Implanon vs Paragard

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For individuals seeking long-term birth control solutions, there are different devices and implants that can help prevent pregnancy by altering the hormonal balance or physical conditions in the uterus. Implanon and Paragard are two such options available for contraception. They each function through distinct mechanisms, but both provide effective protection against unwanted pregnancies. Implanon is a progestin-only contraceptive implant that works by releasing etonogestrel into the bloodstream to inhibit ovulation and thicken cervical mucus, which prevents sperm from reaching an egg. Paragard, on the other hand, is a non-hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) made of plastic and copper. The presence of copper in this IUD creates an inhospitable environment for sperm within the uterus and fallopian tubes.

What is Implanon?

Etonogestrel (the generic name for Implanon) was the first drug of its kind: a progestin-only single rod contraceptive implant. Etonogestrel was first approved by the FDA in 2006. Implanon works by preventing ovulation, altering the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the egg and changing the lining of the uterus to prevent any fertilized eggs from attaching. It is prescribed for contraception, offering up to three years of protection against pregnancy with greater than 99% effectiveness.

On the other hand, Paragard or Copper T380A IUD is a non-hormonal intrauterine device that has been available since it's approval in 1984. It works differently than hormonal contraceptives; instead of preventing ovulation, it releases copper into the uterine cavity which affects sperm motility thereby preventing fertilization and may also affect implantation.

Implanon primarily involves interference with hormones whereas Paragard uses physical means without significant systemic hormonal effects resulting in different side effect profiles between these two long-acting reversible contraceptives.

What conditions is Implanon approved to treat?

Implanon and Paragard are both approved for use as long-term forms of contraception:

  • Implanon, a type of hormonal contraceptive, is a small plastic rod that's implanted under the skin of your upper arm and can prevent pregnancy for up to three years.
  • Paragard, on the other hand, is a copper intrauterine device (IUD) that's placed in your uterus by a healthcare provider. It prevents pregnancy for up to ten years and does not contain hormones.

How does Implanon help with these illnesses?

Implanon is a type of contraceptive implant that helps prevent pregnancy by releasing etonogestrel, a progestin hormone, into the body. This hormone works primarily by inhibiting ovulation – it prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg each month. It also thickens the cervical mucus to make it more difficult for sperm to reach any eggs that may be released and thins the lining of the uterus which makes it less likely for a fertilized egg to attach and grow.

On other hand, Paragard is a non-hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) that uses copper ions released into the uterine cavity to create an environment hostile to sperm. The presence of copper interferes with sperm movement and viability, preventing them from reaching and fertilizing an egg. Additionally, if fertilization does occur, Paragard alters the endometrial lining making it less receptive for implantation.

Both Implanon and Paragard are effective long-term contraceptive options but they work in different ways: Implanon through hormonal changes within your body while Paragard operates with direct biophysical effects on sperm mobility inside female reproductive tract.

What is Paragard?

Paragard, also known as the copper intrauterine device (IUD), is a form of long-acting reversible contraception. It works by releasing small amounts of copper into the uterus, which creates an environment that is toxic to sperm and eggs, preventing fertilization. Paragard was first approved by the FDA in 1984 and can provide effective contraception for up to ten years once inserted.

As it does not contain hormones like Implanon (a type of contraceptive implant), Paragard does not suppress ovulation or thicken cervical mucus. This means its side-effect profile is different from hormonal methods; for instance, it does not cause weight gain or mood changes often associated with hormone-based contraceptives. However, Paragard may cause heavier menstrual periods and more cramping compared to your normal cycles or compared to hormone-based options such as Implanon.

Despite these potential side effects, many find the long-term efficacy and non-hormonal nature of Paragard advantageous especially if they are sensitive to hormonal fluctuations or cannot use hormonal birth control due to other health conditions.

What conditions is Paragard approved to treat?

Paragard is a non-hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) that is approved for:

  • Long-term birth control lasting up to 10 years
  • Emergency contraception if inserted within five days of unprotected sex.

How does Paragard help with these illnesses?

Copper, the active ingredient in Paragard, acts as a spermicide within the uterus, reducing the chances of pregnancy by making it virtually impossible for sperm to reach an egg. This IUD is hormone-free and does not interfere with your body's regular ovulation cycle, unlike Implanon which releases a steady dose of progestin into your system to prevent ovulation. Paragard works immediately upon insertion and provides birth control protection for up to 10 years or until you choose to have it removed. Its long-term effectiveness makes it an appealing choice for those seeking a more permanent form of contraception without resorting to sterilization procedures. Since it doesn't contain hormones, Paragard can be used by individuals who may not respond well or have contraindications with hormonal contraceptives like Implanon.

