The Paragard intrauterine device (IUD) has a definite purpose: to prevent users from getting pregnant. This copper IUD contraceptive is a T-shaped device that a medical professional inserts into the uterus to prevent fertilized eggs from attaching to the uterine wall.
In some cases, the IUD can pierce the uterus, resulting in organ damage and increasing the risk of infection. Additionally, without being properly removed by a medical professional, it has the risk of breaking apart inside the body, which can cause a variety of adverse reactions.
The Paragard IUD poses the possibility of many side effects acknowledged by the current manufacturer of the device, the Cooper Companies. Many lawsuits are taking form, and the plaintiffs intend to hold this organization responsible for product liability. Claimants are arguing that they did not receive sufficient warning of the device’s risk of severe side effects.
Side Effects of the Paragard IUD
It is helpful to examine the risks that the manufacturer of Paragard IUD acknowledges as real threats to consumers’ health. On the Paragard IUD website, some of the effects of having the contraceptive device inserted into the uterus are clearly spelled out. One of the most commonly reported side effects is heavier and longer-than-normal periods, typically in patients who have recently had the device implanted.
Perforation of the Uterine Wall
Piercing the uterine wall is one of the more serious complications that can arise from having a Paragard IUD installed. This risk factor can cause a domino effect of health problems and may require corrective surgery. According to a study on intrauterine devices and risk of uterine perforation in the Open Access Journal of Contraception, in severe cases, an IUD can become lodged in one’s abdomen, bowel, or urinary tract.
The Development of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is very serious, especially if left untreated. PID symptoms may include abdominal pain, vaginal discharge, pain when urinating, and menstrual spotting. If untreated, PID may lead to chronic pelvic pain and infertility, among other severe consequences.
Difficulty Removing the Device
If the device breaks apart in the uterus either independently or from an attempted removal, it can remain lodged in the patient’s uterus. If this happens, you may require surgery to prevent your body from having a negative reaction to the IUD, which comes with its own set of potential complications.
Symptoms Relating to Anemia
According to a 1982 study published in Contraceptive Delivery Systems, there is a link between iron-deficiency anemia and long-term use of copper-bearing IUDs. The heavy periods resulting from IUD use can subsequently result in anemia, which can compromise one’s ability to fight off infection. It can also cause a patient to feel weak, dizzy, fatigued, and other complications.
Other Risk Factors
Some of the more widely reported (and less life-threatening) side effects relating to the Paragard IUD include discomfort and menstrual spotting. Paragard is not right for some patients, including those with cervical infections, who have Wilson’s disease, or who may already be pregnant. This device can only be prescribed and administered by a medical professional.
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A Broken Paragard IUD Can Cause Severe Complications
Patients are told that the device can be removed from their uterus at any time. Still, they may not be aware that the removal process is not nearly as easy as the manufacturers of Paragard imply. The device has the potential to break, presenting a new set of threats to one’s health and further difficulty with device removal.
The Paragard IUD’s design is meant to minimize pain and discomfort, and part of that device includes smooth, rounded edges on each end of its T-shaped frame.
Wen an arm on the Paragard IUD breaks, the result may be:
- The creation of one or more jagged pieces of the device being lodged in the uterus
- The sharp edge of the broken piece piercing the uterine wall
- The broken piece needing to be removed with surgery to prevent further damage
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published findings regarding the possibilities of IUDs breaking apart in the body. Paragard IUDs feature a copper coil spiraling on the vertical portion of the device’s T-shaped frame. In 2016, a patient needed the device surgically removed after it broke apart inside the uterus. This may also pose an additional risk factor for patients looking to have this form of contraception removed.
Paragard Users Are Already Filing Suit
Across the country, patients who claim to have been injured by defective Paragard IUDs are filing lawsuits against Cooper Companies, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and other companies involved with manufacturing and distributing Paragard.
As of early 2022, these cases are still working their way through the courts. No class- action suits have been filed—that is, each case is being handled on an individual basis—and there have been no settlements or jury awards made.
If you believe the Paragard defect impacted you, it is a good idea to consider filing your own lawsuit. A lawyer who specializes in such cases can help you do so. They can also monitor the status of other, similar lawsuits to determine:
- If and when you can join a class-action lawsuit
- How much money you can expect to recover
- The likelihood of your receiving a pretrial settlement versus having to go to court
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What to Do If You Are Affected By the Paragard Defect
There are two actions you should take if you are affected by the Paragard defect: get medical and legal help.
Getting Medical Help
If you suspect something is wrong with your IUD, the first thing you should do is schedule an appointment with your doctor. Do not try to shift or remove the IUD yourself, as this could cause further damage to you or the device.
At the appointment, a doctor will examine you. If necessary, they will remove and/or reimplant the IUD. Feel free to ask questions during your visit, including how the damage happened. This could help link your injuries to Paragard’s defect if you file a lawsuit.
Getting Legal Help
After an IUD-related injury, you may have the right to sue any or all of the following parties, depending on the specifics of your case.
- A doctor who did not insert it properly or failed to warn you of potential dangers
- The manufacturer who did not recall the device despite knowing of the risk to patients
- The distributor who sold the device to medical facilities despite knowing the risks and without including sufficient warning on the packaging
A law firm can investigate your injury to determine if you have a legal case and, if so, who may owe you financial compensation. They can help you obtain any financial recovery that you are entitled to, with possible awards covering:
- Medical costs
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering and inconveniences
- Psychological trauma
- Lost consortium
- Temporary or permanent effects on your health
To recover this compensation, an attorney can manage your entire legal case on your behalf. With such representation, you would not need to worry about or be responsible for:
- Investigating your case and collecting evidence against all liable parties
- Calculating how much money you should ask for based on the extent of your injuries, the egregiousness of the liable party’s behavior, and so on
- Negotiating with the liable party’s insurance company to make sure they pay you a fair amount
- Taking your case to court and seeking a jury award, if necessary
- Filling out paperwork related to your case, including a settlement agreement
- Evaluating all settlement offers from the insurance company to make sure they are truly fair
Call a Law Firm to Pursue Compensation Based on a Paragard-Related Injury
If you or a loved one has experienced health complications after using a Paragard IUD, you may have the basis for a civil action. Our team at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can provide responsive legal care should you proceed with a compensation claim.
Do not wait, as your time for action may be limited. Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today at 1-800-747-3733 for a free case review.
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