Can You Remove Your IUD by Yourself?

An IUD removal can cost up to $200, but a new DIY IUD removal process could save you some money and trip to the doctor.

OB/GYN, Dr. Nita Landry explains that some doctors are now leaving the string of the IUD a little longer so that patients are able to retrieve it by themselves and remove it. However, she personally encourages patients to return to their medical care provider to remove the IUD.

“I think that patients need to be informed about the potential complications… in a lot of instances [the DIY method] will go just fine, but there are some potential complications,” she explains, saying she had a colleague whose patient’s IUD broke off and she was unaware of what it looked like and she did not realize a portion was still inside of her. As a result, the patient suffered an infection. Dr. Landry acknowledges that a broken IUD is not common.

Watch: "Set it and Forget it" Birth Control?

The Doctors are also joined by reproductive specialist Dr. Moira Rashid, who is a proponent of patients removing the IUD themselves.

“IUD removal for the vast majority of people is very safe and there are a lot of reasons why women might want this option, from money to access to care, control [of when they stop their birth control],” she says, explaining that this topic has been coming up more recently as people’s future access to medical coverage is up in the air due to the country’s political climate.

Watch: New Birth Control Recommendations for Teens?

Dr. Rashid explains that for patients who want to be able to remove the IUD on their own the string is only 1 centimeter longer and that it does not usually interfere with sexual intercourse.

The Doctors’ takeaway: have ownership over your own health and speak to your medical care provider about what works best for you.