ParaGard is an intrauterine device (IUD) used by women for long-term birth control since its’ introduction onto the market nearly 40 years ago.
Recently the small copper implant has been linked to serious injuries and complications that occur during the removal of the device. Lawsuits filed against the IUD’s manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals—which later sold Paragard to CooperSurgical in 2017—allege perforation, migration, infection, scarring, and permanent damage to the uterus or other nearby organs in women who relied on the device for long-term pregnancy prevention.
ParaGard is an intrauterine device (IUD) used to prevent pregnancy long-term. It does not release hormones like some other types of birth control. Its’ website boasts that it is “more effective [at preventing pregnancy] than any other hormone-free birth control method,” with a 99 percent effective rate.
The small, flexible T-shaped device is made of a soft plastic coated with a thin layer of copper wire coiled around its’ arms and stem. The copper element produces an inflammatory response that is toxic to sperm and eggs thereby blocking conception and pregnancy.
A health care provider inserts Paragard into the uterine space using special instruments and an applicator tube. Paragard’s horizontal arms fold down as part of the insertion process as the tube is guided through the cervical canal and positioned securely into the uterus. Once the applicator tube is removed, the arms help to hold Paragard in place.
Strings at the end of the birth control device’s stem will be trimmed to hang comfortably from the vaginal opening and monitor Paragard’s placement.
Paragard is the only copper IUD made and available in the U.S. It can last up to 10 years at which time it will need to be removed and replaced with a new ParaGard device if birth control is still desired. It can also be removed at any time before 10 years, and its’ effects are immediately reversible if a patient decides she wants to get pregnant.
Paragard does not protect against HIV, AIDS, or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). A patient might have to undergo screening for pregnancy and/or STIs before ParaGard can be used.
Paragard is not right for everyone. Patients should speak with their doctor about possible contraindications prior to using Paragard.
Women reported short-term and long-term risks associated with Paragard in clinical trials. Some women might have reactions to the copper element present on the device itself. Others might have adverse reactions directly following the insertion of the IUD device or several months after its’ placement.
Many risks and injuries have been linked to the removal of Paragard, as well. Additionally, being pregnant while using Paragard can be dangerous for the mother as well as the fetus.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is tasked with the review and monitoring of medicines and medical devices. Patients as well as their health care providers can submit medical device reports to the FDA alerting it to specific adverse reactions or side effects experienced while using Paragard so the federal agency can continue to evaluate and review the device’s overall safety.
During the insertion of Paragard and directly after its’ placement, woman might experience the following symptoms:
Rarely, the IUD can perforate or tear the uterine wall or cervix causing serious or permanent injury.
The most commonly reported side effects of Paragard after it has been inserted include:
Other less common side effects of Paragard include:
Sometimes, patients can experience more severe side effects of ParaGard. These side effects might not be immediately known. Patients might be required to follow-up with their doctor about a month after ParaGard is inserted to check for signs of infection and to make sure the IUD is securely in place and has not moved.
Serious risks of ParaGard include:
Expulsion of Paragard—where the device partially or completely falls out of the uterus on its’ own—occurs in about 2 out of 100 women, according to clinical trials. If the patient cannot feel Paragard’s threads or she can feel the threads are much longer, she should call her doctor to make sure the birth control device is not being or has not already been expelled.
A woman is more likely to expel Paragard if she:
In rare instances, pregnancy can still occur when using Paragard. If a patient using Paragard suspects she is pregnant, she should contact her doctor right away. It is possible that being pregnant with Paragard still in the uterus can lead to severe infections or shock, miscarriage, premature labor or delivery, and even death. Ectopic pregnancies (where the pregnancy occurs outside the uterus) are also more common with Paragard and can cause internal bleeding, infertility, and even death. For these reasons, a health care professional will likely recommend removing Paragard immediately, which can result in spontaneous abortion (loss of pregnancy).
Paragard is removed by your doctor or other health care provider. The device is designed to be removed without surgical intervention—the same as insertion—using forceps to grab hold of the strings and gently pull the IUD until it leaves the uterus. Women should experience no more than some bleeding and cramping after removal.
