Intrauterine Device Removal
Pronounced: in-trah-U-tah-rin dee-vice ree-MOO-vahlEn Español (Spanish Version)
An intrauterine device (IUD) is a type of temporary birth control for women. The device is usually used to prevent pregnancy. The hormone-releasing device may be used for other reasons. It is inserted into the uterus though the vagina by a doctor. The uterus carries the fetus during pregnancy.
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.
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There are two types of IUDs: hormone-releasing devices and copper devices.
The hormone-releasing IUD can be left in the body for 5 years before needing replacement. The copper IUD can be left in the body for 10 years. An IUD should be removed and/or replaced once it has expired.
Other reasons to remove an IUD may include:
- You get a sexually transmitted infection
- Side effects (eg, abnormal bleeding, pain)
- Heavy and/or prolonged menstrual bleeding
- IUD fails and you become pregnant
- You want to use a different birth control method
- You want to become pregnant
- Your menstrual periods have ended due to menopause
- You need treatment that requires the IUD to be removed
Last reviewedMarch 2014by Andrea Chisholm, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.