According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common side effects of a copper IUD include:
- Menstrual pain and heavy bleeding
- Longer periods
- Spotting between periods
- Potential allergy to copper
However, rarer side effects can be even more severe – in fact, they may warrant personal injury damages. For example, many users are now filing lawsuits against Teva Pharmaceuticals, which makes the copper IUD Paragard. They allege that the device broke inside the uterus, requiring surgery. Some even reported that the IUD moved from the uterus, perforating other organs. This can lead to pain and serious health risks. An attorney could help you seek damages if this happened to you.
- What Is an IUD?
- What Are the Possible Side Effects of a Paragard IUD?
- How does a Copper IUD Work?
- Is the Copper IUD Safe?
- Your Options If You Were Injured By a Copper IUD
- An Attorney From Our Firm Can Help
- Steps for Filing a Lawsuit After IUD Injuries
- Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine Today To Get Help
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 747-3733
What Is an IUD?
IUD stands for “intrauterine device.” These T-shaped devices are a form of birth control that offers an alternative to prescription pills. IUDs are inserted into the uterus and use either progestin hormones or a copper coating to prevent pregnancy.
Five brands of IUDs have received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. They are:
The first four brands release hormones into the uterus, while Paragard is a copper IUD—also known as a non-hormonal IUD. While each option has advantages and disadvantages, copper IUDs in particular have recently come under fire due to the risk of serious complications.
What Are the Possible Side Effects of a Paragard IUD?
Even though the copper IUD has been deemed safe for individuals of any childbearing age to prevent pregnancy, you may experience adverse side effects. Mild side effects include spotting and temporary pain after insertion. Meanwhile, moderate side effects – like cramping and heavy periods – can persist for three to six months.
In addition, more severe side effects and risks can include:
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
There have also reportedly been cases of copper IUDs becoming dislodged or breaking off during insertion or removal. Therefore, you may need to speak with your doctor about the different forms of birth control and their side effects and risks to decide which one is right for you.
You may decide that the benefits of a copper IUD outweigh the potential negatives, but you should know all the risks before deciding – any one of these side effects could be severe if left untreated. If over-the-counter pain medication doesn’t ease your symptoms, you might be experiencing a serious condition.
Expulsion of Your Paragard IUD
Your Paragard IUD could expel, or come loose from, your uterus. Whether completely or partially expelled, you must have it removed and use another form of birth control in the meantime. A possible cause of IUD expulsion is that a physician did not properly insert the device, although this is not always the case.
You might not feel it if and when IUD expulsion occurs. This is troubling because partial expulsion of an IUD will disrupt its effectiveness in preventing pregnancy. Moreover, a dislodged IUD can become embedded in the walls of your uterus or cut through it and migrate up to your abdominal area.
It’s worth noting that you’re more likely to experience IUD expulsion if you have never been pregnant, had your IUD inserted immediately after giving birth, or have had a second-term abortion. There is also a higher possibility of expulsion during a heavy period.
Migrating Paragard IUD
Since you may not internally feel if your IUD has become dislodged, you should monitor the device’s placement regularly so you can take steps to keep it from migrating. You can do this by feeling for the IUD’s strings, which normally hang down into the vaginal canal. Here are some signs that your IUD is out of place:
- The strings feel longer or shorter than usual.
- You can’t feel the strings at all.
- You can feel the IUD internally.
You’ll want to follow up with your doctor if you can’t check your IUD’s placement by feeling the strings. Failing to do so could result in an unwanted pregnancy. It’s also critical to note that you should never try to push or pull the IUD back into position yourself. A physician must remove the device and replace it to prevent further complications.
Ectopic Pregnancy Could Occur While Using an IUD
Though rare, it’s still possible to become pregnant with an IUD. Because IUDs are so effective at preventing pregnancies, if a pregnancy does occur, there’s a higher chance that it could develop outside the uterus. When a fertilized egg implants in a fallopian tube instead of the uterus, this is known as an ectopic pregnancy.
This rare occurrence poses serious health risks and can be life-threatening. Even without the complication of an IUD, a 2019 study from Clinical Practice and Cases in Emergency Medicine cites ectopic pregnancy as a leading cause of maternal death in the first trimester.
If a fertilized egg continues to grow in the fallopian tube, it can cause it to rupture. This will likely cause heavy bleeding inside the abdomen. Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy can include:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Abdominal pain
- Shoulder pain from pressure irritating certain nerves
- Fainting (syncope)
Patients need to seek care from an OB/GYN to monitor for possible ectopic pregnancy and reduce the risk of serious complications.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the female reproductive organs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It most often occurs when sexually transmitted bacteria are left untreated and spread from the vagina to the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. The cervix normally creates a barrier that keeps this from happening.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, some studies have shown a connection between IUDs and PID. However, this occurrence is rare. The period of increased risk is said to last up to four weeks after the insertion procedure.
Symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease include abdominal pain, fever, and painful urination. If left untreated, pelvic inflammatory disease could cause scar tissue and pockets of abscesses to develop. These can cause permanent damage and infertility.
