ParaGard (copper IUD)

ParaGard (copper IUD) Benefits, Risks & Procedures

A ParaGard is an intrauterine device that is used for contraceptive purposes. This form of implant can be used to provide long term birth control. It does not entail any hormones and to that end, it is considered as one of the non hormonal IUD options.

The structure of this implant is as follows:

  • It is a T shaped plastic frame that is inserted into the uterus.

  • The plastic frame has copper coils that are wound over it. 

Once inserted these copper coils produce inflammatory reactions that kills the sperm cells that enter the uterine region.

Being a long term contraceptive, it can prevent pregnancy up to 10 years.

What are the benefits of implanting ParaGard?

The benefits of implanting ParaGard are as follows: 

  • You do not need to interrupt your sexual intercourse while you are using this contraceptive

  • With 10 years worth of pregnancy prevention, your chances of child during this period are none

  • It can be removed at any time that you want

  • If you are breast feeding, even then it can be implanted

  • There are no side effects like blood clots or anything else that is associated with hormonal birth control methods.

  • It can also be considered as an emergency contraceptive and can be put on within 5 days after the unprotected sex.

When is this form of contraceptive not recommended?

If you have any of the following issues, then this form of contraceptive is not recommended for you:

  • There are uterine abnormalities present like large fibroids.

  • There is pelvic infection present

  • If you had or still have cervical or uterine cancer

  • If you have the case of unexplained vaginal bleeding

  • If you are allergic to copper

  • There can be a case where too much copper can accumulate in your vital organs (Wilson’s Disease)

How to prepare yourself before this procedure?

  • It can be inserted anytime during your menstrual cycle.

  • It can be inserted at least after 8 weeks of your delivery has passed

  • Your health will be evaluated first to see if there is any reason to not recommend this option for you.

  • There can be a case of cramping develop after the procedure. To that end, you are going to be provided with Ibuprofen.

During and after the procedure

During the procedure

  • First, the gynaecologist is going to insert a speculum inside your vagina and clean your cervix with an antiseptic solution.

  • The ParaGard arms are generally straightened out. To that end, the doctor is going to fold them first

  • Then they are going to put this device inside an applicator tube. 

  • This tube will then be inserted inside your uterus via the cervical canal. 

  • Once appropriate is reached, the ParaGard will be safely placed. 

  • After the ParaGard is placed, the applicator tube is extracted.

  • The strings of the ParaGard will be trimmed so that you do not feel any sort of discomfort.

After the procedure:

  • You are going to experience some dizziness after the tube is being inserted. However, it will pass

  • The doctor is going to re-examine the uterus to see of the contraception has been placed correctly.

What are the risks associated with this procedure?

The side effects of this procedure are as follows: 

  • There can be bleeding even when there are no periods.

  • The strings that are left can even injure the surrounding part of the uterus.

  • There can be a bunch of issues develop if you are allergic to copper

  • The menstrual pain can occur severely

  • As you are still not protected from sexually transmitted diseases, you can get it as well.

  • There can also be a case of expulsion of the ParaGard in the following conditions:

  • a. Severe menstrual pain

  • b. Prolonged periods

  • c. Younger than 25 years of age.

  • d. If the IUD had been immediately inserted after childbirth, it can also create issues.

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Senior Gynecologist and a Senior Consultant

Dr. Madhu Goel is a well renowned senior gynaecologist and a senior consultant at Fortis La femme, New Delhi. She runs a private consultation in Goel’s surgery and Gynea centre and prior to being associated with Fortis; she was a consultant a Rockland Hospital.