PARAGARD (intrauterine copper contraceptive)

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is an IUD?
An IUD (or intrauterine device) is a long-acting reversible form of birth control that is highly effective (over 99% effective). It’s a small “T” shaped device that is placed in your uterus to help prevent pregnancy. There are no daily routines or refill hassles, just a monthly string check.
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How does PARAGARD work?
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. Heavier, longer periods, and spotting between periods may increase at first, but for most women, these side effects diminish after 2 to 3 months.
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Who might use PARAGARD?
You might choose PARAGARD if you
  • Need birth control that is very effective
  • Need birth control that stops working when you stop using it
  • Need birth control that is easy to use
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Do I have to use PARAGARD for 10 years?
No. PARAGARD can be removed at any time by a healthcare professional. So whether that’s in 1 year or in 10, PARAGARD lets you decide if or when you’re ready to start trying to get pregnant. Just ask your healthcare professional to remove it and you can start trying to get pregnant that same day.
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How do I get PARAGARD?

Your healthcare professional will place and remove PARAGARD for you, so it’s best to have a conversation with your healthcare professional today to see if PARAGARD is a good option for you.

Here are some tips on how to start that conversation.

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Who should not use PARAGARD?
PARAGARD should not be used if you:
  • Might be pregnant
  • Have an abnormally shaped uterus
  • Have a pelvic infection called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), or have current behavior that puts you at high risk of PID
  • Have had an infection in your uterus after a pregnancy or an abortion in the past 3 months
  • Have an infection in your cervix
  • Have cancer of the uterus or cervix
  • Have unexplained bleeding from your vagina
  • Have a previously placed IUD that has not been removed
  • Have Wilson’s disease
  • Are allergic to any component of PARAGARD
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If PARAGARD doesn’t contain hormones, how effective can it be?
PARAGARD is over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy, making it one of the most effective forms of birth control available.
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How is PARAGARD different from hormonal birth control methods?
PARAGARD is the only 100% hormone-free IUD that’s over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
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Is PARAGARD FDA approved?
Yes. PARAGARD has been FDA approved for over 30 years.
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Can I use PARAGARD when breastfeeding?
PARAGARD is 100% hormone free, so you can use it while nursing. But speak with your healthcare professional to see if PARAGARD is right for you. There may be an increased risk of perforation and expulsion of an IUD if a woman is breastfeeding.
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Does PARAGARD protect against HIV/AIDS or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?
No. PARAGARD doesn’t protect against HIV/AIDS or STDs, so consider using a condom during sex.
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Will PARAGARD affect my periods?
Because PARAGARD is hormone free, you should keep your menstrual cycle. The most common side effects of PARAGARD are heavier, longer periods and spotting between periods. For most women, these side effects diminish after 2 to 3 months. However, if your period continues to be heavy or long, or spotting continues, contact your healthcare professional.
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What’s my daily routine with PARAGARD?
PARAGARD has no daily routine or refill hassles, just a monthly string check. You won’t have to worry about setting a daily alarm or remembering to visit the pharmacy. The string check is quick, and your healthcare professional can walk you through it the first time.
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What if I decide I want children later?
PARAGARD gives you the flexibility to change your mind. It helps prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years, but your healthcare professional can remove it at any time. Once it’s removed, you can start trying to get pregnant that same day. 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.
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Will my partner feel PARAGARD?
No. After PARAGARD is placed by your healthcare professional, neither you nor your partner should feel it during sex.
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What are the most common side effects of PARAGARD?

The most common side effects of PARAGARD are heavier, longer periods and spotting between periods. For most women, these side effects diminish after 2 to 3 months. However, if your period continues to be heavy or long, or spotting continues, contact your healthcare professional.

Infrequently, serious side effects may occur, including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), difficult removals (surgery may sometimes be needed to remove PARAGARD), perforation of the uterine wall, or expulsion of PARAGARD from the uterus.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. Be sure to discuss all the risks and safety information with your healthcare professional.

What is PARAGARD (intrauterine copper contraceptive)?

PARAGARD is a copper-releasing device that is placed in your uterus to prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years.

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 call 1-800-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.

PARAGARD is a registered trademark of Teva Women’s Health, Inc. ©2016 Teva Women’s Health, Inc.
PAR-40962 November 2016. THIS SITE IS INTENDED FOR RESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES ONLY.

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. continue reading

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