According to the prescription label for Mirena that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, hormonal intrauterine devices such as Mirena are more than 99% effect at preventing pregnancy. By comparison, condoms are about 97% effective, even with perfect use.
An intrauterine device, or IUD, is a small plastic or metal device that is placed in the uterus by a physician to prevent pregnancy. Some IUDs, including Mirena, use low-dose hormones as an additional aide to lowering the risk of conception, while other IUDs that are made of copper contain no hormones whatsoever.
Some women who are currently using a Mirena IUD may become pregnant while the IUD is still in the uterus. Becoming pregnant with Mirena can place the mother and her baby at risk of a number of serious complications, including ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, septic abortion, and infertility. In most cases, women who become pregnant while still using Mirena will be unable to carry the baby to term.
In October 2009, the FDA issued a warning letter due to the increased risk of side effects found among patients using a Mirena birth control device. According to the agency’s warning about Mirena, the manufacturer of the IUD overstated the benefits of using Mirena while failing to properly alert patients about the potential health risks of the device. Officials with Health Canada have also issued a Mirena warning about the increased risk of side effects for users of the IUD.
Women who use Mirena face an increased risk of a number of serious side effects, including uterine perforation, migration of the IUD outside the uterus, infection, adhesions, damage to nearby organs or blood vessels, and pelvic inflammatory disease. These complications may require a woman to undergo surgery in order to remove the IUD or to repair injuries caused by the device.
Lawyers involved with the Mirena litigation expect that lawsuits which have been filed by patients injured by the IUD will be handled through a multi-district litigation case (MDL), rather than a class action lawsuit. Although the lawsuits involved in an MDL are consolidated in a single court to speed up the legal process, each case remains separate, rather than being consolidated in a class.
Women who have used Mirena birth control and developed complications from the device—including internal injuries, pregnancy complications, or side effects requiring surgery—may be eligible to file a lawsuit. For a free legal consultation from an attorney, contact the law firm of Heygood, Orr & Pearson to find out if you may be eligible. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out the free case evaluation form located on this page.