Paragard IUD Lawsuits
Our medical device injury lawyers are investigating personal injury lawsuits for women who have been injured by the Paragard intrauterine birth control device (IUD). While this medical device works well for many women, some have suffered complications during device removal. Several studies have also linked certain types of birth control with a serious brain injury called “pseudotumor cerebri (PTC).”
Some women who were diagnosed with PTC after using hormonal products have filed product liability lawsuits. Our firm is currently investigating cases in which the Paragard IUD caused dangerous side effects including PTC and injuries during device removal. If you or a loved one used a Paragard IUD and suffered from serious injuries, you may be eligible to file a Paragard IUD lawsuit.
What is the Paragard IUD?
Teva Pharmaceuticals manufactures the Paragard IUD. The device is designed to provide long-term birth control (contraception), and was FDA-approved in 1984. Women who prefer not to take birth control pills often turn to IUDs as an alternative option.
The device is made of a plastic, T-shaped base with copper wire coiled around it. This copper produces an inflammatory reaction in the uterus, which is toxic to sperm and eggs. While it’s in place, it helps protect against pregnancy. The Paragard website states that the product can continue to work for up to 10 years. They advertise it as the “only” IUD that is completely hormone free, and state that it is 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy.
Side effects associated with the product include heavier, longer periods and spotting between periods. The Paragard site states that these side effects usually diminish after two to three months. Women who experience heavy or longer periods after 3 months are urged to contact a healthcare professional.
Paragard May Cause Perforation, and Present Complications Upon Removal
The Paragard website states that occasionally, the Paragard may be difficult to remove “because it is stuck in the uterus.” They add, “Surgery may sometimes be needed to remove Paragard.”
There may be other problems, however, besides the IUD getting stuck. A report made to the FDA’s Medical Product Safety Network notes that one patient went through removal after she’d had the Paragard implanted for 8.5 years. She went to the clinic to have it taken out.
Upon removal of her device, the doctors found that the copper coil that is typically wound around the plastic T-shaped base was missing. There was copper on the “T” arms of the device, and both arms were intact, but there was no copper on the vertical part.
Other potential complications include parts of the device breaking off when removed, which can damage the uterus. If that happens, patients typically have to go through surgery to have the broken pieces removed. In rare cases, a full hysterectomy may be required, which can be devastating.
The Paragard may also perforate the wall of the uterus, particularly when the doctor first implants it. Perforation can cause additional complications, including infection, scarring, or damage to other nearby organs. Surgery is often needed to correct this problem.
Finally, in the rare event that a pregnancy does occur while the Paragard is still in place, there is an increased risk that the pregnancy will be ectopic (outside the uterus). This is an emergency situation that requires immediate medical attention, often involving surgery. An ectopic pregnancy can cause internal bleeding, infertility, or even death.
Birth Control Linked to Dangerous Brain Injury
Several studies have linked various types of birth control with PTC, a serious injury in which pressure increases inside the skull for no obvious reason. “Pseudotumor” means “false tumor.” The term is used because symptoms are similar to those that occur with a brain tumor, except there is no tumor. Symptoms include the following:
- Moderate to severe headaches
- Nausea, vomiting, dizziness
- Ringing in the ears
- Vision problems
- Neck, shoulder, or back pain
- Seeing light flashes
PTC is caused when too much cerebrospinal fluid collects around the brain. It may be because the body is making too much of that fluid, or because it’s not reabsorbing enough. The fluid levels rise, increasing pressure on the brain. This can cause the optic nerve to swell up, which is why the condition affects vision. The condition may also be called “intracranial hypertension (ICH),” which means the pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid is high.
Treatments for PTC typically include medications to help lower the amount of fluid on the brain, and other treatments depending on the symptoms. These may include surgical treatment on the optic nerve, or brain surgery.
Studies have linked birth control products to an increased risk of PTC (ICH). In 2015, researchers analyzed the FDA’s adverse events reporting system (FAERS) database looking for cases of ICH in women using the Mirena IUD. They found a “higher than expected” number of reports of ICH in those using the Mirena as opposed to those who were not.
In a 2017 study, researchers evaluated the use of IUD devices that release the hormone levonogestrel in patients with PTC. They found that those women using these devices were over seven times more likely to develop PTC.
Over 200 Mirena lawsuits have been filed with plaintiffs alleging that the birth control device caused ICH. In 2017, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) ordered that all of the federally-filed Mirena ICH lawsuits be centralized in one court in the Southern District of New York.
Types of Injuries Associated with the Copper Paragard IUD
Types of injuries that may be associated with the Paragard IUD include the following:
- IUD “stuck” in the uterus
- Perforation of the uterus
- Migration of the device
- Device breakage leading to surgery
- Copper wire left behind in the body, potentially causing inflammation and injury
- Organ damage
- Ectopic pregnancy
File a Paragard IUD Lawsuit
If you or a loved one was implanted with the Paragard IUD and then experienced serious side effects such as those listed above, you may be eligible to file a Paragard IUD lawsuit to recover damages. Chaffin Luhana is currently investigating these cases and invites you to contact us or call today at 1-888-480-1123.