Removing a hormonal IUD
The hormone reserve in a Mirena® slowly releases a very small amount of corpus luteum hormone (progesterone) over five years. At the end of that time, the reserve is depleted and the coil is no longer effective. The Mirena® therefore has to be removed after five years.
You can of course have the Mirena® taken out at any time before that if you so desire. The doctor removes the coil by pulling gently on the removal threads using forceps.
To avoid any pain, it is sensible to take the same precautions as when fitting the Mirena® (see Fitting the Mirena without it hurting). Although the removal procedure is simpler than the fitting, removal can sometimes be painful as the cervix is usually closed. If you are still having regular periods, the Mirena® should be removed during a period.
Once the Mirena® has been taken out it no longer offers any protection against pregnancy and you could get pregnant again immediately. Most women become pregnant in the following few months, if they are not using another effective form of contraception (see Fertility after Mirena).
If you don’t wish to have a baby you should therefore start using another form of safe contraception as soon as the Mirena® is removed.