When and how is an IUD removed or replaced?

IUD’s can be removed at any time.

Women should make an appointment with their gynecologist who will, during the consultation, insert a speculum and pull on small strings attached to the IUD that should remain in the cervix after the IUD is put in place. (Sometimes women can feel the presence of these strings).

The IUD can then be slid through the cervix and removed via the vagina.

Once and IUD is removed the women is no longer protected and can fall pregnant straightaway. This is why IUD removal is commonly conducted during a woman’s period.

IUD removal is painless and simple once the strings have remained in place.

If the strings are no longer accessible then the gynecologist uses a hysteroscope (an endoscope used inside the cervix and uterus) to locate the strings, pull them down, then remove the IUD. There is in general no need to go to hospital and no need for anaesthesia. (See the section on Hysteroscopy).

A woman can conceive directly after removal of an IUD. Therefore a woman who is not looking to fall pregnant should take contraceptives after an IUD is removed. These may be hormone based, mechanical or another IUD).

Normally, IUDs are replaced every 5 years. However some believe that an IUD can be effective for up to 10 years.

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