It is imperative to be knowledgeable when it comes to women’s health and, in particular, women’s reproductive health. Here at Boesen Law, a law firm of nearly 50% women, we strive to maintain knowledge in regards to women’s overall and reproductive health.
What is the Paragard Intrauterine Device (IUD)?
The Paragard IUD is a small T-shaped contraceptive that is implanted inside a woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy. The device is made from flexible plastic and is wrapped in copper, the active ingredient for this specific contraceptive. According to the official website for the Paragard, (www.paragard.com), the contraceptive is “.. 100% hormone-free” and is “..over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy”. In addition, the website claims that the Paragard has a lifespan of 10 years and a patient can have the Paragard in for as little or as long as they like up to the 10-year mark.
What are some of the side effects?
There are several possible side effects of Paragard. Here is a list of a few:
1. Ectopic pregnancy and intrauterine pregnancy risks
Ectopic pregnancies are pregnancies not in the uterus. It is a medical emergency that often requires surgery. Ectopic pregnancies can cause internal bleeding, infertility, and even death.
It is possible for the IUD to be attached to the wall of the uterus. This just may make removal harder to do. Sometimes, surgery may be needed.
The Paragard can sometimes go through the wall of the uterus. If this occurs, one is not protected from pregnancy. After perforation, the Paragard may move outside the uterus and can cause scarring, infection, damage to organs, pain, or infertility. Perforation risks are increased for breastfeeding women.
There is a risk of the Paragard partially or completely falling out of the uterus. It is rare (only happening in about 2 out of 100 women). One is not protected from pregnancy if this occurs.
5. Changes in Bleeding
Menstruation may be heavier and longer with spotting in between. Please call your healthcare provider if bleeding remains heavier and longer.
Are there more severe side effects?
There are some reports of more severe risks when using the copper-wired Paragard. Below is a list of those risks:
Within the first couple of days after the Paragard is placed, a life-threatening infection can occur. If one develops severe pain or fever shortly after the IUD is placed, please call your healthcare provider immediately. Antibiotics are usually prescribed for treatment but this infection can lead to other conditions that will be mentioned next.
2. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) or Endometritis
This inflammatory disease starts off as an infection. It usually occurs within the first 20 days of the Paragard being placed. It is an infection that occurs in the uterus. Please be aware that PID and Endometritis are usually sexually transmitted meaning one and their partner are at a higher risk during intercourse. Fortunately, this can be treated with antibiotics as well; however, the diseases can cause problems such as infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain. Some cases might require surgery and in rare occasions, PID can cause death.
There are more risks to keep in mind if you are considering using the Paragard. If you or someone you know has had the Paragard placed, had to have it removed, and had the contraceptive break apart upon said removal, call us here at Boesen Law (303) 999-9999. We are more than happy to provide you with a free consultation in regards to the Paragard.