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Women have been taking out their intrauterine devices (IUD), a common form of long-term contraception, without medical intervention and sharing advice for other women who wish to do the same on TikTok.
The contraceptive device is up to 99 per cent at preventing pregnancy and can last up to 10 years, but they should be inserted and removed by healthcare professionals.
However, some women on TikTok are struggling to book appointments with their doctors and gynaecologists so they have taken matters into their own hands.
Some people have also claimed to have been refused removal unless they agreed to another form of contraception but this has not been confirmed.
Mikkie Gallagher, who posted a video about it on TikTok, offered her followers advice about how to remove the IUD, saying it was "a lot easier" than she expected.
Those on TikTok believe that it is both simple and a good idea to pull out the IUD on their own, as it is attached to a string just like a tampon, but it is extremely unadvisable and could cause serious harm.
Founder of ByQuanna and qualified gynaecologist Dr Dimitry Loktionov said: "While the procedure of removing an IUD itself is quite simple, there are dangers to do this yourself."
He explained: "The main danger is introducing infection to the vagina, cervix, and uterus, and causing damage or abrasions."
Removing it could also cause bleeding, if the contraceptive was used to control heavy periods, and the person will no longer be protected against pregnancy.
Additionally, as these women are not medical professionals, there is the potential of a piece of the IUD being left inside.
"If removed, it needs to be inspected by a doctor to make sure the whole IUD came out. If a piece of IUD is left inside, it will continue to act as contraception and thus preventing you from getting pregnant," if that is your goal, he said.
Addressing the women who say they cannot get their IUD removed by doctors, Dr. Loktionov added: "The choice is absolutely up to the woman so don't be afraid to discuss all options with your doctor to find the solution you are most comfortable with.
"... If your doctor will not do it for you, reach out to another doctor."
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