The phenomenon has been, in part, caused by difficulties booking appointments, forcing the women to perform DIY procedures at home
Doctors have slammed a TikTok trend which has seen women remove their own contraceptive coils at home.
Coils, also known as IUDs, are fitted in the uterus and are more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
They are fitted by trained medical staff, however some internet users have started removing the devices themselves.
The phenomenon has been, in part, caused by difficulties booking appointments, forcing the women to perform DIY procedures.
Other women say they carried out their own coil removal after being told they could only take it out if they started another form of contraception.
However, doctors have warned that a DIY removal can result in pain, bleeding or further embedding. It also risks a prolapse of the uterus.
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TIkTok creator Mikkiegallagher, who hails from the US but is based in Ireland, filmed a close up of her face to show her reaction while putting the device out.
She warned her 325,000 followers that she wasn’t giving medical advice in her video, but also revealed that the IUD removal was ‘a lot easier’ than she thought it would be and only took about two minutes.
A number of doctors have criticised the trend, with OB-GYN Dr. Gloria Bachmann, director of the Women’s Health Institute at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, said it was better to remove coils in a “controlled environment” with doctors on hand to deal with any issues that may arise.
Speaking to TODAY , she said removing a coil in a clinic meant the procedure wasn’t being carried out blindly.
“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 actually bring the uterus down with it, which is not something that one would want,” she added.
New York-based OB-GYN Dr. Anar Yukhayev told NBC that it was better to have a medic perform the procedure with the right tools.
In some situations, he said, they might need to use some force – but in these cases the person performing the procedure needed to know exactly how much force to use and why the force was needed.
“When you pull it, you can actually lodge it in a different part of the uterus and make the embedding of the IUD even worse. That’s one of the issues I can think about why it’s not a good idea, or it’s risky, actually dangerous,” he said.
On the topic of medics refusing to remove coils, Dr. Yukhayev said it was important that a solution is found that works for the patient.
He saw his job as a physician to tell the patient what he thought was going on, what the risks and benefits were, what the options were, and then for them to come to a decision together.
If anyone was dealing with an OB-GYN who went against what they wanted, then he suggested they found themself a different doctor.
However, another board-certified OB-GYN, Portland-based Dr. Jennifer Lincoln, disagrees.
She made a video for her 2.3 million followers explaining that IUD removals were “actually really straightforward and simple most of the time.
She had taken out two of her own IUDs at home, she said, because she hadn’t felt like making an appointment.
She warned her followers that if they couldn’t get the string of their UID, or it hurt, or it didn’t easily come out, they should stop.
“But by the same token, if you want to come in and have us do it, we’re more than happy,” she added.