TikTok users have discovered a potentially dangerous new trend and no, it doesn’t involve climbing over milk crates.
Due to some unwanted side effects, women are removing their IUDs at home and documenting the process on video, similar to a DIY tutorial.
While it is possible for women to remove their IUDs at home, doctors and other medical professionals say that the process may not be totally safe.
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IUDs or intra uterine devices are a form of contraception inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy.
In addition to listing physical side effects of IUD, user @sarah.niermann gave followers four reasons why she decided to remove the device at home: decreased libido, exhaustion and brain fog, constipation, and — most importantly — Sarah didn’t want to pay $300 to get it removed professionally.
Another user, @mikkiegallagher, took her followers along for a DIY IUD removal where she seemed shocked at the ease of the procedure, which she said only took two minutes.
IUD insertions and removals can be a painful processes and the thought of pulling the strings of the device and forcibly removing it from one’s cervix is enough to make most people cringe.
But doctors and other medical professionals say that DIY removals can also be dangerous, since IUD users are going in blind.
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Dr. Gloria Bachmann, an obstetrician and the director of Women’s Health Institute at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, told NBC News that while removing one’s IUD may be “more safe than unsafe”, “It is better to do it in a controlled environment. When we take it out in the office, everything is visualized as you are doing it more or less blindly (at home).”
Dr. Bachmann continued, “If it’s embedded in the muscle layer of the uterus, which can happen, it can cause a lot more bleeding, a lot more pain and it can actually bring the uterus down with it, which is not something that one would want.”
In addition to Bachmann’s warning, Dr. Anar Yukhayev also told NBC News that he could not recommend people remove their contraceptive devices at home.
He says only professionals know the right amount of force to use while pulling out the device, and excessive pulling can lead to tearing, bleeding or become a more emergent issue if the IUD were to become lodged into a different part of the uterus.
While the decision to remove an IUD by yourself at home can be result of multiple factors like payment, physical side effects or provider refusal, both Bachmann and Yukhayev urge patients to have more transparent conversations with their providers to resolve those issues.