Iud Receives Severe Backlash: Health Hazards For Women

In June 2023, Nzherald.co.nz reported on Lagitoa, a woman from South Auckland, who experienced an ordeal during attempts to remove her intrauterine device (IUD). She visited her family GP (General Physician) to address persistent lower back and stomach pain suspected to be caused by the IUD. 

However, during the removal procedure, it was discovered that the strings used to remove the IUD had detached from the device and were covered in blood. Lagitoa went through three unsuccessful attempts to remove the IUD in one day, leaving her emotionally drained and bleeding.

In March 2021, 13 Wham reported on Anna Speaks, who faced a health hazard for using an IUD. After the birth of her son in 2013, she wanted to use a hormone-free birth control method and opted for Paragard, a T-shaped IUD device that had been sanctioned by the FDA for over 10 years.

Paragard is a non-hormonal birth control option that prevents pregnancy. Anna Speaks stated that initially, she thought Paragard would be a low-fuss and low-maintenance method. Additionally, her healthcare provider had never warned her about the possibility of the device breaking.

Five years later, when Anna wanted to have the IUD removed, the mishap occurred. Although Paragard suggests that only a professional healthcare provider should remove an IUD, experts debate that self-removal is also considered safe.

When Anna removed the IUD device, she discovered that it was broken and realized that a piece of it was still inside her body. Naturally, she panicked upon realizing that this issue now required a costly medical intervention to retrieve the broken piece, leading to her undergoing an operation to remove the missing fragment.

Voluntary reports that got filed with the FDA since 2013 on Paragard reveal the following statistics:

  • 3,186 device breakage reports
  • 1,910 events deemed serious
  • 102 life-threatening complications and hospitalization reports

Anna is not the only woman who has experienced IUD complications and injuries. Consequently, Paragard IUD has faced several lawsuits as women have had to undergo surgery for device removal. Even health advocates are urging the FDA to investigate the matter to provide clarity for women regarding the device.

Possible Risks With IUD

Simply put, an IUD (Intrauterine Device) is a contraceptive method that gets inserted by a healthcare provider into the uterus. Once this gets done, women don’t need to get bothered about birth control till such time there is a need for replacement, which usually occurs every 3 to 10 years, based on the brand.

In September 2022, an updated article on Verywell Health shed light on the probable risks and complications linked with the IUD. The potential health hazards include:

  • Perforation

In rare cases, during the insertion of an IUD, there is a possibility that it can inadvertently penetrate the uterine wall. Fortunately, such instances are typically identified and rectified promptly. However, if the IUD remains in place without removal or adjustment, there is a risk of it migrating to other areas within the pelvic region and potentially causing harm to internal organs. In such circumstances, surgical intervention may be necessary to remove the IUD.

  • Expulsion

Partial or complete expulsion, where the IUD slips out of the uterus, is a potential occurrence. It is more likely to happen after using the device for several months, but can also occur at a later stage. Expulsion may sometimes coincide with the menstrual cycle. Paragard carries a higher risk of expulsion for women who are young adults, teenagers, or have never given birth.

While Skyla is slightly smaller compared to other IUDs, reducing the chance of expulsion in women who have never been pregnant, it does not guarantee that a Skyla IUD will never be expelled.

When an IUD gets expelled, there is a risk of pregnancy. In such cases, it is important to have a backup birth control method and seek guidance from a healthcare provider. It is advisable to have the device removed once it has been expelled.

  • Infection

There is minimal risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) associated with IUDs. However, this risk diminishes significantly after 20 days of insertion. It is necessary to note that PID is usually transmitted through sexual activity. Individuals who engage in sexual relations with multiple partners have a higher risk of acquiring PID.

Bacterial entry during insertion can lead to pelvic infection. The majority of infections occur within three weeks of IUD insertion. Instances of infection resulting from the IUD after this time frame are uncommon. If an infection occurs beyond three weeks, it is more likely to be attributed to exposure to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) during sexual activity.

A few other health complications can occur if a woman has:

  • Extreme blood clots in lungs and deep veins
  • Severe anemia or diabetes
  • Ovarian cancer
  • A medical history of tubal infection

Paragard Lawsuit Update 2023: Navigating the Legal Path

In June 2023, the Paragard class action MDL added 44 new cases in the past month. Overall, the total pending claims currently reached the 2,000 mark. However, in April 2020, Drugwatch stated that Paragard is not the only IUD manufacturer that has been involved in legal disputes. 

Bayer, the manufacturer of the Mirena IUD, faced numerous lawsuits as thousands of women alleged that the device had migrated from the uterus and caused organ perforation, resulting in the need for surgical intervention to address the complications. 

Ultimately, Bayer settled around 4,600 claims, paying a total of $12.2 million in damages. Today, if any woman has been affected by Paragard IUD, she can file a Paragard lawsuit with the help of a lawyer.

TorHoerman Law states that determining the value of a lawsuit relies on the unique details of each case. It is recommended to seek legal counsel to obtain a more precise assessment of the potential value of your specific case. But if a woman has used IUD and has faced extreme pain, device fracture, infection, and defect, they need to have their medical records in place to file the complaint and receive compensation.


Over the years, IUDs have witnessed major backlash owing to the health hazards that it poses to women. There have been instances of complications like organ perforation, migration, and even device breakage, which led to legal action. It is essential for healthcare providers, manufacturers, and regulatory bodies to actively address these issues, prioritize patient well-being, and work towards ensuring safer contraceptive options for women.

However, women who have faced severe health complications from IUD use need to seek both medical and legal assistance.