Twenty-four-year-old Emily opted for Paragard, a copper IUD, as a long-term contraception solution. However, the device that was implanted in her uterus was shunned by her womb and moved to the cervix. It was only after months of unbearable abdominal pain and multiple rounds of ultrasounds that the IUD was found and removed from the cervix. 

Emily’s story, though unique, isn’t isolated. While Paragard, marketed as a long-lasting, hormone-free birth control option, has gained popularity, an increasing number of women are reporting potential side effects that impact their well-being. 

This begs the question: does the reality of Paragard align with its initial promise? In this blog post, we will shed light on the emerging concerns surrounding Paragard’s prolonged use and aim to help you make informed decisions about your birth-control journey. 

An Overview of the Concerns

Manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals, Paragard is the sole copper intrauterine device (IUD) accessible in the US market. According to TorHoerman Law, the device offers birth control for up to 10 years and is widely acknowledged for its efficacy (99%).

However, recent years have seen a growing tide of concern surrounding its potential side effects. Several women have alleged a design flaw in the Paragard intrauterine device (IUD). In numerous instances, the removal of these devices has resulted in breakage, leading to surgical intervention and other medical interventions.

This disconnect between initial claims and user experiences has sparked widespread conversation and ignited a legal dialogue. A growing number of women are coming forward, seeking legal recourse for the unexpected consequences they allegedly encountered with Paragard.

If you, or someone you know, have suffered from severe health complications and can trace them to the use of Paragard IUD, you can file a Paragard lawsuit.

Let us dive deep into the four critical concerns that come with Paragard. 

Uterine Perforation

This rare but concerning iatrogenic complication occurs during IUD insertion when the device penetrates the myometrium (muscular layer of the uterus) and enters the peritoneal cavity. 

Fewer than 1 in 500 women experience a complication with their IUD within the first year, and this risk increases slightly over time. The risk is higher in women during breastfeeding, in women with a retroverted uterus, and in those who have undergone prior uterine surgery.

Common symptoms that may surface include:

  • Severe and persistent lower abdominal pain, often radiating to the shoulders due to diaphragmatic irritation
  • Vaginal bleeding, which may be scant or heavy
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge

If left undiagnosed and untreated, the discomfort can eventually lead to fatal consequences, including

  • Pelvic infection and abscess formation
  • Internal organ injury to adjacent structures like the bowel or bladder
  • Difficulty retrieving the IUD, necessitating surgical intervention
  • Potential future fertility issues

The diagnosis of uterine perforation is often confirmed with imaging studies like transvaginal ultrasound or hysteroscopy. Management typically involves the immediate removal of the IUD, followed by observation or surgical repair of the perforation, depending on its severity and clinical presentation.

Ectopic Pregnancy 

Despite the high efficacy of Paragard in preventing pregnancy, a small risk of ectopic pregnancy persists. 

This critical condition arises when a fertilized egg attaches itself outside the uterus, typically within the fallopian tubes. An ectopic pregnancy cannot progress normally and poses a serious risk to the woman’s health if not promptly addressed.

 The clinical presentation of ectopic pregnancy can be vague and mimic other gynecological conditions. Early signs and symptoms may include:

  • Unilateral lower abdominal pain, which can be sharp, stabbing, or cramping
  • Vaginal bleeding, often irregular or scant
  • Nausea, and vomiting
  • Shoulder pain (referred pain from diaphragmatic irritation)

Swift diagnosis and treatment of ectopic pregnancy are essential to avert potential complications such as:

  • Rupturing of the fallopian tube, leading to internal bleeding and hemodynamic instability
  • Infection and abscess formation
  • Damage to surrounding organs
  • Increased risk of future ectopic pregnancies and potential infertility

Diagnostic evaluation for suspected ectopic pregnancy typically involves a combination of clinical assessment, laboratory tests (pregnancy test, β-hCG levels), and imaging studies (transvaginal ultrasound or laparoscopy).

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

This is a severe infection that can be triggered by almost any IUD. The device’s string can serve as a conduit for bacteria to ascend from the vagina and cervix, leading to PID

Additionally, the presence of the IUD in the uterus disrupts the delicate balance of the microbiome, increasing susceptibility to infection. While the overall risk of PID with IUD use is low (around 0.1-0.8%), certain factors can increase a woman’s susceptibility. 

Signs of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can be mild and differ from one woman to another, but may encompass:

  • Pelvic pain, often described as a dull ache or cramping in the lower abdomen
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge, which can be yellow, green, or foul-smelling
  • Pain during urination or sexual intercourse
  • Irregular bleeding or bleeding between periods

Should you experience any signs or symptoms that might indicate pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), it’s imperative to seek immediate medical attention for proper evaluation and treatment.


While rare but life-threatening, sepsis following IUD insertion deserves our attention. The introduction of an IUD, like Paragard, disrupts the natural vaginal microbiome, potentially allowing harmful bacteria to ascend the cervix and enter the uterine cavity. 

These bacteria have the potential to initiate an inflammatory reaction, prompting the release of pro-inflammatory agents such as cytokines and chemokines.

Uncontrolled activation of the immune system can then trigger disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). In this condition, abnormal blood clots form throughout the body, further compromising blood flow and oxygen delivery to vital organs. If left unchecked, this situation can escalate and cause multiple organ failures and in some cases, even death.

Pay attention to the following signs and symptoms, especially following the insertion of an IUD:

  • Fever: Body temperature exceeding 100.4°F (38°C)
  • Leukocytosis: Elevated white blood cell count exceeding 12,000 cells/mm³
  • Tachycardia: Rapid heart rate exceeding 90 beats per minute
  • Chills and rigors
  • Confusion and altered mental status
  • Shortness of breath

Exploring Individuality and Seeking Solutions

While we’ve discussed potential side effects, it’s important to remember that every woman’s experience is unique. Factors like sensitivity to copper, hormonal variations, and individual anatomy can influence how you react to Paragard.

Current research is ongoing, and seeking credible and up-to-date information from your healthcare provider is crucial. A spectrum of birth control options exist, each offering unique benefits and considerations for individual needs.  

Through open collaboration with your healthcare provider, you can identify the solution that optimally aligns with your medical needs, health profile, and personal preferences.