Trilby Beresford
Updated Jun 05, 2016 @ 8:49 am
Credit: BSIP/UIG/Getty Images

Among the most effective reversible contraception devices for women is the Intrauterine Device (IUD), that T-shaped plastic or copper device that you get inserted into your uterus by a gynecologist. Their popularity stems from the fact that they can remain in your body for years at a time, and you can stop using them whenever you like. While they are perfectly safe, a recent trend has seen women attempting to remove their IUD’s themselves, and the medical community claims this is a BIG no no.

In fact, gynecologist Dr. Jen Gunter feels so strongly about this issue that she took to her blog to explain the reasons why women shouldn’t remove their own IUD. Gunter admits that while removing an IUD is a simple procedure, it still involves a speculum inserted into the cervix to grasp the string of the IUD, and to safely pull it out. The speculum needs to be angled a certain way, using just the right amount of force. Just like with any other medical procedure, this requires training and practice.

In other words, this is the part where the everyday woman who is not a gynecologist might run into trouble. Of course, a non-gynecologist could remove their IUD and experience no issues, but they could also pull the string too hard in the wrong direction and cause it to get stuck, or not know that the device has become embedded in the wall of the uterus or cervix. That would be unfortunate, and could pose a major health risk later.

Basically, it’s best to leave IUD removal up to your health care professional. They know what they’re doing and they’ve done the exact same thing a thousand times before. If something is a red-flag, they can look at your uterus with a telescope to figure out the problem. Dr. Jen Gunter even knows not to attempt self-removal; she has even gone to a doctor to have her own removed. There’s no need to be your own doctor.