Despite the lack of medical research conducted on the Mirena IUD and similar devices among this age group, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is  now encouraging teenaged girls looking for birth control to consider this “set and forget” method, according to a recent report by Reuters.

The ACOG said that’s because IUDs like the Mirena device are more reliable than condoms or birth control pills, and many teens tend to use these methods inconsistently or not at all. What this report, published Sept. 24, fails to mention though, is that virtually no clinical testing has been done by Mirena on adolescent women. In fact, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals recommends on its website that Mirena is only recommended for women who have had at least one child. This is because “most of the medical research conducted on Mirena for FDA approval was among women who had at least one child,” the manufacturer stated.

And that doesn’t even account for the Mirena side effects that have been seen to affect women of all ages who have been implanted with the device. In many instances since the IUD device was introduced by Bayer in 2000, patients and their doctors have filed Mirena IUD lawsuits claiming to have experienced the following side effects:

  • Embedment in the uterine wall
  • Uterine perforations
  • Infertility
  • Infection
  • Intestinal perforations
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease

The ACOG does briefly acknowledge the injuries that have been linked to Mirena and other IUDs, but dismisses them as only affecting a limited amount of the population. For example, Dr. David L. Eisenberg, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University comments on the link between IUD devices and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and its potential to cause infertility as a “myth.”

“All adolescents should be educated on all their birth control options,” he said.

Mirena injuries have recently ignited a slew of lawsuits against Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals. This August, they asked the New Jersey Supreme Court to centralize the litigation involving the IUD contraceptives by way of an Application of Centralized Management. If this request is granted, all legal proceedings will be handled by a single judge.

As of Aug. 15, there were at least 16 lawsuits pending in Morris County Superior Court, New Jersey. Trial dates for these cases, which were brought on behalf of 24 plaintiffs, have not yet been scheduled.

Published October 15, 2012 by