Some doctors started leaving IUD strings longer so women can remove them if they lose insurance

With Donald Trump now occupying the Oval Office and Congress being majority Republican, women are rightfully worried about their access to birth control in the coming years. If the Affordable Care Act is repealed as Trump has promised, millions of people will lose their health care, leaving many women without birth control. Working to minimize the struggle as much as possible, some doctors are leaving IUD strings longer so patients could take them out themselves if they need to, rather than going to the doctor to have the tiny devices removed.

The number of women getting IUDs skyrocketed after Trump was elected on that dark day in November. Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards told CNN earlier this month, “We’ve had a 900 percent increase in women trying to get into Planned Parenthood to get an IUD. Because they’re desperately concerned that they might lose their access to healthcare and they know that Planned Parenthood is the place that can provide it.”

Even for those getting long-term birth control before Obamacare is potentially scrapped, the question remains if they’ll be able to have it removed in the future. Going to the doctor to have an IUD removed can cost hundreds of dollars, which women left without insurance would have to pay out of pocket.

Luckily, some doctors have figured out a way around this. “Patients will bring up that they’re worried about insurance covering removing [their IUD],” Dr. Martha Simmons told Cosmopolitan. “So the other thing that we’re doing is — for patients who are worried that they won’t have coverage to get their IUDs removed — we’re leaving the strings long enough so that the patients could self-remove the IUD if they wanted.”

Leaving the string a little longer makes it easier for a woman to reach it with her fingers and remove it when she sees fit, which some doctors did before the world became a terrifying place, but could be even more useful in the coming years. Of course, having a trained doctor remove an IUD is preferred over doing it yourself, but it doesn’t hurt to have the option if you’re worried about losing your insurance.