At some point, the intrauterine device (IUD) must be removed. Why? Because the IUD does not dissolve and cannot stay in the uterus forever. And, for the most part, they won't go out alone either.
The good news is that you shouldn't be afraid to remove your IUD. Removing an IUD is usually easier, less painful, and faster than installing it.
Even if it may seem tempting, you should never try to remove the IUD yourself. The same goes for asking a friend (or other unqualified person) to do this because it could cause serious harm.
Purpose of IUD removal
You may have several reasons why you want to remove the IUD. They may include:
- Desire to get pregnant
- Side effects you can no longer tolerate
- Development of infection
- I just don't like the navy
Some women feel that they need to have the IUD removed if they change sexual partners. It is not true. Your IUD will continue to work just as well no matter how many sexual partners you have, so this is not a reason to remove the IUD.
Another important reason to remove the IUD is that it is no longer effective. Kaileena and Mirena will last a maximum of five years, while Skyla and Liletta will last a maximum of three years. The ParaGard IUD has a lifespan of 10 years.
How to prepare
The IUD can be removed at any time during the menstrual cycle. That said, studies have shown that removing the IUD during menstruation can be a bit easier. This is because your cervix naturally softens during this time.
When planning the day of the IUD removal, find out if that day coincides with the time of ovulation . If you had sex just before the IUD was removed (and at that point you begin to ovulate), you could become pregnant.
Sperm can live in the vagina for up to five days. So, for example, suppose you are scheduled to remove your IUD on June 12.
- So you decided to have sex (last time) on June 10th.
- Then, on June 12, the IUD is removed.
- If you ovulate on June 12, June 13, or June 14, you may become pregnant as sperm (of your gender on June 10) may still be inside you, just waiting for the egg to fertilize.
It's probably a good idea not to have sex (unless you're also using a condom ) for at least a week before the IUD is removed. This will reduce your chances of conceiving on fertile days.
Also, if you decide to schedule an IUD removal at any time other than your period, talk to your healthcare provider about using a new method of birth control seven days before removing the IUD. So if you have switched to hormonal contraception , they will work when the IUD is removed.
You can easily install a new Mirena, Skyla, or ParaGard IUD right after the old IUD is removed. All of this can be done in one office visit (if there are no complications).
As with inserting an IUD, if necessary, your doctor can begin to remove the IUD by determining the position of your uterus. A dilator can be inserted to separate the walls of the vagina. In general, expect the following steps:
- Your healthcare provider will look for the strings of your IUD.
- You will use pliers to securely grasp the IUD strings and slowly pull them out.
- The flexible arms of the IUD will bend as the IUD slides through the opening of the cervix.
This completes the removal of the IUD. It actually only takes a few minutes and it doesn't really hurt.
For most women, IUD removal is a simple and routine procedure. But in some cases, your healthcare provider may not find your IUD strings.
If this happened, it is most likely due to the fact that your strings slipped into the cervical canal, which can happen if they were cut too far (either when you had an IUD inserted or if you asked to shorten them because your partner might feel them during sex). But even if your IUD strings were originally cut to the recommended length, this can still happen.
Your healthcare provider may try to locate the strings using ultrasound. If they slip into your cervical canal, your doctor will try to gently remove them from your cervix with narrow forceps, forceps, or cotton swabs. Once the strings have been removed and inserted into the vaginal canal, the IUD removal will continue as above.
The strings may also have entered the uterus. In this case, your healthcare provider may use a sound (measuring instrument) or ultrasound to make sure the IUD is still in the uterus (and didn't come out without your knowledge).
If your IUD strings cannot be found, but your doctor has confirmed that the IUD is still in place, your IUD can be removed from the uterus with forceps or forceps-like forceps. But do not worry. Your healthcare provider will be very careful not to damage your uterus during this process.
IUD stuck in the wall of the uterus
In very rare cases, the IUD can get stuck in the wall of the uterus and cannot be easily removed. Your healthcare provider may use a variety of techniques, such as ultrasound, hysterography (an X-ray of the uterus after a contrast agent is injected), or hysteroscopy (a direct examination of the uterus with a fiberoptic instrument) to determine if this step. …
If the IUD is stuck in the uterus, your doctor may need to dilate the cervix and use forceps to remove the IUD. If this happens while the IUD is being removed, your healthcare provider will most likely prescribe a local anesthetic to help reduce pain or discomfort.
Frequently asked questions
How is the IUD removed?
The IUD is removed during a pelvic exam. Your healthcare provider will use a tool to grasp the strings and gently remove the IUD.
Can you remove your own IUD?
Trying to remove the IUD yourself is not recommended. However, studies show that 59% of the women surveyed tried to remove the IUD on their own, but only one in five succeeded.
Is it painful to remove an IUD?
IUD removal can cause short-term cramping or discomfort during removal, but is generally not painful unless there are complications.
Is it more painful to remove an IUD than to install it?
Removing an IUD is usually less painful than inserting an IUD. However, if there is a complication or your doctor cannot find strings to remove the IUD, it may be more painful.
Is it normal for clots to come out after IUD removal?
No. Slight spotting or bleeding, usually hours to days after IUD removal. However, heavy bleeding and clotting are not normal. If you develop blood clots or bleed more than normal after removing the IUD, call your doctor.
When does the menstrual cycle return to normal after the IUD is removed?
Once the IUD is removed, it can take up to three months to restore a normal menstrual cycle.
How long does it take to get pregnant after the IUD is removed?
Once the IUD is removed, you are no longer protected against pregnancy and can theoretically get pregnant right away. However, it can take several months for menstrual periods to return to normal, which can make it difficult to track fertility at first. According to studies, 85% of women were able to get pregnant within a year after removing the IUD.