One of the most serious complications of the Mirena IUD occurs when the device spontaneously migrates, perforates the uterus, and moves into the abdominal cavity. The condition often requires laparoscopic surgery to remove Mirena. In 2014, lawsuits were filed by women who developed a rare brain disease that increases intracranial pressure, causing headaches and blindness.
The Mirena IUD
Mirena is an IUD (intra-uterine device) which is used to prevent pregnancy. It consists of a T-shaped, flexible plastic device that is implanted through the patient’s cervix into the uterus. It releases a synthetic hormone called levonorgestrel, which prevents pregnancy so long as the IUD is in place, up to five years.
Unfortunately, like all medical device and medications, Mirena can have complications. You should talk to your doctor if you are concerned about complications. You may qualify for a lawsuit if your Mirena migrated spontaneously, perforated your uterus, and required surgical removal. If you decide to file a lawsuit, you could receive compensation for your injury, medical expenses, and more.
Complications of Mirena in More than 10% of Women
- Changes in menstrual bleeding
- Abdominal pain
- Missed menstrual periods
- Ovarian cysts
During clinical trials of Mirena, 12% of women developed ovarian cysts. These are fluid-filled sacs that grow inside the ovary. These cysts are usually harmless, but in some cases, these cysts can grow quite large and cause abdominal pain or require surgery.
Complications of Mirena in 5-10% of Women
- Headaches / migraine
- Depressed mood
- Heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding
Complications of Mirena in Less than 5% of Women
- Vaginal discharge
- Breast pain or tenderness
- Inflammation of cervix, vulva or vagina
- Pelvic pain during your period
- Back pain
- Weight increase
- Decreased sex drive
- High blood pressure
- Pain during intercourse
- Unusual hair growth or loss
- Skin irritations (such as hives, rash, eczema or itching)
- Feeling bloated
- Swelling of hands and feet
Rare but Serious Complications of Mirena
Uterine perforation: This life-threatening complication can occur during insertion of Mirena. In rare cases, it occurs when Mirena spontaneously migrates out of its normal position. Once Mirena has perforated the uterus, it may no longer protect against pregnancy, and it may puncture other tissues (such as the intestines). Surgery is often necessary to locate and remove the IUD. Scarring from the perforation or surgery can cause damage to the uterus, potentially causing infertility.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Women with Mirena have an increased risk of PID. This disease occurs when sexually-transmitted bacteria (such as gonorrhea or chlamydia) move up into the uterus from the vagina. PID is a life-threatening infection that can severely damage a woman’s reproductive system and cause infertility. In some cases, women require a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the womb).
Ectopic pregnancy: This is a pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus. Ectopic pregnancies usually occur in the fallopian tubes (called a “tubal pregnancy”) but they can also occur in the cervix, ovary, or abdomen. The pregnancy is life-threatening for the mother and the baby. Approximately half of Mirena pregnancies are ectopic.
Brain injuries: Levonorgestrel, the hormone in Mirena, may elevate levels of cerebrospinal fluid, which puts pressure on the brain. The most common symptom is a headache that worsens. Over time, it can also damage the optic nerve and cause vision problems, double-vision, papilledema, and blindness. The condition is also known as: