Paragard IUD

Paragard IUD: A History of Defects and Side Effects


The Paragard IUD, manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals, is a copper-based intrauterine device (IUD) designed to prevent pregnancy. It’s amongst the most effective long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) available, offering up to 10 years of protection against unplanned pregnancy. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, its T-shaped plastic frame, infused with copper wire, is inserted into the uterus to yield a unique mechanism. The coiled copper induces an inflammatory response, creating a sperm and egg-toxic environment, thus thwarting the prospect of pregnancy. 

As the sole copper IUD available in the United States, Paragard offers remarkable longevity in its efficacy. It can prevent pregnancy for up to a decade post-insertion. 

While lauded for its contraceptive reliability, the history of Paragard is not without its challenges. This article discusses the reports of complications and ensuing legal ramifications surrounding this contraceptive option.

History of Problems Associated With Paragard

In recent years, there has been growing concern about the Paragard’s tendency to break apart during removal.

When the device breaks during removal, it can leave fragments embedded in the uterus. These fragments can cause several complications, including:

  • Uterine perforation: This is a serious complication that can occur when the IUD punctures the uterus. Uterine perforation can cause pain, bleeding, and infection.
  • Infection: Broken pieces of the Paragard can harbor bacteria, which can lead to infection in the uterus or fallopian tubes.
  • Organ damage: In rare cases, broken pieces of the device can migrate to other organs. This can cause damage to these organs and require surgery to remove the fragments.

According to WEAR News, Veronica Worley, a woman from Florida, is one of many who have experienced the devastating effects of Paragard breakage. During an IUD removal procedure, Worley’s IUD broke, leaving a piece of metal lodged inside her body. She was told that her only option was surgery to remove the fragment, but she could not afford the procedure.

Worley’s story is not uncommon. As per J. D. Supra, the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) has recorded a minimum of 9,000 instances of breakage of their Paragard during removal. This figure is nearly double the reports involving broken devices associated with hormonal IUDs received by the FDA.

In the initial half of 2023 alone, the FDA has received over 900 reports of Paragard breakage. This indicates a potential twofold increase in the number of reports compared to the year 2022.

Moreover, health experts believe that the true number of device breakage incidents may be significantly higher. This is because of the voluntary nature of the FAERS reporting system.

Legal Actions and Regulatory Response

In response to the growing concerns surrounding the device’s breakage, a wave of lawsuits has been filed against its manufacturer. 

The Paragard lawsuit alleges that Teva Pharmaceuticals failed to adequately warn women about the risk of IUD breakage and its potential complications. Plaintiffs seek compensation for the injuries and emotional distress they have suffered as a result of the device’s breakage.

TorHoerman Law notes that the legal actions to the Paragard breakage issue highlight the importance of vigilance in ensuring the safety of medical devices. Open communication between healthcare providers, patients, and regulatory agencies is crucial to identifying and addressing potential safety concerns.

Current Status and Future Prospects of Paragard

The lawsuits against Teva Pharmaceuticals are currently ongoing. The outcome of these cases will have significant implications for women considering the IUD. 

According to, its first bellwether trial has been delayed from its original date in March 2024 until October of that year. Bellwether trials are used to gauge the strength of the plaintiffs’ cases and provide an indication of how the overall litigation might unfold.

The outcome of it could have a substantial impact on the remaining lawsuits. If the plaintiffs win, it could encourage Teva Pharmaceuticals to settle the remaining cases, potentially leading to significant financial compensation for affected women. Conversely, if Teva Pharmaceuticals prevails, it could embolden the company to defend the remaining lawsuits aggressively, prolonging the litigation process.

The future of the device remains uncertain. Teva Pharmaceuticals may face immense pressure to modify or replace the device if the ongoing lawsuits and regulatory scrutiny intensify. The company may also need to implement design changes to address the breakage issue and restore patient confidence in the Paragard IUD.

If the manufacturer fails to address the device’s problems effectively, the device could be removed from the market. This would leave a significant gap in the available LARCs, potentially impacting women’s access to effective contraception.


Despite the Paragard IUD’s problems, it is essential to emphasize that not all LARCs are the same. Hormonal IUDs, have not been linked to breakage issues and offer a safe and reliable form of contraception.

Ultimately, the decision to use Paragard or any other contraceptive method should be made on an individual basis. It should be based on the potential risks and benefits in consultation with a healthcare provider. 

Open communication and informed decision-making are crucial for ensuring that women have access to safe, effective, and appropriate contraception.

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