But Paragard’s manufacturer reports on its’ website that Paragard can sometimes be more difficult to remove because it is possible for the device to get “stuck” in the uterus. In this instance, surgery is likely to be needed to remove the IUD.
However, the maker of the copper birth control device only divulged part of the risks associated with Paragard removal. Even with surgery to remove the IUD, many women were left with parts of the device still inside of them and/or serious and sometimes permanent injuries to their uterus or other nearby organs.
Rarely, Paragard removal resulted in permanent disabilities or even full hysterectomies in affected women.
Lawsuits claim that removing Paragard can result in serious injuries or permanent disability. Paragard must be removed and replaced every 10 years and can be removed at any time within 10 years if a woman decides she wants to get pregnant. But removing the device can be difficult and sometimes requires surgery. Parts of the Paragard IUD can break off and move outside the uterus. Copper left behind in the body can cause inflammation or other injuries. Additionally, the device can become embedded in the uterine wall or move outside the uterus and become embedded in nearby organs. Women injured by Paragard suffered perforation of the uterus, infections, scarring, and other damage to nearby organs.
Other IUDs—such as Mirena—are linked to a serious brain injury called pseudotumor cerbri (PTC). PTC is caused by a pooling of cerebrospinal fluid around the brain. A 2017 study found that women using IUDs that release a hormone called levonorgestrel—like Mirena—are more than seven times more likely to develop PTC. ParaGard does not release hormones.
Symptoms of PTC are similar to those experienced in individuals with a brain tumor and might include:
According to court documents, people who have filed Paragard lawsuits make four main claims against Cooper Surgical and Teva Pharmaceuticals.
The 4 Types of Paraguard Lawsuits Claim:
It is important to show that the manufacturer of faulty devices knew or should have known about the risks related to using their product and acting negligently in failing to warn consumers. Paragard’s manufacturer claims that its’ labeling does include a warning that ParaGard removal might be difficult and may require surgery. But women injured by Paragard assert that the warning is insufficient and lacks the full extent of risks associated with the removal of the IUD.
A skilled attorney can help to strengthen your claim for compensation, which can include a request for actual medical bills and ongoing treatment expenses, pain and suffering, loss of consortium (deprivation of a familial relationship), and even punitive damages meant to punish the at-fault party for intentional wrongdoing or gross negligence.
There are presently no class actions or consolidated federal cases for ParaGard lawsuits. Filing a lawsuit on your own can be tricky. For the best chance of receiving a settlement or successful jury verdict, patients injured by ParaGard should seek the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney to file an individual lawsuit in the proper jurisdiction containing the appropriate claims.
If you were injured after the insertion or removal of Paragard, you might qualify for a Paragard lawsuit. You will need to show that your injury or resulting disability was the direct result of the copper IUD. An experienced attorney can review your case and medical history to help establish your claim.
If you or a loved one was injured after insertion or removal of the Paragard IUD, we are here to help! We at the Law Offices of Taylor Martino want to speak with you about your Paragard case today. We promise to work hard for you as you bring forth your claim, protecting your confidentiality and defending your rights along the way. We can handle all aspects of your claim, including hiring medical and financial experts.
We will evaluate your situation and determine if you have a legal claim for damages and how we can best help get you the compensation you need and deserve to recover and get on with your life, hopefully, healthier and made whole. Call us at 251-433-3131.
It’s always disheartening to suffer an injury after taking medicine or using a medical device. Patients put their trust in the health care industry and can feel confused or even frightened when that trust is betrayed. But we don’t want you to have to struggle through this alone. Our dangerous drug attorneys are knowledgeable about legal claims involving ParaGard injuries. We are happy to help answer your questions.
CONSULT WITH A PARAGARD INJURY ATTORNEY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR STRATEGIES, PROCESSES, AND PROCEDURES SUCCESSFULLY HANDLING COMPLEX DANGEROUS DRUG CASES.