Long-acting reversible contraceptives such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) and hormonal implants have been gaining popularity in the United States. According to a recent article in USA Today, the portion of women who rely on these types of contraceptives increased from 2.4 percent a decade ago to 8.5 percent in 2009. The trend toward long-acting contraceptives is likely to continue with the new federal health law requiring insurers to cover all contraceptive methods.
Among the hormonal contraceptives mentioned in the article is the Mirena IUD, a flexible, T-shaped intrauterine device that releases progesterone into the womb to prevent pregnancy. The Mirena IUD was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000 and is manufactured for Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, the article doesn’t detail the most serious side effects associated with the Mirena IUD.
Women should be aware that the Mirena IUD can cause a rupture or perforation of the uterine wall, leading to serious injury. Intrauterine devices are inserted and removed through the cervix by doctors. If the IUD shifts and the uterus is ruptured, the device can migrate outside the uterine cavity and cause internal scarring, infection and damage to other organs. Delayed detection of a perforation may result in intestinal perforations, intestinal obstructions, abscesses and inflammation of the lining of the abdomen. The device may also embed itself in the uterine wall.
According to the product safety information, certain women are at increased risk of a perforation, including women who have recently given birth, women who are lactating and women with a retroverted uterus. If a rupture occurs, the IUD must be removed and surgery may be necessary.
The FDA also has warned of the risk of a rare but potentially fatal Group A streptococcal infection which has been reported in a small number of cases. If you have questions about which contraceptive is right for you, you should talk to your doctor. If you believe you or a loved one has suffered an injury from a Mirena IUD, it’s a good idea to understand your legal rights.
The lawyers of The Driscoll Firm, LLC, are committed to helping people who have been harmed by unsafe medical devices and manufacturers that put profits ahead of safety. We have helped thousands of clients nationwide receive full and fair compensation from medical product manufacturers whose products cause harm. If you suspect that you or a loved one has been harmed by an unsafe drug, contact us at 314-932-3232 or use our online contact form for a free case review.