Nov 15, 2012

Hello Paragard

Today was my appointment for the Paragard IUD (the non hormonal intrauterine device for birth control). Mirena is the other IUD, but it has hormones.

I thought I would share the experience incase anyone else is interested in it. The Paragard is a T shaped piece of plastic insered into your uterus and lasts up to 10yrs. The Paragard is wrapped in copper coil which assists in preventing pregnancy. The Mirena puts out hormones which are absorbed by your uterus.

So for those of us who may not want hormones, the Paragard would be a better option.

I had read online about the insertion process and got mixed answers. Some women said it hurt like hell, others said it wasn't that bad. My experience is as follows:

The nurse brought me to the room and had me lose my pants and get on the table - couldn't have been more romantic :) she also sat several items on the counter. They were TOOLS in packages and were so scary looking (see photo below). One of the packages also housed the Paragard itself which is only 1" x 1" approx and of course in the shape of a T.

Doctor came in, requested the usual "scoot to the end of the bed please" and began the procedure. I was so anxious about it hurting I was sweating and shaking...wuss. He said it would be uncomfortable, but wouldn't take long at all. To start with they use the speculum (ancient looking tool to open you up) as they do with a papsmear, then they use another tool to pinch you, another to measure you and yet another to insert the Paragard. Like the Mirena, the Paragard has strings that hang down into your vagina so you can check them when necessary and I imagine they'll be useful if you ever want it removed.

He also mentioned that sometimes men claim they can feel the strings, but it shouldn't "harm" them. He also explained a tampon wouldn't pull it put of place. He did say there's a 1% failure rate (what birth control isn't) and that a majority of the cases end up being ectopic pregnancy - this means the fertilized egg attaches in the Fallopian tube instead of uterus. Ectopic pregnancies usually end up miscarrying for obvious reasons, but it can be extremely dangerous if not noticed. Sometimes it can lead to removal of the tube. ***Just keeping it real ladies...

Lucky my period decided to come so this was quite a mess, but he kept assuring me it was perfect timing to get the IUD....I'm not sure why.

After about 7mins it was done. I would say it was a little more painful/uncomfortable than a papsmear, but not anywhere near as bad as having your cervix checked for dilation during pregnancy.

After that I met him in the ultrasound room so he could make sure it was in place and it was. I go back in 1 month so he can make sure it's still in place and then I can check the strings once a month to make sure it's still in place. I look forward to my journey with the Paragard and plan on posting updates sometime down the road on my experience.

1 hour post insertion I'm feeling crampy, but overall good.


  1. Thank you for this! I have been tossing around the idea. My doctor said I HAD to be on my period to get an IUD. It is immediate protection from Pregnancy instead of 7 days where you have to use a backup method. I always thought it was easier to put in if you were on your period. LOL who knows.

    I till haven't done it yet though because I am a huge wuss I have heard it can be TERRIBLY painful and I might need an epidural to get it. HAHA

    1. I think I read or heard that during your period your cervix is softer and low....I hope that's right. So it may be that your body is easier to work with during menstruation and they're able to place the IUD better. Like I said it was a little worse than a papsmear, but tolerable. I really got myself worked up more than nexessary. I'm not sure if because I'm only 8w pp it wasn't as bad?!? Not sure. You can't feel it...

  2. I had the Mirena and mine didn't hurt. The irregular bleedings for the first couple of weeks were annoying but for the most part, I like it. What made me decide to Mirena vs. Paragard was that my doc said most of his patients with the PG had heavier periods as opposed to the Mirena, they were lighter.