The intrauterine device (IUD) is a method of birth control that carries the risk of uterine perforation. As expert medical litigators, we have seen first-hand the devastating effects that a perforated uterus can have on a woman's life. If you are using an IUD and experience uterine perforation symptoms, it is vital to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Summary of the Key Findings
- A rare side effect of the IUD is the perforation of the uterine wall, which results in dangerous consequences.
- Some signs of perforated uterine walls are pain and bleeding in the pelvis, dizziness, difficulty breathing, vomiting, and fever.
- Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these signs.
What Is An IUD?
The IUD is a small, T-shaped device that is placed inside the uterus. There are two main types of IUDs: hormonal and copper. Hormonal IUDs (Mirena) release a small amount of progesterone, which helps to prevent pregnancies.
A copper intrauterine device (Paragard IUD) works by interfering with the semen and preventing it from fertilizing the egg.
A Mirena or Paragard IUD is a highly effective form of birth control, with less than 1% of users experiencing an unintended pregnancy in the first year after insertion . They are also reversible medical devices, so women can stop using them at any time and regain fertility.
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What Is Uterine Perforation?
Although IUDs are considered to be very safe and effective, there is a slight chance of uterine perforation - about 1 in 1,000 . This occurs when the IUD perforates (or punctures) the wall of the uterus.
This event is a medical emergency because the perforated IUD can cause internal bleeding and infection. If left untreated, this can lead to serious health complications, including infertility.
"Complications of intrauterine devices (IUDs) and contraceptive implants are rare" - American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Further, if the IUD leaves the womb and enters the abdomen, it can puncture other internal organs, causing serious damage, including bleeding and (the most serious complication) death.
Mirena or Paragard IUD perforation can occur at any time during use but is most likely to happen during IUD insertion or removal.
Symptoms of Uterine Perforation
As you might imagine, if an IUD punctures the uterine walls, it can cause many significant signs and potential complications.
It is necessary to seek medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms of Mirena or Paragard IUD perforation:
- Lower abdominal pain
- Pain in the pelvis or severe cramping
- IUD strings becoming shorter or disappearing from the cervix
- Irregular periods
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blood in the stool or bowel movement changes
- Difficulty breathing
- Fever or chills
- Rapid heartbeat
- Exhaustion, dizziness or fainting
- Low blood pressure
- Severe or abnormal bleeding from the vagina
- Bruising in the lower abdomen
IUD Perforation Treatment
To verify Intrauterine Device perforation, your doctor will probably perform a pelvic exam and order some imaging tests, such as an ultrasound, X-ray, or CT scan.
If your doctor finds that your IUD has perforated the uterine walls, they will most likely recommend removal surgery. This is typically done through a laparoscopic procedure, which is a minimally invasive surgery.
In some cases, the IUD may be removed without additional surgery. However, this is usually only possible if the puncture is small and the IUD has not been implanted in the uterine wall.
After your doctor has removed the IUD, you may need to take antibiotics to prevent infection. You may also need to be monitored for any internal bleeding.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if I think my IUD is out of place?
If you think your IUD is out of place, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. They will be able to confirm whether the IUD is in the correct position and if it is not, they can address it. Even if you have not had a puncture, you may have had an IUD expulsion.
Does a perforated uterus heal itself?
Yes, as long as there is no infection or excessive bleeding, the uterus will typically heal on its own once the IUD has been removed. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair any damage that has been done.
How serious is uterine perforation?
Although the diagnosis of uterine perforation is rare, it can cause women some serious side effects.
For example, a broken Paragard IUD could enter the abdominal cavity, cause organ perforation and require surgical removal. Other problems could lead to ectopic pregnancy, bowel perforations, or other life-threatening, similar outcomes.
If you experience any of the signs of perforation, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Neglecting these symptoms may result in serious health complications.
IUD Perforation Relief
You are not alone if you have suffered a uterine perforation because of your IUD. It may be a rare complication, but it can cause serious health problems.
You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Our experienced legal team can help you learn about your rights and options. Click here to learn more about what to do if a medical device like an IUD causes you injury.