IUDs should be removed by a healthcare professional at their office. The removal process is simple:
- You will lay back on the examination table, place, your feet in stirrups, and relax.
- Your doctor will use a speculum to open your vagina so they can find the IUD string.
- Once they locate the IUD string, they will gently remove it from your uterus.
- As the IUD starts to move, its arms will fold in, helping it come out easier.
Overall, the whole process is fast and easy. You shouldn’t feel any major pain, but you could experience light cramping during the removal. Some women may also have some light bleeding, but this should only last for a few minutes after the procedure. If you’re afraid of experiencing any discomfort, you can take some over-the-counter pain medication before your appointment as this should be enough to alleviate symptoms.
In most cases, your medical professional will probably recommend having your IUD removal during your menstrual cycle, as the cervix is softer during this period. Because of that, the experience should be faster, easier, and less symptomatic.
Usually, having an IUD removed isn’t a big deal, but in very rare cases, your specialist may have trouble locating your IUD’s string. This might be because the medical professional that inserted the IUD cut the string too short. If this happens, they may need to use an ultrasound to help see where it is.
Once they see where the IUD is located in your uterus, they may use a special tool to help retrieve it, such as an IUD hook (a metal device that was made to reach into the uterus to grab an IUD) or cytobrush (extra long cotton swab that’s usually used to collect cell samples.)