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ParaGard is an intrauterine device or IUD used for reversible, non-hormonal, long-term birth control. The only copper IUD available in the United States, ParaGard prevents pregnancy for up to 10 years, has an efficacy rate of over 99%, and fertility is restored immediately upon removal. ParaGard is also widely recognized as a safe and effective form of emergency contraception (EC).
ParaGard is a T-shaped plastic device that is wrapped in copper. The copper is continuously released into the body. In response to the release of copper, the uterus becomes inflamed creating an environment that is toxic to sperm.
ParaGard must be inserted and removed by a doctor. The insertion process requires that the cervix be dilated and that process can be painful for some reason. ParaGard use may result in longer, heavier periods.