Shocked doctors discovered a woman had inserted a metal spring into her vagina thinking it would act like a coil to stop getting pregnant.

The unnamed woman from China is already a mum-of-three and had attempted to prevent a fourth pregnancy using the bizarre DIY method, according to gynaecologist Fu Junhong.

It is suspected that she mistakenly believed any spring would act like an Intrauterine device (IUD), commonly known as a coil because the copper wire is coiled around the plastic.

It needs to be inserted by a doctor or a nurse and the copper is 99 per cent effective in preventing pregnancy.

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But it is not the same thing as an ordinary metal spring, and not surprisingly the woman's DIY method did not stop her getting pregnant for a fourth time.

The doctor with Minzhong Hospital in the city of Zhongshan, revealed that the patient, 31, arrived at the hospital and requested an abortion.

Doctors then made the shocking discovery of the spring.

Fu, who treated the woman at the end of July, said: "During our checks, we found rings lodged between her vagina and cervix - it was a spring which had already been enveloped by her vaginal tissue."

The spring measured 5cm across and was stuck in her body, requiring emergency surgery to remove.

Fu continued: "She thought inserting a spring into her body would prevent further pregnancies.

"She found it on the floor of her workshop. She picked it up, gave it a wash and then inserted it.

"She did by herself about half a year ago. It was greatly unscientific, and very unhygienic."

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The metal spring was removed in seven pieces during surgery. Photo / Australscope
The metal spring was removed in seven pieces during surgery. Photo / Australscope

The medic added: "We couldn't get it out during the operation, so our surgeons used a pair of pliers and cut the spring apart, and we removed it piece by piece."

The coils were cut into seven individual pieces, which were extracted from the patient's body in an operation lasting 40 minutes, the hospital said.

Fu said: "Fortunately, she suffered no tissue damage or infections, otherwise she'd have suffered a lot."

Fu did not say whether the woman continued with the abortion.