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You, Me, and IUCs: ParaGard

If you're looking for a new method of birth control, have you ever thought about an IUC, or intrauterine contraceptive (previously called an IUD)?

There are two brands of IUCs available in the US: ParaGard and Mirena, but let's discuss ParaGard first. It's made out of plastic but has copper wire wrapped around it. That copper is toxic to sperm and once inserted, it makes the uterus and fallopian tubes produce fluid, which kills the sperm. But just like all kinds of birth control, there are good and bad things about using ParaGard. Want to know what they are? Then read more.

Pros Cons
  • It is 99.4 percent effective at preventing pregnancy and works for up to 10 years. Once inserted, it's effective immediately.
  • It allows you to be spontaneous when it comes to intimacy.
  • You hardly have to think about it, though once a month between periods, you should check to see that it's in place (ask your doctor how).
  • Most women experience lighter periods or no periods at all (that's a plus!).
  • It's quickly reversible so you can start trying to have kids immediately.
  • It doesn't affect women's hormone levels.
  • Spotting between periods is common, and some women may experience heavier periods, which can lead to anemia.
  • It's rare but possible that after it's inserted, you can develop an infection that, if left untreated, could affect your future fertility. PID can also develop.
  • An IUC can slip out of the uterus leaving you unprotected against pregnancy. This usually happens to women who have never had a baby.
  • Another rare possibility is that the IUC can become embedded or pushed through the wall of your uterus. (Yikes!) You may need surgery to remove it.
  • It doesn't protect against STIs.

So ladies, do you use or have you ever used ParaGard? If so, please share your experiences in the comment section below, and stay tuned to learn about Mirena, the other kind of IUC.

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