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When it comes to effective birth control options, few are more reliable than intrauterine devices (IUDs). There are two main types of IUDs: hormonal and non-hormonal. Paragard® is a non-hormonal IUD that works by releasing small amounts of copper into the uterus, which helps prevent pregnancy.
First approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1984, Paragard IUDs have been used by countless women as their primary method of birth control for the past three and a half decades. However, as with all medical implants, Paragard is associated with potentially severe side effects and complications—some of which weren’t fully explained to women or their doctors.
What Side Effects Are Associated with Paragard?
Women who receive Paragard IUDs may experience a variety of debilitating side effects both immediately after implantation and weeks, months, or years later, including:
- Bleeding between periods
- Stomach and back pain
- Heavier and longer periods
In addition to these common side effects, some women may be at risk of developing an infection of the uterus and other reproductive organs called pelvic inflammatory disease. This complication typically occurs within the first three weeks after an IUD is implanted, and it can result in severe and permanent complications, including:
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Chronic pelvic pain
The Dangers of Paragard Go Beyond Publicized Side Effects
Women often choose non-hormonal IUDs like Paragard due to their perceived lower risk of causing harmful side effects when compared to other IUDs. However, 10.2% of women who receive copper-based IUDs, including Paragard, report experiencing movement or expulsion of the devices, while only 4.9% of women using hormonal-based IUDs reported that complication.
Because of the risks associated with copper IUDs, as well as the fact that some become dislodged or partially expelled, many women choose to have them removed. Unfortunately, the removal process carries many risks, including:
- Perforation of the uterine wall
- Further movement or migration resulting in organ damage
- Breakage inside the body
- Inflammation due to remaining copper in the body
- The need for uterine removal or hysterectomy
Going back to 2010, the FDA has received more than 1,600 reports of Paragard IUDs breaking whether spontaneously or during removal. In addition, the devices are reported to break before their reported lifespan of around 10 years, putting women at risk long before they needed to have the devices removed or replaced. When the IUDs break, they can become embedded in uterine tissue, creating the potential for infections, inflammation, scarring, and impaired fertility.
We’re Here to Hold Paragard’s Manufacturers Accountable
Choosing to receive an IUD, especially a non-hormonal device, is already a difficult decision for women due to their risk of side effects. But both Teva Pharmaceuticals, Paragard’s original manufacturer, and The Cooper Companies, its manufacturer since 2017, failed to warn women and medical professionals about all the dangers associated with the devices or change the devices’ manufacturing processes to be safer and more resistant to breakage, movement, or expulsion.
If you or someone you love was harmed by a Paragard copper IUD, our defective medical device lawyers want to help. We know you may have incurred significant medical expenses for everything from specialist visits to revision surgeries, and we want to help you get paid. Contact us today—it’s our goal to get you the money you deserve.
This law firm is not associated with, sponsored by, or affiliated with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., or The Cooper Companies, Inc.
Cases may be referred to another attorney or law firm.