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(Updated April 2021)

Someone asked us: Can a guy feel an IUD? And can you get one without parent permission? 

Most of the time your partner won’t feel your IUD — but it is possible. Here’s the deal:

All IUDs have strings on them so your nurse or doctor can pull it out of your uterus when you want it removed. When an IUD is in the right place in your uterus, about 1-2 inches of that string sticks out through your cervix — you may be able to feel it if you put your finger deep into your vagina and touch your cervix. 

Usually your partners won’t be able to feel the IUD string with their penis during sex, but every once in a while some people say they can feel it. If this happens and it bothers you or your partner, talk with your nurse or doctor — they may be able to trim the string so it doesn’t stick out as much. And IUD strings usually soften over time, so after a while it might not bother your partner.

Birth control shouldn’t cause problems with your sex life. So if you’re having any issues with your IUD, talk with a nurse or doctor — like the ones at your local Planned Parenthood health center.

Most of the time, you don’t need parent permission to get birth control, like IUDs. But the laws are different in every state. There are certain places where your nurse or doctor can contact a parent or guardian if you’re under 18. You can ask about age requirements and privacy policies when you make an appointment.

If you use your family’s health insurance to pay for your IUD, they might get a statement in the mail that says what services you had. If you’re using someone else’s health insurance and you don’t want them to know about your doctor’s visit, call the insurance company to find out about their privacy policies. The number is usually on the back of your insurance card. You can also ask your nurse or doctor.

You can also call your local Planned Parenthood health center to see if they can give you free or low cost birth control, without using insurance. And some states have special programs that allow teens to get their own private health insurance plan for sexual health services, like birth control and STD testing. Your local Planned Parenthood can help you with that, too. 

It’s normal to feel kind of awkward talking to a parent/caregiver about birth control, but they care about you and would probably like to be involved in your health, and they might even give you good advice and help you get the care you need. If you feel safe talking to them, here are some tips for starting the conversation.

Tags: birth control, IUD, parent permission