Birth Controls & Medical Devices

There are a variety of devices that have been produced for birth control and treatments for females. Examples include Mirena IUD, Transvaginal Mesh and NuvaRing. However, these devices are not without their side effects and associated risks.

Mirena IUD

Mirena IUD is designed to be used for intrauterine contraception and treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding in women. Its use is abstained in pregnancy, congenital or acquired uterine abnormally, liver disease, postpartum endometritis, acute pelvic inflammatory, genital bleeding of unknown etiology, known or suspected caricinoma of the breast etc. The placement of Mirena IUD is associated with discomfort such as pain, sepsis, cramping or bleeding. Some of the side effects of Mirena IUD include irregular bleeding and amenorrhea, embedment, perforation, expulsion, and ovarian cysts.

  • Embedment of Mirena: This occurs in the myometrium leading to decrease contraceptive efficacy and may result to pregnancy. It is advisable to remove embedded Mirena as required.
  • Perforation: This may occur during the insertion of Mirena. The cervix or uterine wall may be perforated or penetrated thereby creating a loophole that can result to pregnancy. If perforation is not early detected it may lead to serious migration associated with adhesions, abscesses, peritonitis, intestinal obstruction and intestinal perforations.
  • Expulsion: Expulsion is when Mirena comes out itself. It may be partial or complete. It has always been accompanied with pain and bleeding. This condition may compromise the effectiveness of the Mirena leading to pregnancy. If expulsion occurs Mirena should be replaced.

Transvaginal Mesh

Transvaginal mesh is a net-like implant in form of surgical mesh inserted through the vagina. It is made of polypropylene plastic. Transvaginal Mesh is used to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and pelvic organ prolapsed (POP). Women may be plagued with SUI after a hysterectomy, childbirth or menopause. While POP occurs through the bulging of organs like rectum, uterus and bladder into the vagina due to weakened pelvic muscles. FDA reported that common complications in the use of transvaginal mesh are blood vessel, pain, recurrence of prolapse, and erosion through vaginal epithelium, bladder, bowel perforation during insertion, and urinary problems. Side effects associated with transvaginal mesh include painful sexual intercourse, organ perforation, transvaginal mesh erosion, revision surgery, nerve damage, pain and bleeding.

  • Transvaginal mesh erosion: This has been reported to cause nerve damage, infection, bleeding, and severe pain. It is the erosion of the transvaginal mesh thereby leading to exposure.
  • Organ perforation: This is linked to transvaginal mesh erosion. The erosion of mesh through the vaginal wall can hurt other organs when the sharp edges of transvaginal mesh perforate nearby organs. It is always accompanied with serious damage and immediate surgery is needed to correct it.
  • Revision Surgery: Removal of mesh is occasioned with extreme difficulty. Revision surgery is required in severe complications like organ perforation and mesh erosion.


NuvaRing is a combination of two hormonal contraceptives (progestin and estrogen) that act through the suppression of gonadotropins. It causes contraception by hindering ovulation and fertilization. Its use is abstained with thromboembolic disorders, coronary artery disease, and severe hypertension, carcinoma of the endometrium, liver disease and diabetes with vascular involvement. Common side effects include liver tumors, gall bladder disease, and changes in blood clotting system, stroke, heart disease and high blood pressure, cancer of the breast and reproductive organs, deep vein thrombosis, and inflammation of the pancreas.

Some Risks of NuvaRing

  • Blood clots: Changes in the blood clotting system is one of the major risks associated with Nuvaring. The easy clotting of blood may result to deep vein thrombosis, blocking of the vessel transporting blood to the lungs. If clotting occurs in the blood vessels of the eye, it may lead to vision problems, blindness or double visions.
  • Heart attacks and stroke: NuvaRing can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke through the role it plays in blood flow blockage. This condition can even lead to death. It has been also reported that smoking and the use of NuvaRing together leads to an increased risk of heart attack.
  • Cancer of the reproductive organs and breast: Breast cancer chance is slightly more in women using NuvaRing than those not.
  • Liver tumors: NuvaRing may cause non-cancerous but deadly liver tumors. Liver cancers are extremely rare but it is possible that women using combination hormonal contraceptives, like NuvaRing may have a higher likelihood of having liver cancer.

View Sources “Possible Risks and Side Effects” (2013). Web.17.Oct.2013

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