Paragard IUDs break apart and cause infection, infertility: suit
Women are increasingly coming forward with horrific allegations about their Paragard intrauterine devices (IUD) breaking apart inside them during removal, according to two recently filed lawsuits.
Plaintiffs in the suits filed against Teva Pharmaceuticals, which owned the Paragard brand from 2008 to 2017, allege that the device fractured during removal and pieces — including the device’s arms — became embedded in their uterus wall, causing chronic abdominal pain, pelvic inflammation, infection and in some cases infertility, reported the law offices of Miller & Lois, LLC, in a blog summarizing the lawsuits.
“In many cases, the fracture of the Paragard IUD has required women to get additional surgeries and permanently impaired their fertility,” the law office reported.
The device — meant to serve as a highly (99 percent) effective form of long-term, hormone-free birth control — is about the size of a sugar packet and is inserted at the base of the uterus, in which it can stay for up to a decade. Approved by the FDA in 1984, one of the IUD’s signature features is its ability to be easily removed by a doctor within minutes. But now there “is a fear that the Paragard IUD has a design defect that makes the device prone to dangerously fracturing when doctors attempt to remove it,” the legal site wrote. Specifically, its plastic, T-shaped arms allegedly “become hard and brittle over time,” losing their flexibility so that they are prone to snapping off when the device is pulled out.
In the pending case of one Minnesota-based plaintiff, she had her Paragard inserted in July 2017 because “she wanted a form of birth control that was reversible and would allow her to conceive in the future,” New York Injury Law News reported, citing the lawsuit. When she had her doctor remove the device in November 2018, however, she claims that “the Paragard broke apart and had to be removed in various pieces,” causing the woman “significant bodily injuries,” an outcome which, she claims, neither she nor her doctor had been warned was a risk.
There are currently 55 cases pending nationwide against the Paragard IUD manufacturers, with hundreds more anticipated to be filed in coming months, Law News reported. In October, plaintiffs filed a motion to consolidate the suits.
The Post has reached out to Teva Pharmaceuticals for comment.