Exploring the experience of IUD self-removal in the United States through posts on internet forums

Samantha Stimmel, Shawna V. Hudson, Marji Gold, Jennifer R. Amico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: Some intrauterine devices (IUD) users self-remove their IUDs, and these experiences are not well understood. This study examines what IUD users post in internet forums about their experience, as well as advice and questions shared among IUD users about self-removal. Study Design: This study uses qualitative analysis of internet health and parenting forum postings about IUD self-removal identified from an internet search engine. We analyzed the data using inductive and deductive content analyses. Results: Twenty-eight sites, containing 1742 posts by 1197 unique users, satisfied our eligibility criteria. Users reported successful IUD self-removal attempts as “quick,” “easy,” and “painless”; it was rare to encounter IUD users describing complications of their self-removal attempts. Users described unsuccessful attempts as failure to find or grasp strings. Many IUD users described their successful removal techniques and gave advice to other users who were struggling with self-removal. Users frequently utilized the forum to ask questions about IUD self-removal methods and timing, pain, when to seek medical intervention, and the effects on future fertility. Conclusions: Posts describing successful IUD self-removal report positive experiences. IUD users who have difficulty with self-removal may utilize internet forums to learn from others’ experiences. Implications: Exploring IUD users’ experiences with and questions about self-removal may inform strategies to develop better resources for those who desire self-removal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-38
Number of pages5
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Discontinuation
  • Internet
  • Intrauterine device
  • Self-removal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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