Elevate Difference

Brainscan #22

As a lesbian with an incredibly regular menstrual cycle, I generally don’t ever really think about birth control. It’s not something that affects my life, and other than the random conversations about birth control that I have with my friends and loved ones who do use it, I don’t usually find literature on the topic particularly interesting. With that said, the zine _Brainscan #22 _ not only discusses a type of birth control called Intra Uterine Device (IUD), but also presents the facts and personal experiences of the use of this device so well that even I took immediate interest in the topic.

In the first half of Brainscan #22, author Alex Wrekk describes what exactly an IUD is and how it works. For a quick overview, the IUD is a small T-shaped device that “is inserted through the vagina through the cervix and into the uterus as a form of birth control.” One type of IUD is wrapped in copper wire and acts as a spermicidal and ovicidal that works for up to twelve years. Another type of IUD is not wrapped in copper wire, “but instead contains low doses of hormones similar to birth control pills. The hormonal one can last up to five years.” The easy-to-understand information presented in this zine comes from all of the facts that Wrekk gathered from different pamphlets, doctors and nurses who know a lot about the subject, and any other information that she got on it while visiting Planned Parenthood for the insertion of her own IUD. After a quick discussion about the political aspects of getting an IUD in the United States, the second half of the zine veers away from a medical description of the IUD, to Wrekk’s personal experience. She describes the occurrence of pain from the insertion, and also the relief from knowing that she was pretty much set on birth control for the next ten to twelve years.

I was completely unfamiliar with the IUD prior to reading this zine. My friend who works for a feminist healthcare clinic read the zine and said that most of the medical information was right on, with a few variations in detail here and there. But the overall honesty of Wrekk’s experience, the simple language used to describe what an IUD is and why anyone would want one, as well as the appealing layout and concise gathering of information, makes this little zine a strong packet of good and accessible information. I only wish that _Brainscan #22 _could become available at every gynecologist’s office across the country.

Written by: Chelsey Clammer, February 9th 2008