DOCTORS were left stunned when they discovered a woman had stuck a metal spring in her vagina to stop herself getting pregnant.
The unnamed mum-of-three, from China, was reportedly trying to prevent a fourth pregnancy with the dangerous DIY method.
It is suspected that the 31-year-old 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, the contraceptive device needs to be inserted by a medical professional.
But it is not the same thing as an ordinary metal spring, and unsurprisingly it didn't stop the woman getting pregnant for a fourth time.
She arrived at Minzhong Hospital in the city of Zhongshan in South China's Guangdong Province, in July requesting an abortion.
The woman was five months pregnant so gynaecologist Fu Junhong decided to check the health of the baby.
But that was when he discovered the spring.
Dr Fu said: "She was five months pregnant and came to our hospital for an abortion procedure.
"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 measuring 2in (5cm) across and was stuck in her body, and required emergency surgery to remove.
She thought inserting a spring into her body would prevent further pregnanciesDr Fu Junhong
Dr Fu added: "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. It is unclear what she does for a living.
"She did by herself about half a year ago. It was greatly unscientific, and very unhygienic."
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.
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Dr Fu said: "Fortunately, she suffered no tissue damage or infections, otherwise she'd have suffered a lot."
He did not say whether the mum continued with the abortion, which is only prohibited six months into a pregnancy, but allowed further along if required under special circumstances.
Dr Fu advised the public to use "normal" birth control methods such as condoms or pills instead.
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