TikToker Mikkie Gallagher taking off her IUD on camera

@mikkiegallagher / TikTok

TikToker removes own IUD in viral video, encouraging others to do the same

'Proud to be American where at least I know they can’t Bill me from my own bathroom.'

 

Samira Sadeque

IRL

Published Sep 22, 2021   Updated Sep 22, 2021, 9:56 am CDT

A TikToker’s video allegedly showing her “DIY IUD removal” has gone viral and is garnering widespread support from other people with uteruses, many of whom say they are also considering removing their own IUDs due to their lack of options in getting it removed.

In the video, TikToker Mikkie Gallagher, who has nearly 25,000 followers on the platform, allegedly removes her own intrauterine device (IUD) in under a minute. “This is NOT medical advice but it only took 2 minutes,”  Gallagher captioned the clip.

In the comments section of the video, which has been viewed over 2 million times, Gallagher called the DIY removal her “last resort.” “PSA THIS WAS A LAST RESORT AFTER 2 YEARS OF CONSTANT PAIN & 5 DOCTORS REFUSING REMOVAL – AND WAS DONE AFTER A TELEHEALTH CONSULTATION WITH PP,” she noted.

https://www.tiktok.com/@mikkiegallagher/video/6938561339652672773?is_from_webapp=v1&amp%3Bq=%40Mikkiegallagher&amp%3Bt=1632243429616&is_copy_url=0&sender_device=pc&sender_web_id=6993291879871317509

“Come along for a little DIY IUD REMOVAL,” overlay text appears in Gallagher’s video, as she puts on surgical gloves. 

She then lunges her hand down as the text reads: “diving right in…”

Her hand disappears from the frame for a bit before it reappears with the T-shaped plastic.

“A lot easier than I thought tbh,” the text overlay reads. 

The video has received lots of support from others, who claimed that it encouraged and helped them. Many revealed they are now considering removing their own IUD after running out of options.

“I did this after i told my gyno (sic) it made me extremely depressed and anxious & needed it out and she told me the soonest i could was in 2 months,” wrote one user. 

Others shared their stories about their unpleasant experiences with having an IUD.

“That SOB was more painful than childbirth (for me) to put in and remove,” wrote one user. “And you’re sick the whole time it’s in. And it’s $700 to JUST PUT IN.” 

“My hair fell out and I had a nonstop period for three months worst experience of my life,” wrote another person.

“My doctor had an attitude when I wanted mine taken out after she was super pushy wanting me to get it but I was literally miserable,” wrote a third, to which Gallagher responded that she had a similar experience. 

Other remarks highlight how dystopian the American health system can be. “Tell me you don’t have insurance without you telling me…,” wrote one user. 

“These comments are so American,” wrote one user, to which Gallagher responded: “Proud to be American where at least I know they can’t Bill me from my own bathroom.”

TikToker @midwifemama has shared numerous videos showing the procedure on a dummy.

Healthcare professionals have weighed in on the procedure and Gallagher’s video, specifically. 

Dr. Shannon Clark, who has 232,000 followers on TikTok, shared Gallagher’s video in March and didn’t discourage anyone from doing it. She cited a paper claiming that the best thing to do is discuss options with a provider when the IUD is being put in place about potential options to remove it. 

Other medical professionals have warned against DIY IUD removal following Gallagher’s viral video.

“One in two women do not actually know where their cervix is,” Dr. Nitu Bajekal, a gynecologist with over three decades of experience, told Cosmopolitan. “And as the IUD is placed deep in the womb, it can be quite a challenge to grasp the threads and remove it without the proper equipment.”

An Australian doctor told Refinery29 that one possible issue is that one approach may not work for all.

“Not all IUDs are created equally,” Dr. Kathleen McNamee told Refinery29. “Some require careful traction on the thread using a special instrument for removal. If you pull too hard, the thread can snap off, making it a more complicated procedure.”

The doctors’ concerns are reflected in a few of the responses to Gallagher’s video. 

“I tried and passed out on the bathroom floor,” wrote one user. 

“I tried to get mine out for three months at the doctors but they couldn’t find the string and then it gave me … sepsis,” wrote another. 

Gallagher did not respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comments.


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*First Published: Sep 22, 2021, 8:09 am CDT