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When you have an Intrauterine Contraceptive Device or IUCD fitted, the doctor will tell you how to check the strings to ensure that it is in the right place. If at any point you aren’t able to find the strings, you may need to have an IUCD location scan to check that the device is still working.

Contraception coil

Checking the Strings of Your IUCD

You should check your IUCD strings at least once a month to ensure that it is still in the right place. It is a good idea to do this just after your period as this is the most likely time for it to become dislodged. It will also help you to ensure you are protected for the coming month.

The strings are two thin threads that should hang out a short way through the cervix when the IUCD is correctly positioned in your womb. To check them:

  • Begin by washing your hands thoroughly

  • Sit or squat in a comfortable position

  • Insert your middle or index finger into your vagina until you feel the cervix, which should feel as firm as the end of your nose

  • Feel around for the ends of the strings. If they are missing, seem too short or long, or you can feel the hard part of the IUCD against the cervix, then the device may be out of place.

What If You Can’t Find IUCD Strings?

If you can’t feel the strings or something feels wrong then you may not be protected by the IUCD. You should:

Sometimes it is just the strings that have moved out of place and they can be swept back down during a pelvic exam. However, if the IUCD location scan reveals that the device itself has moved then it might not be functioning properly and there could be a risk of complications such as injuries to your womb. The IUCD may need to be removed and replaced.

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