ParaGard is a hormone-free T-shaped intrauterine device made of copper and plastic. ParaGard is inserted into the uterus by a health care provider using an applicator tube. The applicator is inserted into the cervical canal to align the IUD and place it into the uterus. ParaGard provides protection against pregnancy for up to 10 years.
ParaGard is small and made of soft, flexible plastic so women shouldn’t feel it once its in place. This hormone-free device is ideal for women who have had trouble using hormonal birth control methods such as the pill. Currently, Nurx™ does not provide ParaGard.
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- How Does ParaGard Work?
Paragard's copper wire is coiled around the device and causes an inflammatory reaction. This reaction is toxic to sperm and eggs, effectively preventing pregnancy. Paragard is the only copper IUD available in the United States. Since it contains no hormones, ParaGard does not stop ovulation but works to prevent pregnancy by creating a toxic environment for both sperm and egg.
- Is ParaGard easy to get?
ParaGard is covered by most insurance plans. Check with your insurance provider to see if ParaGard is covered by your plan.
- Are There Any Precautions?
In uncommon cases, Paragard may be expelled unexpectedly. This can occur in women who have never been pregnant or who experience heavy periods. Women under the age of 25 or who have recently given birth are cautioned against using ParaGard for these reasons. Talk to your doctor to discuss your personal situation to see if Paragard is right for you.
Dizziness, nausea, and low blood pressure may be experienced during the insertion of ParaGard but most symptoms pass when the procedure is complete.
Women with cervical or uterine cancers or disorders are advised to consult with their doctor to be sure ParaGard is an effective choice for them.
- Are There Any Side Effects?
- Menstrual pain or heavy bleeding
Because ParaGard is hormone-free, most women experience fewer side effects than they would with hormonal medications.
- Will My Partner Be Able to Feel Paragard?
No. Once ParaGard is inserted, neither you nor your partner should be able to feel the device.
- How Do I Check That Paragard Is Properly Inserted?
Your healthcare provider will schedule a follow-up appointment approximately one month after ParaGard is inserted to check its placement. You can check yourself by inserting clean fingers into the top of your vagina to feel the two threads. Be careful not to pull the threads as this can increase the risk of expulsion. If you have trouble finding the threads, contact your healthcare provider. If you think ParaGard may be compromised, use backup birth control until you visit your physician.
- Do I Need to Leave Paragard Inserted For 10 Years?
No. ParaGard can be removed whenever you like. If your IUD is near expiration, a new one can be inserted to replace it.
- Is Copper Safe?
The copper used in ParaGard is FDA approved and has effectively prevented pregnancy for over 30 years.
- What Else Should You Know About ParaGard?
For women using Paragard, less than 1% become pregnant in the first year of use, although it does not protect against STDs.
Women who conceive while ParaGard is inserted can experience ectopic pregnancy when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. However, because it is 99% effective, the chance of ectopic pregnancy is very low. If you decide to become pregnant, fertility returns shortly after ParaGard is removed.
- How Does Nurx™ Work?
Nurx™ is a free platform offering easy online access to doctors and seamless delivery of medications. No more time-consuming trips to the clinic and no more frantic pharmacy runs. We put you in control of your own health, empowering you to get the care you need, when you need it. From diagnosis to delivery of prescriptions, we make every part of getting healthy and staying healthy, better.