Paragard IUD Injuries: 4 Alarming Complications Leading to Lawsuits

Paragard IUD Injuries

Second only to birth control pills, intrauterine devices (IUDs) are preferred by around 23% of women worldwide who wish for reversible birth control procedures. Comprising both hormonal and copper devices, their efficacy varies between 3 to 10 years.

However, in recent years, there has been a lot of criticism around Paragard, the only non-hormonal copper IUD available in the US markets. Many women have complained about serious internal injuries from the device breaking off during removal. This inherent design defect has triggered a wave of lawsuits against Teva Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of the IUD.

This blog post will take you through the four most serious injuries associated with Paragard IUD, and will also highlight the current legal realm surrounding the wonder device.

Overview of Paragard IUD

Approved by the FDA in 1984, the Paragard IUD is a non-hormonal, long-term birth control option that has been on the market for over three decades. The device is made of plastic and comes encased in copper wire.

Copper causes an inflammatory reaction, which has cytotoxic effects on sperm. This method of action prevents fertilization and implantation, resulting in long-term contraception.

TorHoerman Law states that the manufacturers claim the product is 99% effective and can provide continuous contraception for up to 10 years.

You are advised to refrain from using the IUD if you are expecting or diagnosed with Wilson’s disease. This disease is a genetic condition that favors copper accumulation in your body.

Paragard IUD starts working immediately. However, upon insertion, you may feel light-headed and experience intense pain around the abdomen. For the initial few weeks, some women might experience heavy cramps and menstrual bleeding. However, for most, these side effects subside with time.

The danger, as mentioned earlier, comes with the design of the device. The IUD can migrate or break into smaller fragments that pose additional internal injury risk. The next few sections will highlight the four major risks of using Paragard IUDs.

Organ Perforation

Organ perforation is a severe complication that can occur during Paragard IUD insertion or spontaneously after placement. It occurs when the IUD punctures the uterine wall or cervix, damaging nearby organs such as the bladder or intestines.

It often starts with severe abdominal pain, heavy bleeding, and fever. Ignoring these signs can put you at risk of life-threatening infections, internal scarring, and even infertility.

Risk factors for perforation include a history of uterine surgery, abnormal uterine anatomy, and insertion technique. Proper training and ultrasound guidance during insertion can help reduce the risk of perforation.

According to Drugwatch, using the device four to six weeks after delivery increased the chance of perforation seven-fold. If implanted while breastfeeding, the risk of perforation rose by around one-third.

Ectopic Pregnancy

According to the Mayo Clinic, less than 1% of women get pregnant in the first year after the IUD implant. However, conceiving with the IUD  still inside puts you at high risk of ectopic pregnancy. This is a grave medical condition where a fertilized egg implants usually in the fallopian tubes.

Such unnatural pregnancies can cause severe abdominal pain and abnormal bleeding. If left untreated, an ectopic pregnancy can damage the fallopian tube, leading to fatal consequences. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to avoid these dangers

Women with a Paragard IUD should be aware of the signs and symptoms of ectopic pregnancy. They must seek immediate medical attention if they experience any unusual pain or bleeding, even if they believe their IUD is still in place.

Treatment for ectopic pregnancy typically involves medication (methotrexate) or surgery to remove the embryo and repair any damaged tissue.

Device Migration

As scary as it may sound, the implanted IUD can indeed shift from its position in the uterus. The device can even rotate or become embedded in the uterine wall. Migration can happen anytime after the insertion, or due to uterine contractions, or trauma to the pelvic area.

A migrated IUD may cause severe cramping, abnormal bleeding, and discomfort during intercourse. However, there are a few physical signs of device migration that can be helpful. These include shortened or missing strings and the inability to feel the device during self-examination.

Imaging tests, such as ultrasound or X-ray, can help determine the IUD’s location and guide the appropriate course of action, which may involve surgical removal.

A Personal Story of Excruciating Pain

Emily, a 24-year-old seeking a long-acting birth control solution, chose the Paragard IUD. Known for its reliability, the device promised years of worry-free contraception. However, her experience went awry.

Her body did not react well to Paragard and she endured months of severe abdominal pain. To make matters worse, even multiple ultrasounds could not pinpoint the cause.

Finally, after significant physical and emotional strain, a definitive diagnosis arrived. Imaging revealed a serious issue: the IUD had moved from the uterus to the cervix. This unexpected displacement required urgent surgical removal.

While Emily’s story is unique, it’s not alone. If you have suffered from these IUD-related complications, you can file a Paragard lawsuit alleging that the manufacturers, Cooper Surgical and Teva Pharmaceuticals, indulged in unfair marketing practices. You can sue these pharma giants for underplaying the fatal risks involved with their IUDs.

Device Breakage and Embedment

Device breakage is a rare but serious complication associated with the Paragard IUD. In some cases, the IUD can fracture or break inside the uterus, causing fragments to embed in the uterine wall or migrate to other organs. This can happen during removal attempts or due to structural weaknesses in the device.

Embedded IUD fragments can cause severe pain, abnormal bleeding, and infections. In some instances, the broken pieces may perforate the uterus or surrounding organs, leading to potentially life-threatening complications. Diagnosis of device breakage and embedment typically involves imaging studies, such as ultrasound or CT scans, to locate the fragments.

Surgical intervention is often necessary to remove the embedded IUD pieces safely. Depending on the location and extent of the embedment, a hysteroscopy or laparoscopy may be required. In severe cases, a more invasive open surgery might be needed to extract the fragments and repair any damaged tissues.

Empowered Choices, Protected Rights

When it comes to potential Paragard IUD complications, taking a proactive approach safeguards both your health and your legal rights.

Knowledge is Power: Informed Consent

Informed consent is the cornerstone of your autonomy as a patient. Don’t hesitate to ask detailed questions and insist on clear, comprehensive information.

Remember, your doctor is there to answer your concerns and provide explanations you can understand.

Be Your Advocate: Recognizing Complications

Early detection of Paragard IUD problems is crucial. Familiarize yourself with warning signs like severe pain, unusual discharge, or heavier-than-normal bleeding. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. Additionally, for potential legal action, document your experiences exhaustively.

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Finding Your Voice: Legal Options and Support

A lawyer specializing in medical device lawsuits can be a valuable resource. They can advise you on your legal rights and potential paths forward. This can include individual lawsuits or even class action suits seeking compensation.

In summary, the Paraguard IUD saga serves as a poignant reminder that medical interventions can occasionally prove inadequate. The human cost of such negligence cannot be overlooked. An urgent reevaluation of priorities is thus required.

In addition to the effectiveness of medical devices, patient safety and well-being must take precedence. Promoting transparent dialogue between healthcare providers and patients is essential for this purpose.

A future worth striving for is one in which innovation in women’s healthcare coexists with an unwavering dedication to patient safety.

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