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TikTok video of IUD removal at home prompts warning from health authorities

A TikTok user who went viral with a video of herself removing her implanted birth control device has prompted calls among sexual health experts for better monitoring of social media platforms.

In a video which has gained over 178,000 likes, TikTok user Mikkie Gallagher is filmed performing a ‘DIY IUD removal’ wearing medical gloves, writing on top of the post: “A lot easier than I thought TBH,” and “Catch of the day: Mirena IUD, 2 inches”.

An intrauterine device (IUD) is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy and sometimes assist in relieving period pain. They usually need to be taken out every five to 10 years depending on the type. Women can choose when to have them removed.

Family Planning Victoria CEO, Claire Vissenga, said she found it very concerning that “DIY could pass as healthcare or professional assistance”.

“... it’s just a ridiculous thing to do. Removing an IUD potentially does physical damage, and could complicate contraception,” says Vissenga

Family Planning medical director, Kathleen McNamee, said 80% of DIY IUD removals failed, leading to GP or emergency visits.

“If the person dislodges the IUD in a failed attempt, it could no longer be effective as a contraceptive method and result in an unwanted pregnancy,” she said.

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Source: The Guardian, 24 September 2021


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