5 Risks Associated with Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)
Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are a long-term contraceptive (birth control) method. The t-shaped device is inserted into a woman’s uterine and works as a barrier to insemination. There are currently several IUD brands on the market that work either with the use of hormones (progestin) or copper. Despite their popularity, thousands of women have experienced severe complications related to IUD implantation, removal, or infection.
At Fibich, Leebron, Copeland, & Briggs, we represent women nationwide who have suffered harm while using an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD). Partner Erin Copeland was recently selected to lead multidistrict litigation (MDL) in one of the largest Paragard IUD lawsuits in the country.
1. The Paragard IUD Can Break Apart During Removal.
There are several risks associated with the use of intrauterine devices. One of the most devastating complications has been during the removal process. Marketed as the only non-hormonal IUD, the Paragard intrauterine copper contraceptive has been named in hundreds of lawsuits. Our law firm has extensive experience representing women injured during Paragard IUD removal.
The following problems have been reported during attempts to remove the Paragard IUD:
- Uterine perforation
- Inflammation and infection
- Device migration or fracture
- Embedment in the uterus
In some cases, removal of the device requires additional surgery or a complete hysterectomy. Lawsuits, including the Multidistrict Litigation led by Attorney Erin Copeland against Paragard manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals (and Cooper Surgical, Inc.), allege that the company knew of the potential that the device could break upon removal and failed to warn doctors, consumers, and regulators about the dangers.
2. Women with IUDs Have an Increased Risk of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).
Paragard and other IUDs have been linked to an increased risk of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID can be a life-threatening infection. Without immediate treatment, PID can result in scarring, tubal blockage, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, or chronic pelvic or abdominal pain. Depending on the severity, PID may require the removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) or can be fatal.
Symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) include:
- Persistent pain in the pelvis or lower abdomen
- Excessive, heavy bleeding
- Genital lesions or sores
- Vaginal discharge
- Painful intercourse
IUDs may also make it more likely that a woman could develop endometritis. Endometritis is inflammation of the lining of the uterus generally caused by an infection in the uterus. Endometritis and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease most often occur shortly after implantation of the intrauterine device.
3. IUDs Can Result in an Ectopic Pregnancy.
A possible side effect of both hormonal and copper IUDs is an increased risk of ectopic or intrauterine pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that develops outside of the uterus, most often in one of the fallopian tubes. Left untreated, an ectopic pregnancy can result in tubal rupture and life-threatening internal bleeding.
Ectopic pregnancies usually require emergency surgery to remove the fertilized egg. Pregnancy while using an IUD is rare, but it does happen. Improper placement of the IUD or migration of the device can make it an ineffective form of contraception leading to pregnancy.
4. An IUD Can Perforate the Uterus.
IUDs may perforate or go through the wall of the uterus. If the device perforates or punctures the uterus, it can result in severe damage. Perforation may not only damage the uterus and uterine lining, but it can also do harm to other organs.
Over the past decade, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received over 2,800 reports of the Paragard IUD device fracturing or breaking apart while inside the uterus. The breakage is more likely to occur in women who have used the same implant for 6-10 years. It can also arise during removal. Breakage of the IUD is one of the causes of uterus perforation.
5. IUDs May Become Embedded in the Wall of the Uterus.
Along with perforation, studies show that IUDs may become embedded in the wall of the uterus. Embedding often happens during placement, removal, or because of device migration. An improperly positioned or embedded implant may be complicated to remove, requiring surgery.
If you believe that your IUD has become embedded, you may need an emergency medical procedure. It is essential to discuss your case with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Suffered Complications Due to an IUD? Contact Our Office for a Free Consultation.
If you have suffered harm or painful complications as a result of your intrauterine device (IUD), contact our office to book a free consultation. Call (713) 751-0025 to speak with an award-winning legal team, nationally recognized for their work holding pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers accountable for their wrongdoing.
IUDs have been a trusted long-term birth control method for many years. Research, however, indicates that there can be severe complications and that certain devices may be prone to breakage during removal. If you have had any side effects or required additional surgery after implantation of an IUD, contact our office today.