Doctors warn against 'DIY' IUD removal after woman went viral on TikTok

·2-min read
Photo credit: Carol Yepes - Getty Images
Photo credit: Carol Yepes - Getty Images

A woman has gone viral on TikTok after filming herself removing her own IUD. In the clip, TikTok user Mikkie Gallagher shows she's wearing a pair of medical gloves before trying the 'DIY' removal. Although only her top half is visible to the camera, she narrates the video through text, which reads "Come along for a little DIY IUD removal" before adding "Diving right in..."

Mikkie makes an uncomfortable face before the video skips forward and she shows off the IUD – which how now been removed. "A lot easier than I thought tbh," she writes over the top of the clip, followed by "Catch of the day: Mirena IUD, 2 inches."

She captioned the post: "This is NOT medical advice but it only took 2 minutes."

Mikkie shared the clip with her 24k followers, and although the video has already racked up nearly 200k likes, viewers had a mixed reaction to the post. Some TikTok users were completely shocked by what they'd seen, while others commented they'd also tried a 'DIY' IUD removal at home.

"I did this after I told my gyno it made me extremely depressed and anxious and needed it out and she told me the soonest I could come in was two months," one TikTok user commented, while another added "Sooo I did this and now my cervix is permanently open more than it should be and I can never get an IUD again."

Someone else wrote: "Please if your IUD is resisting when you pull, do not continue in case it has embedded in your uterus."

Unsurprisingly, doctors are warning against trying this at home, and urge anyone whose watched the clip to avoid giving it a go themselves.

Gynaecologist and women's health expert, Dr. Nitu Bajekal, points out there are many risks associated with removing an IUD at-home, including failure to remove the IUD intact which can cause "unexpected bleeding."

"1 in 2 women do not actually know where their cervix is," explains Dr. Bajekal, "and as the IUD is placed deep in the womb, it can be quite a challenge to grasp the threads and remove it without the proper equipment."

Photo credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY - Getty Images
Photo credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY - Getty Images

If you want your IUD removed, Dr. Bajekal stresses the importance of seeking medical attention to do so. "Medical professionals have special equipment, lighting and clinical experience that makes a potentially unpleasant procedure generally a very minor one," she says.

Dr. Bajekal points out there are plenty of other contraceptive methods to choose from if you decide to have your IUD removed. "Depending on the reason for the IUD fitting, options such as other forms of hormonal contraception (the pill, POP, implant, patch, injection) can be offered after discussion or barrier contraception (condoms, diaphragms etc.) if appropriate," she adds.

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