ParaGard® is a hormone-free intrauterine contraceptive (IUC) that is 99% effective and 100% hormone free. It is a T-shaped piece of plastic coated in copper that is inserted into the uterus by a doctor and lasts as long as wanted: two, five, even up to 10 years. ParaGard is effective immediately and can be removed by a doctor at any time. ParaGard requires a monthly self-check, otherwise it is unnoticeable. Side effects of ParaGard are minimal but can include abdominal cramps or longer and heavier periods for the first few months.