PARAGARD (intrauterine copper contraceptive)

Safety & Side Effects

What side effects can I expect with PARAGARD?

The most common side effects of PARAGARD are heavier, longer periods and spotting between periods. For most women, these side effects diminish after 2 to 3 months. However, if your period continues to be heavy or long, or spotting continues, contact your healthcare professional.

Infrequently, serious side effects may occur, such as:

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

  • Uncommonly, PARAGARD and other IUDs are associated with PID
  • PID is an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and nearby organs
  • PID is most likely to occur in the first 20 days after placement
  • You have a higher chance of getting PID if you or your partner has sex with more than one person. PID is treated with antibiotics. However, PID can cause serious problems such as infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain
  • Rarely, PID may even cause death. More serious cases of PID require surgery or a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus)
  • Contact your healthcare professional right away if you have any of the signs of PID: abdominal or pelvic pain, painful sex, unusual or bad smelling vaginal discharge, chills, heavy bleeding, or fever

Difficult removals

  • Occasionally, PARAGARD may be hard to remove because it is stuck in the uterus. Surgery may sometimes be needed to remove PARAGARD

Perforation

  • Rarely, PARAGARD can go through the wall of the uterus, especially during placement. This is called perforation
  • If PARAGARD perforates the uterus, it should be removed. Surgery may be needed
  • Perforation can cause infection, scarring, or damage to other organs. If PARAGARD perforates the uterus, you are not protected from pregnancy

Expulsion

  • PARAGARD may partially or completely fall out of the uterus. This is called expulsion
  • Women who have never been pregnant may be more likely to expel PARAGARD than women who have been pregnant before
  • If you think that PARAGARD has partially or completely fallen out, call your healthcare professional and use backup birth control

You may have other side effects with PARAGARD. For example, you may have anemia (low blood count), backache, pain during sex, menstrual cramps, allergic reaction, vaginal infection, vaginal discharge, faintness, or pain.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you have questions about a side effect, check with your healthcare professional.

What if I become pregnant while using PARAGARD?

If you think you are pregnant, contact your healthcare professional right away.

  • If you are pregnant and PARAGARD is in your uterus, you may get a severe infection or shock, have a miscarriage or premature labor and delivery, or even die
  • Because of these risks, your healthcare professional will recommend that you have PARAGARD removed, even though removal may cause miscarriage
  • If you continue a pregnancy with PARAGARD in place, see your healthcare professional regularly
  • Contact your healthcare professional right away if you get fever, chills, cramping, pain, bleeding, flu-like symptoms, or an unusual, bad-smelling vaginal discharge
  • A pregnancy with PARAGARD in place has a greater than usual chance of being ectopic (outside your uterus)
    • Ectopic pregnancy is an emergency that may require surgery
    • An ectopic pregnancy can cause internal bleeding, infertility, and death
    • Unusual vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain may be signs of an ectopic pregnancy

When should I call my healthcare professional?

It’s always good to talk to your healthcare professional if you have questions about your birth control. If you have any of the following concerns while using PARAGARD, make sure to call your healthcare professional right away!

  • Think you are pregnant
  • Have pelvic pain or pain during sex
  • Have unusual vaginal discharge or genital sores
  • Have unexplained fever
  • Might be exposed to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Cannot feel the threads of PARAGARD, or can feel the threads are much longer
  • Can feel any other part of PARAGARD besides the threads
  • Become HIV positive or your partner becomes HIV positive
  • Have severe or prolonged vaginal bleeding
  • Miss a period

What is PARAGARD (intrauterine copper contraceptive)?

PARAGARD is a copper-releasing device that is placed in your uterus to prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Do not use PARAGARD if you have a pelvic infection, get infections easily or have certain cancers. Less than 1% of users get a serious infection called pelvic inflammatory disease. If you have persistent pelvic or stomach pain, or if PARAGARD comes out, tell your healthcare professional. If it comes out, use back-up birth control. Occasionally, PARAGARD may attach to or in rare cases may go through the uterine wall and may also cause other problems. In some cases, surgical removal may be necessary. Although uncommon, pregnancy while using PARAGARD can be life threatening and may result in loss of pregnancy or fertility. Bleeding or spotting may increase at first but should decrease in 2 to 3 months. PARAGARD does not protect against HIV/AIDS or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Available by prescription only.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA at www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For important risk and use information about PARAGARD, please see the full Prescribing Information.

Nothing on this website should be construed as giving advice or making a recommendation, and it should not be relied on as the basis for any decision or action. It is important that you rely only on the advice of a healthcare professional to advise you on your specific situation.

PARAGARD is a registered trademark of Teva Women’s Health, Inc. ©2017 Teva Women’s Health, Inc.
PAR-41257 August 2017. THIS SITE IS INTENDED FOR RESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES ONLY.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Do not use PARAGARD if you have a pelvic infection, get infections easily or have certain cancers. Less than 1% of users get a serious infection called pelvic inflammatory disease. If you have persistent pelvic or stomach pain, or if PARAGARD comes out, tell your healthcare professional. If it comes out, use back-up birth control. Occasionally, PARAGARD may attach to or in rare cases may go through the uterine wall and may also cause other problems. continue reading

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