Mirena is a hormone-eluting intrauterine device (IUD) that is used to prevent pregnancy. It is known to cause a number of serious side effects, including some cases of organ perforation after the Mirena device migrated from its position. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Bayer Healthcare, manufacturer of Mirena, seeking compensation for medical injuries. Since the IUD was reintroduced to the market and Mirena was approved in 2000, it has grown in popularity. Over 150 million women have received the device worldwide and it has been shown to be over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. Unfortunately, a number of women have also developed serious side effects including many who have experienced Mirena organ perforation after the device migrated or moved from its original position.
What Is Mirena Organ Perforation?
Mirena is a T-shaped device which is constructed of a medication-eluting plastic which releases the birth control hormone, levonorgestrel over a long period of time. Mirena is implanted in the uterus by a physician and is intended to be left in place for up to 5 years. If the device moves or migrates from its original position, it may begin to erode the abdominal, uterine or other organ walls. It may also penetrate or even perforate these walls, resulting in a potentially life-threatening injury. Mirena organ perforation is most commonly seen in the uterus but once it has fully penetrated the uterus, the IUD can migrate to other areas of the body. In addition to uterine perforation, some women have had additional organ perforation or involvement in the cervix, fallopian tubes, and abdominal organs such as the bladder or intestines.
Mirena Organ Perforation Symptoms
Though Mirena is an effective birth control method for most women, it is estimated as many as 1 in 500 insertions may result in uterine perforation. If the device has migrated all the way through the uterine wall, the device may damage other reproductive organs such as the cervix, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. It may also penetrate or perforate the abdominal wall, bladder, kidneys or intestines and may pose a serious risk to the patient due to hemorrhage or uncontrolled internal bleeding. Common symptoms of Mirena device migration and organ penetration can include:
- Dull, aching pain in the abdomen
- Mirena”s string becomes shorter or disappears
- Unexpected menstrual bleeding
More serious symptoms may be caused by a device that has perforated the uterine wall and is affecting other organs, has caused internal bleeding or has resulted in a severe infection.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blood in the stool
- Bowel movement changes
- Difficulty breathing
- Sudden, severe lower abdominal pain
- Rapid heartbeat
- Dizziness or fainting
- Low blood pressure
- Severe or excessive vaginal bleeding
- Appearance of bruising in abdominal area
The longer a device migration event is left untreated, the higher the risk for additional effects but symptoms of organ perforation are not always easily identified, can mimic other conditions or may go unreported. Patients should be advised to report any changes that may be related to Mirena organ perforation. Any changes in consciousness, heart rhythm or symptoms of excessive bleeding should be treated as an emergency.
Mirena Organ Perforation Treatment
Patients who are asymptomatic may notice that the Mirena device’s string has become shorter or has “disappeared”. A physical exam will be followed by X-ray procedures to locate the device and plan for removal. If device migration has caused penetration of the uterine wall, surgery will most likely be required to remove the device, assess the injury and repair tissues if necessary. In some cases, surgery may be performed laparoscopically but severe cases will require a larger abdominal surgery. Some patients have been required to undergo multiple surgeries to stop blood loss, remove the device and repair damaged tissues and organs. Depending on the patient’s specific condition, the patient’s fertility may be impacted as damage to the reproductive system may prevent future pregnancies. Scar tissue development in the abdominal area may cause pain or other complications which may be debilitating.
Mirena Organ Perforation Lawsuits
Thousands of women or their families have filed lawsuits against the manufacturer of Mirena, Bayer Healthcare. The company is accused of producing a defective device and for failure to adequately warn the public and medical profession about the dangers of Mirena. While no case is guaranteed, patients who are injured by a defective medical device may be eligible for financial compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and permanent disability, including loss of fertility. Women or loved ones of those who have experienced organ perforation or other serious events such as ectopic pregnancy after receiving the Mirena IUD should seek advice from a legal expert.