Contraception is a significant part of every woman’s life, not only because of her reproductive health but because of her mental being. Everyone prefers a different type of birth control since many options are available. That said, the ParaGard IUD is an excellent choice for those who want long-term contraception. Also known as the copper IUD or nonhormonal IUD, this device is inserted into the womb to prevent unwanted pregnancy by releasing copper ions that create an unfriendly environment for the sperm. Unlike hormonal IUDs, which utilize synthetic hormones to prevent the eggs from being fertilized, the ParaGuard IUD is completely hormone-free, making it a perfect choice for women who prefer nonhormonal forms of contraception. However, like any other contraceptive method, it has its potential risks and drawbacks. 

If you have any questions about the ParaGuard IUD, look no further than our renowned gynecologist in Sarasota, FL. Our experienced staff at University Park OBGYN provides a range of services for women of all ages, including contraceptive counseling and the insertion of copper IUD. So, whether you are considering getting this done or simply want to learn more about nonhormonal contraception, keep reading our blog post to find out all the important details. 

What Is ParaGuard IUD?

ParaGuard IUD is a small, T-shaped tool that is inserted into the womb to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Unlike hormonal IUDs, which use synthetic hormones to prevent your body from ovulating, the ParaGuard IUD uses copper to create a hostile environment for sperm. This device thickens the cervical mucus to stop sperm from reaching the egg. By releasing copper ions, which are toxic to sperm, it prevents fertilization from occurring. 

Since the ParaGuard IUD doesn’t release hormones, it is a secure and effective method for premenopausal women who do not want or aren’t able to use hormonal contraceptives due to medical issues or personal reasons. Additionally, it is a long-term contraception option, offering up to 10 years of protection without the need for frequent replacement. This makes it an ideal choice for those who want something lasting that is low-maintenance and reliable. 

Effectiveness and Risks

Shot of a Doctor Showing a Patient Some Information on a Digital Tablet

This type of birth control is one of the most effective contraceptive methods available. According to the experts, less than one percent of women who use the ParaGuard IUD as their primary form of birth control will become pregnant in the first year of use. This makes it more effective than other contraceptive methods, such as condoms or birth control pills. 

However, as with any other birth control, there are potential risks and side effects associated with using the ParaGard IUD. Some women may experience bleeding, spotting, or cramping during the first few months after the insertion until the body gets used to this change. While all of these signs usually diminish over time, they can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. In some cases, although rarely, the IUD can become embedded in the uterus, ending in serious problems such as scarring, infection, and infertility. 

Therefore, make sure to discuss all of these risks and side effects of the ParaGuard IUD with your trusted gynecologist before deciding whether it is the right contraceptive choice for you. 

ParaGuard IUD Insertion Procedure

Getting this device inserted in the womb is a straightforward procedure that can be done in your healthcare provider’s office. Before the insertion, your gynecologist will conduct a pelvic exam first to ensure that your uterus is in good shape and that there are no underlying conditions that may interrupt the process. 

The actual insertion technique lasts a few minutes and involves your doctor inserting the ParaGuard IUD into your womb with a delicate, plastic inserter. It is normal to feel mild discomfort, like cramping. That feeling might last a few days, but you can use over-the-counter pain relievers to alleviate the pain. 


While the ParaGuard IUD is generally safe and effective, some possible complications are associated with its use. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Infection: Although rare, the copper IUD can increase the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can end in infertility if left untreated.
  • Perforation: In some cases, the IUD may perforate the womb, leading to scarring, infection, and other serious complications. 
  • Expulsion: The IUD can become partially or entirely dislocated from the uterus, which can lead to unwanted pregnancy.
  • Ectopic pregnancy: If a patient becomes pregnant while using the ParaGuard IUD, there is a higher chance of ectopic pregnancy, which happens when the fertilized egg is implanted outside the uterus.
  • Allergic reactions: Some women may be allergic to copper or other materials that the IUD is made of, ending in itching, rash, and other allergic reaction symptoms. 

After the Procedure

After inserting a copper IUD, it is normal to notice mild cramping and spotting in the next few days. You may also feel some discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse or tampon insertion. Fortunately, these symptoms subside within a week or two. It is important to note that you should not use a menstrual cup for at least a month after the insertion of the nonhormonal IUD because it can dislodge it and cause complications. 

During the first two months after getting a ParaGuard IUD, keep an eye on your symptoms and note any changes in your menstrual cycle. Patients usually encounter heavier blood flow and cramping during their periods with the ParaGuard IUD. If you feel severe pain or experience heavy bleeding lasting over a few days, contact your gynecologist immediately.

Additionally, you should schedule a follow-up appointment about four to six weeks after the copper IUD is implanted to ensure it is properly in place and address any concerns you might have. After that, just make sure to do routine check-ups every year to maintain your IUD and reproductive health in general. 

ParaGuard IUD vs. Hormonal Birth Control

Woman Offered Multiple Birth Control Options

Although ParaGuard IUD is a nonhormonal type of birth control, hormonal IUDs are also available on the market. These types of IUDs release progestin, a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone, into the womb to prevent gestation. Here are some differences between the ParaGuard IUD and hormonal IUDs:

  • Composition: The ParaGuard IUD is made of copper, while hormonal methods release progestin to stop ovulation.
  • Duration of use: The ParaGuard IUD can be used for up to 10 years without needing removal, while hormonal IUDs can be used for up to five years.
  • Effectiveness: Both types of IUDs prevent pregnancy, but the ParaGuard IUD may be slightly more practical than hormonal forms.
  • Side effects: Hormonal IUDs usually have more side effects due to hormonal shifts, such as spotting, irregular bleeding, mood swings, and headaches. The copper IUD may cause heavy menstrual flow and cramping.
  • Cost: Hormonal IUDs are more expensive than nonhormonal IUDs, but the cost may vary depending on your insurance coverage. 


ParaGuard IUD is a nonhormonal form of long-term contraception that is made of copper. It is a perfect choice for premenopausal women who are not keen to try hormonal options due to medical or personal reasons. However, it comes with certain risks and possible complications. Inserting a copper IUD may cause some discomfort, although it is a fairly simple procedure. After getting it inserted, monitoring your symptoms and visiting your gynecologist at least once a year for a regular check-up are essential.