Jason Stephens | February 1, 2020 | Personal Injury
There are several available options for birth control. One method that has become increasingly popular is the hormonal intrauterine device (IUD). These devices can be used for prolonged periods of time and they do not require remembering to take a pill daily. They can be easily put in by a doctor and then forgotten about for years.
While there is an allure to this form of contraception, there are also dangers that come with it. One brand in particular, Mirena, has faced heavy criticism regarding symptoms that many women encounter when the device is removed. On top of that, women may also face minor and severe side-effects from using the device which can continue long after they stop using it.
What is Mirena?
Mirena is a hormonal IUD that is used for long-term birth control and contraception. The device is T-shaped and it is inserted into a woman’s uterus where it releases a synthetic version of the progesterone hormone. This prevents pregnancy by releasing synthetic hormones into the woman’s body that stops some of the different stages of conception. The device is generally safe and effective for up to five years.
The device is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Besides pregnancy prevention, the synthetic hormone has been found to help women with other health issues. These include:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Endometrial hyperplasia, and
The device is not recommended for women who have had breast or uterine cancer, liver disease, or pelvic inflammatory disease.
Risks Associated With the Mirena IUD
There are several risks associated with using the device.
- There is a 1% failure rate, which means that 1 in 100 women may become pregnant while using the device correctly.
- Sadly, over 50% of pregnancies conceived while a woman has a Mirena device are ectopic.
- The device does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- The device has been known to migrate, which can puncture the uterine wall and/or damage other internal organs, like the like or intestines.
There are also so more modest side effects, which might include are acne, irregular bleeding, fatigue, mood changes, and pelvic pain.
What is the Mirena Crash?
The Mirena Crash is the name given to the set of symptoms that happen after a woman has the device removed. These symptoms can last for days or even months. Mirena crash symptoms include:
- Severe mood swings
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
- Acute headaches
- Fatigue, and
- Delayed fertility.
Sadly, many doctors do not think that the Mirena crash is a real thing. Rather, they attribute it to common symptoms associated with the quick loss of the synthetic hormone produced by the device. Women who have suffered though, are adamant that it is a real disorder.
How to Handle the Mirena Crash
Regardless, doctors do provide some recommendations on how to cope with a Mirena crash. These include:
- Not smoking
- Eliminating sugar and alcohol
- Exercising daily
- Taking over-the-counter medications, and
- Speaking to a therapist if you need help coping with your anxiety or depression.
It is also important to watch your symptoms and get help when needed, especially if you have any of the following: high fever, severe headache, bleeding profusely, acute pain in your abdomen or uterus, or if you have thoughts about harming yourself or others.
Other Complications From a Mirena IUD
Besides the Mirena crash, the IUD has been associated with other serious complications like organ perforation. In August 2017, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, the company that manufactures the IUD, offered $12.2 million to settle numerous cases against it that claimed women who used the device were severely injured when it punctured their internal organs. In 2018, it was estimated that the number of claims included in the settlement would reach at least 4,600.
Birth defects are another complication claimed by past users or Minera. In one case, a woman had side-effects after the device was placed. She went to her doctor to have it removed but he could not find it. He later discovered that it had broken into pieces in her uterus. She had surgery but the doctor was unable to remove all the pieces. A year later, the woman became pregnant. The baby had severe birth defects and died due to the allegedly high amounts of synthetic hormones in her system.
An additional complication from Mirena is potentially developing a neurological disorder. In December 2018, several sets of lawsuits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals. These lawsuits claim that the Mirena device can cause a pseudotumor cerebri, which is also known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Furthermore, the disorder looks like a tumor and many women have been falsely diagnosed as having cancer.
If you’ve experienced the Mirena Crash or suffered injuries because of your IUD, it’s important to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area. You may have a legitimate claim for damages against the manufacturer or the medical professional who implanted the device.