Is There a Lawsuit Against Paragard?
There is a lawsuit against Paragard. Thousands of women across America allege that defective and dangerous Paragard intrauterine devices (IUDs) injured them. Many of these injuries stem from pieces of broken Paragard devices migrating out of the uterus, perforating the uterine wall, and causing medical problems in the reproductive organs and other organs found in the abdominal and pelvic cavities.
If a broken or otherwise defective Paragard IUD hurts you after using it, you may be entitled to financial compensation known as damages. These damages may cover your medical expenses, compensate you for physical and emotional pain, and more. You can seek damages from The Cooper Companies, Paragard’s manufacturer, on your own. You can also work with a mass tort lawsuit lawyer who represents women who have suffered injury after using Paragard’s medical devices.
Have You or a Loved One Suffered From a Broken Paragard IUD That Required Surgery?
If you or a loved one suffered from a broken Paragard that required surgery, you may be entitled to financial compensation for Paragard’s manufacturer, The Cooper Companies. Paragard IUDs may break into fragments, leaving pieces of the IUD behind in the woman’s body. These fragments may require surgical procedures for removal. The injuries that a broken Paragard IUD causes can be painful, expensive to treat, and may cause infertility.
There is a lawsuit against Paragard because of the injuries many women have sustained because of a broken Paragard device. These women claim that Paragard’s manufacturer knew or should have known that these IUDs were prone to fragmenting upon removal but failed to warn women of this potential side effect. These women were robbed of the chance to make an informed decision about their long-term health, current birth control, and future fertility.
Damages Available in a Paragard Lawsuit
Damages is the legal term for financial compensation the negligent party pays for injuring someone. If you or a loved one suffered from a broken Paragard IUD that required surgery, you may be entitled to these damages:
- Surgical expenses for the diagnosis and removal of a broken Paragard IUD. According to an article in the journal Gynecology and Minimally Invasive Therapy, physicians may use hysteroscopy to locate a broken or retained IUD. An article in the Journal of Laparoscopic & Robotic Surgeons states that laparoscopy can be used to remove IUDs that have migrated and embedded in other tissues or organs.
- Other medical expenses such as blood cultures, antibiotic treatments, diagnostic tests, follow-up appointments, prescription medication, and more.
- Loss of income for any unpaid time off work needed for diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.
- Pain and suffering for the stress, emotional upheaval, physical pain, or loss of fertility that the broken Paragard device caused.
A ParaGard lawsuit lawyer familiar with the lawsuits against Paragard can evaluate your case, estimate the value of your losses, and help you recover the compensation you deserve.
What Is ParaGard?
Paragard is a contraceptive device that provides long-term birth control. Teva Pharmaceuticals originally made it, but The Cooper Companies bought Teva in 2017 and is now responsible for it. Its manufacturer provides information stating that Paragard is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy for up to 10 years without affecting future fertility. Many women prefer an IUD because it is long-acting and reversible.
Because Paragard is long-acting, it is a convenient choice for women who would prefer not to take a daily pill or rely on single-use birth control devices such as condoms. Because it contains no hormones, it is an attractive option for women who want to avoid hormones and their potential side effects.
How Does Paragard Work?
Paragard works by preventing fertilization and implantation of the egg in a woman’s uterus. While other forms of birth control rely on hormones to prevent conception, Paragard does not. The copper wire wrapped around the device changes the chemical environment of the uterus, making it almost impossible for sperm to reach and fertilize an egg or for the egg to implant in the uterine wall.
The Paragard device prevents pregnancy just by its presence in the uterus, so women who use it do not have to change their habits or routine in any way for it to be effective. Once a medical professional places the Paragard IUD in a woman’s uterus during a routine office visit, it is immediately effective. It will continue to work until its removal.
What Is the Paragard IUD?
The Paragard IUD is a small, T-shaped piece of plastic wrapped with a copper wire. It does not release any hormones. The copper wire makes the uterus inhospitable to sperm, preventing them from fertilizing any eggs. If an egg becomes fertilized, it should not be able to implant into the uterine wall.
The Paragard IUD has two strings attached to it for removal. When it is time to take the device out, a doctor or other medical professional should be able to gently pull on the strings to remove it. Paragard states that as soon as the device is removed, the woman’s fertility should be restored.
Why Are There Lawsuits Against Paragard?
Lawsuits against Paragard are pending because thousands of women claim they were not warned of the IUD’s potential side effects, particularly the possibility that it might break inside their bodies. They allege that Paragard’s manufacturers, Teva Pharmaceuticals and The Cooper Companies, knew or should have known that Paragard devices, especially older devices, could become brittle and fragment when a doctor attempted to remove them, causing injuries.
Many of these women report that their Paragard devices broke upon removal, leaving fragments behind in their uterus. In some women, the fragments are embedded in the uterine wall. In others, the fragments perforated the uterus and migrated to other parts of the abdominal cavity, such as the intestines. Many of these women experienced pain, bleeding, infections, organ damage, and infertility as a result.
What Are Side Effects of Paragard Use?
