A recent article on NYMag.com breathlessly described the evangelistic fervor with which some women have purportedly adopted the IUD as their first-line choice of birth control.  Strangely though, the report fails to give equal time to any of the women who have filed Mirena lawsuits following uterine perforations, IUD migration, and other side effects allegedly caused by the device.

Mirena and IUD Evangelism

According to the article, IUDs like Mirena are now being used by 10% of women who use birth control, a sharp increase over the past decade.  These devices are touted in the report as “the birth control that converts.”

“You can’t tell a woman’s method of birth control by looking at her, but you’ll know if she’s using an IUD, or intrauterine device, because she won’t be able to shut up about it. My friends who have IUDs, not known to recommend so much as a hairdresser, extol the virtues of the device with the unsolicited but contagious conviction of the Avon lady. The difference is they’re not making a commission,” the opening paragraph states.

The author then goes on to detail conversations with women who enthusiastically praise the IUD. “Women who have IUDs seem eager to defend them and argue in favor of switching to them,” one of those interviewed says.  The author writes that her unscientific survey suggests that a vocal IUD enthusiast can convert two women a year.  She credits this phenomenon, in part, with the growing popularity of Mirena and other IUDs.

Mirena Lawsuits

What is never mentioned in the article are the growing number of Mirena IUD lawsuits being filed by women around the country who have allegedly suffered injuries that put their fertility, and potentially, even their lives, at risk.  As of August, at least 16 Mirena lawsuits were pending in New Jersey Superior Courts.   Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, the maker of Mirena, may be expecting a much larger litigation, as it recently petitioned the New Jersey Supreme Court to consolidate the Mirena claims in a single consolidated proceeding in Middlesex County.

Many Mirena IUD lawsuits claim Bayer downplayed the risks of serious injuries, including spontaneous device migration that occurs long after implantation.  When this occurs, Mirena users risk suffering a long list of potential complications if the IUD is not located and removed right away, including:

  • Abscesses
  • Erosion of nearby tissue
  • Infertility
  • Inflammation of the membrane that  the abdominal cavity and internal organs (Peritonitis)
  • Intestinal perforations or obstruction
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Uterine perforation
  • Embedment in the uterine wall
  • Ectopic pregnancy

Among other things, Mirena lawsuits point out that Bayer was cited via a U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warning letter in 2009 for overstating the benefits of Mirena and downplaying its potential side effects in one of its marketing programs for the IUD.  The NYMag.com article makes no mention of that incident either.

There’s no doubt that many women who use Mirena love it for its convenience, and many have been fortunate not to experience any serious issues with their IUD.  But women considering Mirena need to be aware of the risks they could face.  Unfortunately, they won’t have any idea of what those risks might be if they depend on the one-sided view provided by the NYMag.com article.

Published December 19, 2012 by