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This page features 5 Cited Research Articles
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Common Paragard Side Effects

The Paragard intrauterine device is an effective form of contraception, but can cause side effects. Commonly, people experience heavier and more extended periods, with spotting in between, which usually decreases over time.

Other side effects of Paragard may include pain and bleeding upon insertion. Women have also reported experiencing cramping, dizziness, irregular periods, slow heart rate and spotting during removal of the IUD.

The most common Paragard IUD side effects are:
  • Anemia
  • Backache
  • Expulsion (complete or partial)
  • Pain and cramping
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Painful periods
  • Prolonged periods
  • Spotting
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal irritation

While one study found that women who used IUDs, including Paragard, gained weight over time, experts say weight gain may be the result of other factors including the normal effects of aging. More research is required to determine if Paragard causes weight gain.

The Paragard IUD is made of plastic with a thin layer of copper around the arms and stem. It’s more than 99% effective, according to the manufacturer.

Serious Paragard Complications and Side Effects

The Paragard IUD may cause serious complications. Adverse effects include the worsening of existing medical conditions. People with Wilson disease, for example, accumulate excessive amounts of copper in their bodies, so Paragard is contraindicated for them because it contains copper.

Possible Paragard IUD Adverse Effects
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Embedment (Paragard becomes embedded in the wall of the uterus)
  • Endometriosis
  • Intrauterine pregnancy
  • Miscarriage
  • Pelvic infection
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Perforation (Paragard goes through the wall of the uterus)
  • Premature delivery
  • Sepsis

There are risks if you get pregnant while using Paragard. Severe infection, miscarriage, premature delivery and sometimes death can occur. Because of these risks, your doctor may try to remove the device, even if Paragard removal could potentially result in miscarriage.

Ectopic pregnancy is also possible if you become pregnant while using the Paragard IUD. This means the fertilized egg can be implanted outside of the uterus. Unusual vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain may signal an ectopic pregnancy. Because it’s a medical emergency that may cause internal bleeding, infertility or death, ectopic pregnancy may require surgery.

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What Can I Do to Avoid Paragard Complications?

While adverse reactions may be unpredictable, sharing your complete medical history with your doctor, OB-GYN or midwife can help prevent many serious complications. The list of contraindications for this IUD is significant.

Paragard Contraindications
  • Active acute pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Copper allergy or sensitivity
  • Current pregnancy
  • Distortion of the uterine cavity or other uterine abnormalities
  • Known or suspected uterine or cervical malignancy
  • Increased susceptibility to pelvic infections
  • Postpartum postabortal endometritis within the past three months
  • Previously placed intrauterine system that has not been removed
  • Untreated acute cervicitis or vaginitis or other lower genital tract infection
  • Uterine bleeding of unknown cause
  • Wilson disease

Discuss your concerns with your health care provider if you have any questions about whether these
contraindications apply to you. Be sure to discuss any possible negative interactions with other medications you may be taking as well.

What Should I Do if I Experience Paragard Side Effects?

If you experience side effects or complications from Paragard, contact your doctor immediately. They may recommend the removal of the Paragard and other forms of treatment. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience severe pain, fever or adverse reactions.

If you’ve used Paragard and have been injured, you may be able to file a Paragard lawsuit. An experienced attorney can help you determine whether you have a case and what steps to take next.

Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making decisions about your health or finances.
Last Modified: September 12, 2023

5 Cited Research Articles

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  1. Fink Hassan, D. et al. (2003, July). Weight variation in a cohort of women using copper IUD for contraception. Retrieved from https://www.contraceptionjournal.org/article/S0010-7824(03)00079-9/fulltext
  2. Paragard. (n.d.). What are the common side effects of the Paragard IUD? Retrieved from https://www.paragard.com/faq/what-are-the-most-common-side-effects-of-paragard/
  3. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (n.d.). Wilson Disease. Retrieved from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/health-information/disorders/wilson-disease
  4. Paragard. (n.d.). Safety Considerations. Retrieved from https://hcp.paragard.com/safety/
  5. Paragard. (n.d.). Paragard Safety. Retrieved from https://www.paragard.com/safety-information/