Upside of having an iud: no unwanted pregnancies.
Downside of having an iud: for two days of my week-long period I will bleed through everything. EVERYTHING.
As in, there is so much blood I can feel it trickling out of myself. And that is equal parts terrifying and disgusting.
Upside of iud as opposed to other forms of female contraceptives: no hormones that make me insane (because I intentionally got the one without hormones). The hormones in birth control make me a crazy bitch.
Downside: cramps can be bad enough that I am sometimes afraid my body will actually push the iud out.
I've never needed birth control for medical reasons; I've only ever taken the pill because I didn't want to get pregnant. When I was 18 it didn't seem to affect me at all. I was a little dizzy for about two days and that was as far as any side effects went.
The older I get, the more affected I seem to be by it. The penultimate time I took it, I gained about 20 pounds and had terrible morning sickness for a little over a week. The last time I took it I acted fucking batshit crazy every time my period was remotely near. I either felt like I was watching myself be a nutjob from the outside and had no control over what I said or did, or I hated everything and cried. Mostly the former.
That's primarily why I decided to get the iud.
While I miss having a lighter, shorter period, the hormones from the pill usually didn't change much. The last one I took was the only one to ever make my period much shorter and it was amazing. But I see why they don't recommend iuds for women with heavy flows. I always had fairly light periods compared to the all-out flood I experience now. I didn't know my uterus contained that much blood.
And seriously, Uterus, I know you're all mad that you're all fertile and not making babies right now, but why are you taking it out on me? It's not my fault. Talk to Yoshi about it.