Garron R Hale, MD

Diplomate, American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology

What is Paragard?

The ParaGard® T 380A intrauterine copper contraceptive is a T-shaped device (IUD), measuring
32 mm horizontally and 36 mm vertically with a 3 mm diameter bulb at the tip of the vertical stem.
A monofilament polyethylene thread is tied through the tip, resulting in two white threads, each at least 10.5 cm in length, to aid in detection and removal of the device. The T-frame is made of polyethylene, with barium sulfate to aid in detecting the device under x-ray. ParaGard® contains approximately 176 mg of copper wire coiled along the vertical stem and a 68.7-mg copper collar on each side of the horizontal arm. The total exposed copper surface area is 380 ± 23 mm. No component of ParaGard® or its packaging contains latex.

ParaGard® is packaged with an insertion tube and a solid white rod in a pouch that is then sterilized. A movable flange on the insertion tube aids in gauging the depth of insertion through the cervical canal and into the uterine cavity.

How Does it work?

ParaGard® is believed to work primarily by preventing sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg.
It may also prevent the egg from attaching to the uterus. The contraceptive effectiveness of ParaGard® is enhanced by the continuous release of copper into the uterine cavity. ParaGard® is indicated for intrauterine contraception for 1, 5, even up to 10 years, but patients may have it removed anytime before then, depending on their needs and family circumstances.

How long has ParaGard been used in the United States?
ParaGard® was approved by the FDA in 1984 and has been sold and used in the
United States since 1988.

ParaGard® may be appropriate for a variety of women seeking contraception, including those who:

  • Want an option that offers rapid return to fertility
  • Should not use hormones due to medical conditions that may include hypertension,
    breast cancer, or uncontrolled diabetes
  • Want an option without associated hormonal side effects such as weight gain
  • Want an option without daily or weekly routines (just a simple monthly self-check)
  • Want an option that is long term and reversible
  • Have not had children, but want to keep their options open

Whatever their needs, these women range from nulliparous to parous to perimenopausal. Click here to read more about these women and see how the unique label of ParaGard® supports broad use.

ParaGard® does not protect against HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted infections. ParaGard® must not be used by women who are or may be pregnant; have acute pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or current behavior suggesting a high risk for PID; have had a postpregnancy or postabortion uterine infection in the past 3 months; have cancer of the uterus or cervix; have an infection in the cervix; have an allergy to any component; or have Wilson’s disease. The most common side effects of ParaGard® are heavier and longer periods and spotting between periods; for most women, these typically subside after 2 to 3 months. If a woman misses her period, she must be promptly evaluated for pregnancy. Some possible serious complications that have been associated with intrauterine contraceptives, including ParaGard®, are PID, perforation of the uterus, and expulsion.

About Us

Dr. Hale started practice in Scottsdale, AZ in July of 1971 with specialty of women\'s health. He is currently board certified in OB & GYN and a member of the American College of OB-GYN. His training was at a university hospital at the Oregon Center of Health Science in Portland, Oregon (rated in top 5 in the world for training of OB-GYN).