If you are among the millions of women who have used the Mirena IUD to prevent pregnancy, you may have taken a bigger risk than you realized. Over the past several years, Mirena has been the subject of thousands of lawsuits alleging the IUD migrated or caused a perforated uterus. And more recently, Mirena has been linked to a serious and debilitating brain condition. If you have taken Mirena and are having symptoms, we may be able to help you.
At John Foy & Associates, we have a long history of getting money for people injured by dangerous drugs and dangerous devices like the Mirena IUD, and we have been carefully monitoring developments on Mirena’s effect on the brain. If you believe you have been injured by Mirena, we’d like to talk to you, at no charge, to listen to your story and explain how we can help. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
How is Mirena supposed to work?
Mirena is an intrauterine device, or IUD, a type of contraceptive that is inserted in the uterus by a doctor. T-shaped and small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, Mirena is manufactured by Bayer and was first introduced to the public in 2000.
Mirena contains the hormone levonorgestrel. Mirena works by slowly releasing the hormone into a woman’s uterus. Unlike birth control pills that have to be taken every day, Mirena remains effective for five years, and the manufacturer claims it is 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. If a woman wants to get pregnant, she can have her doctor remove the device and normal fertility levels return quickly.
It sounds like a miracle solution, and in fact Mirena is the most commonly prescribed IUD in the world. But in some women, Mirena has led to serious and devastating consequences.
What kinds of problems does Mirena cause?
Thousands of women have filed product liability lawsuits claiming that Bayer did not do enough to warn them of the danger that the device could spontaneously migrate from its original position in the uterus. These lawsuits alleged that women had suffered injuries and complications including:
- Uterine perforation. This serious condition can cause chronic infections, internal adhesions, and damage to the organs. It may take more than one surgery to remedy the condition and fully remove the IUD. Bayer downplayed this risk as a rare occurrence, despite a study that concluded it was a frequent complication.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease. An IUD that migrates out of its position can cause a bacterial infection that leads to pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Ectopic pregnancy. This is a life-threatening condition that happens when an egg is fertilized outside the uterus. Women who have had ectopic pregnancies may be left infertile.
- Expulsion of the device. Mirena has been reported to slip out without being noticed, which can lead to an unwanted pregnancy.
In 2009, after receiving tens of thousands of complaints, the FDA issued a warning letter to Bayer, saying its TV ads were misleading and that Bayer had exaggerated the benefits of Mirena and downplayed the risks. It said Bayer didn’t properly disclose health risks by failing to warn people with prior urinary tract infections, pelvic inflammatory disease and cancers.
Does Mirena cause intracranial hypertension?
More recently, lawsuits have been filed alleging that Mirena causes idiopathic intracranial hypertension, or IIH. IIH is a severe, but relatively rare, disorder that causes pressure in the spaces around the brain and spinal cord. These spaces are filled with cerebrospinal fluid, but when the fluid levels become elevated, this places pressure on the brain, similar to the type of pressure a tumor would cause. Because of this, IIH is sometimes called “pseudotumor celebri” (PTC), or “false tumor.”
IIH typically causes headaches and loss of vision, and it may cause temporary blindness of permanent vision loss. Some patients suffer ringing in their ears or neck and shoulder pain. Symptoms of IIH include:
- The headache may be most severe upon waking up in the morning, or it may be aggravated by changing positions. Pain may be either sharp or dull
- Vision troubles. This includes vision loss, blind spots, lack of peripheral vision, double vision or temporary blindness.
- Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears.
- Nausea and vomiting.
The link between levonorgestrel (the hormone in Mirena) and intracranial hypertension has been known for more than 20 years. In a 2015 study, researchers reviewed the FDA’s database and found a higher than expected number of reports of intracranial hypertension among Mirena users. And in 2017, a study was published that reviewed medical databases and concluded that Mirena users had a seven times greater risk of developing IIH. The evidence is becoming clearer all the time that Mirena causes IIH, yet Bayer has not provided any warnings that women could suffer a serious brain condition that might permanently damage their vision and change the course of their lives.
How do I know if I have a claim?
If you have been diagnosed with IIH and you have been using Mirena, you have a claim. It’s tempting to second-guess the cause of your condition, but the fact is, Mirena is not as safe as Bayer would like you to believe. Despite the research, Bayer doesn’t warn you about brain injuries, and that means Bayer can be held liable for the damage it has done to the lives of thousands of women.
If you do have a claim, you may be able to recover money that will pay for your treatment, pain, the loss of quality of life because of your condition, and even your lost time from work. The best way to find out if you have a claim and get started is to schedule a consultation with a medical injury lawyer.
Talk to a Mirena IUD Birth Control Lawsuit Lawyer
John Foy and Associates is here to help you if you have been injured by a Mirena IUD. We have extensive experience taking on complicated medical cases and getting the companies who are responsible to pay. Let us meet with you for free to talk about your injuries – we won’t ever charge you a fee if we don’t win money for you. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.