Non-hormonal birth control is any type of contraceptive product or device that does not alter hormone levels. This method of birth control generally involves a physical barrier that prevents conception from occurring.
One type of non-hormonal birth control method is called an intrauterine device, or IUD. One type of IUD, called Mirena, has been the subject of several lawsuits. It is a unique IUD in that it is both an IUD but also hormonal.
The Mirena IUD is a long-acting, but reversible birth control manufactured by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, which also manufactures other forms of birth control like Essure.
The device, which is T-shaped, is small and flexible. It is implanted into the uterus and slowly releases tiny amounts of the birth control hormone progestin. This prevents pregnancy from occurring. It was approved by the FDA in 2000.
Some IUD devices can cause various types of side effects and medical issues. The Mirena IUD device can cause complications and injuries such as:
- The IUD moving from the uterus into other areas of the body like the abdomen (migration);
- Uterus perforation;
- Abscesses in internal organs;
- Undergoing multiple surgery to find the IUD;
- Life-threatening ectopic pregnancy; and/or
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Since the product works through physical and not just chemical mechanisms, the side effects and injuries are also typically physical in nature as well.
The resulting injuries can be serious and may affect the person’s ability to get pregnant in the future, as well as other chronic medical conditions.
Due to the injuries associated with Mirena IUD products, legal action has been filed based on defective product laws. Plaintiffs claim that serious complications make the device a defective product. A product is considered defective when it causes injury to an individual because of:
- A defective design
- A defect in the way the product was manufactured
- Defects associated with warning labels (i.e., a lack of proper warning labels and information included with the product)
In this case, many contend that Mirena has a defective design because it can travel to other parts of the body and cause internal damage. A properly designed IUD product might involve extra safety measures to prevent the migration of the birth control device to other areas of the body.
In a defective IUD product lawsuit, it is generally required to show:
- The IUD had an unreasonably dangerous defect;
- The defect in the IUD caused the plaintiff injury while it was used as intended by the defendant; and
- The IUD has not been altered or changed substantially from the way it was originally sold
If a person alters or changes an IUD product in a significant way after it was sold, then it could reduce their chances of success in the lawsuit. This includes the physician who inserted the IUD. If they did it incorrectly or damaged the product, then it is more likely that the physician will be held liable for the injury.
On the other hand, if the product remained unchanged from the time it was sold, the plaintiff may have a better chance of recovering damages for the injuries.
Defective product lawsuits can be complicated. You may need legal representation from a products and services lawyer if you wish to pursue a lawsuit for your Mirena IUD injuries. Your attorney can advise you of your legal rights and can represent you in court as well.