Munson Health
Intrauterine Device Removal

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by Randall B

(IUD Removal; Removal, Intrauterine Device; Removal, IUD; Copper Intrauterine Device Removal; Copper IUD Removal; Removal, Copper Intrauterine Device; Removal, Copper IUD; Hormone-releasing Intrauterine Device Removal; Hormone-releasing IUD Removal; Removal, Hormone-releasing Intrauterine Device; Removal, Hormone-releasing IUD)



A woman with an IUD may decide to have it removed. IUD removal is done by a doctor. You should never remove an IUD yourself.
Intrauterine Device
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

Your doctor will go over the steps to remove the IUD. This is also a good time to ask your doctor any questions regarding the procedure. It is important to think about what other type of birth control you will want to use once the IUD is out if you do not want to become pregnant. Sometimes you may need to start the other method before the IUD is removed.


In most cases, no anesthesia is used. You might be given pain medicine or have an anesthetic applied to your cervix to ease any discomfort during the removal.

Description of the Procedure

This procedure is usually done in an office or clinic setting with no need for an overnight stay.
First, the doctor will insert a speculum into the vagina so she can see the cervix. The doctor may clean your cervix and vagina with an antiseptic, like iodine. Next, she will locate the strings attached to the IUD. The strings usually hang out from the cervix into the far back of the vagina. The doctor will ask you to take deep, slow breaths. It is important to relax during the procedure. Your doctor will use forceps or other tools to grasp the strings and gently pull the IUD out.
If you are having your IUD replaced, the new IUD will be inserted at this time.
There may be situations where it is difficult to remove the IUD. In these cases, your doctor may refer you to a specialist. There is a chance that the IUD may need to be removed using a hysteroscope. This is a long, thin telescope with a camera and tools on the end. The hysteroscope will be inserted into your vagina and uterus to locate and remove the IUD.

How Long Will It Take?

The procedure only takes a few minutes to set up and perform.

Will It Hurt?

You may experience cramping and bleeding while the IUD is being removed. This is normal.

Post-procedure Care

Be sure to follow any instructions your doctor gave you when you return home after the procedure. If you are starting a new contraceptive method, make sure you ask any questions about it. If you are going to attempt to become pregnant, begin taking prenatal vitamins.


The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Planned Parenthood




The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada

Womens Health Matters



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Mirena prescribing information. Mirena website. Available at: Accessed January 10, 2011.

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When you choose IUD. Public Health, Seattle and King County website. Available at: Updated May 2005. Accessed January 19, 2011.

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