Millions of women choose the Mirena hormonal intrauterine device because Bayer Pharmaceuticals marketed the product as a convenient, safe and effective form of birth control that can last up to 5 years. As complaints involving severe Mirena IUD side effects continue to grow, the safety and benefits of using the device are being called into question by scientific researchers, patients and physicians. One of the most dangerous side effects associated with the contraceptive device is perforation of the uterus.
A closer look at Mirena perforation
Perforation or puncturing of the uterus occurs in two primary ways: (1) while the IUD is being inserted by a medical professional; and (2) when the intrauterine device migrates from its original position over time.
If uterine perforation does occur, the IUD may later become embedded in the uterine wall or surrounding abdominal cavity. There is an added danger that the device will puncture blood vessels or internal organs such as the bladder, bowel and intestines. The injuries associated with Mirena perforation of the uterus can be debilitating and may be permanent.
Complications from Mirena uterine perforation include:
- Intestinal obstruction
- Organ damage
- Need for hysterectomy
Uterine perforation caused by migration of the Mirena IUD often calls for surgical removal of the device and repair of damaged tissue. Multiple surgeries may be required if damage to the internal organs and uterus is extensive. Scarring caused by the Mirena perforation or during the surgical removal of the device can lead to infertility. The physician may need to administer antibiotics if an infection has developed as such may cause added harm to already damaged organs. In the most severe cases, a total or partial hysterectomy may be warranted.
Mirena perforation risk factors
There are certain factors that increase the chances of women suffering from perforation of the uterus while using Mirena. Women who have undergone a C-section, an abortion or other surgeries connected with the uterus are at higher risk.
Pre-existing damage to the uterus aincreases the likelihood that the Mirena IUD will migrate and penetrate the abdominal cavity or other nearby internal organs. Women who recently gave birth, possess an abnormally shaped uterus, are breastfeeding, or previously experienced pelvic infections are also at greater risk of having their uterus punctured.
Symptoms of uterine perforation
Certain symptoms and warning signs that indicate Mirena perforation of the uterus. A physician can order diagnostic tests to confirm if the IUD migrated and punctured the organ. The extent of the injuries will determine the prognosis and type of treatment indicated.
Seek medical treatment immediately if you experience any Mirena-related complications such as:
- Abdominal pain
- Abnormal or heavy vaginal bleeding
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
- Unable to locate Mirena IUD strings
Other Mirena IUD side effects
Mirena has been associated with other serious side effects including:
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
- Device Expulsion
- Complications with pregnancy including ectopic pregnancy
Pelvic inflammatory disease is a bacterial infection that threatens the reproductive system and may cause infertility. Women with a history of this condition are warned by the FDA to avoid any intrauterine device, including Mirena IUD.
Approximately six percent of Mirena users experience spontaneous expulsion of the birth control device, thereby exposing the woman to the risk of unwanted pregnancy. Those who have not given birth are at a higher risk for this side effect. Symptoms include pain during intercourse, unexplained bleeding, cramps, and missing removal strings.
Women who become pregnant while using Mirena face a risk that the uterus will become septic and endanger the pregnancy. Therefore, doctors recommend that such pregnancies be terminated. Other pregnancy problems include miscarriage, premature delivery, and ectopic pregancy. Ectopic or tubal pregnancy is particularly dangerous to the health of the mother.
Other minor side effects associated with this contraception include changes in weight, vaginal bleeding, breast tenderness, acne, and nausea.
Legal help for victims of Mirena uterine perforation
Many women who suffered serious Mirena perforation and other side effects are filing lawsuits against Bayer Pharmaceuticals in hopes of recovering compensation for their pain and suffering. Plaintiffs are requesting compensatory and punitive damages for medical expenses, lost wages, mental anguish as well as other costs.
Mirena attorneys are standing by to help potential claimants understand their legal rights in light of the harm caused by dangerous medical devices. Common allegations among those who have already filed lawsuits include negligence, failure to warn, misleading representation and false claims in advertising, as well as strict liability.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22411936
- The European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care: Analysis of Risk Factors Associated with Uterine Perforation by Intrauterine Devices, http://www2.cfpc.ca/local/user/files/%7B5D8855FD-9F23-48EE-B54B-B49E7F6CD344%7D/16235818166292636665.pdf