Migration of Mirena IUD Outside of the Uterus Can Cause Serious Medical Problems
Women hoping for an easy, long-acting birth control might believe Mirena, a hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) manufactured by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, is the perfect choice. However, as a large number of lawsuits and women suffering physical harm can attest, Mirena is not as ideal as it seems.
One of the most dangerous side effects of Mirena is the likelihood of the device migrating from its normal position inside the uterus. This notion is actually disputed by the manufacturer despite the fact that several women, and a study from a reputable healthcare facility, have shown otherwise. Bayer representatives have stated that the migration is a rare occurrence. However, a study published by the Department of Radiology at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center found that this is actually a “frequently encountered complication.”
When the IUD migrates spontaneously, it can perforate the uterus and enter the abdominal cavity, pelvis, bladder or blood vessels. This can cause pain, infection and damage to other nearby organs. When the IUD migrates, doctors are forced to use ultrasound or x-ray to locate the device and then perform surgery to remove the device. In a few cases, women have had to have multiple surgeries to remove the device since it is sometimes difficult to locate and remove. The risk of perforation of the uterus is increased in women who use Mirena immediately following delivery of a child, and that risk remains elevated for at least six months following delivery. Spontaneous migration of Mirena can also cause other side effects including: abscesses, tissue erosion, fertility problems, peritonitis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, uterine wall embedment and ectopic pregnancy.
A woman in South Carolina is suing Bayer after her IUD spontaneously migrated. The claim, one of the first Mirena lawsuits in the nation, alleges that the plaintiff was never adequately informed about the danger of migration following insertion of the device. Bayer is working to have the lawsuit dismissed, claiming the woman’s doctor was aware of the migration risk. However, the plaintiff in this lawsuit contends the warnings that accompany the insertion of Mirena include a caution against perforation at the time the device is inserted. The plaintiff in this case said she suffered injuries from perforation of the uterus as a result of Mirena migration well after the device was inserted.
In a brief filed in conjunction with the lawsuit, the “plaintiffs note that it is quite impossible for Bayer to argue on the one hand that spontaneous migration not associated with insertion of Mirena is ‘biologically implausible,’ and on the other hand argue that Bayer’s duty to warn of said event was satisfied,” the brief argues.
At least 16 other women have made similar claims about problems stemming from Mirena migration in lawsuits filed in Morris County, New Jersey. According to Bayer, additional complaints are also pending in various other state courts.