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Removing an IUD
Considering removing your IUD in the near future? Last week we discussed why you may consider stopping hormonal birth control a few months prior to trying to conceive and interim options. This week we’ll be discussing what to expect when removing an IUD.
IUD stands for intrauterine device and can refer to both the copper and hormonal types. You might hear these being referred to as the copper coil or the 'Mirena' - a type of hormonal IUD commonly used in the UK. The copper IUD can be used for between 5 - 10 years and the hormonal types can typically be used for up to 5 years but check with your doctor. 
What You Should Know
Top 5 Things to Consider
 

The Process
The process of having an IUD removed is usually more comfortable than having it inserted. It needs to be done by a specially trained doctor or nurse and involves a speculum examination (like when you have a smear test) and a pair of fine forceps that are used to find the strings to remove the device. In a small number of cases it is difficult to locate the strings and you may be referred to a specialist, or for an ultrasound scan.

Discomfort & Light Bleeding Are Possible
Although the procedure itself isn’t usually painful you may experience some mild cramping, discomfort or light bleeding the day or two after the procedure. If you feel a lot of pain or have heavy bleeding please visit your doctor.

When Your Periods Should Return
Most people find that their periods return quickly, however for some they can be irregular for the first 3 months after an IUD has been removed. 

Symptoms Could Become Worse
If you had an IUD to ease symptoms of conditions such as endometriosis or heavy bleeding you may find these symptoms return to how they were before the IUD was inserted. If this is the case visit your doctor to discuss alternative solutions.

When to Seek Help
Your periods may be irregular after an IUD removal and you should allow up to 3 months for your natural menstrual cycle to fully re-establish itself. If they don’t return to normal within the first few months you should visit your doctor. You can read more about what counts as an irregular period here.

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What to Do Next
Steps You May Want to Take
 
Consider Alternative Contraception
If you do not want to conceive straight away you should consider what alternative contraception you will use after removing an IUD. The evidence suggests an immediate return of fertility after stopping most forms of contraception so speak with your doctor about the best options for you.

Check Out Our Next Email
Next week we’ll be covering user stories of stopping hormonal contraception to give you an idea of what to expect.

Further Reading

We hope you have a wonderful weekend and we'll see you next Friday!

Our newsletters are written by our fantastic medical team
Dr. Louise, MBChB
Sandy, Embryologist
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