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What is Paragard?

Birth Control 101: Which method is the best for you?
What is Paragard?

What is Paragard, you might be asking. It is a tiny IUD (intrauterine device) that prevents pregnancy more than 99% of the time with just 1 straightforward active component. A healthcare professional inserts it into your uterus during a regular office visit to prevent pregnancy for as little or as long as you desire—up to 10 years. The limbs and stem of Paragard are constructed of soft, flexible plastic that is lightly wrapped in copper. Once it’s in place, you shouldn’t feel a thing. Paragard is a hormone-free IUD and uses copper to prevent pregnancy for up to ten years.

What to expect with Paragard

You shouldn’t be able to feel Paragard once it is in place. The two fine threads that protrude from your cervix should be the only things you can feel. Making it a practice to inspect the threads once a month to make sure Paragard is still in place is a smart idea. Tampon use is still acceptable, and neither you nor your partner should notice it while having sex. Your period will continue to be monthly while using this device. Your period may start out heavy and longer with spotting in between; however, this typically gets lighter over time. Call your healthcare practitioner if it persists.

If you have a sluggish heartbeat, dizziness, seizures, just had a baby, are breastfeeding, have AIDS, HIV, or any other sexually transmitted illness, let your doctor know before having Paragard implanted.

Things to consider while taking Paragard

Use caution when taking Paragard if you have any of the following conditions: pregnancy, possibility of pregnancy, abnormally shaped uterus, fibroids, infection of the uterus following pregnancy or abortion within the previous three months, pelvic infection, including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infection of the cervix, susceptibility to infections, certain cancers, unexplained bleeding, Wilson’s disease, different IUD use at the time, or copper allergy.

An elevated risk of PID has been linked to IUDs, particularly Paragard. Although rare, pregnancy while taking Paragard might be fatal and result in infertility or miscarriage. Paragard may impact the uterus if it perforates or passes through it. If you experience significant discomfort or fever soon after placement, miss a period, experience abdominal pain, or if Paragard comes out, let your healthcare practitioner (HCP) know. Use a backup method of birth control if displacement is suspected. Before getting an MRI or undergoing heat therapy, let your healthcare provider know you are taking Paragard.

Some people may experience heavier, longer menstrual cycles with initial spotting. Anemia, discomfort during intercourse, backache, and vaginal discharge are other typical adverse effects. HIV and STD protection is not provided by Paragard.

To learn more please look at the Paragard brochure: