Woman's friend asked to help insert IUD at Auckland clinic

Gynecologist in blue medical gloves holding speculum.

An Auckland woman has been left traumatised after the nurse inserting her IUD asked the woman's friend to help.

The woman, who has asked to remain anonymous, said she visited the Auckland clinic for the procedure on March 8 and took her friend for moral support.

"I'm lying on the bed, my friend is holding my hand and the nurse begins setting herself up, she then proceeds to ask my friend if she can help her hold this thing that is inside me so she can get the IUD in.

"At the time I wasn’t really worried about what my friend was doing or what was asked of my friend, I just wanted it to be over. In the car ride home speaking to my friend we realised it was pretty unprofessional not getting another nurse in to assist."

The woman said she didn't feel comfortable complaining to the clinic because she had follow-up appointments booked and they only have one specialist that does IUD appointments.

"I didn’t want to make things awkward for the follow-ups."

That nurse joked that "at least" her friend was also a nurse, which she conceded was "lucky".

The woman explained she already had trouble with the clinic leading up to her appointment.

"I started off booking an appointment, they called me a day later to come in and do some swab tests, telling me it will be free and just a precaution.

"When I went in to get the test done (Monday) they confused the appointment with my actual IUD insertion appointment. I explained to them I need to get my tests first and that my appointment for IUD should be on the Wednesday.

"They then proceed to tell me I don’t have any appointment for Wednesday So needed to wait for Wednesday the following week.

"Two days after my swabs they call me and say they gave me the wrong tubes to test in and they need to be re-done. On top of that charging me $30 for a test that was supposed to be free and they did it wrong."

Shortage of trainers

The woman's story comes amid a shortage of training supervisors which is impacting efforts to teach doctors and nurses how to insert the devices.

Te Whatu Ora, speaking generally and not about the woman's case, told 1News they contracted Family Planning to carry out a national training programme for IUD insertions.

The training was comprised of an an online theoretical and a practical, where seven successful supervised observations of IUD insertion were required.

Of 300 people who were on the course, only eight did the practical exams and finished the course due to a lack of trainers.

"The practical training component has been challenging," Te Whatu Ora said.

A new training module run by the College of Sexual and Reproductive Health was implemented last year called "Train the trainer".

GPs were trained in IUD insertion - they then trained local practitioners.

Te Whatu Ora said so far 31 people have attended the course so far and 21 trainers require further work to complete it.

What is an IUD?

IUD stands for Intrauterine contraceptive device.

In New Zealand two types of IUDs are available - one non-hormonal often referred to as a copper IUD and one hormonal IUD referred to as a Mirena.

The IUD is inserted into the uterus to help prevent pregnancy and a range of issues such as heavy periods and cramping.


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