Bayer’s Mirena intrauterine device (IUD) has recently been linked to uterine perforation, a complication that occurs when the contraceptive punctures or becomes embedded in the uterus.
What is Mirena Uterine Perforation?
Mirena uterine perforation occurs when a woman’s uterus is punctured during or after implantation with an IUD. After Mirena punctures the uterus, it has been known to migrate from the implant site and become lost in the abdominal cavity, which can lead to other organs being punctured, such as the bladder, bowel, or intestines. Women who have an increased risk of Mirena uterine perforation include those who have had past abortions, C-sections, surgeries of the cervix, or are breastfeeding. Bayer, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures and markets Mirena, has estimated that perforation of the uterus occurs in approximately one per 1,000 – 2,000 recipients.
Uterine Perforation Symptoms
Due to the fact that perforation of the uterus is a potentially life-threatening side effect of Mirena, it is important for recipients of the device to be aware of the following signs and symptoms:
- Lower abdominal pain
- Pelvic pain
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Inability to locate the Mirena IUD string
When Mirena punctures the uterus or becomes embedded in the uterine wall, it can cause a number of severe complications including:
- Internal scarring
- Damage to other organs
- Migration through the intra-abdominal cavity
- Intestinal perforations or obstructions
- Partial or complete expulsion of the IUD
- Inability to conceive
- Infections (which can lead to death if left untreated)
If you were implanted with the Mirena IUD, it is extremely important that you perform regular checks to ensure that the device’s threads are still in place. If the threads are not visible, the IUD may have broken, perforated the uterus, or been expelled from the intra-uterine cavity. If this occurs, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately to determine whether your device is still in place. If your doctor finds that the IUD has perforated your uterus, it must be located and removed immediately. In some cases, this may require surgical intervention. Delayed treatment of Mirena uterine perforation may result in life-threatening complications.