Canadian Jemila Shen suffered severe abdominal cramps a year after being implanted with the popular Mirena IUD contraceptive. But when she went to have the intrauterine device removed, it was nowhere to be found with an ultrasound. It wasn’t until she underwent surgery that doctors found her IUD. It had migrated toward her hip bone.
Shen says she was never warned the device could move from its intended location in her cervix. “It sounds easy – you put it in for five years and forget about it,” she told CTV News. “But look what happened to me.”
Shen has joined thousands of other women in Canada and the United States and filed a lawsuit against Bayer Healthcare, maker of the Mirena IUD.
The Mirena IUD is a flexible, T-shaped device that is inserted into the cervix to prevent pregnancy for up to five years. It releases a small amount of the hormone levonorgestrel. It is considered 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy and is reversible.
The device was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2009 but Health Canada approved the device in 2002. Complications, such as those experienced by Shen, are reportedly rare and include migration and organ perforation. However, in 2013, 52 organ perforations involving the Mirena IUD were reported to Health Canada – about one a week.
Some injuries have been more serious, requiring hospitalizations and surgeries to remove the device. In some cases, women required hysterectomies, which left them sterile. Thousands of women in the United States and Canada have filed Mirena IUD lawsuits alleging they were not adequately warned about the risks associated with the device.
Source: CTV News