Mirena vs. Paragard

Are Mirena and Paragard the Same Thing?

Mirena (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device) and ParaGard (intrauterine copper contraceptive) are forms of birth control that are hormone-releasing systems placed in your uterus (intra-uterine device, or IUD) to prevent pregnancy.

A difference is Mirena is effective for up to 5 years, while ParaGard is effective for up to 10 years.

Another difference is Mirena uses a form of the female hormone progesterone, while ParaGard is hormone free.

Mirena is also used for the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding in women.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Mirena?

Side effects of Mirena include:

What Are Possible Side Effects of Paragard?

Common side effects of Paragard include:

SLIDESHOW

Choosing Your Birth Control Method See Slideshow

What is Mirena?

  • Mirena is a hormone-releasing system placed in your uterus by your healthcare provider to prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years.
  • Mirena can also lessen menstrual blood loss in women who have heavy menstrual flow and who also want to use a birth control method that is placed in the uterus to prevent pregnancy.
  • Mirena can be removed by your healthcare provider at any time.
  • Mirena is recommended for women who have had at least one child.

Mirena is a small flexible plastic T-shaped system that slowly releases a progestin hormone called levonorgestrel that is often used in birth control pills. Because Mirena releases levonorgestrel into your uterus, only small amounts of the hormone enter your blood. Mirena does not contain estrogen.

Two thin threads are attached to the stem of Mirena. The threads are the only part of Mirena you can feel when Mirena is in your uterus; however, unlike a tampon string, the threads do not extend outside your body.

What is Paragard?

What is Paragard?

Paragard is a copper releasing device that is placed in your uterus to prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years. ParaGard® is made of white plastic in the shape of a "T." Copper is wrapped around the stem and arms of the "T". Two white threads are attached to the stem of the "T". The threads are the only part of ParaGard that you can feel when ParaGard is in your uterus. ParaGard and its components do not contain latex.

What Drugs Interact With Mirena?

Mirena may interact with insulin, blood thinners, or steroids

What Drugs Interact With Paragard?

Though Paragard is not known to interact with other drugs, Paragard may interact with other drugs.

QUESTION

Which of the following are methods for contraception? See Answer

How Should Mirena Be Taken?

Mirena contains 52 mg of levonorgestrel (LNG). Initially, LNG is released at a dose rate of approximately 20 mcg/day. This rate decreases progressively to half that value after 5 years. Mirena must be removed by the end of the fifth year and can be replaced at the time of removal with a new Mirena if continued contraceptive protection is desired. Drug interactions and warnings include potential interactions with insulin, warfarin (Coumadin) and steroids. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Mirena should not be used during pregnancy. This device can cause severe infection, miscarriage, premature birth, or death of the mother if it is left in place during pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while using the Mirena intrauterine system. Small amounts of progestins such as those in Mirena pass into breast milk. If you have recently had a baby and are breastfeeding, wait until your baby is at least 6 weeks old before you start using Mirena.

How Should Paragard Be Taken?

ParaGard is placed in your uterus during an office visit. Your healthcare provider first examines you to find the position of your uterus. Next, he or she will cleanse your vagina and cervix, measure your uterus, and then slide a plastic tube containing ParaGard into your uterus. The tube is removed, leaving ParaGard inside your uterus. Two white threads extend into your vagina. The threads are trimmed so they are just long enough for you to feel with your fingers when doing a self-check. As ParaGard goes in, you may feel cramping or pinching. Some women feel faint, nauseated, or dizzy for a few minutes afterwards. Your healthcare provider may ask you to lie down for a while and to get up slowly.

Disclaimer

All drug information provided on RxList.com is sourced directly from drug monographs published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Any drug information published on RxList.com regarding general drug information, drug side effects, drug usage, dosage, and more are sourced from the original drug documentation found in its FDA drug monograph.

Drug information found in the drug comparisons published on RxList.com is primarily sourced from the FDA drug information. The drug comparison information found in this article does not contain any data from clinical trials with human participants or animals performed by any of the drug manufacturers comparing the drugs.

The drug comparisons information provided does not cover every potential use, warning, drug interaction, side effect, or adverse or allergic reaction. RxList.com assumes no responsibility for any healthcare administered to a person based on the information found on this site.

As drug information can and will change at any time, RxList.com makes every effort to update its drug information. Due to the time-sensitive nature of drug information, RxList.com makes no guarantees that the information provided is the most current.

Any missing drug warnings or information does not in any way guarantee the safety, effectiveness, or the lack of adverse effects of any drug. The drug information provided is intended for reference only and should not be used as a substitute for medical advice.

If you have specific questions regarding a drug’s safety, side effects, usage, warnings, etc., you should contact your doctor or pharmacist, or refer to the individual drug monograph details found on the FDA.gov or RxList.com websites for more information.

You may also report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA by visiting the FDA MedWatch website or calling 1-800-FDA-1088.

References
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

SOURCE:

Bayer. Mirena Medication Guide.

https://www.mirena-us.com

CooperSurgical, Inc. Paragard Product Monograph.

https://www.paragard.com

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors