It has recently been found that commonly-used intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUDs) such as Mirena®, a device manufactured by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, may tear through the uterine wall and migrate to other locations in the abdomen after placement. This almost always requires surgery, and may cause many complications, especially in cases in which the IUD adheres to another internal organ.
A study published by Dr. Eric M. Heinburg et al. (2008) describes three cases of the migration of intrauterine devices in women. Sadly, it is likely that many of the women who have experienced uterine perforation (tearing) and IUD migration were unaware of these potential risks, and the manufacturer of these IUDs is alleged to have concealed information regarding these risks from users and physicians.
A 31-year-old woman came to her doctor for a routine postpartum evaluation seven weeks after bearing twins, at which time a Mirena® IUD was put in place without complication. When the woman returned one year later because the strings of the Mirena® device were no longer visible, a “pelvic ultrasonography was promptly obtained and showed a normal, empty uterus with no abnormality. A pelvic x-ray was also obtained and interpreted as normal by the staff radiologist.”
Because it is common that Mirena® IUDs are expelled, and the device was not seen using these imaging techniques, the woman was told her IUD had been expelled. “Later that year, x-rays of the lumbar spine revealed the IUD within the pelvis.” After two surgical procedures, the IUD was located and removed, and the woman recovered without adverse event.
A 28-year-old woman had a Mirena® IUD device implanted eight weeks following a cesarean delivery, and “No complication or difficulty was encountered upon placement of the device.” About one year after the placement of her Mirena® IUD, this woman became pregnant and the fetus was spontaneously aborted with the IUD in place. Soon after this, the Mirena® IUD was found to be protruding through the uterine wall. Several attempts to remove the device without surgery were unsuccessful. Successive imaging techniques illustrated the exact location of the IUD embedded in the uterine wall, and a surgery begun by a 1cm incision was successful in removing the Mirena® IUD. Thankfully, the woman recovered well and was released on “the day of her surgery.”
Nonetheless, about ninety days after the placement of her IUD, the woman was found to be pregnant. As doctors believed her IUD had been expelled, the normal OBGYN care followed, and after a normal pregnancy, she bore another child.
“Six years later, x-rays of her hips incidentally revealed a foreign body suggestive of an ectopic IUD in the left aspect of the pelvis.” After thorough imaging techniques were used, “The IUD was found adhered to the left ovarian fossa,” a circumstance requiring surgery to remove the device. Fortunately, the surgical procedure went well and the patient “was discharged home on the afternoon of her surgery.”
Discussing these three cases more broadly, Heinberg et al. write that “Uterine perforation is the most serious complication associated with use of an intrauterine contraceptive device,” a problem that occurs about 1.2 times per 1000 insertions. While many cases of IUD migration are benign, intestinal complications do occur, which may cause a number of other problems.
Because the manufacturer of Mirena® IUDs, the most commonly used intrauterine contraceptive device, did not adequately warn users of these risks, Bayer Pharmaceuticals may be held liable for injury caused by its products. If you used a Mirena® IUD and experienced uterine perforation or Mirena® migration, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation.
For a free case consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our skilled, experienced team of Mirena® lawyers at Ketterman, Rowland, and Westlund by phone at (888) 315 – 3997 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be here to help every step of the way.
Our Mirena Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have additional questions about Mirena.
 Heinberg, E.M. (2008) “The Perforated Intrauterine Device: Endoscopic Retrieval” Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons Vol. 12; pp. 97-100