Should patients remove their own IUD? This is a question that is currently being asked. Traditionally a NP, PA, MD or DO places the IUD and the strings are cut to approximately 1 inch. This would make it hard for a patient to pull it out on their own and also make it unfelt during intercourse. Some providers are making the strings longer so that patients can take it out when they want to and thus avoiding the cost and inconvenience of coming in to the office.
This brings up many concerning complications. Some have reported infection due to retained product. If done in a medical setting this could have been avoided. Others have had increased bleeding and anxiety due to improper removal.
While we know that giving women control over their reproductive health is the best method, we question the safety of this practice.
I can say from personal experience that the IUD at times can become embedded into the uterus and calls for the need to apply more force than one would expect. This will also cause more bleeding which can be very alarming to the patient and possibly dangerous.
I love the idea of self directed birth control but I am not sure that this is the safest option for those that want and need that. What do you think?