ParaGard is an intrauterine device (IUD) that's inserted into the uterus for long-term birth control (contraception). The T-shaped plastic frame has copper wire coiled around the stem and two copper sleeves along the arms that continuously release copper to bathe the lining of the uterus. ParaGard produces an inflammatory reaction in the uterus that is toxic to sperm, which helps prevent fertilization.

ParaGard is the only copper IUD available in the U.S. ParaGard prevents pregnancy for up to 10 years after insertion.

Jan. 21, 2015