Bayer Pharmaceuticals released the Mirena IUD in 2000. While this product has been used successfully by millions of patients, it also has its problems.
Since 2011, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has received nearly 112,000 reports of adverse events caused by the product. In 2021 alone, doctors and patients reported over 4,000 adverse events due to the Mirena IUD.
The Mirena IUD has been known to move or displace from the uterus. 474 of the adverse events reported last year involved dislocation of the device.
Here are some of the symptoms that can tell you whether your Mirena IUD has moved.
The Mirena IUD
The Mirena IUD is a T-shaped device that releases a hormone called Levonorgestrel. Bayer is not exactly sure how it works, but the company thinks that the hormone thickens the cervical mucus and thins the uterine wall. These changes prevent sperm from reaching an egg and prevent the egg from implanting in the uterus.
Doctors implant the Mirena IUD during an outpatient procedure. The IUD sits inside the uterus, with the lateral posts resting in the uterine wall like a grappling hook.
The FDA approved the Mirena IUD to remain inside a patient for up to five years.
Problems with the Mirena IUD
Many patients have experienced “device dislocation.” This means that the IUD migrates out of the uterus. This happens in two ways.
First, the IUD can simply lose its grip on the uterine wall and slip out of the uterus. This is not necessarily dangerous. But it can result in pregnancy since the IUD has moved out of its intended location.
Second, and more dangerously, a lateral post can pierce the uterine wall. The IUD works its way out of the uterus through the hole it created. This leaves the IUD floating freely in your abdomen. There, it can damage other organs.
Signs Your Mirena IUD Has Moved
Your Mirena IUD has lines running to the IUD through your cervix. After the procedure to implant your IUD, your doctor will explain how to feel the lines to check the IUD.
If your IUD moves, the lines will feel longer or shorter than normal. In some cases, the lines may disappear altogether. This could indicate that your IUD has pierced your uterus and migrated into your abdomen.
Other symptoms you may experience after your Mirena IUD moves include:
- Abdominal pain
- Vaginal bleeding between periods
- Heavier than normal periods
- Unusual cramping
- Vaginal discharge
If you have any of these symptoms, you may need a doctor to examine the placement of your Mirena IUD.
Complications After Device Dislocation
If the Mirena IUD moves into your abdominal cavity, you could experience:
- Internal bleeding
- Perforation of your organs
- Scarring of your organs
According to FDA adverse event reports, eight patients have died from complications due to a Mirena IUD dislocation. The most common reasons for death were hemorrhage, pelvic inflammatory disease, and uterine rupture.
Treatment for Device Dislocation
If your Mirena IUD moves out of your uterus, treatment will depend on where it moved. If the IUD moves down, your doctor will probably remove it. If you want a replacement IUD, the doctor can implant a new Mirena IUD within seven days of your next period.
If your Mirena IUD moved into your abdominal cavity, the doctor will probably order an ultrasound to try to find it. If the ultrasound confirms the IUD has moved, the doctor will probably recommend surgical removal of the device.
The surgery will require general anesthesia because the doctor will probably need to open your abdomen to retrieve the Mirena IUD.
Are Mirena IUDs Defective?
Bayer has survived several product liability lawsuits over the Mirena IUD. The problem so far has been connecting health problems to a product defect in the Mirena IUD.
But when a Mirena IUD moves and causes injury, you may be entitled to compensation. A product liability lawyer can help you prove the defective shape or construction of the IUD that caused your injuries. Contact a lawyer to learn more about your options.