DIY IUD Removal: Doctors Warn After TikTok Video Goes Viral
Statistics show that 80 percent of DIY IUD removals fail – and the result is terrifying. Photo / 123rf
Women post videos on TikTok of removing their own IUD (intrauterine device) – a dangerous new trend on social media that has led doctors to publicly warn against it.
The IUD is a small device that is inserted into the uterus and is a contraceptive device used to prevent pregnancy, but is sometimes used to control the menstrual cycle and its painful side effects.
A video posted by TikTok user Mikkie Gallagher showing her “DIY IUD removal” has gone viral, leading health professionals to speak out against it.
In the video that Gallagher warns in the caption is “NO medical advice”, she performs her own IUD removal at home and wears a pair of surgical gloves.
The video had over two million views and the hashtag #iudremoval had over 64 million views, prompting doctors to warn people about the practice.
Gallagher points out that the removal only took two minutes to remove her Mirena IUD.
Several doctors have made public statements urging people not to try DIY IUD removal because, if not done well, it can cause serious consequences, including a prolapse of the uterus.
“It’s better to do this in a controlled environment,” said Dr. Gloria Bachmann, director of the Women’s Health Institute at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, told Today.com.
“When we take it out in the office, everything is visualized [but] you make it more or less blind [at home].
“When it’s embedded in the muscular layer of the uterus, which can happen, it can cause a lot more bleeding, a lot more pain, and it can even bring the uterus down with you, which you don’t want.” She added.
“Not all spirals are made equal. Some require careful traction on the suture with a special removal tool, ”said Dr. Kathleen McNamee, Medical Director of Family Planning Victoria, told Refinery29 Australia.
“If you pull too hard, the thread can break, which complicates the procedure.”
“Statistics show that 80 percent of DIY IUD removals fail, resulting in visits to already overcrowded emergency rooms or primary care clinics,” said McNamee.
“We fear that if the person removes the IUD on a failed attempt, it could become ineffective as a contraceptive method and result in an unwanted pregnancy,” she added.
“If you have any questions or concerns about your sexual health or fertility management, please do not scroll [on] Your phone, “said the expert.” Go to your GP or family planning clinic. “