Paragard is another IUD option that many women select because it is hormone-free and claims to last up to ten years. However, similar to Mirena, the Paragard IUD caused serious problems for many users, leading to many lawsuits—and this number will likely only increase.
These Paragard IUD lawsuits focus largely on the following legal claims:
Design and Manufacturing Defects
Because many plaintiffs had the Paragard device break apart in their uterus, they claim that manufacturers Teva Pharmaceuticals and The Cooper Companies defectively designed or manufactured the device. They claim that proper design and manufacturing would not allow the plastic arm to break apart, requiring surgical removal in many cases.
Failure to Warn
Plaintiffs also claim that the manufacturing corporations failed to provide warnings to consumers about the risk that the plastic arms of the IUD would break and stick in the uterus. Some state they would not have selected Paragard had they received proper warnings of this risk.
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Even though Paragard does not have the hormonal effects of Mirena, the IUD does come with the risk of side effects, which can include:
- Cramping and pain
- Pain with intercourse (dyspareunia)
- Menstrual spotting
- Overly heavy menstrual flow
- Expulsion of the device
While none of these side effects might be life-threatening, they can inconvenience a Paragard user, especially if they were unaware of the potential for such effects.
In addition to the above-mentioned side effects, Paragard also comes with the risk of more severe problems and complications. Specifically, the top arms of the T-shaped device might not bend as they should upon removal, and they might instead break off and remain in the uterus.
When the arms of Paragard break off, they run the risk of embedding into the uterus wall or even causing damage to nearby organs. Many patients suffer ongoing health issues as a result and need surgery to remove the broken pieces.
The arms can also break off before the removal of the device. In this case, medical professionals need to remove the pieces of the broken IUD, which might also embed in the uterus wall.
Instead of hormones, Paragard uses copper wiring to prevent pregnancy because copper is toxic to eggs and sperm. The small amount of copper should not poison a Paragard user’s health in general, though reports have circulated of symptoms and effects that resemble copper toxicity.
Little research has explored the risks of copper toxicity from an IUD. One recent literature review stated that several studies were inconclusive, and several more found no connection between copper toxicity and Paragard. On the other hand, four studies reported elevated copper levels in the bloodstreams of copper IUDs users, though there were questions about the study’s methodology and the reliability of the results.
People who have a diagnosis of Wilson’s disease, which can cause excess copper buildup, might have higher risks of copper toxicity from Paragard. Elevated levels of copper can cause psychological, hepatological, and neurological effects:
- Yellow-tinted skin
- Difficulty speaking
- Stiffness or weakness of muscles
- Abdominal fluid buildup
While the connection between Paragard and copper toxicity is not a strong one, there is a chance that certain users might suffer severe symptoms from copper toxicity, and Paragard might play a role.
Mirena and Paragard might cause different risks and injuries, though similar claims and issues might arise. First, both devices could embed in the uterus or migrate away and damage other organs. These situations can require surgery for removal.
Injured users also allege that the makers of both IUDs were aware of these risks and failed to warn consumers. This means that consumers without proper warnings did not give fully informed consent for a medical professional to insert the device.
On the other hand, both Paragard and Mirena have potentially severe effects that victims might face challenges connecting to their IUD use. The symptoms of the Mirena crash or copper toxicity from Paragard are real for many people. Many victims, however, face legal hurdles when seeking compensation after experiencing these severe effects. They should always seek assistance from a Mirena or Paragard attorney.