How to Remove an IUD

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Women decide to remove an IUD for a variety of reasons including deciding to become pregnant or having uncomfortable side effects. Also, an IUD needs to be replaced every 5 to 10 years, so you may need to remove the devise if you need a replacement. But before removing your IUD, it's important to have a few tips.

  • Make an appointment with your doctor. The first step in removing an IUD is to contact your doctor's office and make an appointment. It's important to never attempt to remove an IUD yourself. Doing this could cause serious and permanent damage to your cervix.

  • Have the IUD removed during your menstrual cycle. Doctors prefer to remove an IUD during the menstrual cycle because the cervix is softer, making removal easier. Schedule your appointment so it falls during this time, or wait until your cycle starts and call your doctor.

  • Ask your doctor to remove the IUD. She will determine the position of your uterus and remove the IUD using clamps to grasp the IUD strings. Your doctor will slowly remove the IUD to avoid damage to your cervix.

  • Ask your doctor about possible complications. When removing an IUD, be prepared for possible complications such as not being able to find the IUD string. In this case the strings may be too short and your doctor may need to use narrow forceps to locate and remove the IUD.

  • Discuss other forms of birth control. If you aren't planning on a pregnancy, discuss other contraceptive options with your doctor. This includes taking an oral pill, using a vaginal ring or something more permanent such as scheduling hysterectomy.

Tips & Warnings

  • Evaluate risks for pregnancy. Ask your doctor about pregnancy risks when removing the IUD. If you have it removed while ovulating, your pregnancy risk may be very high, so discuss using a backup form of birth control.
  • Ask about local anesthetic if you are sensitive to pain. Removing an IUD can be extremely uncomfortable. Ask your medical provider about using local anesthetic to minimize the pain.

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