Paragard is an intrauterine copper contraceptive that is completely hormone-free and can stay in place for up to ten years. Similar to the popular Mirena IUD, Paragard is over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy; however, unlike Mirena, Paragard does not contain any hormones. Paragard does not get in the way of your body’s natural menstrual cycle, although lighter periods can oftentimes be a welcomed side effect.
Paragard is a plastic intrauterine device with copper-releasing components that is inserted by your doctor during an in-office procedure. Copper is slowly released into the uterus over the course of 10 years and offers protection against pregnancy. Because copper creates a toxic environment for sperm, this method offers pregnancy protection without any needed hormones.
Paragard might be the birth control method for you if you are looking for long-term birth control that you do not have to worry about taking every day or if you’d like to be able to try becoming pregnant immediately after your birth control has ended. Also, if you like the idea of an IUD without hormones, this might be right for you.
Paragard should only be used by women who understand that it only protects against pregnancy and does not protect against HIV or sexually transmitted infections.