An estimated 8.5 percent of American women using contraception use a long-term, reversible method such as an intrauterine device (IUD). An IUD is intended to prevent pregnancy for up to five years by emitting hormones after implantation and can be a more convenient option for women who find it difficult to take oral contraceptives on a daily basis.
Mirena (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) is an intrauterine device (IUD), which is a reversible form of birth control. This type of IUD slowly releases levonorgestrel, a hormone. It is used to prevent pregnancy and to treat heavy menstrual bleeding. An IUD works best in women who have had at least one child.
There are a number of common side effects and some women have experienced potentially life-threatening complications following the implantation of the Mirena device, including perforation of or embedment in the uterus or diagnosis of IIH or PTC.
The device may migrate from its original position after being inserted, perforating the uterus or embedding itself in the uterus. In both instances, a doctor must locate and surgically remove the device. Mirena may also migrate outside the uterine cavity and cause adhesions or scarring that can lead to infertility. Depending on the damage caused, affected women may require a complete hysterectomy, and more serious complications could result in death.
Another potential serious side effect is idiopathic hypertension (IIH), sometimes referred to as pseudotumor cerebri (PTC), benign intracranial hypertension or pressure around the brain. IIH is a disorder that involves unexplained intracranial hypertension and elevated inner skull pressure due to higher levels of cerebrospinal fluid, a clear, colorless fluid found in the brain and spine. Some symptoms of IIH can include:
- Double or blurred vision
- Ringing in ears
- Severe headaches
- Swelling of the optic nerves (papilledema)
If left untreated, IIH can cause persistent headaches and may result in permanent vision loss. Diagnosis of this condition often requires a procedure called a lumbar puncture or spinal tap, performed in your lower back. IIH is most prevalent in obese women of childbearing age.
Mirena is at least 99 percent successful at preventing pregnancy, but it does not protect the user from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Despite some of the benefits of Mirena, there are also serious side effects that can occur in women who use it.
One of the biggest problems with Mirena is its tendency to move from the uterus, through the wall and into other parts of the body, usually the abdomen, and cause damage. Patients have reported incidences of perforation or penetration of the uterine wall after the implantation of Mirena. If the device penetrates the uterus, it can migrate into the intestinal cavity and cause further damage to internal organs, including abscesses, peritonitis, and obstructions or perforations of the intestines.
In studies, the IUD has been shown to migrate to the pelvis, and adhere to the internal layer of the uterine wall and even ovarian walls. What makes this dangerous is that the device is difficult to find and remove. Some women have had to undergo multiple surgeries to find and remove the device. Studies also found that the risk of uterine perforation is increased in women who use an IUD like Mirena up to 6 months after delivering a child.
If you were injured by Mirena, you are not alone. If you decide to file a Mirena lawsuit for your injuries, you could be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, permanent injuries (such as infertility), and more. Contact the experienced attorneys at SL Chapman today for a free legal consultation. Call us at 800-550-2106.