What is ParaGard?
Also known as “Copper T,” ParaGard is an intrauterine device (IUD) that protects against pregnancy. ParaGard is made of plastic and copper, and is crafted into the shape of a small “T.” The IUD must be implanted into the uterus by a doctor, where it may remain for up to 10 years. ParaGard is manufactured by Teva Women’s Health, and received clearance from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 1984.
What is Benign Intracranial Hypertension (BIH)?
BIH is a rare neurological disorder in which pressure around the brain increases, resulting in headaches, vision problems, nausea and ringing in the ears (tinnitus). The condition is often misdiagnosed as a brain tumor, since the two present with similar symptoms.
The cause of benign intracranial hypertension is unknown in many patients, though it has been associated with hormonal birth control products. Levonorgestrel, a hormone contained in the Mirena IUD and other contraceptives, was linked to BIH in 1995.
BIH Risk Factors
- Vitamin A supplements
- Kidney disease
- Sleep apnea
- Addison’s disease
- Lyme disease
- Hormonal birth control products
ParaGard Side Effects
ParaGard has been linked to the following side effects:
- Heavy periods
- Spotting between cycles
- Pain during sex
- Vaginal infection and discharge