What’s more, the IUD was, until recently, costly and only available to women who have the financial resources to afford the device. Under changes to the health act under the Obama Administration, the device will be available to anyone for whom a doctor feels is the most appropriate form of contraception.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the T-shaped plastic device in 2000. Inserted into place by a doctor, the flexible IUD remains in the woman’s body for up to five years and releases hormones into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. After about five years, the device becomes discharged and must be replaced.
Problems that Mirena manufacturer Bayer has warned about, according to Bayer, include the potential for uterine perforation at the point of insertion.
However, for many, Mirena side effects have included migration of the device and uterine perforation long after insertion - sometimes years. Attorneys for plaintiffs have noted that Bayer Mirena warnings referencing the potential for perforation and spontaneous migration are inadequate.
In some cases, according to a report appearing in The National Law Journal (4/22/13), the devices have migrated. Because they were no longer in the proper position, women have become pregnant in spite of having the devices deployed. For others, uterine perforation was so extreme that the host became infertile. Still others have filed Mirena lawsuits after their IUD became attached to the bowels or diaphragm. Surgery is often required to locate and then remove the device.
The National Law Journal reports that more than two million women in the US have used the Mirena IUD in the last decade.
The US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered about 40 cases coordinated before US District Judge Cathy Seibel in White Plains, New York. The order was issued April 8, and Seibel has scheduled the first status conference in the litigation for May 17.
Another 85 Mirena lawsuits are reported to be pending in state courts in New Jersey.
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Many are paying a different price now.
Early on, Bayer marketed the IUD to “busy moms,” and claimed Mirena would enhance their sex drive, and promise to make them “look and feel great.” However, according to the US Health and Human Services’ Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising and Communications, the opposite was true with the agency, concluding that Mirena birth control side effects include decreased libido, weight gain and acne.
Based on allegations that Bayer Mirena warnings were inadequate, lawsuits are being filed.