Attention Women: Choose Your Birth Control Wisely

woman hurt by Mirena IUD

Guest blogger: Carolyn Marsili

I'm Carolyn Marsili, the mass torts coordinator at Edgar Snyder & Associates. I help with cases involving medications, devices, or other products that have seriously injured people. My job can be hard mentally and emotionally, because I work with clients whose lives have literally been turned upside-down by something they thought was safe. I listen to their daily struggles – paying their bills, dealing with their ongoing medical complications, and taking care of their families. It's also what makes my job worthwhile, to know that I'm able to help people when they need it most.

Recently I've seen a lot of cases concerning women who have suffered serious injuries from Mirena intrauterine devices, also known as IUDs. The Mirena IUD appeals to many women, because it seems convenient. You don't need to remember a daily pill or always be prepared. A gynecologist implants the device, which releases small amounts of the hormone levonorgestrel to prevent pregnancy. A woman who doesn't experience any issues can have the same IUD for up to 5 years, but unfortunately, many women don't make it that long. They suffer so many problems that they have to have it surgically removed.

One of the most serious medical complications (not listed as a side effect) we've seen is called "migration." Mirena IUDs can move, or migrate, to other parts of the body, sometimes puncturing or perforating the abdomen and causing damage to major organs. They also can become embedded in other parts of the body and result in infections that can be life-threatening. Women who experience these complications often suffer permanent damage to their bodies. Symptoms of migration include:

  • Abdominal or pelvic pain — often severe
  • Bloody urine
  • Heavy spotting or bleeding
  • Recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs)

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms or other serious complications with your Mirena IUD, please get to a doctor as soon as possible.

While Mirena appeared to be a great option for birth control, many women did not realize or understand the many side effects and potential problems the Mirena could cause. Remember though, that it's only recommended for women who have had at least one child, because it can cause infertility. I've even heard that teens have gotten the Mirena IUD, and some choose it to help heavy menstrual cycles.

If I could give one recommendation regarding the Mirena IUD, it would be: Please understand what you're getting into. Your doctor or nurse should go over the risks and side effects involved, but don't rely on them alone. Know the pros and cons so you can weigh the risks and make the best decision for you. Consider all birth control options, and don't choose Mirena simply for the convenience factor.

A few more tips to keep in mind:

  • Use Mirena as directed – it's recommended for women who have had at least one child.
  • If you decide to have a Mirena IUD implanted, make sure you have a follow-up appointment after 4-6 weeks.
  • If you experience problems, see your doctor as soon as possible. Don't wait.
  • Write down your side effects/symptoms, including dates, pain level, etc. It makes you aware of issues you're having with your Mirena IUD and may help your doctor evaluate your condition.
  • If you experience symptoms of migration, seek medical help. Then contact us to learn your legal options. Your call will be completely confidential, and we have women available to speak with you for a free legal consultation. You may have a case and deserve compensation for your medical bills, surgery fees, and missed paychecks – you owe it to yourself to find out how we can help.

As a woman, I know how scary it can be to think about the risks and side effects of birth control. There are dozens of options, which makes it difficult to know which one to choose. Do your research and make sure you're aware about any drug or device before putting it into your body.

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