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Medical Malpractice/Mirena IUC: sterility lawsuit?

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Question
Hi, I'm a 42 year old woman with two children, ages 9 and 7. After the birth of my second child, my midwife recommended I use the Mirena for birth control. My sister had used it for a couple of years with no problems, so I decided to get it in late December 2005 (6 weeks after childbirth).

All was well until August 2007 when I experienced extreme abdominal pains, worse than natural childbirth. I vomited from the pain, which my OTC medicines couldn't touch. I packed a bag and went to the ER that night (big step for me since I had no insurance, and thought they might do an emergency surgery). But they sent me home after a CT scan showed it was "only" ovarian cysts, and said I could see an OB-GYN in 6 weeks if it didn't go away.

I was in agony the next day and couldn't imagine surviving 6 weeks like that. So I went to a dr. and got a shot of Tordol just so I could drive home, and strong Hydrocodone which worked but stopped me up so much that I had abdominal pains which I thought was impaction, but wasn't. The pain subsided, but returned about a month later in September, which I later realized was ovulation. I was driven to an emergency clinic but felt a little better from pain reliever, so didn't go in.

This happened in October also, so I got an ultrasound showing multiple cysts (3, 4 or 5, some large, on each side, pressing on organs. The OB gave me birth control pills to stop ovulation, and give my existing ones a chance to shrink. Meanwhile, I researched the Mirena and learned a LOT about the cysts.  I never had any more pain, but wanted the device removed so my midwife took it out in early December 2007.  I wanted more children for a variety of reasons, so I didn't use any birth control. I only had a 2-3 light, sporadic periods in the spring/summer of 2008,  which concerned me, so I took care to have a healthy diet.  

I called Bayer and filed a complaint with someone about my cysts, but didn't realize I was infertile.

Starting in the spring of 2009, I had night sweats and mood swings which were a mystery since I didn't suspect early menopause. I researched thyroid problems and thought that was it, so took supplements, hoping to bring on my cycle again. After the summer went by with still no periods for one year, I went to the dr. where blood test results showed that I was "post-menopausal" - what a shock at age 38!

Suffice it to say, I never had any more periods, which I attribute to the Mirena.  The last regular periods I had were before I got pregnant with my last child in Feb. 2003, because periods are non-existent in the first few years of using the Mirena.

My mom had a hysterectomy at age 38 (due to ovarian cysts which she couldn't even feel, but back then the drs were anxious to do the procedure), so I don't know when she would have gone through menopause, but certainly not as early as I did. She later took HRT to alleviate symptoms.

I only have one sibling, my sister, who has 4 kids. My husband has two siblings, and we wanted to have more than two children.  Many of our friends have large families, so I do think we would have gone on to have at least one or two more children, possibly more.  We regularly entertain friends at our house who have 5 or more children, so a large family would be nothing unusual around here.  We have friends with 16, 13, 10 and 9 children, so we are the anomaly with only two. I have deep regrets about using the Mirena and donít recommend it to anyone.

I just learned about all these Mirena lawsuits and would like to file one, but does the one year statute of limitations apply to my situation?  Thank you. I've never filed any lawsuit before, so advice is appreciated.

Answer
Dear CGJ:  

I think it is important that I tell you about my experience with IUD litigation.  From about l980 to the early 1990s I was deeply involved with lawsuits against the AH Robins Co. and its successor regarding a very very bad device, the Dalkon Shield IUD.  I represented about 150 women, including women who had hysterectomies in their 20s because of the IUD. I took and attended probably 200 depositions of OB/GYNs, and became very well versed in the dangers of the Dalkon Shield in particular but most of that information translates to other IUDs.  The primary problem with the Dalkon was that bacteria wicked up the string and caused uterine infections which could be of no consequence or huge consequence. In the worst cases the pelvic inflammatory disease necessitated hysterecotomies and in many cases the bacteria caused infection and scarring in the tubes which led to infertility and ectopic pregnancies.  In many of the cases I worked on, the women also had ovarian cysts.  From everything I know from working of those cases and hearing many many gyns testify on the subject, ovarian cysts are not caused by infections or otherwise related to IUD use.  We argued in such cases that an infection that moves up the tube all the way to the ovary could impair the function of the ovulation process causing the emerging egg to get stuck and grow into a cyst.  That theory was shot down every time.  In all of your research about the Mirena I would doubt that you ever saw any good evidence that the IUD could in some way cause an ovarian cyst.  By what process?  How?  I have responded to ....it seems like..hundreds of women complaining about the Mirena. 95% of the complaints involved the IUD moving, getting lost inside, embedding in the wall of the uterus or worse yet, perforating the uterus and ending up in the abdomen somewhere requiring surgery to remove. I can't say that the subject of cysts has ever come up with the Mirena

Also, you must admit it is a relevant consideration that you own mother had cysts at a young age and I presume she did not ever use a Mirena and maybe not any kind of IUD.  How did she get them?  So, although I am sympathetic with your problem, based on everything I know, this is merely a coincidence as far as when these cysts developed and based on your family history, maybe not so surprising.

But hey, what I say doesn't mean anything really.  There are now dozens of lawfirms around the country looking for good Mirena cases.  You can find them easily online.  They would be up on the most recent developements and maybe some new medical theories that I am not familiar with. If you do have a case, there will be no problem in finding a firm to take it on.  My only advice is, under no circumstances do not pay any law firm any money.  If you do have a case they will cover all the costs and get paid a fee when and if  you obtain compensation.  Any firm asking for any money for any purpose does not believe in your case but might try to get some money from you anyhow.  Best of luck.

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Glenn A. Dorfman

Expertise

Thirty-four years experience in personal injury, medical malpractice and medical product liability law. Qualified to answer all questions regarding injuries and the law, except for worker`s compensation. Also wide experience in medical product defect cases ie current litigation regarding the Johnson&Johnson (DePuy)defective hip implant cases and Mirena IUD issues

Experience

Thirty-four years experience handling cases involving auto accidents, trips and fall, fires, dog bite,medical malpractice and defective medical product cases with particular emphasis in 2012 and beyond with the DePuy ASR (Johnson&Johnson) defective hip implant cases. Twenty-five years of experience with defective IUD issues as well

Education/Credentials
Jurisdoctor Degree 1976 and Member in good standing with CA State Bar Assoc. since 1976

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