Less than 1 percent of women who use ParaGard will get pregnant in the first year of typical use. If you do conceive while using ParaGard, you're at higher risk of an ectopic pregnancy — when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube. However, because ParaGard prevents most pregnancies, women who use it are at lower risk of having an ectopic pregnancy than are other sexually active women who are not using contraception.
ParaGard doesn't offer protection from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Side effects associated with ParaGard include:
- Bleeding between periods
- Inflammation of the vagina (vaginitis)
- Pain during sex
- Severe menstrual pain and heavy bleeding
- Vaginal discharge
It's also possible to expel ParaGuard from your uterus. You may be more likely to expel ParaGard if you:
Jan. 21, 2012
- Have never been pregnant
- Have heavy or prolonged periods
- Have severe menstrual pain
- Previously expelled an IUD
- Are younger than age 20
- Had the IUD inserted immediately after childbirth or an abortion
- Dean G, et al. Approach to intrauterine contraception. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 3, 2011.
- Kottke M. Nondaily contraceptive options: User benefits, potential for high continuation and counseling issues. Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey. 2008;63:661.
- Dean G, et al. Management of problems related to intrauterine contraception. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 3, 2011.
- Carusi DA, et al. Insertion and removal of an intrauterine contraceptive device. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 3, 2011.
- ParaGard (prescribing information). Pomona, N.Y.: Duramed Pharmaceuticals Inc.; 2006. http://www.paragard.com. Accessed Nov. 3, 2011.
- The intrauterine device. http://www.acog.org/publications/faq/faq014.cfm. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Accessed Nov. 3, 2011.
- Intrauterine contraceptives. In: Zieman M, et al. A Pocket Guide to Managing Contraception. Tiger, Ga.: Bridging the Gap Communications; 2010:82.
- Birth control methods fact sheet. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/birth-control-methods.cfm. Accessed Nov. 3, 2011.
- Emergency contraception. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/faq/faq114.cfm. Accessed Nov. 3, 2011.
- Castellsague X, et al. Intrauterine device use, cervical infection with human papillomavirus, and risk of cervical cancer: A pooled analysis of 26 epidemiological studies. The Lancet Oncology. 2011;12:1023.