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How does a Copper IUD Work?
The market is flooded with different birth control methods, but there’s very little emphasis on educating the user about the side effects of each one. One major advantage of a copper IUD is its ease of use. After a doctor implants your IUD, there’s no daily upkeep to do, and it lasts for years.
While there are multiple hormone IUD brands, there is currently only one brand of non-hormonal IUD: Paragard IUD. Similar to hormone IUDs, the copper IUD requires a doctor’s visit, where an OB/GYN or a nurse practitioner can insert it. However, instead of releasing hormones, the copper IUD releases trace amounts of copper, which act as a spermicide. Paragard’s copper IUD is more than 99% effective.
What’s special about the copper IUD is that it offers longer protection from unwanted pregnancy. While a hormone IUD may last between three to five years, a copper IUD can last for up to 10 years.
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Is the Copper IUD Safe?
Generally, IUDs are considered to be safe. They’re especially beneficial for users discouraged from taking birth control pills because of medical conditions like high blood pressure. An IUD is also easy to remove with another’s doctor’s visit if your plans change.
Instead of hormones, the Paragard IUD releases small amounts of copper. Copper is naturally present in the body and is found in foods such as grains, vegetables, fish, and nuts. The copper released by the IUD is less than the amount consumed in a typical diet. A copper IUD will not significantly increase the overall level of copper found in your body.
However, the risk of the IUD migrating or breaking off in the body presents opportunities for injury. Depending on the circumstances, this may warrant a personal injury case for damages.
Your Options If You Were Injured By a Copper IUD
If you suffered an injury because your Paragard copper IUD migrated from your uterus or broke inside of you and caused injuries, our legal team can help you recover compensation, such as:
- Corrective surgery costs
- Hospital stays
- Emergency medical treatment costs
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Scarring or disfigurement
These are just a few examples of the kinds of damages to which you may be entitled after an issue with a copper IUD. What you can sue for depends on:
- What types of injuries you sustained
- How serious and long-lasting those injuries are
- How much proof we can collect of each specific injury
We Can Help You Fight for Compensation
We can enter settlement negotiations with Teva Pharmaceuticals, the company that sells the copper IUD, alleging that it did not warn the public about the Paragard IUD’s potential for breakage and movement.
If we cannot settle your case, we can explore other options for compensation, including filing a lawsuit and arguing your case in court. We never charge attorney’s fees for our services unless and until the client recovers compensation.
An Attorney From Our Firm Can Help
Handling a legal claim on your own can be difficult, especially when you are recovering from an injury. That’s why many personal injury victims choose to hire an attorney from our team to help them:
- Investigate the cause of the injury
- Build a case against the negligent party
- Negotiate with all applicable parties
- File a lawsuit
- Represent you at trial
Our services are available on a no-win, no-fee basis, so there is no financial risk to hiring us for your case.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit After IUD Injuries
The process of seeking and recovering financial compensation involves many steps, all of which our team would be happy to help you with. Here is a brief overview of how your case may go.
Get Medical Care
As soon as you suspect something is wrong with your IUD, seek medical help without delay. This can:
- Save your life
- Prevent more serious injuries
- Officially establish that the copper IUD caused your injuries
If you are having trouble making or keeping appointments for follow-up care, our team can help you in this area as well. We have a network of medical experts we can call on to examine our clients and even testify as to the seriousness of their injuries.
Identify the Liable Party and Your Damages
Teva Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures Paragard, will likely be named in your lawsuit. In some cases, you may also be able to sue a third party, such as the doctor who improperly inserted the IUD or failed to warn you about its risks. It is important to know the identities of all liable parties before you file a suit.
It is equally important to determine the value of your physical, psychological, and financial damages. If you do not understand the value of your suit, the liable party’s insurance company could offer you less than you deserve without your knowing. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can:
- Request important documentation from your doctor and other parties
- Review relevant paperwork, including bills, tax filings, or receipts
- Project how much money you may lose or spend in the future
- Identify and compile evidence against all liable parties
Fight for Your Money
We always strive to get our clients a fair pretrial settlement. Settlements are often faster and easier than going to trial, so you can get your money faster and with less effort.
To secure a settlement for your use, an attorney from our firm can:
- Notify the liable party and their representatives about your demands
- Meet with the liable party’s insurance company as many times as it takes to negotiate a fair settlement amount
- Draw up the paperwork that will make the settlement agreement official
In a few cases, it is not possible to recover a settlement that meets your current and future needs. If this is the case for you, we can prepare to take your case to court, which involves:
- Scheduling court dates
- Submitting trial exhibits and other paperwork
- Arguing your case before a judge and jury, including making opening and closing remarks
- Questioning witnesses (yourself potentially included) on the stand
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine Today To Get Help
If you suffered an IUD injury or think your copper IUD is responsible for causing your health complications, call us today at 1-800-747-3733 for a free consultation.
Our team of attorneys at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine will review your case and help you seek compensation for your losses from using a copper IUD.