Is it Right to Consider Long-Term Birth Control? The Paragard IUD Controversy

Daily birth control pills are a hassle, and it’s no surprise that many are seeking an easy solution. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) boast a 99% effectiveness rate, long-lasting protection, and freedom from daily routines. However, recent headlines surrounding the Paragard IUD have raised concerns.

Paragard, a copper IUD, has been reported to break during removal in some cases, leading to potential complications. So, is this long-term birth control option right for you? Should you be worried about these reports?

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the Paragard controversy and its implications for your birth control choices. We’ll explore the benefits and risks of IUDs, discuss the Paragard situation in detail, and help you make an informed decision.

Understanding Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)

Many women are opting for intrauterine devices (IUDs) as a reliable method of birth control. An IUD is a small, T-shaped device roughly the size of a quarter. It is made of either plastic or copper and is inserted into the uterus by a doctor. There are two main types:

Hormonal IUDs:

These IUDs release a low dose of the hormone progestin.  Plus, it thickens your cervical mucus, making it harder for sperm to get through. A hormonal IUD can last anywhere from 3 to 7 years, but they are not permanent.

Popular brands include Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla. All brands of IUDs work the same but have different lengths of time. For example, Mirena and Liletta IUDs last up to 8 years, Kyleena lasts up to 5 years, and Skyla’s lasts around three years. Many women find their periods get lighter and less crampy with hormonal IUDs.

Non-Hormonal IUD:

This one’s called copper IUD, not plastic. Copper is a natural spermicide, meaning it’s toxic to sperm. Non-hormonal IUDs can hang out in the uterus for a whopping ten years and are safe for breastfeeding. There is only one brand of Non-hormonal IUDs, and that is Paragard.

You can use Paragard IUD as an emergency contraception. A woman gets a copper IUD inserted within 120 hours or five days after having unprotected sex. This IUD is almost 100% effective against pregnancy. Plus, you can leave it as long as you want, up to 12 years, to keep preventing pregnancy.

The Paragard Controversy

Paragard, the trusted copper IUD, has recently caused unexpected complications for some women. Reports of the device’s arms breaking during removal have raised concerns and garnered attention.

Over the past decade, the FDA has received thousands of reports related to Paragard in its adverse event reports system. This indicates a significant number of women experiencing unexpected issues.

Imagine going in for a routine IUD removal, expecting a quick and painless procedure. But the IUD snaps and leaves fragments inside your uterus. This scenario became a reality for Veronica Worley, a Florida woman who discovered her Paragard IUD was dislodging during a routine check.

The device broke during attempted removal, leaving one of its arms inside her body, as confirmed by subsequent scans.

Worley expressed her distress, stating, “It was bizarre to see this foreign piece just floating inside my body. I worry with every cramp: It’s like a ticking time bomb. Is it going to perforate something? Is it embedded?”

This unsettling experience highlights the potential complications of Paragard removal and underscores the need for awareness and caution.

Worley’s experience is not an isolated incident. Thousands of women have suffered injuries such as internal bleeding, infection, and organ damage upon Paragard IUD removal. The unexpected medical complications often lead to financial burdens. This has prompted many affected women and their families to pursue legal action against Teva Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Paragard.

The Paragard IUD lawsuit alleges that the device’s design is inherently flawed, making it susceptible to breakage. It claims that the company failed to adequately warn users about this risk. Plaintiffs seek compensation for the pain, suffering, and medical expenses incurred due to these complications.

If you have experienced similar issues with your Paragard IUD, you are not alone. According to TorHoerman Law, lawsuits increased from 2,651 cases in May 2024 to 2,690 cases in June 2024.

It’s important to know that you have options. Consult your doctor to assess potential damage and discuss your next steps. If you’re considering legal action, seeking legal counsel can help you understand your rights and explore the possibility of compensation.

Is Long-Term Birth Control the Right Decision for You?

IUDs stand out as high achievers in birth control, boasting impressive effectiveness rates. Both hormonal and copper IUDs offer a pregnancy rate of less than one in 100 users per year.

They also provide the ultimate convenience of a “set it and forget it” method. Once placed, you can enjoy years of protection, ranging from 3 to 10 years, depending on the type of IUD.

However, like any medical device, IUDs can cause side effects. Irregular bleeding, spotting, or cramping are expected within the first three to six months, usually subsiding over time.

Moreover, the Paragard controversy raises concerns about the risk of breakage during removal, albeit rare. The potential complications associated with this issue persevere and warrant careful consideration. The FDA is actively monitoring the situation; alternative IUD options are available if you have concerns.

If you seek highly effective, long-term, and low-maintenance birth control, IUDs may be a suitable choice. Just be sure to weigh the risks and benefits, especially considering the Paragard controversy, to make an informed decision.


1. Why Don’t Doctors Recommend a Copper IUD?

Doctors generally recommend copper IUDs as a safe and effective form of birth control. However, they may not be suitable for everyone. Some women may experience heavier or more extended periods, and copper IUDs do not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

2. What Are the Long-Term Effects of the Paragard?

The long-term effects of ParaGard are generally mild to moderate. They include heavier, more extended periods, spotting, and increased menstrual cramps. Due to heavier bleeding, some users may experience anemia.

3. Are Copper IUDs Carcinogenic?

Copper IUDs are not carcinogenic. Some research even indicates a potential protective effect against certain cancers, such as cervical and endometrial cancer.

Finally, if you’ve encountered any issues with Paragard, consider exploring legal assistance and seeking a settlement. Settlement amounts vary depending on the severity of injuries. They can range from a minimum of $25,000 for Tier 3 (least severe) to $100,000-$200,000 for Tier 1 (most severe).

You have the right to feel confident and empowered about your birth control choice. You can make the best decision for your health and well-being with accurate information and support.

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