Stage 4 cancer and a failed IUD

by Laura

December 21, 2016

My boyfriend has stage 4 melanoma. He is enrolled in a study for an experimental medication that targets the genes of the tumor cells. The long-term affects of the medication are unknown, and when he joined the study the coordinators of the study said ‘don’t get anyone pregnant’. Not only does it affect your DNA in unknown ways, but it is unsafe.

I had a copper IUD- one of the most effective forms of birth control.

I was feeling ill and decided to take a pregnancy test. It was positive. With no symptoms, the IUD had displaced itself into my cervix and become ineffective.

An abortion was the only option. Failed birth control, dangerous side effects, almost certain birth defects had the pregnancy continued, danger of removing an IUD during pregnancy, a terminally ill partner… it was not a decision I wanted to make, but I was glad that it was a safe and easy option for me in Washington state. I had the support of my partner, family and friends. I had the procedure at a Planned Parenthood and was treated with respect and dignity. It was painless, and they were able to place a new IUD (a Mirena) in while I was there.

I will not be shamed by this. It was the right choice, the only choice, and my partner and I are stronger and closer because of it.