Adverse Side Effects and Complications May Lead to Litigation
Written by: Lauren Schwab, Legal Assistant
Law Offices of Thomas J. Lamb, P.A.
What is Paragard?
The device, meant to be clinically inserted to prevent pregnancy, has been marketed as a safe and effective birth control that allows women to choose when they want to have children without the side effects of other birth control methods. Paragard is considered to be a copper IUD, made up of a plastic base with a copper wire wrapped around it. The Paragard device is claimed to be 99% effective, with the ability to last up to ten years, and must be removed by a doctor.
What are the Possible Side Effects and Complications?
Paragard has many side effects, though Teva Pharmaceuticals claims most effects wear off after two to three months of use, a time known as the "adjustment period". These side effects include spotting between periods, longer or heavier periods, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), expulsion, vaginal discharge, infections, pain during sex, allergic reactions, anemia, menstrual cramps, perforation of the uterus, and/or difficulty removing the device.
If the Paragard device breaks or fractures during removal, women can be seriously injured, as this often requires an additional painful and extensive surgery, or even a hysterectomy. Additionally, if a woman were to become pregnant while the device is implanted, the resulting pregnancy would be ectopic, meaning the fertilized egg is growing outside the main cavity of the uterus, which can lead to life-threatening bleeding and other complications.
Have Paragard lawsuits been filed?
The Paragard IUD manufacturers, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Cooper Companies Inc., have come into the spotlight since a New York woman named Vanesha Johnson sued the company after the arm of the device broke off and implanted itself into her during removal. Johnson claims the company failed to adequately warn both herself and her physician of the risks associated with the device. As a result of her Paragard use, Johnson claims to have suffered a loss of reproductive health, pain, suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and financial burden regarding medical bills.
Current Paragard claims involve complications including IUD breakage upon removal, IUD expulsion or falling out of uterus, IUD migration, ectopic pregnancy, IUD embedded in the uterus, infection and/or abscess, inflammation caused by copper left in body, perforation of uterine wall or cervix, scarring and damage to other organs, surgeries, hysterectomies, infertility, or death.
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