The Paragard IUD is a small, soft, flexible, copper-releasing, T-shaped device made primarily of plastic and copper. Like the Mirena or Skyla IUD, it provides continuous birth control and is inserted into the uterus by board-certified Dr. Basinski or Dr. Juran. Unlike the Mirena or Skyla, it has no hormones of any kind. This may be a plus for women who desire no hormones, or who are nursing. In fact, it is the only long-acting, highly effective birth control that contains no hormones. Having no hormones does mean that your periods will be unchanged from their normal state before you ever took birth control. For the first 6 months, they may be slightly heavier, crampier, and longer before returning to normal.
How Paragard Works
The device works simply by sitting securely and comfortably inside the uterus. The thin copper wire wrapped around the arms and shaft of the “T” of the device prevent sperm from reaching the egg. Releasing copper instead of hormone prevents pregnancy in women for up to 10 years when Paragard is left implanted. There is a proposed, but not proven, theory that it may also prevent pregnancy by preventing implantation of a fertilized egg.
How effective is Paragard?
Paragard is more than 99% effective when placed correctly. Fewer than 1 in 100 women with the Paragard will get pregnant. It is as effective as having your tubes tied, but unlike a tubal, you can get pregnant in the future once the Paragard is removed.
Are there risks associated with the Paragard?
The risks are basically identical to the risks associated with Mirena or Skyla such as heavier, longer periods and spotting between periods is common. These issues usually subside in 2-3 months. Less frequent side effects include pelvic inflammatory disease, the expulsion (release) of the Paragard from the uterus, and the perforation of the uterine wall. With perforation, the device can move into the stomach and a doctor should be consulted right away.
Will Paragard help my periods?
Because Paragard contains no hormones, you can expect your periods to be pretty much the same. For the first few months, they may even be a little crampier, heavier, and longer. If your periods are already heavy or crampy, we probably would not recommend Paragard for you.
How long does Paragard work for?
Paragard is FDA-approved to provide birth control for 10 years. You may choose to have it removed at any time, though we do encourage you to keep it for at least 3 months before deciding to remove it, because most symptoms of bleeding/cramping will resolve the longer you have Paragard.
Is Paragard Right for Me?
Once you’re in the market for a long-term, effective birth control method, then you might want to give the Paragard IUD a thorough look-over. This device is different from its counterparts, where it doesn’t release any extraneous hormones into the patient. Another bonus is the fact that the Paragard can provide dependable birth control for up to 10 years. If you want to find out more about this birth control and see if you are a candidate, we encourage you to give us a call to set up an appointment to meet with one of our doctors.