Lawsuits Allege Mirena Birth Control Migrated, Perforated Uterus

Two new product liability lawsuits have been filed in the federal court system by women who allege that they suffered complications from Mirena IUD, where the implanted birth control device perforated their urterus and migrated to other parts of their body. 

The cases were filed by Desaree Nicole Lee Johnson in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, and by Melody and Ronail Williams in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

Both Mirena lawsuits allege that the intrauterine device (IUD) moved from where it was originally implanted and punctured the uterus. The women allege that inadequate warnings were provided about the risk of these complications, which have been reported among a number of women throughout the United States.

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Mirena Lawsuits

Migrations and perforations caused by Mirena birth control have resulted in lawsuits nationwide.

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Mirena Birth Control Problems Reported by Women

The Mirena IUD is a t-shaped birth control device that is implanted in the uterus for up to five years. It is supposed to be easily removable and is promoted as a way to free woman from worrying about birth control.

Placement is designed to prevent pregnancy by keeping the sperm from the egg, and the device also releases levonorgestrel, a progestin designed to keep a woman’s ovaries from releasing eggs for fertilization.

Mirena was first introduced by Bayer in 2000, and was promoted as a hassle-free form of birth control. However, women and their doctors have reported a number of serious Mirena injuries when the device migrated from its initial implant location, perforated the uterus and other organs, caused infections and abscesses, or was unknowingly expelled from the body, leaving women unprotected against the chance of pregnancy.

According to the complaint filed by Johnson (PDF), who is 21 years old, she received the Mirena IUD in May 2009, and had to undergo a hysterectomy in March 2010 due to pelvic pain caused by the device. Doctors discovered that the IUD had perforated her uterus and was not where it should be. The Mirena was found embedded in the omentum, inferior to the liver. She became pregnant shortly after it was removed, but the pregnancy was non-viable and the Johnson indicates that she is now concerned that she may be infertile.

According to the complaint filed by Williams and her husband (PDF), the 32 year old also experienced problems where her Mirena IUD migrated less than one year after it was implanted. Williams received the IUD in January 2010, but by November a CT scan of her abdomen showed that the Mirena had eroded through the wall of her uterus. Doctors were unable to remove Williams’ IUD until late December, when it was found that the Mirena had migrated through the opening of her right fallopian tube.

Mounting Mirena Migration, Perforation Lawsuits Filed Nationwide

The complaints are believed to be the first lawsuits over Mirena birth control filed in the federal court system since October 2011, but a number of cases have been filed in New Jersey state court containing similar allegations.

In August, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals filed a petition to consolidate the Mirena litigation in New Jersey, asking the state Supreme Court to centralize all complaints filed throughout New Jersey for pretrial proceedings as part of a “mass tort” or “multi-county litigation”.

The drug maker indicated that there were at least 16 product liability lawsuits pending in the state at that time, which were brought on behalf of more than 24 plaintiffs. However, Bayer suggested that they expect the number of complaints to continue to increase as Mirena lawyers continue to investigate potential claims on behalf of women throughout the United States.

The complaints involve similar allegations to those raised by Johnson and Williams, indicating that Bayer knew about the risk of spontaneous migration or uterine perforation, yet failed to provide women or the medical community with adequate information about the risk of this potential injury.


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