Everything You Should Know About Removal Of Intrauterine Device (IUD)

An IUD is an effective contraceptive. When your healthcare provider inserts your IUD, it can prevent pregnancy for many years, and an experienced gynaecologist in London can remove it when you do not need it anymore.

The IUD also called, and intrauterine contraception (IUC) is T-shaped and inserted into the uterus where it prevents pregnancy. If the device is fitted correctly, it can last for 3 – 10 years, but if it exceeds the required number of years, the chances of pregnancy and contracting an infection is increased.

Types of IUD

There are two types of IUDs— copper and hormonal IUDs.

  • Copper IUD

Copper IUDs are intrauterine devices which have a copper coil on their stem and arms. The T-shaped device releases copper into the uterus. The copper destroys the sperm by causing an inflammatory reaction.

  • Hormonal IUD (Levonorgestrel LNG)

This type of IUD releases a synthetic hormone called levonorgestrel. The hormone thickens the cervical mucus. It prevents the sperm from fertilising the eggs for pregnancy to occur. The hormone also thickens the lining of the uterus and partly prevents ovulation.

When should an IUD be removed?

An IUD is an effective birth control option, but it can be removed at any time when it is no longer needed. A doctor at a coil removal clinic in London can remove your device when it is expired, or you want to get pregnant.

Copper-based IUDs can last for about 12 years after you insert it, but the hormonal IUDs have a varying lifespan. The lifespan of hormonal IUDs ranges from 3 – 6 years depending on the brand.

An IUD needs to be removed for any of the following reasons.

  • Increases blood pressure
  • Menopause
  • Pelvic infection
  • Cervical or endometrial cancer
  • Severe side effects and discomfort
  • Endometritis (inflammation of the uterine lining)

What to expect during an IUD removal

A qualified health practitioner can remove your IUD at their office or a gynaecological clinic. Your doctor can remove your IUD at any time, but it is easier to remove it during your menstrual cycle when your cervix is softer.

An IUD removal procedure is fast and simple. Complications rarely occur during or after an IUD removal.

Steps involved in an IUD removal

To remove your IUD, your doctor carries out the following steps.

  • You will lie backwards on an examination table with your feet separated or in stirrups.
  • Your doctor will insert a speculum into your vagina to help separate the walls of the vagina and locate the IUD quickly.
  • Your doctor will gently pull the stings of the IUD using forceps.
  • The arms of the IUD will fold inwards and come out slowly as your doctor pulls the string.
  • Your doctor will remove the speculum when your IUD is out.

After your IUD removal, you may experience light bleeding or cramping. You can take the painkillers your doctor will prescribe to alleviate the pain and discomfort.

What happens after an IUD removal?

In cases where your IUD was removed because of an infection, you may need to take antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. If you did not have an infection, you might insert a new device after your doctor removes the previous on the same day.

What are the risks and precautions of IUD removal?

In rare cases, the following complication may arise from removing an IUD.

  • Incomplete removal

If the strings of the IUD are displaced or was cut, the doctor may not locate the IUD strings to remove the device. This may make the device not come out quickly, leading to an incomplete removal.

In this case, you would need an ultrasound to locate the position of the string. Your doctor may use other medical instruments like cytobrush or an IUD brush to remove the device.

Migration of the IUD

When the IUD moves through the wall of the uterus, a hysteroscopic surgical procedure may be needed to remove it. Your doctor may also use ultrasound as a guide in removing the device when it migrates. Using an ultrasound as a guide during IUD removal is less expensive and invasive when compared to carrying out a hysteroscopic surgery.

  • Unplanned pregnancy

If pregnancy occurs a few days before removing your IUD, it may lead to some complications. If you want to remove your IUD, ensure you use another contraceptive.

When to have sex before and after removing an IUD

You can have sex before and after removing your IUD but take note of the following.

  • You can get pregnant immediately after an IUD removal if you have sex.
  • Sperm can survive in the female reproductive tract five days after intercourse, so if you remove your IUD, you can get pregnant depending on the day you ovulate.

To prevent pregnancy after you remove your device,

  • Do not have unprotected sex for at least seven days before your IUD removal
  • Use alternative forms of contraception

If you decide to use an oral birth control pill, it is advisable to use other forms of protection for at least seven days before the birth control pill begins to work.

Other types of birth control

Other effective birth control options besides IUD include:

Mechanical barriers

Mechanical barriers prevent pregnancy by physically preventing the sperm from getting to the egg for fertilisation. Mechanical barriers can be used alongside spermicide that chemically destroys the sperm.

Types of mechanical barriers include

  • Cervical caps
  • Diaphragms
  • Male and female condoms
  • Lea contraceptives
  • Contraceptive sponges

Hormonal birth control

Hormonal birth control prevents pregnancy by releasing synthetic hormones like oestrogen and progestin. Types of hormonal birth control include

  • Implants
  • Vaginal rings
  • Birth control pills, injections or patches


Sterilisation is a permanent form of contraception. Sterilisation in men involves a surgery called vasectomy, where a surgeon cuts or blocks the tubes that transport the sperm while female sterilisation involves cutting or sealing off the fallopian tubes.

Sterilisation can be reversed, but the reproductive system may not function properly.

Book an appointment today with a gynaecologist for your IUD removal at Gynae UK by calling 020 7183 0692.

Frequently asked question

What will happen if I do not remove my IUD on time?

If you do not remove your IUD on time, it could cause infertility, infection or both. You may also get pregnant.

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