Mirena is an intrauterine device (IUD) implanted into the uterus for longer term birth control. The Mirena IUD is a small, T-shaped polyethyleneplastic device that contains the and slowly releases the hormone levonorgestrel, a synthetic version of the hormone progestin. This hormone thickens the cervical mucous which in turn prevents sperm from entering the uterus. It also thins the lining of the uterus, reducing the chances of a fertilized egg implanting in the lining and growing. These actions combined help to prevent pregnancy for up to five years. The IUD is inserted into your uterus by your doctor and remains in place until removal.
IUDs such as Mirena have gained popularity as a more convenient and effective form of birth control. While the device is highly effective at preventing pregnancy, some women have experienced life threatening side-effects such as:
- Device Migration
- Intestinal perforations or obstruction
- Uterine perforations
- Organ damage
- Embedment in the uterine wall
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Septic abortion
- Idiopathic intracranial hypertension/pseudotumor cerebri
- Optic nerve damage
- Peritonitis (inflammation of the membrane in the abdominal cavity)
Many of the complications that users suffered from Mirena may only be repairable through painful surgical intervention. Those who suffered from perforations may have diminished fertility, scarring and adhesion. According to the FDA database, more than 45,000 complication reports have been filled against Mirena between 1997-2012. Many women are claiming that Bayer, the Mirena manufacturer, failed to warn that the device is prone to spontaneous migration and subsequent perforation of the uterus.