Does Coil Removal Hurt? A Quick Guide to IUD Removal

BlogContraceptive Coils

Written by

Catherine Smith

Published on

Image of a Mirena Contraceptive Coil on a purple background

Are you nervous about getting your intrauterine device (IUD) removed? You’re not the only one. Many women ask, “Will coil removal hurt?” Most women find the process to be quick and rather painless. There are a few things to remember, though. Let’s explore this important step in your birth control journey.

When it comes to preparing for the removal, many women benefit from taking some pain relief, like ibuprofen, before their appointment. It’s also best to have the removal when you’re not menstruating. This makes things easier.

Key Takeaways

  • Coil removal is typically a quick and painless process for most women.
  • There are two main types of removals: simple and complex, with the latter potentially requiring additional steps.
  • Taking an over-the-counter analgesic like ibuprofen or paracetamol before the appointment can help minimize discomfort.
  • Scheduling your removal during a time when you’re not menstruating can make the process easier.

Understanding the Coil Removal Process

If you’re thinking about having your IUD taken out, the good news is it’s quick and not too painful. Your doctor will first place a speculum in your vagina. Then, they’ll use special tools to pull on the IUD’s threads to remove the device from your cervix

Removing the coil can cause slight discomfort, but many find it bearable. If the threads are hard to see, a doctor might use an ultrasound to help take it out. In rare cases, they might need to do a hysteroscopy or a laparoscopy to tackle more challenging situations.

If you get pregnant with an IUD, it could be risky and may cause a miscarriage. Sperm can live for up to five days, so always use extra protection before your IUD removal to prevent pregnancy. Your chance of getting pregnant after removing the IUD is high, with around 85% conceiving within a year.

Does Coil Removal Hurt?

Most women find coil removal only causes mild discomfort. If the threads are lost, a specialist might use ultrasound to guide the removal. This can involve a minor operation that lasts 30-60 minutes and requires anaesthesia.

IUDs have an “expiration date” and must be removed before then. This is because they stop working, meaning they can’t prevent pregnancy. If you get pregnant with an old IUD, it could lead to serious problems. So, it’s very important to get a new IUD before the old one expires to stay protected.

Taking ibuprofen or another painkiller before the removal appointment can help reduce any pain. After removal, you might have some spotting or light bleeding, which is normal. But if you start passing blood clots, it’s a sign to contact your doctor right away.

When should I get my IUD removed?

Intrauterine devices (IUDs), such as Mirena, can stay in for 5 or 10 years, depending on the type. However, it is possible to remove it at any time, even before the designated time for its removal.

There are many reasons why someone might want their IUD taken out. These include very heavy periods, a lot of pain, if the device moves or breaks, wishing to start a family.

Fertility comes back as soon as the IUD is out. So, it is possible to fall pregnant right away. You might choose to take out an old IUD and put a new one in during the same visit. This can be done if you still like using it for birth control. But, if you don’t want to get pregnant right after removing it, many healthcare providers advise avoiding sex for about 7 days.

When the IUD is taken out, you might have a bit of pain and light bleeding. Your periods will go back to how they were before the IUD soon after it’s removed. 

Preparing for Your Coil Removal Appointment

Getting ready for your coil removal makes the appointment better. It can be less painful and more comfortable. Taking pain relief like ibuprofen or paracetamol before can ease cramping during removal. So its always recommended to do this.

How soon can I get pregnant after getting my IUD removed?

Your fertility kicks in right after the coil is removed. This means you might conceive within weeks once you start ovulating again. If you had unprotected sex just before removing the coil, be aware that pregnancy is possible.

For those under 35, around 20 percent may become pregnant each month after IUD removal. After 6 months, this figure jumps to 60 percent. By the end of 1 year, 85 to 90 percent . A review in 2018 with 14,884 women showed 83 percent could get pregnant within a year of stopping contraception, IUD included.

