Alison’s Story

Most people will likely see this as TMI, but I can’t sit by and not warn others about this device…the Paragard copper coil IUD.

This device is FDA approved to prevent pregnancy and is inserted into the uterus through the cervix. Many women choose it who have had health issues on hormonal birth control (high blood pressure, blood clots, migraines, etc.), as it does not contain hormones and, essentially, prevents pregnancy by creating an irritated uterine wall.

Since I developed high blood pressure on hormonal birth control and it was dangerous for me to have another pregnancy, I chose this option. My health has deteriorated ever since, but nothing I’ve been diagnosed with was indicated as a potential side effect of this IUD.

At the end of it’s useful life, I had the device removed today. A nurse practitioner in my OBGYN office attempted removal, saying that there was only one of two “strings” visible. There should be two retrieval “strings” that are similar to fishing line. She also questioned the oddity that the one visible “string” was brown, instead of the usual white, and said it was breaking off every time she pulled on it.

Finally there was little “string” left, so she ordered an ultrasound to determine if the IUD had migrated or was otherwise in a position where surgery was necessary for removal. The ultrasound showed a large fibroid tumor that had developed around the IUD. The nurse practitioner called the doctor in and she decided to try to remove the IUD herself, using a dilation tool to reach further into my cervix.

The doctor tried for some time, finally asking me if I’d like to go ahead and schedule surgery. I hesitated to answer and she said, let me try one more time. On this last try, she was able to pull the IUD from my uterus, stating upon sight of it that not only had it come out sideways (likely due to it’s envelopment by the fibroid), but that there were NO STRINGS…she and the nurse practitioner had been pulling on the unwound copper wire that had worked its way through my cervix and into my vaginal cavity!

There is currently a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer of the Paragard copper coil IUD, as MANY women have had similar and WORSE issues with this device. I will be looking into joining that lawsuit. I will also be filing a complaint with the FDA.

I’ll take it easy for a while…the doc tells me that the uterus is a very forgiving organ…unlike me. 😉 I’ll go back in September for a check-up on the fibroid, but I have high hopes that a LOT of my issues will have a chance to heal, now that this irritant is gone.