More women are moving in the direction of hormone-free birth control. The Paragard IUD, one of 5 intrauterine devices in the U.S. is the only device that claims to be hormone-free. In addition, it is used as emergency contraception if inserted within 5 days of unprotected sex.
Paragard is a plastic, T-shaped device that is placed at the base of the uterus. Paragard has copper wire coiled around it. That device releases copper into the uterus, producing an inflammatory reaction that interferes with sperm movement. It changes the environment inside the uterus to make it toxic to sperm.
The healthcare provider places the device into an applicator tube, pushes the tube into the vagina and through the cervix, then releases the IUD into the uterus.
It forms a T-shape and has little fishing-wire-esque strings that hang down through the cervix.
Side effects of Paragard include heavier periods, cramping, pain during insertion, discomfort during intercourse, spotting between periods, ectopic pregnancy, possible migration or expulsion of the IUD, perforation of the uterus, pelvic inflammatory disease, infection, and scar tissue buildup complicating later conception.
The Paragard IUD does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases or infections.
Paragard can cause zinc deficiency by off-balancing copper and zinc levels in your body. Zinc deficiency can be a source of acne, low energy and poor immunity including frequent colds and cough.
Patients with pre-existing health issues like Wilson’s Disease, liver disease, or blood disorders that prevent proper copper metabolism may be predisposed to copper toxicity.
Signs of copper toxicity include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, dark, bloody stool, headache, dizziness, fatigue, fever, chills, muscle aches, tachycardia, changes in taste, mood swings, anxiety, depression, organ failure and 50% more blood loss during menstruation.
Patients have a wide range of experiences with the Paragard IUD.
Patient reviews of the Paragard IUD include statements like the following:
“The whole experience was excruciating every month and periods became a 3-week long ordeal (between mental health issues and pain that wouldn’t let up and pain that caused me to feel unable to sit comfortably, due to its’ severity and spotting for a month and skipping my period for months).”
“The IUD punctured my uterus. I had to have surgery- a medically necessary abortion (d&c), and to have the IUD cut from my uterus. Six years of birth control is not worth the physical and mental pain I have had to endure over the last 3 weeks. Please read about women’s personal experiences before you get the copper IUD! “
“During the insertion, I felt faint, like I was going to pass out. I bled for months straight and was told this was normal. With the Paragard, I was bleeding heavy for 6-7 days. I became anemic and the bleeding was just horrible.”
“I was having migraines and very heavy periods with painful cramping. I was very bloated all the time. My hair began to fall out in clumps which I expected postpartum, but it continued for about a year. “
“It has been the worst experience. I kept waiting for it to get better and things have only gotten worse. I get my period like every two weeks or sometimes less. I also get horribly sick during my periods with really intense cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and depression. There are also recurring yeast infections and recently I got BV.”
“I became prone to infections and had many throughout the years. I started seeing vitamin deficiencies along with being significantly weaker, fatter, and had more pains. I started having premature greying, cystic acne, and ovarian pain.”
At Turning Point Pregnancy Resource Center, we believe in the holistic approach to birth control that enhances both reproductive and general health using the design and knowledge of a woman’s body to avoid or achieve pregnancy but also a means to fix what may be imbalanced.
To consult with a certified FEMM instructor, contact us today!