An intrauterine device, shortened as IUD is a very effective birth control option that prevents pregnancy for a long time. If you have IUD on and decide to get pregnant, you can visit your private gynaecologist to remove it.
IUDs are small devices shaped like the letter T, which the doctor places inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy. It is also called intrauterine contraception (IUC). The device prevents pregnancy by either releasing synthetic hormones or copper into the female reproductive system.
After insertion, the device can stay in place, preventing pregnancy for about 3 – 10 years depending on the type inserted. The effectiveness of IUDs is high and only about 1 in every 100 women who insert IUDs in a year get pregnant. After the IUD expires, it is vital to remove it to prevent infection. An expired IUD is no longer effective, and you can get pregnant with it in the uterus.
When you should remove your IUD
You can visit the doctor at any time for an IUD removal. It is long-form birth control, but you can remove it whenever you are ready to get pregnant. The lifespan of an IUD is limited, and when it expires, you need to visit your doctor to remove it.
Some IUDs can last for up to 12 years, while others may last for only three years. The IUD that release hormones have a varying lifespan. Some brands of hormone-based IUDs can last for about three years while other brands may last for about six years.
Your doctor may recommend removal of your IUD for any of the following reasons.
Cervical or endometrial cancer
Increased blood pressure
Endometritis- a condition that causes the inflammation of the uterine lining
If the IUD causes you discomfort or present other side effects, your doctor may also advise you to remove it.
What you should expect during your IUD removal
Any qualified healthcare provider can remove your IUD. You can remove your IUD at any time, but the removal of IUD is easier when the cervix is soft, which is during the menstrual cycle.
Removing an IUD is a quick and straightforward process, and it does not present any complication.
Steps for IUD removal
Removing an IUD requires the following steps.
You will lie facing upwards on an exam table, then keep your feet apart or place them in stirrups.
Your healthcare professional will insert a speculum into your vagina to separate its walls, then locate the device.
The healthcare provider will use forceps to pull the string of the device gently.
As your health care provider pulls the string of the IUD, the arms will fold upwards as the device moves out of your uterus. When the device is out, the healthcare provider will remove the speculum.
After the procedure, you may experience mild cramps or light bleeding. Your doctor may suggest you take an over-the-counter pain killer before the IUD removal to reduce the discomfort.
What happens after the removal?
If you removed your IUD because you had an infection, your doctor would recommend antibiotics or any suitable treatment for infections.
If there was no complication or infection before your IUD removal, your healthcare provider might insert a new device during the same visit.
Precautions and risks
In a few cases, the following complications may arise while removing the IUD.
The IUD may not come out easily in some cases, and this is possible when the doctor cannot find the string of the IUD. Lost IUD string might be a problem if the IUD string was cut short.
If your doctor cannot locate your IUD string, he/she will perform an ultrasound, then use a medical device like IUD hook, or cytobrush to remove the IUD.
Migration of IUD
The IUD may migrate through the wall of the uterus, but this rarely occurs. If your device migrates, you will need a hysteroscopic surgery, performed under anaesthesia to remove the device.
Alternatively, your doctor will perform an ultrasound to guide the removal of the IUD. This is less invasive and more affordable than surgery.
Unplanned pregnancy is a complication that usually occurs a few days before an IUD removal. You can prevent this by getting an alternative birth control option before you remove your device.
When is the right time to have sex before and after removing an IUD?
You can have sex immediately afteryou remove your IUD but note the following.
Female fertility may become normal after you remove your IUD.
The sperm can remain in the female reproductive tract for about five days after sex
This means that you could get pregnant if you have sex a few days before you remove the IUD or after your removing it, depending on when you ovulate. If you do not want to becomepregnant,it is essential to do the following.
Abstain from sex for about seven days before your remove your IUD
Use an alternative birth control
If you want to switch to an oral contraceptive after your IUD removal, ensure your use another contraceptive for about seven days before the oral contraceptive becomes effective.
Types of IUDs
Two main types of IUDs are available. They include hormonal IUD (releases a synthetic form of a female hormone), and copper IUD.
The hormone IUD releases levonorgestrel which thickens the mucus in the cervix and prevents fertilisation of the egg. The synthetic hormone thins the lining of the uterus, which contributes to the prevention of pregnancy.
The copper IUD has a copper coil on the arm and stem of the device which releases copper into the uterus. The copper in the female reproductive tract causes an inflammatory reaction which prevents pregnancy by destroying the sperm.
Other forms of contraceptives
Asides, IUD, there are other effective methods of preventing pregnancy, and they include the following.
A mechanical form of contraceptive physically prevents the sperm from getting to the egg for fertilisation to occur. You can combine it with a spermicide which chemically kills the sperm.
Mechanical barriers include the following,
Female and male condoms
Hormonal birth controls
This method of preventing pregnancy uses synthetic hormones like progestin and oestrogen. Hormonal birth controls include the following.
Birth control injections, patches or pill
It is a permanent form of contraceptive. Sterilisation in women involves a surgeon cutting out or sealing the fallopian tubes. In men, sterilisation involves blocking or cutting the tubes that transport the sperm. The process is called vasectomy.
Reversal of sterilisation is possible, but it does not guarantee normal fertility,
If you need a gynaecologist for coil removal in London, visit Gynae UK or contact us on 020 7183 0692 to book an appointment.
Frequently asked question
What will happen if my IUD removal is not done on time?
If your IUD remains in your uterus after it expires, you could get an infection which may lead to infertility. If your IUD gets expired in your uterus, you could become pregnant because it will no longer be effective in preventing pregnancy.