Uterine peforation, or perforated uterus, is a possible side effect of the Mirena IUD (intrauterine device). In fact, about 2 in 1,000 women who use the Mirena device and other IUDs have reported cases of uterine perforation.
About Mirena IUD
The Mirena IUD is a hormone-based contraceptive device that is inserted into the uterus, where it can remain for up to five years. The device releases levonorgestrel, which is a form of the hormone progestin. A plastic string tied to the end of the Mirena IUD hangs down through the cervix into the vagina. Women who have received the Mirena IUD are instructed to check the string to ensure the device is in place.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration says that Mirena has been associated with a number of serious side effects, including:
- Perforation of the uterine wall or cervix
- Embedment of the device in the uterine wall
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Intrauterine pregnancy (a pregnancy with Mirena in place)
- Group A streptococcal sepsis
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
In 2009, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communications (DDMAC) found that claims made via Bayer’s “Simple Style Program” which marketed Mirena to “busy moms,” were unsubstantiated, noting that the program failed to mention side effects such as weight gain, acne and breast tenderness.
Mirena IUD and Uterine Peforations
Mirena uterine peforation is a serious, life-threatening complication that often requires emergency surgery to correct. This potential Mirena side effect can lead to other serious health consequences, including:
- Damage to other organs
- Need for hysterectomy
- Adhesions and scarring
- Intestinal obstruction
Perforation of the uterus can occur when Mirena is being implanted. Bayer has estimated that this occurs in approximately one per 1,000 – 10,000 insertions. However, Mirena uterine perforations can also occur when the device migrates from its proper position. After the Mirena IUD punctures the uterus, it can even migrate into the abdominal cavity and potentially puncture the bladder or intestines.
Because the potential consequences of a Mirena uterine peforation are so serious, it is important that women who have received this IUD be aware of possible symptoms, including:
- Abnormal bleeding (may be continuous)
- Abdominal pain
- Fatigue, tiredness
- Pelvic infection
- Lost threads
Mirena IUD Lawsuits
A growing number of women from around the country who have suffered uterine perforations and other side effects allegedly due to the Mirena IUD have filed lawsuits claiming Bayer failed to provide adequate warnings about the risks associated with Mirena. Just last month, Bayer filed a motion in New Jersey state court seeking centralization of Mirena lawsuits in a Mass Tort in Superior Court in Middlesex County. In addition to the New Jersey lawsuits, Mirena is also named in a number of other lawsuits filed in various federal jurisdictions.