What do I need to do before removal?
It is possible to become pregnant from any vaginal sex before removal of the IUD. If you don’t want to become pregnant you should not have any unprotected vaginal sex for 7 days before removal of your IUD. This may mean avoiding any sexual intercourse (abstaining) or using condoms correctly (no slips or breaks) every time you have sex.
If you are unable to feel the strings or a doctor is unable to find the strings on examination, then you might need an ultrasound to confirm the position of the IUD.
Once it has been confirmed that the IUD is in the uterus (womb) some techniques used to remove the IUD can be discussed before the removal procedure.
Will I need pain relief?
Most people don’t need to take pain relief before having their IUD removed. If you usually take medication for painful periods, take the same medication an hour before your appointment. Please call and speak to a nurse before your appointment if you have severe pain either with your period or during your IUD insertion.
What is the removal procedure?
To remove the IUD, a plastic speculum will be inserted into the vagina. An instrument will be used to hold on to the strings of the IUD and steady but gentle pressure is used to pull the strings to remove the IUD. Sometimes you can feel some cramping during and just after the removal, but this should settle quite quickly.
If your strings have been difficult to locate a small instrument may be inserted into the uterus to bring the IUD down and make the strings visible. This can cause pain and cramping but should settle quickly. In this case it may be advised that you take some pain relief before or after the IUD removal.
If the IUD is unable to be removed, you may need to be referred to a gynaecologist for further management.
Do I need to use contraception after removal?
As soon as the IUD is removed it will stop providing contraception and it is possible to become pregnant. If you do not wish to get pregnant you will need to use alternative contraception straight away. See other options.
Can I get a new IUD inserted at the same time as removal?
What should I expect after my IUD removal?
You may have some light bleeding after the IUD removal, and any cramping will settle quickly. Most people feel completely normal afterward.
Where to get more information and support
- Family Planning Victoria
- A doctor or nurse
- Your local community health service
- An obstetrician or gynaecologist
- 1800 My Options phone line 1800 696 784 or website
- Better Health Channel
- Equinox – for transgender services
- Jean Hailes
- Marie Stopes Australia
- Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health
- The Women’s (The Royal Women’s Hospital)
- Other Victorian IUD providers
If you are using the internet for information, only use reliable and reputable websites, such as the ones provided above.