Millions of American women have relied on the Paragard IUD to prevent pregnancy since it hit the market over four decades ago.
In recent years though, the copper IUD has raised serious health concerns for women. Most notably, problems related to the removal of the medical device when it fails to work correctly.
In the last decade, the FDA has received over 1500 reports of device breakage.
So, what are some of the more significant issues when the tiny copper coil breaks? It can embed in the uterine tissue, or worse, perforate the uterine wall, migrating elsewhere in the body.
Approximately one in ten women experience the coil’s expulsion, with some requiring surgery to remove the device’s fragments.
Lawsuits filed against Teva Pharmaceuticals, one of the manufacturers of the faulty birth control device, cited complaints of excruciating pain and permanent injuries associated with IUD removal.
Also, women claim Teva Pharmaceuticals failed to warn them about the possibility of injury brought about when the device breaks.
They say the company is guilty of misrepresenting the IUD as safe, whereas in reality, it has led to disastrous outcomes.
The Cleveland Clinic warns that due to the potential side effect of more substantial or painful periods, women already prone to particularly difficult cycles should be extra cautious when considering an IUD.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a serious condition listed under rare but potentially more severe side effects of having an IUD placed.
This infection of the uterus and other reproductive organs can be extremely dangerous – and in rare cases, life-threatening.
Women are at an increased risk of getting PID in the first four weeks after having an IUD implanted.
The life-threatening danger comes about when PID spreads to the woman’s blood. Anyone who suspects they have this dangerous infection should see their doctor as soon as possible.
According to Healthline, the severe pain and symptoms to keep a lookout for are: sharp pains in the abdomen, vomiting, fainting, and a high fever.
Another rare though serious side effect is when the IUD causes an ectopic pregnancy, which is where a fertilized egg implants outside of a woman’s uterus.
Ovarian cysts occur in one out of ten women who opt for the copper coil IUD. These are relatively harmless but can cause bloating, swelling, and pain.
And while the odds of getting pregnant are slim, if conception happens with an IUD present, it can lead to a miscarriage or early labor if the pregnancy is not lost.
Beyond the physical complaints and discomforts that go along with the IUD, there are also anecdotal reports of neurocognitive changes and disturbances as side effects associated with this birth control device.
When it comes to removing the Paragard to stop heavy bleeding and excruciating cramping, the copper coil can break within the cervix.
When this issue arises, a doctor may need to surgically remove the medical device. Complications from surgical removal of the faulty contraceptive device can result in damages to the reproductive organs.
Although rare, sometimes a doctor cannot locate the copper coil because it migrated to other organs beyond the uterine cavity. When this occurs, a woman can incur organ damage, chronic pain, and other problems related to the Paragard IUD.
Teresa Stack Hunter is a former journalist turned content writer with two decades of experience. Her career began as a journalist in Washington, D.C. where she interviewed politicians on Capitol Hill and foreign dignitaries on Embassy Row. Teresa also worked at the Department of Treasury, where she served as the writer-editor for Under Secretary of Enforcement Ronald K. Noble, and his equally impressive replacement Under Secretary of Enforcement Raymond W. Kelly. As a freelance writer, she writes for clients across many sectors and also ghostwrites for clients in finance.