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.

There are two types of IUDs:

  • Hormone-releasing—Releases the hormone progestin. Can be left in the body for 5 years before it needs to be replaced.
  • Copper—Releases copper ions. Can be left inside the body for 10 years.
Intrauterine Device
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Reasons to remove an IUD may include:

  • It has expired or needs to be replaced
  • You get a sexually transmitted infection
  • Side effects, such as abnormal bleeding or 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