Most sexually active women in the United States have used one form of contraception at some point in their lives. Indeed, according to the Guttmacher Institute, the typical American woman will need to use contraception for three decades. Women now have more choice of contraceptives than ever, but some methods present health risks that can cause serious injuries. Find out how one contraceptive method (the intrauterine device) works, and learn more about the lawsuits that some women are filing because of their injuries.
How the IUD works
An intrauterine device (or IUD) is a special T-shaped contraceptive object that a health care professional inserts into a woman's uterus. Women can choose from two types of IUD. A copper IUD can stay in place for more than ten years, but, more commonly, women choose a plastic progesterone IUD that can last between one and seven years.
The copper-coated IUD prevents pregnancy by stopping the sperm fertilizing the egg. The plastic progesterone IUD works in a similar way, but the hormone also causes the cervical mucus to thicken, which can completely stop ovulation.
Both types of IUD are effective contraceptives. Indeed, studies show that only 1 in 100 women using the IUD will become pregnant.
IUD use in the United States
The IUD is particularly suitable for women in a long-term relationship because the device is simple to use and doesn't need much thought or attention. That aside, it's important to remember that the IUD does not prevent infection from sexually transmitted diseases, so the device is not always suitable if you don't know the sexual history of your partner. One of the problems that women face is that manufacturers don't always make the risk of the device clear, leaving some women with serious side effects and injuries.
Side effects of IUD
Unfortunately, some American women have suffered injuries as a result of using an IUD. Once a professional installs the IUD, the device should not move out of place. Some women experience device migration, which can then lead to more serious problems. For example, a migrated IUD can enter the abdominal cavity, pelvis or bladder. In some cases, women with this problem suffer an infection or damage to other organs.
It's generally difficult for doctors to find and remove a displaced device. During surgery, the risk of uterus perforation also increases in women who start to use the device up to 6 months after giving birth. Other serious side effects include pelvic inflammatory disease, septic abortion, miscarriage, premature delivery and ectopic pregnancy.
What the FDA says
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wrote to a large IUD manufacturer in 2009, warning that the company had violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The FDA targeted statements that the manufacturer made when advertising and marketing the product, warning the company against misleading statements. The FDA also warned the manufacturer about omitting crucial information about the risks of IUD.
The reason behind lawsuits
The FDA warnings have prompted some women to take legal action against the manufacturers. Attorneys acting on behalf of these women argue that:
IUD injuries can lead to significant medical costs. Some women need follow-up surgery to deal with the issues that the IUD causes. These women are often unable to work for lengthy periods, which can cause long-term financial problems. A personal injury attorney can help injured women gather the evidence they need to successfully file a lawsuit and claim the right amount of compensation.
It's important to note that the statute of limitations in your state gives you a fixed period to file a claim after you first notice the symptoms. Act quickly and check with your attorney about the statute where you live.
The IUD is an effective type of contraceptive that thousands of American women use successfully every year, but the device can lead to serious complications and injuries. If you or someone you love suffers an injury from an IUD, you should consider talking to an attorney for more advice. Or you can follow this link to read more about how a personal injury attorney can help you.
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