In 2000, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Mirena® IUD as a birth control method.1 This T-shaped device, manufactured by Bayer, is small and flexible and releases a hormone to help make it more effective in preventing pregnancy.
By 2009, the FDA extended the use of the Mirena® IUD as a treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding; however, the agency also noted that the device caused certain medical problems, including displacement and perforation. Many of these problems were generally associated with the spontaneous migration of the IUD.
How does the Mirena® IUD work?
IUDs, unlike birth control pills, are placed in a woman's uterus. They are designed to suppress ovaries from releasing eggs and block sperm.2 A trained medical professional inserts the device or coil into the uterus.
Checking the Mirena® IUD
Once inserted, a woman can make sure the Mirena® IUD is in place by testing its string or checking after each period to see if the device has fallen out. If the string can't be found but there is no indication that the IUD is out, the device or coil may have either migrated or become displaced.
Mirena® IUD spontaneous migration
An IUD can spontaneously move around in the uterus during regular periods and slip out of place. This is common among young women who have never had children. In some cases, the device may push through the walls of the uterus during migration. This is known as perforation and happens to about one in every 1,000 patients.3
Migrating IUDs can do damage to more than a woman’s reproductive organs. They can also migrate to other parts of the body and affect other organs, such as the intestines and bladder.
Signs and symptoms associated with Mirena® IUD perforation
Symptoms associated with Mirena® IUD perforation can include:
- Abdominal pain and cramps
- Smelly vaginal discharge
- Heavy or abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Injury to other organs (bladder, bowels)
- Tubal (ectopic) pregnancy
As for the coil/device migration, symptoms can vary. Some women have reported symptoms of migration that are very similar to perforation. These include abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, miscarriage and infection.
Uterine and even cervix perforation can cause serious problems for a woman. In 2012, the FDA received almost 46,000 complaints linked to Mirena® IUD4 migration and perforation.
Mirena® IUD migration lawsuits
As a result of all of these problems, a number of lawsuits relating to Mirena® IUD migration and perforation have been filed. In many suits, women have claimed that Bayer did not adequately warn about the potential health risks of using the device. The FDA even wrote Bayer about many of its misleading safety claims about the IUD.5 As a result, many more women are considering filing lawsuits against the Mirena® IUD manufacturer for symptoms and injuries related to migration and perforation.