The Paraguard IUD is a small intrauterine device approximately 1 3/8 inches long. It is made in the shape of a T and has copper wrapped around the stem and arms of the device. A short monofilament thread is attached to the stem of the IUD and aids in locating or removing the device. The IUD copper wrapped around the device also enhances the birth control effectiveness.
The IUD or inter uterine device is a birth control method that works without any hormones and doesn't require you to think about it every day like other birth control methods. The Paraguard IUD is as safe and effective as other forms of birth control but it is less expensive and has fewer side effects than other forms of contraception.
The Paraguard IUD is prescribed and inserted by a physician. The first 20 days after IUD insertion are important because any side effects or problems will be noted during this time. The most common problem associated with intrauterine devices is PID or pelvic inflammatory disease. STDs or sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia or gonorrhea usually cause pelvic inflammatory disease. This problem can be easily treated when your physician is notified when symptoms occur.
Common problems experienced by users include heavier than usual periods during the first few months of use, perforation of the uterus and expulsion of the device in some users. These problems are rare and can be treated by a physician should they occur.
The Paraguard IUD is not for everyone. Women that should not use the device include those that have had pelvic inflammatory disease, experienced a pelvic infection in the last three months, have genital actinomycosis, long term steroid therapy or have autoimmune diseases. Your physician can help you determine if an intrauterine device is safe for you to use.
A common misconception about intrauterine devices is that they cause ectopic pregnancies. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg is implanted outside of the uterus. This condition can occur with any form of birth control. If you suspect that you are pregnant and are experiencing unusual pain in your pelvic area see your physician immediately or go to an emergency room for immediate attention. Ectopic pregnancies can cause the irreparable damage to ovaries and fallopian tubes if they rupture.
Another misconception about intrauterine devices is that they cause sterility. Paraguard IUDs do not cause sterility but women that have had pelvic inflammatory disease are at risk for sterility. The best way to protect yourself against pelvic inflammatory disease is to use condoms with your sexual partners. No other form of contraception can protect you from sexually transmitted diseases, including intrauterine devices.
The Paraguard IUD works by interfering with the sperms ability to fertilize an egg. Other actions by intrauterine devices thought to help women avoid pregnancy is the body thinking that it is pregnant because of the presence of the device in the uterus. Either way the device is an effective means of birth control.