What Is Mirena?
Mirena is a hormonal IUD, a type of long-acting removable birth control, or LARC. It is made of flexible plastic and levonorgestrel, a hormonal medication that is used in a variety of birth controls, including Plan B. Hormonal IUDs are one of the most popular kinds of birth control because of their success rate and claimed benefits, which include no daily pill and lighter periods.
However, some women have reported severe side effects from using Mirena, including uterine perforation and hypertension. Bayer is facing lawsuits for allegedly causing these conditions in patients using Mirena.
If you are one of the women who has experienced these or other complications, contact us to find out if you have a case. Mirena may have left a lasting and harmful impact on your life. There’s no reason to delay getting the justice you deserve. The consultation is free and you pay nothing unless your case is successful.
Who Makes Mirena?
Mirena is produced by Bayer, which manufactures two other types of hormonal IUD: Kyleena and Skyla. Bayer also manufactures Essure, the metal coil device used for female sterilization. Bayer sought and was awarded FDA approval for the Mirena device in 2000.
Side Effects of Mirena IUDs
The side effects that are most commonly associated with Mirena include:
- Pelvic pain
- Tenderness in the breasts
- Irregular bleeding (which usually improves after six months of using Mirena)
- Mood changes
Complications and Risks of Using Mirena
Risks of Uterine Perforation
There is a risk that Mirena will perforate the uterus, although it is supposed to be rare. Perforation of the uterus is more likely to occur if the IUD is inserted in the postpartum period after giving birth. Bayer’s warning label for the Mirena device cautions that perforation could occur during the insertion of the IUD. However, many women claim that the device caused perforation afterward and that they were not adequately informed of this risk.
Complications of Perforation
Uterine perforation occurs during about one of every thousand IUD insertions and is supposed to almost always occur during the insertion process. Many women with Mirena, however, have claimed that they experienced uterine perforation afterward and that Bayer had failed to warn them of this possibility.
Symptoms of Perforation
Severe abdominal pain during or after the procedure could be a sign of uterine perforation. Because there may be pain or cramping during the procedure, it is recommended to immediately inform the doctor if the pain is severe or if it continues more than thirty minutes after the procedure. If severe abdominal pain occurs at any time, women experiencing it should report it immediately.
Uterine perforation, if left untreated, can carry the risk of causing damage to the bowels, bladder, or nearby blood vessels, as well as possibly causing sepsis or hemorrhaging. This condition can require surgery to treat.
Mirena and Hypertension
Another risk of Mirena that isn’t listed in the possible side effects is hypertension. Some women who have used Mirena have developed intracranial hypertension, which develops when spinal fluid builds up too high in the skull, creating pressure. Symptoms of intracranial hypertension are severe headaches, a whooshing noise in the ears, and papilledema, or visual changes, which could result in vision loss or blindness. Other possible symptoms include:
- Sharp pain in the arms, legs, and back
- Severe neck stiffness
- Vomiting and nausea
- Memory difficulties
- Numbness in the face, hands, and feet
- Exercise intolerance
A research study has found a link between Mirena’s dosage of levonorgestrel and intracranial hypertension. Many women have developed intracranial hypertension as a complication of using Mirena and have initiated lawsuits against Bayer.
Risks of Pregnancy
With Mirena, the risks of pregnancy are less than one percent. However, if a pregnancy does occur while using Mirena, because of the birth control effects of the IUD, it is more likely to be an ectopic pregnancy.
Risks of STIs
Mirena does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Women using Mirena or another IUD would need to take regular precautions to protect themselves against contracting an STI. Mirena could, if an STI is contracted before its insertion, make the symptoms of the STI worse when it’s inserted.
Mirena-Related Litigation Against Bayer
Lawsuits against Bayer began to accumulate in 2011, before they were consolidated into one case in New York in 2013. The plaintiffs allege that they experienced uterine perforation due to using Mirena. Warning labels on Mirena do include the risk of perforation, but only during insertion. The women suing Bayer over Mirena claim that the uterine perforation occurred after the insertion, rather than during and that Bayer failed to warn them of the risks of later perforation.
Bayer claimed that perforation can only occur during insertion, however, and that perforation could go undetected for some time. A judge in New York ruled in 2016 in favor of Bayer, saying that the plaintiffs had failed to prove that Bayer was negligent.
As of 2018, other women were suing Bayer over severe side effects that they experienced while using Mirena. The results of these cases have not yet been decided.
Should You Consider a Lawsuit Against The Makers of Mirena?
If you have a Mirena device and have experienced complications, such as uterine perforation or intracranial hypertension, and believe that you were not sufficiently warned about the risks of those complications, you may have a case against Bayer. Contact Farah & Farah now to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified attorneys. You pay nothing unless your case is successful.