The Mirena® intrauterine device (IUD) is a T-shaped birth control product that is inserted into the uterus for up to five years at a time. The product prevents pregnancy by slowly releasing a hormone that helps prevent egg fertilization by thickening cervical mucus while also thinning the uterine lining and partially suppressing ovulation. Mirena is also approved to treat heavy menstrual bleeding.
New Complications That Arise From Mirena Use
The Mirena IUD is alleged by doctors, and their patients who have used it, to lead to dangerous conditions such as pseudo tumor cerebri. The synthetic form of progestin found in the device is known to cause serious side effects, including idiopathic intracranial hypertension (high blood pressure inside the skull, which could produce a stroke) along with pseudo tumor cerebri (false brain tumors). This condition mimics symptoms similar to brain tumors. Side effects can include vision loss, damage to the optic nerve, persistent migraines, and tinnitus (the hearing of sound when none is present), and can require surgical treatment to correct.
Bayer, the company that makes Mirena, has a long history of questionable conduct. In 2009, for example, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent Bayer two warnings about Mirena. One surrounded Bayer’s misleading and incomplete warnings about the Mirena’s side effects in their television commercials. The other leveled the same charges against the company’s internet advertising content.
Complications Arising from Mirena IUD Uterine Perforations
Mirena has also been previously linked to severe health issues related to uterine perforation and the complications associated with it. These uterine wall perforations can occur when the device erodes the uterine wall or shifts its location spontaneously within the uterus. According to an abstract provided by the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information, severe lower abdominal pain and abnormal bleeding may be the early warning signs of a perforation. Other perforation injuries have also been discovered during patient check-up visits.
While perforation may be detected at the time of insertion, some of these patient injuries can lack symptoms and may not be detected for a long period of time. Delayed detection of a uterine perforation can result in the migration of Mirena devices to other parts of the body, which in turn can cause internal damage and other severe injuries. In some cases, surgery is needed to retrieve the IUD from a patient.
Who is at Risk for Uterine Perforation?
Bayer, the drug’s manufacturer, reports the risk of a uterine perforation is between 1 in 1,000 and 1 in 10,000 insertions. However, some women may be at higher risk than others. Bayer advises that placement of Mirena should be performed with care in postpartum women (immediately after childbirth) because uterine walls can be softer than usual. Additionally, the risk of perforation has been found to be higher in women who are lactating. Women with fixed retroverted uteruses also may be at higher risk of perforation.
Side effects caused by Mirena can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Damage to internal organs
Bayer maintains that perforation of the uterus may also dramatically lessen the effectiveness of the device in preventing pregnancy. Surgical procedures, such as a hysterectomy or laparoscopic surgery, may also be necessary to remove the IUD after a perforation injury.
What Should I Do if I’ve Been Injured by a Mirena IUD?
By June 2017, nearly 200 lawsuits had been filed alleging Mirena caused intracranial hypertension. These cases are different from the perforation and migration cases that have been filed during the past several years.
If you or someone you care about used Mirena and underwent a surgical procedure, or are about to undergo one due to uterine perforation or pseudo tumor cerebri, Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law would like to speak with you about your injury. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and a variety of other injury-related damages.
Contact us today at 1 (800) 444-5000 or use our contact form to arrange a free case evaluation where you will speak with our team and learn what we can do for you or your loved one.
Do not discontinue taking any medications without first consulting your physician.
Mirena® is a registered trademark of the Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and is used here only to identify the product in question.
This law firm is not associated with, sponsored by, or affiliated with Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. or the U.S. Center for Biotechnology Information.