While Mirena is proven extremely effective when performing as intended, Mirena complications can be serious and potentially life-threatening. Infections, cancer, device migration, and pregnancy are all examples of Mirena complications reported by patients. In many cases, Mirena complications result in medical treatment that involves surgery to reverse bodily damage. Surgical procedures are frequently expensive and painful.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Mirena complications can include an increased risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). The risk is especially high during the first 20 days after the Mirena device is placed. After this period, there is a reduced risk of developing Mirena complications such as PID. During the first few months, patients should be monitored by their doctor to prevent or treat Mirena complications.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the reproductive organs, such as the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. PID is caused by certain bacterial infections, especially sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. If left untreated, Mirena complications such as PID can cause permanent tissue damage to reproductive organs.
Other PID and Mirena complications include:
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Formation of abscesses
Mirena Complications of Pregnancy
Bayer Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Mirena, claims that roughly 0.8% of women become pregnant while using Mirena. Becoming pregnant can cause Mirena complications such as ectopic pregnancy and septic abortion. Mirena complications of pregnancy can progress quickly into medical emergencies.
Ectopic pregnancy occurs when an egg is fertilized outside the uterus. Ectopic pregnancies are not viable. If not miscarried or removed surgically, organ rupture and potentially fatal blood loss can occur. Septic abortion, or septic miscarriage, is the loss of a pregnancy due to severe uterine infection. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of the body and become fatal.
Sepsis from Mirena
Mirena complications such as sepsis can occur within a few days of Mirena placement. Sepsis results from infection in the body. It can be life-threatening if the patient does not receive immediate medical attention. When infection occurs, the body releases chemicals to fight it. Sepsis occurs when these chemicals trigger bodily inflammation.
If left untreated, sepsis can develop into septic shock. Septic shock is characterized by a dramatic drop in blood pressure, abnormal heart functioning, and severe abdominal pain. Severe cases of septic shock can cause multiple organ damage and failure. Death can also occur.
Mirena Migration and Embedment
Instances of migration and embedment are other reported Mirena complications. Perforation or erosion of the uterus may occur, presenting the opportunity for migration of the device and other Mirena complications. In several cases, the device was discovered in other areas of the body, such as the pelvis, abdominal cavity, blood vessels, or bladder. Embedment of the Mirena device into the uterine wall or other organs may also occur.
Mirena complications involving migration and embedment must often be diagnosed with testing such as X-rays or ultrasound. Surgical procedures are often necessary to have the device removed. In severe cases, multiple surgeries may be required as the Mirena device can be difficult to remove. Emergency surgeries may also be required to prevent severe organ damage from Mirena complications.