IUD Removal: What To Expect
You had one goal when you got your IUD placed—to get long-lasting birth control that would not require you to think about it daily. However, after some time, you started having second thoughts. For example, your doctor might have told you that it was not the best fit or had explained all of the side effects that might occur, which made you reconsider whether or not it was right for you in the first place. Now that you want to know how to get your IUD removed, however, it can seem like an impossible task.
You will likely undergo a hysteroscopy procedure, which lets your doctor see your uterine cavity on a monitor. To get ready for your Mirena Removal procedure:
- Avoid taking Ibuprofen or aspirin within 24 hours of surgery because these medications can thin your blood and cause excessive bleeding during surgery. Your doctor may also ask you to follow a low-sodium diet two days before surgery.
- Make sure you eat breakfast on the day of surgery; most doctors will not perform any procedures on an empty stomach.
- Make sure you take all prescribed medications with plenty of water one hour before surgery begins. You should also make sure someone else would be able to drive you home after your procedure; if not, arrange for someone to pick you up immediately afterwards.
What Transpires During IUD Removal?
The first step is what some doctors call dilation and curettage (D&C). That is where a health care provider will dilate your cervix using a device that stretches it open. Your doctor will then remove both parts of your IUD, as well as any tissue that may have grown over it. The whole process will take about five minutes or less and is typically done on an outpatient basis, which means you can go home afterwards without having to stay overnight in a hospital or clinic. During and after Mirena Removal, it is common for women to experience mild cramping, similar to what you might feel with a menstrual period.
How Long Does It Take?
After your physician removes your IUD, you can expect a light blood flow for up to 3 days. There may be some bruising around your cervix that will dissipate after a few days or weeks as you heal. For most women, sex is back on the table within two weeks after Mirena removal. However, be sure to follow up with your doctor about when it is safe to conceive again—you might need to wait longer if any adhesions are present.
What Will It Feel Like?
Your provider will use a small tool that looks similar to a hook or spoon in order to break through your skin. You may experience mild discomfort or cramping when they break through your skin, but most women do not feel anything when the actual IUD is removed. Some women say they can feel when it is being removed, but it does not hurt in any way. Afterwards, you will have some mild spotting and light bleeding for a few days until your body returns to its normal cycle. It is important not to stop these symptoms with over-the-counter products like aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen—doing so could be dangerous.
When Should You Get Your IUD Removed?
The short answer is, it depends. In general, your Mirena IUD should be removed when you no longer want preventative birth control. Your doctor will likely advise keeping your IUD in place for five years or until you have had three children (whichever comes last). This will allow you to take full advantage of all potential health benefits (including lighter periods and reduced pain during menstruation) that result from having an IUD implanted for as long as possible.
Any Expected Side Effects?
When you go in for Mirena Removal, your doctor will use local anaesthesia, so there should be no pain. However, once you are awake again, it is normal to feel cramping or light bleeding. You may also experience some discharge that could be pinkish or brownish. The good news is that these side effects typically pass within a day or two of having your Mirena removed.