Placing, removing or replacing copper IUD: how does it work?

9 August 2023By Titus Health Care

Do you want to have a copper IUD placed or removed? Or do you need to have your copper IUD replaced soon? Then you might want to know more about how this works. In this blog, we will tell you all about the placement, removal and replacement of a copper IUD: how does it work, where can you go and what do you need to consider?

Placing a copper IUD: the preparations

If you want to have a (copper) IUD placed, you can choose where to have it placed. You can visit your GP, midwife, gynaecologist or various clinics. For an overview in your area, go to The IUD is usually placed during or right after your period. This way, it is certain that you cannot be pregnant and the placement is a little easier. But the spiral can also be placed outside your period. So even if you recently gave birth and haven't had your period yet or if you don't know where you are in your cycle.

Beforehand: rule out STIs and pregnancy

Before inserting an IUD, it is important to be sure that you cannot be pregnant. If there is any doubt, do a pregnancy test first. It is also important to be sure that you cannot have venereal diseases (STIs). When in doubt or if you have been at risk, first do a soatest. The soatest can also be taken at the time your IUD is placed. If the test is positive, you will be given antibiotics. The IUD can simply remain in place. If you are sure you have not been at risk of an STI, an STI test is not necessary.

Copper IUD placement: how does it work?

To insert an IUD, your healthcare provider first inserts a duck's mouth (speculum) into the vagina to get a good view of the cervix. A probe (a thin rod) is used to measure the length of the uterus. This is to see if the coil suitable for your uterus. The measurement may cause cramps or feel painful. The copper IUD is then inserted into the uterus with a special insertion sleeve. Once the IUD is inserted, your healthcare provider will cut the threads of the IUD to the correct length. These threads are attached to the IUD so you can have the IUD removed over time. Sometimes an ultrasound will take place immediately after the placement of your IUD to make sure the IUD is in the right place. After 6 weeks, you will come back for a follow-up check. During the follow-up check, your healthcare provider will use a needle cup or ultrasound to check whether the coil is in the right place. You can also discuss any complaints or ask questions.

Placing an IUD: pain relief

Some people experience IUD insertion as painful. The advice is to take painkillers an hour before insertion. This can be in the form of 400 mg ibuprofen, 275 mg naproxen or, if you are breastfeeding, 1000 mg paracetamol. This will help the uterus and muscles relax, making you experience the insertion and any post-insertion cramps as less painful. It is wise to take some rest after the insertion, but in principle, you can and should do everything as usual.

Copper IUD removal

Removing an IUD is a simple operation that only takes a very short time. Using special forceps, your healthcare provider pulls on the threads of the IUD to remove the IUD. You cannot remove your copper IUD yourself. Note: after removal, you are immediately fertile again.

Copper IUD replacement

If you want another IUD after removal, your healthcare provider can place another IUD immediately after removal. The placement will then be exactly the same as described above.

Insertion, removal, replacement of spiral
(Last Updated On: 9 August 2023)