45,697.

That’s how many adverse event reports were filed over the Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals-manufactured birth control device, Mirena between November 1997 and June 2012, according to a statistic on AdverseEvents.com. Since then, more and more Mirena lawsuits have begun to be filed in courts around the U.S., with more expected to in the coming months.

Plaintiffs who have filed Mirena lawsuits claim the t-shaped intrauterine device migrated from the uterus, where it was originally implanted by a health care professional, to other parts of the body. As a result, they developed abscesses, uterine perforations, infection, intestinal perforations, and other unpleasant side effects. And that’s not all. Some women even allege Mirena permanently harmed their fertility, and if they were able to carry a child, experienced ectopic pregnancies.

As these kinds of accounts continue to pile up, Bayer is starting to take action. The company recently moved that the New Jersey Supreme Court consolidate all lawsuits into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) based in Superior Court, Middlesex County, NJ. According to the company’s petition last August, 16 Mirena lawsuits were pending in New Jersey.

The Mirena IUD is still being touted as a first-line form of contraception by some medical experts, despite the mounting litigation. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), for example, recently issued its recommendation that Mirena be used in young women and teenagers, since the IUD is supposedly more reliable than birth control pills in preventing pregnancy. What the ACOG fails to mention, though, is that on Mirena’s website, it is only recommended that women who have already had one child consider the IUD.

Sound fishy? We think so, too. Thankfully, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has started to catch on. In 2009, the agency sent a letter to Bayer, scolding them for overstating Mirena’s efficiency, and minimizing the risks associated with the device.

Only time will tell how Mirena lawsuits will fare in court.

Published November 30, 2012 by