Hormone Free Long Acting (10 Years) Birth Control
What is PARAGARD IUD?
PARAGARD is a form of birth control known as an intrauterine device (IUD).
It’s the only IUD that’s completely hormone free.
PARAGARD IUD is a “T” shaped device made of soft, flexible plastic and copper (176 mg of copper wire wrapped on the vertical stem of the“T” shaped frame, and a 68.7 mg copper collar on each horizontal arm).
PARAGARD is over 99% effective and completely hormone free. It helps prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years, but your healthcare professional can remove it at any time.
Paragard IUD FAQ
How does the PARAGARD IUD Work?
PARAGARD IUD is a copper-releasing device that is placed in your uterus to prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years.
The copper in PARAGARD enhances its effectiveness. It interferes with sperm movement, egg fertilization, and possibly prevents implantation.
Because PARAGARD is hormone free, you should keep your menstrual cycle. And if you decide you’re ready for a baby, you can start trying to get pregnant the same day PARAGARD is removed by your healthcare professional.
Do not use PARAGARD if you have a pelvic infection, get infections easily or have certain cancers. Less than 1% of users get a serious infection called pelvic inflammatory disease.
What is PARAGARD IUD (intrauterine copper contraceptive)?
PARAGARD IUD is a copper-releasing device that is placed in your uterus to prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years. It is the only non-hormonal IUD available in the United States. It provides pregnancy prevention for up to ten years.
What are the benefits of the Paragard IUD?
- Eliminates the need to interrupt sex for contraception or seek partner compliance
- Can remain in place for up to 10 years
- Can be removed at any time
- Can be used while breast-feeding
- Doesn’t carry the risk of side effects, such as blood clots, related to hormonal birth control methods
- Can be used for emergency contraception if inserted within five days after unprotected sex
Who would the Paragard IUD not be best for?
- Have uterine abnormalities — such as large fibroids — that interfere with the placement or retention of ParaGard
- Have a pelvic infection, such as pelvic inflammatory disease
- Have uterine or cervical cancer
- Have unexplained vaginal bleeding
- Are allergic to any component of ParaGard
- Have a disorder that causes too much copper to accumulate in your liver, brain and other vital organs (Wilson’s disease)
How do you prepare for the Paragard IUD?
ParaGard can be inserted anytime during a normal menstrual cycle. If you just had a baby, your doctor might recommend waiting about eight weeks after delivery before inserting ParaGard.
Before inserting ParaGard, your health care provider will evaluate your overall health and do a pelvic exam. You may have a pregnancy test to confirm you’re not pregnant, and you may be screened for STIs.
Taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), one to two hours before the procedure can help reduce cramping.
What is the procedure for the Paragard IUD like?
Your health care provider will insert a speculum into your vagina and clean your vagina and cervix with an antiseptic solution. A special instrument might be used to gently align your cervical canal and uterine cavity. Next, your health care provider will fold down ParaGard’s horizontal arms and place the device inside an applicator tube.
The tube is inserted into your cervical canal and ParaGard is carefully placed in your uterus. When the applicator tube is removed, ParaGard will remain in place. Your health care provider will trim ParaGard’s strings so that they don’t protrude too far into the vagina and may record the length of the strings.
During ParaGard insertion, you may experience dizziness, fainting, nausea, low blood pressure or a slower than normal heart rate. Your health care provider will likely suggest that you stay lying down for a few minutes to allow these side effects to pass. Rarely, it’s possible for the IUD to perforate the uterine wall or cervix. If this complication occurs, your health care provider will discuss the appropriate management.
How is the Paragard IUD removed?
ParaGard is usually removed in a health care provider’s office. Your provider will likely use forceps to grasp the device’s strings and gently pull. The device’s arms will fold upward as it’s withdrawn from the uterus.
Light bleeding and cramping are common during removal. Rarely, removal can be more complicated.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Do not use PARAGARD if you have a pelvic infection, get infections easily or have certain cancers. Less than 1% of users get a serious infection called pelvic inflammatory disease. If you have persistent pelvic or stomach pain, or if PARAGARD comes out, tell your healthcare professional. If it comes out, use back-up birth control. Occasionally, PARAGARD may attach to or in rare cases may go through the uterine wall and may also cause other problems. In some cases, surgical removal may be necessary. Although uncommon, pregnancy while using PARAGARD can be life threatening and may result in loss of pregnancy or fertility. Bleeding or spotting may increase at first but should decrease in 2 to 3 months. PARAGARD does not protect against HIV/AIDS or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Available by prescription only.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA at www.fda.gov/medwatch or call1-800-FDA-1088.
For important risk and use information about PARAGARD, please see the full Prescribing Information.
Nothing on this website should be construed as giving advice or making a recommendation, and it should not be relied on as the basis for any decision or action. It is important that you rely only on the advice of a healthcare professional to advise you on your specific situation.
Embry Women’s Health is committed to providing quality, affordable health care. We’re in-network with all major insurance plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare. No insurance? No problem. We offer a simple fee schedule for those who wish to pay out-of-pocket. Click the button below for our complete list and more information: