It is generally considered safe for breastfeeding women to use ParaGard (the copper IUD). This hormone-free contraceptive contains copper and is not expected to cause adverse effects in a nursing infant. However, before using this intrauterine device, breastfeeding women should talk to their healthcare provider about any potential risks.
Can Breastfeeding Women Use ParaGard?
ParaGard® (the copper IUD) is an intrauterine device (IUD) used to prevent pregnancy. It is a device that is inserted into the uterus and left in place for up to several years. It does not contain any hormones; instead, it contains copper. In general, ParaGard is considered a safe and effective method of birth control for breastfeeding women.
More Information on ParaGard and Breastfeeding
Research shows that ParaGard does not increase the level of copper in the breast milk, so it is not expected to cause negative effects in a nursing infant. Although research is conflicting, there is some concern that women who are breastfeeding may have a higher risk for ParaGard to become dislodged or have it perforate the uterus.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider
You should discuss breastfeeding and ParaGard use with your healthcare provider. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
ParaGard [package insert]. Sellersville, PA: Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.;2005 September.
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