The Paragard intrauterine device (IUD) has a definite purpose: to prevent women 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 intending to hold this organization responsible for product liability, as 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, which typically happen 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. The symptoms of PID 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 woman’s uterus. This foreign body may require surgery to prevent the body from having a negative reaction to the IUD, which comes with its own set of potential complications.
Symptoms Relating to Anemia
According to 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 women, including those with cervical infections, have Wilson’s disease, or may already be pregnant. This device can only be prescribed and administered by a medical professional.
A Broken Paragard IUD Can Cause Severe Complications
Women 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.
When 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 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 2015, a woman reported that upon removal, the coil was missing from an otherwise intact Paragard IUD. This may also pose an additional risk factor for patients looking to have this form of contraception removed.
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 choose to proceed with a claim for compensation.
We will do our best to obtain any financial recovery that you are entitled to, with possible awards covering:
- Medical costs
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering and inconveniences
- Psychological trauma
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.