K. had only recently gotten the Mirena IUD following the birth of her son. The contraceptive works for up to five years, but K. asked her doctor to remove it. She was becoming increasingly convinced that her Mirena IUD had caused her weight gain, fatigue, moodiness, and her hair to fall out in clumps.
However, when her doctor tried to remove the device, it was nowhere to be found. She had to undergo surgery, where her doctors discovered the device had perforated her uterus and migrated into her abdomen, lodging in her omentum, the tissue that protects and connects the internal organs.
Removing the IUD didn’t stop the complications. Scar tissue and painful cysts bore into her organs requiring four more surgeries, including a hysterectomy at age 24. Doctors say she will need more in the months and years to come as scar tissue continues to grow inside her from the migrated IUD.
K. is among more than 1,200 women who have filed lawsuits against Bayer, maker of the Mirena IUD, alleging side effects from the device cause injuries including organ perforation, pelvic inflammatory disease, and ectopic pregnancy, resulting in pain, disability and numerous surgeries.
Bayer does admit that organ perforation can happen when the device is inserted, but it does not make clear that perforation can happen months or years after implantation. Women need to be made aware of this risks, the lawsuits state.