How effective are both Implanon and Paragard?

Both Implanon (etonogestrel implant) and Paragard (copper IUD) are long-acting, reversible contraceptives with established histories of effectiveness in preventing pregnancy. They were approved by the FDA about a decade apart, with Paragard getting the nod first in 1984 and Implanon following suit in 2006. As they utilize different mechanisms to prevent conception — hormonal for Implanon and non-hormonal for Paragard — they may be chosen under varying circumstances based on user preferences or medical conditions.

Implanon's efficacy was demonstrated through extensive clinical trials where it had less than one pregnancy per 100 women-years of use. Similarly, Paragard also exhibited high contraceptive reliability with a similar failure rate as reported from clinical studies.

A review published in Cochrane Database Systematic Review(2016), indicates that both methods can reduce unplanned pregnancies effectively but have different side effect profiles due to their mechanism of action. For instance, while hormone-based contraceptives like Implanon might lead to irregular menstruation patterns or mood changes among other potential side effects, copper-based IUDs like Paragard could increase menstrual pain and bleeding.

Further research has shown that though these birth control methods work differently - etonogestrel implant releasing steady levels of progestin over time whereas copper IUD releasing copper ions which are toxic to sperm - both have been found highly effective at preventing pregnancies over multiple years.

In conclusion, when choosing between these two options for contraception—Implanon vs ParaGard—one should consider factors such as desired duration of use, tolerance for potential side effects including impact on menstruation pattern and personal health history among others.

abstract image of a researcher studying a bottle of drug.

At what dose is Implanon typically prescribed?

Implanon and Paragard are two long-acting reversible contraceptive methods. Implanon, a hormonal method, is a small rod inserted under the skin of your upper arm and can be effective for up to three years. On the other hand, Paragard, an intrauterine device (IUD) that's hormone-free and uses copper to prevent pregnancy, can last up to 10 years once inserted into the uterus by a healthcare professional. Both forms of contraceptives do not require daily management but should always be administered and removed by a trained medical provider. The choice between these two depends on personal preference, health history, lifestyle factors as well as consultation with your healthcare provider.

At what dose is Paragard typically prescribed?

Paragard, a copper intrauterine device (IUD), is inserted into the uterus by a healthcare professional. Unlike Implanon which needs to be replaced every three years, Paragard can remain in place for up to 10 years providing long-term contraceptive protection. It starts working immediately after insertion and does not require daily or monthly dosing like some other forms of contraception. If pregnancy is desired before the 10-year period ends, Paragard can be removed at any time by a healthcare professional with fertility returning quickly afterwards. However, during its use if there are significant changes in menstrual bleeding patterns or abdominal pain then medical advice should be sought promptly.

What are the most common side effects for Implanon?

Common side effects associated with Implanon and Paragard differ significantly due to their different hormonal constitutions.

For Implanon, a hormonal implant, these may include:

  • Changes in menstrual patterns (irregular, frequent or prolonged bleeding)
  • Mood swings, nervousness
  • Weight gain
  • Headache
  • Acne
  • Breast pain

While for Paragard, a non-hormonal IUD made of copper, the following are common:

  • Heavier periods and worse menstrual cramps
  • Anemia (low red blood cell count) due to heavier periods
  • Backache -Pain during sexual intercourse.

It's important to consult your healthcare provider if you experience any of these symptoms persistently or severely.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Implanon?

While both Implanon and Paragard are effective forms of birth control, they come with their unique potential side effects. For instance, Implanon users might experience:

  • Signs of a blood clot such as sudden vision loss, shortness of breath or rapid breathing, chest pain or pressure
  • Allergic reactions like rash; itching; swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat); severe dizziness; trouble breathing
  • Mood swings or depression symptoms
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding

For Paragard users:

  • Severe pelvic pain or heavy bleeding.
  • Signs that the device has moved out of place: severe cramping or stabbing pains in your lower belly, very heavy menstrual bleeding.
  • Signs that the device is coming out: you can feel it poking into your vagina from your uterus (it should only be felt at your cervix).

If any such symptoms occur after using either Implanon or Paragard for birth control measures, consult with a healthcare professional immediately.

What are the most common side effects for Paragard?

Potential side effects to be aware of with Paragard include:

  • Heavier or longer periods
  • Cramping or severe menstrual pain
  • Spotting between periods
  • Allergic reactions, such as rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
  • Severe dizziness, fainting
  • Increased heart rate or palpitations
  • Sudden weight loss or gain
  • Sleep disturbances and insomnia Additionally, there's a small risk that Paragard could slip out of place (expulsion) causing discomfort and potential complications. If you experience sudden changes in your menstrual cycle, unexplained abdominal pain, painful sex, or suspect pregnancy while using Paragard - it is crucial to consult your healthcare provider immediately.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Paragard?

