Copper IUD or hormonal IUS removal

Why you might want your IUD or IUS removed

There are several reasons why you might want your IUD or IUS removed.  These could include

  • A desire to become pregnant
  • Because your existing device has expired and you want a new one
  • Side effects which you can no longer tolerate
  • Developing an infection
  • Simply just not liking having an IUD or IUS

IUD or IUS removal is often easier, quicker and less painful than device insertion.

Preparation for IUD or IUS removal

  • If you wish to try for a pregnancy then and IUD or IUS can be removed at any time; it would be advisable to start taking folic acid 400 mcg daily 3 months prior to removal to reduce the risk of spina bifida and brain abnormalities in the fetus.
  • If you wish to avoid pregnancy then you should start an alternative method e.g. pill, patch, ring or injection 7 days prior to IUD or IUS removal or abstain from sexual intercourse or use a condom for 7 days prior to removal.
  • If you need to bring children then you must attend with a friend or relative who will be responsible for the care of your children outside the clinic during the procedure.

How is the IUD or IUS removed?

  • A specially trained doctor or nurse will remove the IUD or IUS.  An assistant may or may not be present.
  • After undressing below the waist, the doctor or nurse will examine you with their fingers to check the size and direction of the uterus. A speculum (a duck billed instrument) is used to hold open the walls of the vagina and forceps are then used to securely grasp the IUD or IUS strings and pull on them slowly.  The flexible arms of the IUD or IUS will fold up as the IUD slides through the cervix.
  • For most women IUD or IUS removal is a routine and uncomplicated procedure, but in some cases the strings of the device may not be located. This is most likely because the strings have slipped up in to the cervical canal, they can usually be pulled out gently using narrow forceps: often an ultrasound scan is used to locate the device and its strings. It may also be possible that the strings have gone up into the uterus, which may require a visit to a more specialist clinic (at Mattock Lane H/C) where the position of the device can be confirmed and removal made after application of local anaesthetic,  very rarely an IUD or IUS may have become stuck in the uterine wall and removal needs to be undertaken using a hysterosope (small flexible telescope ) in gynaecology out-patients at hospital.


Your appointment

Your appointment has been made for an appropriate time in your menstrual cycle. If things have changed (e.g. period not at expected time, forgotten to use alternative method for 7 days) since your consultation, please telephone 020 3255 0084 to arrange an alternative date.

We will send a text reminder about your appointment asking you to confirm your attendance. We will follow this with other attempts to reach you (call, text, email), but if you have not confirmed your attendance or re-arranged your time 24 hours prior to the clinic we will give your appointment to another woman.