ParaGard T 380A is a T-shaped intrauterine device that contains copper and is used in birth control . It is a non-hormonal method of female contraception. It is about 3 cm long and is produced of both copper and plastic. Tiny thread is added to the device, which helps on removal of this type of IUD.
Only doctors should insert Paraguard IUD into the uterus. This device is effective in birth control straight after its insertion into the uterus. Since it can be left without removal for up to ten years, the price of the device is quite high, fluctuating from $400 to $500 in the United States of America. Paragard IUD is an effective, non-hormonal, long lasting and reversible form of birth control available now.
The action of this device as a method of contraception is not entirely known. Since it does not contain any hormones, copper IUD does not affect ovulation. Paragard IUD is known to kill sperm due to antispermicide effects of copper. This device also changes the uterine lining so that it becomes thinner, and hence, uterine cavity becomes more hostile for sperm and unavailable for implantation of an egg. It also acts as a stimulating agent for prostaglandins that inhibit production of certain hormones needed to assist pregnancy.
The efficiency of Paragard IUD
The efficiency of Paraguard IUD is considered to be high, reaching about 90%. Some claim that failure rate is 1% for users, who are comfortable with this type of IUD. However, clinical studies have shown that the possibility that this device falls out the uterus during the first year of use is 5%. And even though, Paragard IUD may be left inside for up to ten years, many women stops using it sooner due to side effects.
This type of intrauterine device is a reversible form of contraception. Women are able to conceive right after removal of IUD.
Should a woman become pregnant with Paragard in place, the device should be removed to prevent possible complications of pregnancy. Removal of an intrauterine device may be sometimes complicated leading to miscarriage or even surgical abortion. If IUD is not removed, long-term effects to fetus are not yet known.
Am I suitable for copper IUD?
Not every woman is suitable for using this form of birth control. First, a woman should have had at least one pregnancy before inserting the device. Her uterus should be normal in shape. Post-pregnancy or post-abortion intrauterine infection during the past 3 months is a contraindication for this method of contraception. It is strictly not recommended to insert an IUD if a woman has a history of previous acute Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Other contraindications are uterine or cervical cancer, Wilson's disease or allergy to any of the components of the device, undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, and cervical infection.
A woman should consult her health care professional to find out whether she is suitable or not for having Paragard IUD. Women should also know that this device does not protect against any sexually transmitted diseases, therefore additional measures should be used for that.
Paragard IUD side effects
Like all method of birth control, Paragard IUD has certain side effects and possible complications that women should be aware of. The most common side effects include longer and heavier menstruation for several months after insertion. In addition, women also experience spotting. These side effects usually disappear in several months after beginning of use. But a woman should contact a doctor in case of severe menstrual bleeding or if she misses a period, since it might be due to pregnancy.
One of the most serious complications associated with the use of an IUD is perforation of the uterus. Luckily, it is a very rare case. Expulsion of the device is rather frequent and is more likely to appear in younger patients. Pelvic inflammatory disease is also a possible complication due to Paragard, like other IUD's. Other complications include backache, vaginal discharge, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or even infertility . If any complaints occur a woman should contact her doctor immediately in order to avoid these complications.
Even though there are possible side effects and complications associated with this device, and it efficiency in birth control is not as high compared to hormonal methods of birth control, Paragard IUD is probably one of the most popular non-hormonal methods of contraception these days.