Dozens of women have filed lawsuits after suffering from Mirena perforation of the uterus. This debilitating complication can occur when Mirena spontaneously migrates, punctures the uterine wall, and moves into the abdominal cavity. Surgery is usually required to remove Mirena.
Mirena is an intra-uterine contraceptive (IUD) created by Bayer HealthCare. The T-shaped device is implanted into a woman’s uterus, and it prevents pregnancy by releasing the synthetic hormone levonorgestrel. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Mirena in 2000 to prevent pregnancy, and it is used by more than 2 million American women.
Mirena Perforation of the Uterus
Perforation of the uterus can occur spontaneously or during the implantation procedure. It is very rare for Mirena to spontaneously perforate the uterus. Experts estimate that perforation occurs in 1 out of 1,000 – 10,000 implantations.
Certain risk factors increase a woman’s risk of perforation. It is more likely in women who have an atypical shaped uterus or a retroverted uterus. Women who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding may also have a higher risk of perforation.
What are the risks?
Doctors may fail to diagnose a perforation for months or years. Failure to diagnose may increase the risk of permanent complications. If the retrieval threads are “missing,” a doctor may falsely assume that Mirena has fallen out.
Mirena may migrate outside the uterus, into the abdominal cavity. Serious complications include intestinal perforation or obstruction, infection, punctured blood vessels, and more.
Mirena may fail to prevent pregnancy. A pregnancy that occurs when the uterus is perforated or an IUD is still implanted can potentially result in miscarriage or premature birth. It is also life-threatening for the mother.
Scarring and/or damage to the uterus may impair fertility. The uterus may also be damaged if the woman requires surgery to remove Mirena.
Symptoms of Perforation of the Uterus
- Abdominal pain
- Abnormal bleeding (may be continuous or heavy)
- Fatigue, lethargy
- Mirena threads are missing