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As a type of birth control, ParaGard is prescribed to help prevent pregnancy. This form of contraception comes as an intrauterine device (IUD) that is placed inside the uterus. It is inserted by a healthcare provider and is a highly effective birth control that lasts for up to 10 to 12 years. Side effects include longer periods and spotting in between periods.
What Is ParaGard?ParaGard® (the copper IUD) is a hormone-free intrauterine device (IUD) used to provide long-term birth control. It is a small polyethylene (plastic) and copper device, and is approved to provide up to 10 years of highly effective birth control. Some healthcare providers allow ParaGard to be used for up to 12 years before replacing it, as some studies have shown that it remains effective for at least that long; however, the device is only approved for up to 10 years.
How Does ParaGard Work?Unlike many other forms of birth control, ParaGard does not contain any hormones. It is inserted into the uterus by your healthcare provider, where it can remain for up to 10 years; some healthcare providers are comfortable leaving it in place for up to 12 years.
It is not exactly clear how ParaGard works to prevent pregnancy. It has been suggested that the IUD may interfere with the sperm's ability to reach the egg, block fertilization of the egg, or prevent implantation of an embryo.