For such a tiny piece of plastic, an IUD has a very big responsibility. Its primary job is to hang out inside the uterus of its host, fighting sperm and preventing pregnancy for up to a dozen years. Wow. That's a lot of work! You'd think something that's responsible for warding off invasive male seed wouldn't have time to do much else.
Ha, well you're wrong, sucker. I'm here to tell you that IUDs can do more than prevent the formation of zygotes. They're capable of intellectual conversation, humor, sympathy, political activism, and tweets. Yeah, that's right, IUDs can tweet. At least one can.
I discovered the tweeting IUD while following Refinery29 editor Hayley MacMillen's livetweets of her IUD insertion. I noticed that one of the Twitter accounts interacting with Hayley wasn't quite like the others. Most people following along were, well, people. But one was not a person—it was an IUD herself. A relative of the very star of the whole shebang was right there with us, tweeting encouraging notes to Hayley throughout the procedure.
For almost a year, @iamaniud has been the voice of the mysterious but increasingly popular and effective birth control method on Twitter. The IUD's timeline is filled mostly with IUD facts, retweets of IUD-centric news articles, and interactions with (mostly) women who either have IUDs or tweet questions about them.
As a self-proclaimed IUD evangelist, I jumped at the opportunity to potentially interact with the little piece of copper-wound plastic in which I invest so much faith.
I chatted with the IUD via Twitter DM for about an hour, during which time I learned that she (it's definitely a she) identifies as a Paragard, but feels "ok about speaking on behalf of my hormonal sisters." In her downtime, IUD told me she writes tweets, catches up on her rest between bouts of fighting sperm, and writes to her congressman about the importance of funding Planned Parenthood. Who knew IUDs were so busy? We should really write them more thank you notes, or dedicate a day on the calendar to IUD appreciation.
IUD and I also discussed some of our favorite articles about IUD evangelism, a very real phenomenon among people who have IUDs, love IUDs, and want all women they know to join the cult of IUD. She told me that this story from 2012 by Kate Stoeffel is one of her favorites, and that it just gets truer every year. I agreed that, yes, it is a great article, and sent back this one by Jia Tolentino at Jezebel.
The tweeting IUD belongs to a host who wishes to remain anonymous and who says she was among the first wave of women to receive the insertion after doctors decided IUDs were safe for women who hadn't had children. She isn’t a doctor or medical professional herself, she’s just “an IUD haver and evangelist,” she told me.
Mostly, I wanted to know why an IUD might be tempted to start tweeting—what her motivation was.
"Mostly I just saw a lot of ppl asking questions about IUDs, does it hurt, should I get one, aren't they dangerous, what if I can't have hormones, etc., and I thought they could use some honest answers from the source," she told me. "I never try to push anyone into an IUD. I'm as pro choice as they come, which means making the right choice for yourself. But you need all the facts in order to do it, free of stigma or judgement. Also, as you know, getting an IUD placed can suck, and I try to offer comfort and humor and reassurance during that process."
For a little piece of plastic, she has a lot of wisdom. And I wouldn't expect anything less. After an hour conversing with IUD, I left feeling even more respect for the under-appreciated form of birth control.
Oh yeah—and in case you were wondering how one might gain access to a Twitter account from inside a uterus, IUD told me, "There's 3G everywhere these days!"
Hannah Smothers is a reporter for Fusion's Sex & Life section, a Texpat, and a former homecoming princess.