The intrauterine device (or IUD) is a birth control option for women that has a surprisingly long history as a safe and effective contraceptive. In recent years, new brands of IUD have become available, leading to a resurgence in popularity for this type of birth control. However, these new IUDs do not come without health risks, and there are great concerns that manufacturers of Mirena, one of the most popular IUDs on the market currently, may not have been forthcoming about the potential for severe side effects to women who use their product.
What Is Mirena?
Mirena is a small, soft plastic contraceptive device, designed to be implanted in the uterus by a physician. It is shaped approximately like a “T” shape and is a little over an inch long, with two fine threads attached to the bottom.
Mirena differs from the traditional IUDs in that it contains a common birth control hormone, called levonorgestrel, and slowly releases it into the body over the approximately five-year lifespan of the device. The manufacturer states that it believes that the shape and the hormone delivery system are responsible for preventing conception, though they admit that they’re unsure as to exactly how Mirena works.
What Are the Health Concerns With Mirena?
One of the biggest worries with Mirena has been the potential for internal injury via perforation of the uterus. Perforation occurs when the device penetrates the uterine wall, causing a hole or tear. Perforation can cause a number of dangerous side effects, including abdominal pain, internal bleeding or hemorrhaging, bloody stools, internal infections, and sepsis.
Along with perforation, there is a chance that Mirena may migrate throughout the body, causing many severe complications as it interferes with other organs. Mirena migration can cause severe illness, injury, and death, if not treated quickly by medical professionals.
Another severe and frightening potential side effect of Mirena is called pseudotumor cerebri, or PTC. This condition happens when excess cerebrospinal fluid builds up inside the skull, putting pressure on the brain and optic nerve. PTC mimics many of the symptoms of a brain tumor, including:
- Painful headaches behind the eyes that get worse when moving the eyes
- Blurred or double vision
- Brief bouts of blindness in one or both eyes
- Ringing in the ears
If PTC is left untreated, it can result in damage to the optic nerve, leading to decreased vision and even permanent blindness. Treatment options can involve either medication or the surgical placement of a device inside the skull, called a shunt, which drains excess spinal fluid to relieve the pressure inside the skull.
Lawsuits Filed Over Mirena
The manufacturer of Mirena, Bayer, is facing hundreds of lawsuits all across the country, including allegations that Bayer knew about the PTC risks of Mirena but failed to provide adequate warning to women about this dangerous and potentially life-shattering side effect. The number of product liability lawsuits against the company continues to grow by the day, as more and more women are discovering that they have suffered as a result of using Mirena.
Get Legal Help
If you or someone you loved has suffered from pseudotumor cerebri, you may be entitled to a legal settlement, so you should contact an attorney right away. You need to find a legal representative that has the knowledge and experience to fight with the big drug companies when they refuse to accept responsibility for their defective products and deceptive practices.
Wayne Wright has been fighting on behalf of those who have suffered from defective medical devices and dangerous drugs being sold by “big pharma” without regard to the health and wellbeing of the people who buy their products. We’re not afraid to stand up for the rights of the sick patients and devastated families who have suffered terrible losses and have nowhere to turn when the medical bills are piling up. Call us today at 800-237-3334 for a free consultation to get help with your defective medical device.