At some point you have to get your Intrauterine Device (IUD) delete. If you’re nervous about the removal process, keep in mind that it’s usually easier, less painful, and faster than IUD insertion.
This article will explain why someone might want to have an IUD removed. It will also explain what happens during IUD removal and potential complications.
Why remove the IUD?
IUDs have an expiration date and each brand must be removed after a certain period of time. Not removing it on time means your birth control may not be as effective.
If you do get pregnant with an IUD, it can lead to pregnancy-related complications such as infection and miscarriage.
When you need to have your IUD removed depends on your type:
- Skyla will last up to three years.
- Kyleena will last up to five years.
- Liletta will last up to six years.
- Mirena will last up to seven years.
- ParaGard IUDs can be used for up to 12 years.
Other reasons for removing an IUD include:
- trying to get pregnant
- experience side effects that you can no longer handle
- Infection or other complications, such as when your IUD has moved out of its correct position
How do I prepare to have an IUD removed?
The IUD can be removed at any time. That being said, it may be a little easier to remove the IUD during your period. This is because your cervix (the lower part of your uterus that leads to your vagina) moves down and widens slightly during this time.
Before choosing an appointment date, consider whether you are at risk of pregnancy after removing the IUD. Remember, sperm can live in a woman’s body for up to five days.
If you want to avoid pregnancy, you should not have sex unless you are also using condoms or other non-hormonal birth control methods, at least a week before removing the IUD.
After removing the old IUD, you can insert the new one right away. This can all be done in a single office visit, as long as there are no complications.
What happens during IUD removal?
Just like during your IUD insertion, your doctor may start your IUD removal by determining the position of your uterus.
- An instrument called a speculum can be used to open your vagina.
- Next, you can expect: Your doctor will look for your IUD string.
- They will use a medical device (such as an IUD hook or forceps) to grab the IUD cord and pull it slowly.
- The IUD’s flexible arms fold up as it slides through the opening of the cervix and out of the vagina.
The whole process usually takes a few minutes.
Your doctor will use the medical device to grasp the IUD cord. They will then pull the IUD through the opening of your cervix and out of your vagina. This should only take a few minutes.
Does removing an IUD hurt?
Removing an IUD may cause some pain and discomfort, but it is usually less harmful than inserting it. Spasms may also occur during removal.
What are the complications of removing the IUD?
Removing an IUD is usually a simple process. However, complications may arise.
Unable to locate IUD string
If your IUD cords are missing, it’s likely because they have traveled up the cervical canal or uterus.
Your doctor may try to find the strings using ultrasound, an imaging test used to look at organs and tissues. If they slip into your cervical canal or uterus, your healthcare professional will try to gently pull them out with forceps or an IUD hook.
After the rope is pulled into the vagina, the IUD will continue to be removed.
If you cannot find your IUD wire, and your healthcare professional has confirmed that the IUD is still in its correct position, you can still try to remove it using forceps or the IUD hook.
Your doctor may use an ultrasound to locate the missing IUD string before continuing with the removal procedure. Even if your doctor can’t find the cord, they can still try to remove the IUD with forceps.
IUD stuck in uterine wall
In rare cases, the IUD can be difficult to pull out because it gets stuck in the wall of the uterus, which is also called perforation.
Your doctor can use different imaging techniques, such as ultrasound or X-rays, to determine if this has happened. If your IUD is stuck in your uterus, it may need to be removed surgically if your doctor is unable to remove it with forceps.
IUDs are removed for a variety of reasons.
You can remove the IUD at any time, but your doctor may recommend removing it during your period, when your cervix widens slightly.
During IUD removal, your doctor will use forceps or the IUD hook to grab the IUD cord and pull it out. You may also have a new IUD inserted during this appointment.
Complications during removal include inability to find the rope, and uterine perforation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is the IUD removed?
The IUD is removed during a pelvic exam. Your doctor will use a tool to grab the cord and gently pull out the IUD.
Can you remove your own IUD?
Technically, yes, you can remove your IUD. However, this is not recommended. IUDs should be removed by a healthcare professional because complications, such as perforation of the uterine wall, may occur.
Is removing an IUD more painful than inserting it?
Removing an IUD is usually less painful than inserting it. However, it may cause some pain and cramping. Taking ibuprofen before removing the IUD can help reduce pain during and after surgery.
Is it normal to have a blood clot after removing the IUD?
Will not. Spotting or minor bleeding is common, but not a blood clot. The spots can last for hours or days after the IUD is removed. Call your doctor if you have a blood clot or more bleeding than normal after the IUD was removed.
When will menstruation return to normal after removing the IUD?
After the IUD is removed, it may take up to three months for your period to return to normal. If it has been more than three months and your periods have not returned, it is recommended that you take a pregnancy test and call your doctor.
How soon can I get pregnant after removing the IUD?
it depends on. Once the IUD is removed, you are no longer protected from pregnancy, so in theory, you can get pregnant right away. Most women (about 85%) become pregnant within a year of having the IUD removed.