The intrauterine device (IUD ) is a safe and effective method of birth control used by many women worldwide. Copper IUD may be used for ten years after insertion, whereas hormone releasing IUD’s expire after 5 years of use and must then be removed or replaced.
There are different reasons for the IUD to be removed. Most often they are removed at the expiration date. All IUD’s both copper and hormone releasing IUD’s must be removed at expiration date. The use of these devices after expiration date may lead to different complications and even infertility in some women.
Reasons for IUD removal
The most frequent reason why the intrauterine device is removed before its use expires is pain and bleeding. This happens usually within the first year of use. Other reasons include intrauterine infection, expulsion and pregnancy due to the method failure. Also, a woman can decide to have her IUD removed when she wants to discontinue using contraception in order to become pregnant.
In menopausal women the intrauterine device is usual to be removed within one year after disappearance of menstruation . No developed complications have been reported, in cases where IUD has not been removed.
Just as the insertion of intrauterine device the removal of this contraceptive method must be performed by a health care provider, including a midwife or nurse, who is trained to do it. It is not a complicated procedure and is performed routinely. The health care provider may remove this type of birth control device at any time. Bear in mind that it might be easier to remove IUD during menstrual bleeding, though it is not that hard to remove it at any other time.
It is important to reduce the risk of infection by taking regular infection prevention measures. The health care specialist grasps the threads at the external exit with ring forceps and then slowly and gently pulls them away from the uterus, avoiding the breakage of the string. If it is not possible to move IUD , the practitioner should stop traction and find out the reasons why the device is stuck. In case an IUD is deep in the uterus, hysteroscopy may be needed for safe removal of it.
If it is the removal of an expired IUD, a new one can be inserted immediately after removal, if a woman wants to continue this mean of birth control .