Intrauterine devices, or IUDs, are a widely used birth control method. Made of copper, which acts as a spermicide, IUDs are inserted into the uterus transvaginally. They can remain in place for up to 10 years or until the woman wishes it to be removed. As of 2000, American women have had the choice of a hormonal IUD, a plastic device that slowly releases the hormone levonorgestrel. Marketed by Bayer Pharmaceuticals under the name Mirena, this device must be replaced after five years.
The original advertising campaign for Mirena emphasized that it was a low-hormone product that provided convenient, reliable protection against pregnancy. Unfortunately, the company downplayed the risks and potential complications. The Food and Drug Administration has received more than 45,000 reports of adverse events associated with Mirena, including:
- Device embedded in uterine wall
- Uterine perforation
- Migration from uterus
- Intestinal damage
- Vaginal hemorrhage
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
The serious complications that occur when the device becomes embedded in the uterine wall or travels through the uterine wall into the abdominal cavity. This may require surgical removal of the device or even total hysterectomy. Some complications can cause permanent infertility.
Although Bayer advertised that women who used Mirena would experience enhanced intimacy and romance, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted that five percent of patients in the clinical trial had a decrease in libido and asked the company to cease making unsubstantiated claims and minimizing the risks associated with this product. The FDA has not taken any further action to address the serious complications experienced by thousands of women using the device.
If you have suffered complications from the use of Mirena, contact a dangerous products lawyer immediately.