While Paragard is generally a safe method of contraception, there are potential side effects and complications that you should be aware of. These include:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as hives, itching, fever or swelling in your face or throat
  • Severe lower abdominal pain or heavy bleeding (which could indicate expulsion)
  • Unusual vaginal discharge or signs of infection: increased temperature, severe cramps/abdominal pain
  • Sudden changes in menstrual cycles and periods becoming heavier than usual
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • If the device becomes embedded in the wall of the uterus
  • If you become pregnant while using Paragard

If any of these symptoms occur, seek immediate medical attention. The presence of these symptoms may mean that the IUD has moved out of place, perforated the uterine wall or caused an infection which requires prompt treatment.

Contraindications for Implanon and Paragard?

Both Implanon and Paragard, like most contraceptives, may cause side effects in some women. If you notice severe pain or discomfort, unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge, signs of a serious infection (such as persistent fever), dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin (signs of liver disease), lumps in the breast, sudden heavy bleeding or prolonged periods of spotting between menstruations after using either contraceptive device, please seek immediate medical attention.

Implanon should not be used if you're pregnant or think you might be pregnant. It’s also contraindicated for those who have had blood clots (thrombosis) in the legs(deep vein thrombosis-DVT), lungs (pulmonary embolism-PE), eyes; stroke caused by a clot; heart attacks; uncontrolled high blood pressure; diabetes with kidney/eye/nerve/blood vessel damage; certain types of severe migraine headaches.

Paragard should not be used if there is an active pelvic infection called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) or have certain cancers. Avoid using Paragard immediately after childbirth and/or abortion beyond the first trimester until uterus completely involutes because this can lead to injury.

In any case always inform your healthcare provider about all medications including herbal supplements that you are taking prior to starting these devices since interactions could occur causing them to work less effectively.

How much do Implanon and Paragard cost?

For the brand name versions of these contraceptive devices:

  • The price of a single Implanon implant, which provides up to three years of contraception, averages around $800. This works out to approximately $0.73 per day over three years.
  • The price for Paragard, an intrauterine device (IUD) that can provide contraceptive protection for up to 10 years, is about $1,000. This cost equates to roughly $0.27 per day if used for the full ten-year period.

Thus, if you plan on using long-term contraception and are comfortable with an IUD option (Paragard), it's less expensive on a per-day treatment basis than Implanon. Please note that cost should not be your primary consideration in determining which form of birth control is right for you.

There are no generic versions of these specific contraceptives; however there may be other equivalent options available at different prices depending upon geographical location and healthcare provider specifics. Always consult with healthcare professionals when deciding on any medication or medical procedure.

Popularity of Implanon and Paragard

Implanon, a brand of etonogestrel implant birth control, was estimated to have been used by about 1.4 million women in the US in 2018. There has been an increase in its usage since its approval by the FDA in 2006 due to its long-term efficacy and convenience as it provides up to three years of contraception.

Paragard, also known as the copper IUD (intrauterine device), is another form of long-term contraception that was used by approximately 2.5 million women in America during the same year. This non-hormonal option accounts for around half of all IUD prescriptions given out annually within this country because it offers protection against pregnancy for up to ten years after insertion without altering hormone levels.

Although both Implanon and Paragard are effective forms of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), their mechanisms differ which may affect personal preference depending on individual needs or medical conditions such as sensitivity towards hormonal treatments.


Both Implanon (etonogestrel) and Paragard (copper IUD) have long-standing records of usage in patients for birth control, and are backed by numerous clinical studies indicating their efficacy. In some cases, they may be used consecutively, but this is subject to careful consideration by a physician as there can be complications associated with the insertion process. Due to their different mechanisms of action, with Implanon acting primarily on ovulation inhibition through progestin release, and Paragard preventing fertilization via copper ions that create an unfavorable environment for sperm, they tend to be chosen under different circumstances.

Implanon is considered a good option for those who want longer-term contraception without needing daily attention or routine check-ups after placement while avoiding estrogen-based contraceptives due to side effects or contraindications. On the other hand, Paragard might usually be preferred by women who desire non-hormonal contraceptive methods or cannot use hormonal ones.

Both implants offer significant cost savings over time especially for patients who must pay out of pocket. They also require an adjustment period after implantation during which spotting or irregular periods may occur before settling into more predictable patterns.

The side effect profile differs between these two contraceptive devices: Implanon users might experience weight gain and mood swings due to its hormonal nature whereas Paragard users could face heavier menstruation since it's a non-hormonal method. For both options, regular self-checks are recommended post-insertion and medical help should be sought immediately if any severe discomfort occurs.