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Birth Control Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) (cont.)

Removal of the IUD

Women should never try to remove an IUD themselves. Serious damage can result. A clinician can usually remove an IUD very simply by carefully pulling the string ends at a certain angle. This causes the IUD arms to fold up and the IUD to slide out through the cervix. If the IUD is being replaced, a new one can usually be inserted immediately.

Rarely, the cervix may need to be dilated and a grasping instrument is used to free the IUD. If this occurs, a local anesthetic is used.

Very rarely, surgery may be necessary. Women may require hospitalization if an incision is required to remove an IUD.

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