Mirena IUD Causing Thousands of Miscarriages
The Mirena IUD, produced by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, is a semi-permanent intrauterine device (IUD) that is surgically implanted into a woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy. It operates by releasing the hormone levonogestrel into a woman’s uterus over a period of about five years, thereby preventing your ovaries from releasing eggs. After five years of use, you will need to have it surgically replaced to avoid becoming pregnant.
Since the Mirena IUD was released in 2000, evidence has been rapidly emerging that suggests it suffers from serious design defects and inadequate product warnings. Indeed, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has received literally tens of thousands of complaints about the Mirena IUD since it was released in 2000, and in 2009 issued a warning to Bayer over its deceptive advertising practices. Despite these problems, the product remains on the market.
Although the Mirena IUD is highly effective in preventing pregnancies (with a 99% annual success rate), if you do become pregnant while carrying a Mirena IUD, your pregnancy is just as likely as not to be a miscarriage. Although this risk can be significantly reduced by having the IUD removed early in your pregnancy, since your menstrual cycle is likely to stop while you are using Mirena, you may not even realize you are pregnant until it is too late.
The USDA has recorded nearly 5,000 of cases in which the Mirena IUD has migrated within the body, both inside and outside the uterus. These and other problems cause a variety of side effects, including but not limited to:
- Perforation of the uterus
- Bleeding of the uterus
- Perforation of the cervix
- Severe abdominal pain
- Dizziness and fainting
- Complete expulsion of the device from the body
In the most severe cases, a woman’s decision to avoid having children becomes involuntarily permanent when using the Mirena IUD results in permanent sterility.
At least 220 lawsuits have been filed against Bayer at both the state and federal level by women who claim to have been harmed by using the Mirena IUD. Nevertheless, the pharmaceuticals industry is big business, and the major pharmaceutical companies are giants. Some pharmaceutical companies (not necessarily Bayer) operate with a cold logic – if A represents the number of lawsuits filed against it, B represents the average damages award per lawsuit, and X represents anticipated profit from continued sale of the device, then a dangerous product remains on the market as long as X is greater than AxB -- no matter how many people are harmed.
The legal system adds another factor into this calculus -- fines and punitive damages that can raise the cost of doing business for these companies. The USFDA needs to aggressively pursue pharmaceutical companies who put consumers in danger and fine violators enough to swerve the cold logic of money into a direction that puts public health over private profits.