On November 8th, 2016, Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States and the world (surprisingly? unfortunately?) didn't end. Women nationwide soon realized their healthcare may soon no longer be as accessible to them as it has been in recent years and decided to take matters into their own hands. 

Shortly after these women collectively took to Twitter to express their concerns over their access to birth control, many rushed to their nearest provider to get an IUD, which is a long-term form of birth control that can last anywhere from 3-6 years (which just so happens to be the amount of time until the next election) or up to 10 years, depending on the kind you get.

Among these women were college-aged females currently enrolled in universities across the country who also happen to be Spoon University contributors. I was able to speak to them one-on-one to get very real responses about what — if anything — they wish they knew before getting an IUD, and I can honestly say I personally learned a thing or two (or ten).

beans, tea, beer, coffee
Delaney Strunk

"I wish I knew that it would last for five years without having to remember to take a pill, that it's more effective than having a hysterectomy, and that it won't cause mood changes like the pill does (at least in my case). Also, I wish I knew how small it actually was! I always thought it was a big device because I never saw any scale in photos so I thought it was a lot larger than it really is!"

– Student at University of Vermont

"You really shouldn't have any uterine pain after the first couple days. If you do, you definitely need to go back to your gynecologist and get them to check the placement with an ultrasound. My first IUD seemed fine placement-wise but I was in a lot of pain two weeks later and the ultrasound tech was the one who told the doctor to take it out because it was too close to my uterine wall.”

Student at Virginia Tech

"Well, I went in without knowing much because I wasn't planning on getting an IUD that day. So I would recommend doing some research if you think you want it and have a list of questions. Also, don't plan on walking home or doing anything afterwards. Most people feel dizzy after the procedure for a few hours."

– Student at Emerson College

"I wish I knew that it'd be painful (not just during insertion), but for the week following. Like if you really don't do well with pain, it's definitely pretty uncomfortable for a week or so."

Student at University of Michigan

"When [you] go in, make sure [you're] ready — like eat food before and drink water and take Advil — and be prepared to be there for a while or have someone drive you home because you'll def be a little wobbly!"

– Student at Miami University

"Probably just knowing about it sooner! I had to ask specifically about it with my OBGYN and I think it should have been more readily offered since they're not new anymore and more is known about them."

– Student at Virginia Tech

"The fact that the IUD moves around can be really scary. I had to get two internal sonograms to try to see where it moved. Also, they did not really tell me what to expect. I kinda bled for two days then never again."

– Student at Texas A&M

"I wish my OBGYN had talked me through my different options and explained them to me. I think I should have chosen copper instead of hormonal but I didn't have any information about either."

Student at Georgia State University

“That it's a damn option. They're glossed over in Sex Ed, while condoms or pills are treated as mainstream methods. But I've found that I love it so much more than a pill (still use condoms), and it's covered by most insurance plans. It's expensive, but with my insurance, I only had to pay a copay. So it's certainly an affordable, viable, convenient option that I wish I knew about sooner.”

– Student at University of South Florida St. Petersburg

No matter whether you prefer an IUD, a pill, or one of the many other forms of birth control currently available, you should know what to expect before ultimately making your decision. Schedule an appointment with your gynecologist or call your local Planned Parenthood facility and ask the important questions — and don't stop asking until you get the answers you need.

Thank you to every student who participated in the making of this article — for bringing so many of these concerns to light — and thank you to every woman everywhere currently fighting the good fight. Stay educated, and above all, stay safe.