ParaGard

Other IUD Brand

Mirena

 

How it Works

IUD is short for intrauterine device. An IUD is a small, plastic T-shaped device that is inserted into a woman’s uterus and held in place by the arms of the T. There are two brands available in the United States: ParaGard and Mirena. Mirena contains a hormone (progestin) similar to that found in the birth control Pill.

ParaGard is effective for 12 years. ParaGard has a pure electrolytic copper-wire core with plastic wound around it. The presence of copper, along with leukocytes and prostaglandins, create a hostile environment for sperm.

How to Use

Your healthcare provider must insert the ParaGard IUD. ParaGard can be inserted any time during the menstrual cycle, but the best time is right after the period when the cervix is softest and the woman is least likely to get pregnant. Before insertion of the IUD, the cervix will be dilated, usually by use of a speculum. This is necessary so the uterus can be measured before ParaGard is inserted.

After 12 years — or any time before then that you would like the IUD removed — your healthcare provider must do it for you. Do not try to remove it yourself under any circumstances.

Effectiveness

ParaGard has been shown to prevent pregnancy in over 99% of situations when the IUD is the only birth control method utilized and when it is used exactly as directed.

Cost

In terms of monthly average cost, the ParaGard IUD is a very inexpensive long-term and reversible birth control method. For the medical exam, the IUD, insertion of the IUD and follow-up visits, the cost ranges from $500-1000.

Benefits

  • Paragard is effective for up to 12 years.
  • ParaGard is one of the least expensive, longest-lasting forms of reversible birth control on the market.
  • IUDs do not interrupt sexual play, as there is no preparation to use them. The IUD cannot be felt by the woman and usually cannot be felt by her partner.
  • ParaGard does not change a woman’s hormone levels, and does not carry any of the side effects of hormonal birth controls.
  • ParaGard is safe for women to use while breastfeeding. Talk to your healthcare provider about when is the best time to get the IUD after childbirth.

Risks

  • Some women will have mild to moderate pain when the IUD is inserted. There is the possibility of spotting between periods for the first three to six months.
  • ParaGard users may have heavier periods or worse menstrual cramps than before receiving ParaGard. For most women, this goes away after the first year.
  • There is the possibility of the IUD partially or completely slipping out of the uterus. This is called “device expulsion” and is rare. If it comes completely out, there is a chance of pregnancy.
  • A woman can develop an infection when using the IUD. It would occur when bacteria gets into the uterus while the IUD is being inserted. This is uncommon now with modern medical sterilization practices.
  • In even more rare situations, the IUD can push through the wall of the uterus when it is inserted. While this usually isn’t painful, it presents health risks. Usually your healthcare provider will notice right away and fix it. If not, the IUD can move around in the body and may require surgical removal.

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Birth Control News

How effective is your birth control?

For sexually active women, he effectiveness of birth control depends on how perfectly they use it. For this reason, there are two kinds of effectiveness rates. One measurement is for perfect use, as the method is tested in the lab or used in real life with no mistakes.

The other is typical use, the average including people who don’t always use the method correctly or every time sexual intercourse takes place.

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