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Women who have been injured by the Mirena intrauterine device are taking their complaints to court. Federal Mirena lawsuits were consolidated in the Southern District of New York in April 2013. Since then, the number of cases filed in that court has nearly doubled, totaling over 100. According to ABC News, the FDA has now received over 70,000 reports of problems related to the Mirena, including perforation of other organs and migration of the device to other areas of the body.

The FDA approved the Mirena in 2000 for use as a birth control option allegedly. It then became the most popular IUD on the market, but as more and more women use it, more suffer side effects and file lawsuits against manufacturer Bayer, claiming the company did not do enough to warn about health risks related to Mirena use.

What is the Mirena?

A small, T-shaped plastic device, the Mirena is placed in the uterus where it gradually releases hormones to prevent pregnancy. Bayer originally marketed the device as being more convenient than birth control pills, since women do not have to remember to take a pill every day. Once the device is inserted by a healthcare professional into the uterus, it is supposed to last up to five years.

Reports of problems with the Mirena started coming in shortly after FDA approval, however. In 2009, the FDA sent Bayer a letter warning they were over-promoting Mirena as helping women to “look and feel great” when there was no scientific evidence backing such claims. Meanwhile, women reported side effects like bleeding, infections, perforation, migration, ectopic pregnancy, abscesses, and more. Many women have had to undergo corrective surgeries to have the Mirena removed.

Women Suffer Mirena Migration

In 2011, researchers published a study in the Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons entitled “The Wandering Mirena.” The authors reported on two cases of Mirena migration following insertion. In the first case, the 44-year-old woman was fitted with a Mirena, and over a year later was told the device had moved out of her uterus and into the abdomen. She had to go through laparoscopic surgery to have the device removed.

In the second case, a 19-year-old woman was admitted to the hospital 10 days after insertion of the Mirena because of acute pelvic pain. An ultrasound revealed the Mirena had moved to the abdomen. She went through surgery to have it removed.

Lawsuits Centralized in New Jersey

Mirena lawsuits have also been consolidated at the state level in New Jersey, where they are proceeding in Bergen County Superior Court. A case list update on July 11, 2013, indicated that the number of lawsuits pending there had reached 170. Plaintiffs claim to have suffered spontaneous migration of the device, and also state that Bayer defectively designed it.

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