decision.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 28 print edition. Email Paris Martineau at [email protected]