How to Remove a ParaGard

If a woman has an IUD, there will come a time when she will have to have it removed. Most of the time, IUDs do not simply disintegrate or come out on their own. Even if an IUD should slip out of place a doctor will still have to remove it. Most of the time, having an IUD removed is a much more simple process than having it inserted in the first place. There is typically less pain involved and it is a much faster procedure. With this being said it is important to stress how vital it is that a professional remove an IUD and that a woman should never attempt to remove one on her own. Self removing of an IUD could lead to serious health hazards and could cause damage.

Reasons to Have an IUD Removed

There are a number of reasons that a woman may have for wanting or needing to have her ParaGard IUD removed. One of the most common reasons is the desire to become pregnant. There is also sometimes a possibility of infection and this would cause a doctor to want to remove the ParaGard IUD. In some cases there are even severe side effects as a result of the IUD, whether it is due to a release of hormones or from just having a foreign object inserted into the body. When a woman cannot handle the side effects anymore or they become too severe, it may become necessary to have the IUD removed. There are many other reasons for removal and in some cases it is simply because the woman no longer wants to have the IUD. In addition, IUDs will need to be changed every so often, 5 years for the Mirena coil and about 10 years for the ParaGard.

How the ParaGard IUD Is Removed

While a ParaGard IUD can be removed at anytime, it is often a lot easier to remove it while a woman is having her menstrual period. The reason for this is that the cervix becomes a lot softer during menstruation. The doctor will perform some of the same routine steps that he/she performed during insertion, such as detecting the position the uterus is in. After the initial examination is done then the doctor will go about the business of finding the string. When the string has been located then the doctor will use clamps or forceps to gently pull the IUD out in one smooth direction. The IUD is made so that it will fold in an upward motion as it is pulled through cervix opening. If a new IUD will be inserted, this will be done during the same visit.

Minor Complications Which Can Arise

Generally speaking, having an IUD removed is a very standard and routine procedure that will not result in any unwanted complications. However, as with any other procedure, there is always the possibility that something could go wrong, no matter how slight that possibility is. There are some cases in which the doctor will not be able to find the strings, either because they have slipped up into the cervix or because the IUD has been expelled without the woman’s knowledge. When these things occur, your doctor will use care in removing the IUD and may use ultra sound and other methods of detection in order to use tweezers or forceps to gently remove the IUD without damage to the uterus.

Possibility of Severe Complications

In some extremely rare cases a ParaGard IUD could become embedded in the wall of the uterus, making it very difficult to pull out. In situations such as this a doctor will need to rely on a number of different detection methods such as hysterography, sonogram imaging and a number of other options. If by some chance the IUD has punctured or has become embedded, the doctor might choose to dilate the cervix in order to obtain easier access to the IUD. Most of the time, this procedure is done under local anesthesia. This does not happen very often at all but when it does it comes with the risk of infection and even more serious consequences.

Having an IUD Replaced

Usually, IUD replacement is done on the same visit as having the old one removed. Of course this is provided there have been none of the above mentioned complications. Unfortunately, some women are under the erroneous impression that a new sex partner equals the need for a new IUD. This is a myth as an IUD will continue to protect a woman from pregnancy, no matter how many partners she has. One important consideration in having an IUD replaced is to be aware of the last time you had sexual intercourse. This is because the time an IUD is removed is generally scheduled very close to ovulation and sperm can easily live in the vagina for as many as 5 days. There is a risk of pregnancy if there is live sperm in the vaginal area when the IUD is removed. For this reason it is best to either abstain from sexual intercourse for at least one week prior to having the IUD removed or at least consider the use of a condom during this time.

Most women enjoy a worry free experience when it comes to having ParaGard IUDs inserted and removed and there are usually no complications at all. However, as there is a minor risk of undesirable situations that can arise, it is always a good idea to have regular check ups during the time you have an IUD. This will help to alert you and your doctor of anything that may be going wrong as a result of the IUD. In addition, you may want to go over your reasons for wanting to have your ParaGard removed and be sure that you are ready to do so. The cost of a ParaGard can be about $1200 and can last 10 years. If you have just had the ParaGard inserted in the past couple of years, you may want to be sure you are making the right choice prior to doing it.


  1. Well it's a no brainer when it comes to the removal process; however I wanted to know what complications if any could arise after removing an IUD. I've had a Paragard for 17 years and removed it on Saturday morning. It wasn't painful, however the copper was now black and it seemed like weak sewing thread which easily washed off when I rinsed it. I had some blood, nothing major for what seemed like a minute give or take. In the latter part of the evening 11:00 pm, I started bleeding which led me to believe that I actually started which by the way is a week or so early. The next day I was still bleeding, however it seemed to be flowing a little more with some minor cramps. Monday morning the bleeding was extremely heavy with major cramps and a bout of diarrhea, Tuesday same thing however at night the bleeding slowed down severely with minimal cramps. Wednesday the bleeding stopped so I thought, however I spotted here and there throughout the day, with minimal cramps. The diarrhea doesn't seem to want to go away, so I'm not sure if it's normal. I've been drinking plenty of water and have no problem urinating, the only problem now is the minimal cramps and the bouts of diarrhea.

    1. How do you remove it? I’ve had mine almost 10 years!

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