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.

Intrauterine Device
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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