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Did the makers of ParaGard photoshop the IUD for advertising?

My eyes and ears in the GYNO world told me there have been questions about copper levels (possibly thanks to this House episode…which by the way is about as close to real medicine as a Big Mac is to beef), so I dutifully responded with this post explaining how copper levels do not rise with a copper IUD. Yesterday at the office, I was discussing my post with my partner and pulled out a copper IUD that we have in the office for a look.

ParaGard IUD, copyright Teva Women's Health, Inc

I did a double take. It seemed so much larger than the one that Teva Women’s Health, Inc has on their website in full color (you can see the image to the left, and here is a link to the picture on the Teva website).

Let me get one thing clear. I think that the copper IUD is a fantastic form of contraception. I have one myself. However, it is what it is – size and all. And looking at the real thing and then comparing it to this image, well, they are different sizes (or they sure appear to be different sizes to me, either that or the model holding the ParaGard in the Teva photo has GINORMOUS hands).

ParaGard in the hands of a female OB/GYN (size 7 gloves)

Size doesn’t really matter. The IUD folds down (the arms of the T at the size) for insertion and it has to be large enough to do its job. However, the truth does matter.  Truth about how good a medical device/medical therapy works (evidence based medicine) and truth in advertising. I suspect the imaged has been photoshopped to make it look smaller and “less scary” to the public. Maybe the advertising gurus even have stats on how perceived size of the IUD affects the decision to have one.

I don’t care. Changing the size/appearance of an IUD for advertising is wrong. It is what it is: 10 years of very safe, highly effective, hormone free contraception.

Because Teva (and any other company that does this kind of stuff), if you fudge the image, I’m gonna wonder about what else you are fudging.

What do you think? Does the ParaGard in my photo look bigger than the one from the company website? Do you think it has been photoshopped?


11 thoughts on “Did the makers of ParaGard photoshop the IUD for advertising?

  1. That’s so shady.

    Also, seriously? House MD not a real depiction of medicine? I’ve completely changed my mind about medical school, now.

    Posted by Med School Odyssey | November 16, 2011, 10:02 am
  2. definitely has been Photoshopped. I work in women’s health and we insert IUDs all the time..and just by the first image I knew something was up!! its wrong, honesty is the best policy especially for something that will live in your body for 10 years.

    Posted by Marta Santos (@NurseMarta) | November 16, 2011, 5:31 pm
  3. It does appear smaller in the Teva photo. However, when I was shown the paragard iud in my ob/gyn’s office it seemed like it was more comparable in size to the Teva photo. Weird.

    Posted by #CrazyPremedMomma | November 18, 2011, 7:09 pm
  4. Isn’t that false advertisement?

    Posted by Oubli | February 29, 2012, 7:33 pm
  5. I think Teva deserves the benefit of the doubt here. What this picture looks like is that the people in the marketing department took two stock photos, one of the hands and one of the product, and put them together. It’s pretty much standard practice to do it that way and it can save a lot on production costs. What it looks like happened here was the artist didn’t have a really clear idea of how big the product actually is.

    Posted by Samantha | April 19, 2012, 5:56 am


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