ParaGard (copper IUD)
ParaGard (copper IUD)
ParaGard is an intrauterine device (IUD) that's inserted into the uterus for long-term birth control (contraception). The T-shaped plastic frame is wrapped with copper wire coils that continuously release copper to bathe the lining of the uterus. ParaGard produces an inflammatory reaction in the uterus that is toxic to sperm. If fertilization occurs, ParaGard keeps the fertilized egg from implanting in the lining of the uterus.
ParaGard is the only copper IUD available in the U.S. ParaGard prevents pregnancy for up to 10 years after insertion.
ParaGard is an intrauterine device (IUD) that's inserted into the uterus for long-term contraception. ParaGard prevents sperm from entering the fallopian tubes. If fertilization occurs, ParaGard ...
Why it's done
ParaGard offers effective, long-term contraception. Among various benefits, ParaGard:
ParaGard isn't appropriate for everyone, however. Your health care provider may discourage use of ParaGard if you:
Less than 1 percent of women who use ParaGard will get pregnant in the first year of typical use. If you do conceive while using ParaGard, you're at higher risk of an ectopic pregnancy — when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube. However, because ParaGard prevents most pregnancies, women who use it are at lower risk of having an ectopic pregnancy than are other sexually active women who are not using contraception.
ParaGard doesn't offer protection from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Side effects associated with ParaGard include:
It's also possible to expel ParaGuard from your uterus. You may be more likely to expel ParaGard if you:
How you prepare
Your health care provider will evaluate your overall health and do a pelvic exam before inserting ParaGard. He or she may also recommend screening for STIs. You can have ParaGard inserted anytime during a normal menstrual cycle if you've been consistently using another birth control method or you haven't had sex since your last period. If you're breast-feeding, have irregular periods or haven't been consistently using birth control, you may need to take a pregnancy test before ParaGard is inserted or have it inserted during a period.
Taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), one to two hours before the procedure can help reduce cramping.
What you can expect
ParaGard is typically inserted in a health care provider's office.
During the procedure
During ParaGard insertion, you may experience dizziness, fainting, nausea, low blood pressure or a slower than normal heart rate (bradycardia). Rarely, it's also possible for the IUD to perforate the uterine wall or cervix.
After the procedure
While you're using ParaGard, contact your health care provider immediately if you have:
It's also important to contact your health care provider immediately if you think ParaGard is no longer in place. Call your doctor if:
Your health care provider will check the location of ParaGard and remove it if necessary.
Insertion of ParaGard
ParaGard is an intrauterine device (IUD) that's inserted into the uterus by a health care provider. ParaGard prevents pregnancy for up to 10 years. ...
Last Updated: 2012-01-21
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