Doctors warn of the dangers of a trend that is sweeping TikTok – of women removing their own contraceptive coil.
Coils — also known as copper coils or IUDs — are contraceptives that are up to 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy when inserted correctly.
They should be put in and removed by a medical professional, but women from all over the world who are struggling to make appointments with their doctor or gynecologist are resorting to doing it themselves and posting ‘IUD’ removal videos online .
Others have reported being denied removal unless they agree to start using another form of birth control, and have therefore taken matters into their own hands.
But doctors warn that a DIY removal can lead to pain, bleeding or further embedding, and even prolapse of the uterus.
TikTokker @mikkiegallgher, who has nearly 25,000 followers, advised viewers that her video should not be considered medical advice
The content creator revealed that removing the device only took two minutes, but some doctors have warned that performing the procedure yourself can be risky
TIkTok creator, Mikkiegallagher, who is from the US but now lives in Ireland, who showed a close-up of her face as she pulled the device out, warned her viewers that she was not giving medical advice on her video.
But she did reveal that removing the IUD was “a lot easier” than she thought.
The TikTokker told its 25,000 followers that the process only took two minutes.
But a number of doctors have criticized the trend.
What is a ‘coil’ and what does it do?
A coil, or copper coil, is medically known as an IUD.
It is a small T-shaped plastic and copper device that is placed in your womb (womb) by a doctor or nurse.
It releases copper to prevent you from getting pregnant and protects against pregnancy for 5 to 10 years.
An IUD works once placed and lasts 5 to 10 years, depending on the type.
It can be inserted at any time during your menstrual cycle, as long as you are not pregnant.
It can be removed at any time by a specially trained doctor or nurse. It is then possible to get pregnant right away.
Your periods may be heavier, longer, or more painful for the first 3 to 6 months after an IUD has been inserted. You may experience spotting or bleeding between periods.
There is a small risk of getting an infection after it is applied.
There is a small risk that your body will push the IUD out or it will move. Your doctor or nurse will teach you how to check that it is in place.
It may be uncomfortable when the IUD is inserted, but you can take pain medications afterwards if needed.
It may not be suitable if you have had pelvic infections before.
It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so you may also need to use condoms.
New York-based OB-GYN Dr. Anar Yukhayev related: NBC that it is better to get a medic to perform the procedure because they have the right tools.
He said they might even need to use some force in some situations.
He added: “The point is that you need to know exactly how much force to use.
“If you use too much force, it could mean something is wrong, like the IUD getting stuck.
“If you pull on it, you can place it in a different part of the uterus and make the IUD embedding even worse.
“That’s one of the things I can think of why it’s not a good idea, or it’s risky, actually dangerous.”
OB-GYN Dr. Gloria Bachmann, director of the Women’s Health Institute at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, told TODAY it is better to remove coils in a ‘controlled environment’ as doctors are better equipped to solve any problems.
She added: “If we take it into the office, everything is visualized as you do it more or less blindly (at home).
“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 even bring the uterus down with it, which is not something you would want.”
When it comes to medics refusing to remove the coils, Dr. Yukhayev that it is important that a solution is found that works for the patient.
He added: “I see it as my job as a physician to tell the patient what I think is going on, what the risks and benefits are, what the options are and for us to come together to make a decision.” which we both feel comfortable with.
“Now I can’t imagine ever being in a position where a patient really wants their IUD out and I say ‘no’.
“If you run into an obstetrician who goes against what you want, it’s probably time to find another doctor.”
Not all doctors agree. dr. Jennifer Lincoln is a board certified OB-GYN in Portland who has a TikTok account with 2.3 million followers.
She made a video on the topic that read, ‘Can you get your own IUD out?
“Frankly, probably. Removing an IUD is usually very simple and straightforward.
“Actually, I got two of my own IUDs at home because I didn’t feel like making an appointment.
“If you can easily grab the string and remove it with a gentle tug, cool. But if you can’t grab the string, or it hurts, or you pull on it and it won’t come out, then you have to stop.
“Some other OB-GYNs may not agree with me, and that’s okay, but going to the doctor to have an IUD removed can sometimes be a little difficult when it comes to childcare and costs.
“But anyway, if you’d like to come in and let us do it, we’re more than happy.”