Mirena is a birth control device that is manufactured by Bayer. It is inserted into the uterus to provide long-term birth control for women. It is advertised to be close to 100 percent effective as birth control. However, like other intrauterine devices (IUD), Mirena has caused complications for women who have received the implant. While some side effects are comparatively mild, when the IUD migrates out of its initial position, more serious damage is caused. There have been countless lawsuits brought against Bayer for the complications that women have faced from the use of Mirena. If you or a loved one has suffered harm from using Mirena, you should immediately contact a Mirena iud lawyer to discuss your case.
What is Mirena?
IUDs have long had a questionable history in this country. While they generally are effective, there are many who can remember the issues that plagued a product known as the Dalkon Shield. This particular form of IUD was pulled from the market in the 1970s after causing hospitalizations and fatalities. Many of the defects were related to the specific product as different types of IUDs continue to be sold.
The newer form of IUDs are T-shaped plastic devices. There are some types of IUDs that are made out of copper that last longer than the plastic varieties. Mirena is a plastic IUD that relies upon the hormone progestin to provide birth control. This hormone is released over the course of time where the IUD is present in the body. There are two primary ways in which the device works. First, the mucus in the cervix becomes thickened. This forms a type of barrier that prevents the sperm from reaching the egg. Second, the lining of the uterus is thinned. This partially suppresses ovulation, which is the process that results in pregnancy.
Mirena is inserted in a procedure that can be done in a doctor’s office. It is inserted into the uterus through the cervical canal. An applicator string is used to put the IUD into place. Mirena is intended to be used by women who have already had at least one child. The reason why Mirena is supposed to be used by women with children is because the test data submitted to the FDA that resulted in approval had sampled women with children. The device was approved by the FDA for usage in 2000.
Complications From Mirena iud
While every device has some level of side effects and complications, the possible problems with Mirena can be severe. An IUD is supposed to remain in place over the course of the five years where it is implanted. In some women, the IUD can shift in place. When that happens, it can cause severe damage to internal organs. This requires emergency surgery to remove the IUD as well as to repair the damage that was caused to the organ.
Even when Mirena remains in place, there is the possibility for damage. The IUD can perforate the uterus, causing severe pain. When the uterus is damaged, women can no longer have children even after they no longer wish to use the device. In addition, the device can perforate abdominal walls and can cause hemorrhage or serious internal bleeding. In 2008, the FDA required Bayer to update its warning label to include warnings for the possibility of a perforated uterus and perforation or expulsion of the device.
Thousands of cases were filed against Bayer with regard to these complications. In 2013, a judge dismissed many of these cases against Bayer. The judge had barred the plaintiffs’ expert witness from testifying. The judge had ruled that the expert witnesses were unqualified or unreliable. Without expert testimony, the judge dismissed all of the lawsuits in the multi-district litigation. Other cases were dismissed since a court held that they were filed outside of the statute of limitations. Numerous claims remained in a multi-district litigation that is in New Jersey.
Side Effects in the Brain
There is another group of lawsuits claiming a different set of complications from the use of Mirena. These lawsuits allege that Mirena has caused brain injury in women. Specifically, women have experiences issues with balance and blurred vision. Further, lawsuits have alleged that Mirena causes idiopathic intracranial hypertension and Pseudotumor cerebri. The possible linkage between these conditions and Mirena is due to the synthetic hormone that Mirena uses to provide birth control. There is a long history of birth control devices being linked with intercranial hypertension.
In 2015, researchers in Canada undertook a study after reviewing adverse events that were reported to the FDA. This study found that women with Mirena were 78 percent more likely to develop pseudotumor cerebri. This condition increases pressure inside the skull and causes various side effects, including death in a worst-case scenario. This condition is similar to a brain tumor, but without the actual growth of the tumor. This condition is never fully healed.
The recent category of lawsuits have alleged that Mirena is a defective product. There have been hundreds of lawsuits that have been filed, and they are just at their early stages. Of recent, the total of lawsuits filed is nearing 1,000. These lawsuits have been granted multi-district litigation status in New York. These cases will be beginning discovery, but are still a far way from a jury trial. Given that the perforation lawsuits have not yet been successful, the pseudotumor cerebri cases represent Bayer’s greatest challenge in litigation. There are currently new cases being filed monthly under this theory of liability. In part, they allege that Bayer knew that this type of synthetic hormone could cause this side effect given the research that went back many years.
If you or a loved one have had a Mirena IUD implanted and have experienced any of these symptoms, you should immediately consult with a lawyer to discuss the facts of your case. The attorney can inform you of the prospects for a legal recovery and the process that would need to be followed to reach that point.