Women are posting videos of themselves removing their own IUD (intra uterine devices) on TikTok - a dangerous new trend on the social media platform that has led doctors to send out public warnings against it.
The IUD is a small device that is inserted into the uterus and is a contraceptive used to prevent pregnancy but also sometimes used to control the menstrual cycle and its painful side-effects.
A video posted by TikTok user Mikkie Gallagher, showing her "DIY IUD removal" has gone viral, leading medical professionals to speak out against it.
In the video, which Gallagher warns in the caption is "NOT medical advice", she performs her own IUD removal at home, wearing a pair of surgical gloves.
The video has had more than two million views and the hashtag #iudremoval has had more than 64 million views, prompting medical doctors to warn people against the practice.
Gallagher points out that the removal only took two minutes to remove her Mirena IUD.
Multiple doctors have issued public statements urging people not to try the DIY IUD removal as, if not done well, it can have severe consequences, including uterine prolapse.
"It is better to do it in a controlled environment," Dr Gloria Bachmann, director of the Women's Health Institute at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, told Today.com.
"When we take it out in the office, everything is visualised [but] you are doing it more or less blindly [at home].
"If it's embedded in the muscle layer of the uterus, which can happen, it can cause a lot more bleeding, a lot more pain, and it can actually bring the uterus down with it, which is not something that one would want," she added.
"Not all IUDs are created equally. Some require careful traction on the thread using a special instrument for removal, Dr Kathleen McNamee, medical director of Family Planning Victoria, told Refinery29 Australia.
"If you pull too hard, the thread can snap off, making it a more complicated procedure."
"Statistics show that 80 per cent of DIY IUD removals fail, resulting in a visit to already overcrowded emergency rooms or GP clinics," McNamee said.
"We are concerned that if the person dislodges the IUD in a failed attempt, it could no longer be effective as a contraceptive method and result in an unwanted pregnancy," she added.
"For any questions or concerns about your sexual health and fertility management, please don't scroll [on] your phone," the expert said. "Go and see your GP or Family Planning Clinic."