What happens during the procedure itself.
After your initial consultation with your doctor about ParaGard®, you'll return for a second appointment where ParaGard® is placed. Your doctor may suggest that you take an over-the-counter medicine for pain relief about an hour before the procedure to help alleviate cramps and the mild discomfort some women experience. If you're not within the first seven days of your period, he or she may also give you a quick pregnancy test (pregnant women should not use ParaGard®).
Your doctor places ParaGard® in your uterus using a thin plastic tube. Once ParaGard® is in the correct position, the tube is withdrawn and ParaGard® opens up into a T shape, where it should rest securely against the top of your uterus.
Here's what you can expect:
- You can eat and drink normally before coming in to have ParaGard® placed.
- During placement you may feel some pinching or cramping.
- Some women also feel faint, nauseated or dizzy for a few minutes during or immediately after the procedure.
- If you have some cramping after your ParaGard® is placed, you may want to take an over-the-counter NSAID you're familiar with and have used before.
- If your pain continues and does not respond to the medicine, you should call your doctor back.
- You should be able to resume your normal daily activities, such as working and exercising, shortly after placement.
Also call your doctor if:
- you have signs or symptoms that make you think you could be pregnant.
- you experience pelvic pain or pain during sex.
- you notice unusual vaginal discharge.
- you have an unexplained fever.
- you miss a period.
- you experience severe or prolonged vaginal bleeding.
- you're exposed to any STDs or either you or your partner becomes HIV positive.
- you can't feel the threads during your monthly self-check, the strings seem longer than normal or you can feel any other part of ParaGard® besides the strings.
For the first few months, you may notice heavier and longer periods with cramping, especially if you were previously using hormonal birth control (such as the Pill, Patch, Ring or Shots); some women have spotting between periods. After two to three months, these side effects usually lessen as your body adjusts to ParaGard®. Be sure to let your doctor know if it continues longer than that.