Paragard can cause side effects. Some patients may find these side effects to be minor inconveniences, while others may need to stop using the IUD because of them. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that women may experience these side effects:
- Anemia or low blood cell count
- Complete or partial expulsion of the Paragard IUD
- Painful periods
- Longer-than-usual periods
- Spotting in between periods
- Leukorrhea or vaginal discharge
- Dysmenorrhea or painful cramping before or during periods
- Dyspareunia or pain during sex
- Vaginal irritation or vaginitis
- Pain and cramping
- Urticarial allergic skin reaction or hives
Paragard Can Cause Unexpected Perforation and Injury
In addition to the side effects that Paragard can cause, it can unexpectedly puncture the uterus and cause injury. Perforation occurs when the IUD moves through the uterine wall, either partially or completely. Partial perforation results in the IUD moving partly through the uterine wall and remaining there. With complete migration, the IUD moves completely through the uterine wall and into the abdominal cavity.
Perforation can cause serious complications, but it is not the only source of injury from a Paragard IUD. Non-sterile insertion of the IUD can lead to infections. Spontaneous expulsion and unexpected pregnancy can lead to other complications, including infections and infertility.
Injuries Associated with Paragard IUD Use
The FDA provides details about the severe damage and health problems that can come from a Paragard IUD:
- Perforation: The Paragard IUD may perforate the uterus or cervix partially or completely. This can happen at insertion and remain undetected for some time. An undetected perforation can allow the Paragard device to migrate out of the uterus, which can cause problems such as adhesions, peritonitis, intestinal obstruction, intestinal penetration, abscesses, and damage to nearby organs. Breastfeeding women are at higher risk of perforation. Surgical removal of the IUD may be required.
- Embedment: The Paragard IUD may become embedded in the uterine wall, making it hard to remove manually by tugging at the strings. Embedded Paragard IUDs may be more likely to break and fragment during manual removal. Embedded devices and fragments may require surgical removal.
- Expulsion: Some women experience a spontaneous partial or complete expulsion of the Paragard IUD from their uterus. An expelled Paragard IUD does not prevent pregnancy. Women who have a partially expelled IUD should have their medical provider remove it.
- Ectopic pregnancy: While it is rare to become pregnant while using the Paragard IUD, it can happen. Women who become pregnant with a Paragard device in their uterus are at higher risk of ectopic pregnancy. According to the Mayo Clinic, an ectopic pregnancy is one in which the fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancies cannot proceed. They may threaten the mother’s life and cause infertility.
- Intrauterine pregnancy: This is the medical term for a typical pregnancy in which the egg implants in the uterus. These pregnancies are rare for women using a Paragard IUD. However, when they happen, they carry a higher risk of complications. If the Paragard IUD cannot be removed or the patient chooses not to remove it, the risk of miscarriage, sepsis, premature labor, and premature delivery increases. Removal of the IUD may also cause a spontaneous abortion.
- Septic abortion: A septic abortion is not the same as an elective abortion. It is a serious infection that develops during or after the loss of pregnancy, according to the Merck Manual. The infection may be caused by one or more bacterial species and can lead to septic shock, a life-threatening illness. Women with septic abortions require broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy and evacuation of the uterus to remove any remaining fetal tissue.
- Sepsis: This severe infection can occur when a medical provider inserts the Paragard IUD under non-sterile conditions, introducing bacteria into the uterus. Sepsis may be caused by Group A streptococcal bacteria. This condition can cause a severe and life-threatening infection known as Group A streptococcal sepsis (GAS) or by other bacteria. Sepsis can cause death, so it is critical to seek treatment right away for any symptoms of infection, such as severe pain after insertion of the IUD.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease and endometritis: Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and endometritis, the inflammation and infection of the uterus, are other infections that can come after insertion of the Paragard IUD under non-sterile conditions. Patients may experience lower abdominal or pelvic pain, unexplained bleeding, fever, odorous discharge, or genital sores and lesions. PID can damage the fallopian tubes and cause ectopic pregnancy or loss of fertility, hysterectomy, sepsis, and even death.
Paragard IUD Users Continue to File Lawsuits
More than 1,000 women have filed lawsuits against Paragard’s manufacturer, The Cooper Companies, but most of these lawsuits have not yet been resolved. Many of the lawsuits against The Cooper Companies have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL). This action groups the cases together for efficiency but allows each woman to retain an individual case.
According to the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Legislation, there were 1,018 Paragard cases as of April 15, 2022. This number continues to grow as more injured women join together to sue The Cooper Companies. No monetary compensation can ever truly repay these women for what they have endured, especially those who suffered fatal injuries or lost the chance to bear children. However, these lawsuits allow them to express their pain and hold Paragard’s manufacturer accountable.
A Lawyer May Be Able to Help With Your Paragard Case
If you suffered an injury after using a defective Paragard IUD, you may be entitled to damages for your medical care, pain and suffering, and more. A lawyer may be able to help with your Paragard case, so fill out our contact form to learn more. An mass tort lawsuit attorney in our network can learn more about your experience, review your medical records, and let you know if you have a valid case against The Cooper Companies.
Remember, you are not alone. Paragard IUDs have likely injured thousands of consumers. You may be able to join others in your area in a lawsuit against Paragard. Fill out this contact form today to learn more about your legal rights and options.