Rates for those over 35 or over 40 drop. After 35, chances go down to 10 to 15 percent per month. For those over 40, it’s about 5 percent monthly. In 2015, a study reported similar pregnancy rates after 12 months for users and non-users of the IUD.

Using an IUD doesn’t usually affect how quickly you can fall pregnant after stopping it7. You’re likely to start ovulating normally again after the first cycle post-removal. If there are fertility issues after removing the IUD, other factors like ovulation problems or pelvic pain.

Where can I get my IUD removed?

It can be hard to find a good place for IUD removal. Luckily, The Coil Clinic is here to help. We are a specialist clinic in Edinburgh that offers a variety of services, including IUD removal.

The Doctors and nurses at The Coil Clinic are trained to safely remove your IUD.  Removing an IUD is usually less painful than putting it in. The whole process is quick, taking just a few minutes.

The experienced team at The Coil Clinic can help in many situations. This includes when your IUD needs removing because it’s expired, you want to get pregnant, or if you have symptoms like heavy bleeding or pain. 

If you can’t find your IUD threads, they might not be where it should be. In this case, it’s crucial to get help from a sexual health clinic.

How much does it cost to get my IUD removed?

At The Coil Clinic, it costs £345 for a simple coil removal. At the clinic we make sure our patients are comfortable and relaxed in a private setting. A normal coil removal visit takes about 30 minutes. You won’t have to wait long, as most people get seen within a few days.

Is there anything you can do for anxiety or pain relief?

Our clinic’s focus is on making your experience as comfortable as possible. Taking ibuprofen or paracetamol before your appointment can lessen cramps or pain when the coil is removed. If you’re anxious, our atmosphere and staff can put you at ease. 

You’ll be with a highly skilled doctor who knows that it’s totally normal to be a bit worried. Appointments are quick, usually lasting only 15-30 minutes. Feel free to bring a friend for support. Plus, your talk with our doctors is private. This way, you can freely talk about any worries you have.

After removing the coil, you might feel cramping and see some blood for a few days. But, a hot water bottle and painkillers can help. You won’t need to miss work. 


Does coil removal hurt?

Removing the coil is usually quick and doesn’t hurt much. A medical device called a speculum goes into the vagina. Next, forceps are used to grab the coil’s threads from the cervix and the device is gently pulled out.  Most women find this just a bit uncomfortable.

What is the process for coil removal?

There are simple and complex ways to remove a coil. Simple removal means the coil’s end can be easily pulled out, letting you leave the same day. For a complex removal, the coil’s end is hard to find. It might need extra checks like ultrasound or hysteroscopy to take it out safely.

How does a copper IUD work?

The copper coil or IUD prevents pregnancy by releasing copper ions in the womb. These ions stop sperm from reaching the egg and making a baby. It’s a reliable way to avoid unplanned pregnancies.

When should I get my IUD removed?

Most coils are okay to stay for 5 to 10 years, but they can be taken out earlier. Once it’s gone, women can become pregnant right away. You’re fertile as soon as the coil is no longer inside you. You can also swap your coil for a new one in a single procedure.

How should I prepare for my coil removal appointment?

To lessen cramps, taking ibuprofen or paracetamol before the visit is recommended. 

How soon can I get pregnant after getting my IUD removed?

When the coil is out, your body can get pregnant again straight away. Normally, it takes a few weeks after your period comes back. Remember, you might already be pregnant if you had unprotected sex in the 5 days before taking out the coil.

Where can I get my IUD removed?

In Edinburgh, The Coil Clinic specialises in IUD-related services, including removals. 

How much does it cost to get my IUD removed?

The cost at The Coil Clinic for a coil removal is £345.  If you want to get the coil removed and replaced at the same time, the procedure costs £595 including the cost of the coil.

Source Links


Dr Catherine Smith

Dr Catherine Smith is the founder of The Coil Clinic. A GP and Women's Health Expert with nearly 20 years of experience. She is a BMS Certified Menopause Specialist