How It Feels to Deal with Retained ParaGard Fragments Following the IUD Removal
The ParaGard intrauterine device, or IUD, is one option to protect yourself from pregnancy for several years. However, a risk of adverse effects is inherent in most medical procedures.
For some, the removal of an intrauterine device is simple and straightforward; others find it very difficult. Some women describe the pain as “insane”, other women say it’s like a pinch. Until you’ve experienced the actual procedure, you can’t understand what you’re getting yourself into.
This is why one can conclude that IUD removal is a highly individual experience. A doctor usually performs the medical procedure.
There is also a chance that the IUD may break during removal. Although the device could fracture by accident before it’s removed; this has happened on rare occasions. Four women with similar experiences shared their feelings after suffering complications when having their ParaGard IUD removed.
ParaGard IUD Brakes at Removal
Michelle, 34: “I used my ParaGard for all the recommended ten years. Then I realized I could no longer stay on the device, and I removed it. When I got it put in, the procedure was painful, so I was scared. And my doctor was somewhat caustic and impatient. She said, ‘That needs to come out,’ and pulled on the strings. I wasn’t ready, and it was really painful. And the ParaGard broke. I was upset and disappointed. I had to go through a hysteroscopy to get the plastic fragments out.”
Copper IUD Misses Fragments
Mariah, 38: “I’d had a copper IUD for over a decade, and I had to get it replaced. I was in a lot of pain for some weeks after the first Paragard IUD procedure, and I feel unlucky that the removal was similar. It just hurt. I think that, at my clinic, they were trying to give me a sense of comfort about the procedure, but frankly, I was very worried. It was so much more than a Pap smear. And the IUD wasn’t intact. I had to return to the clinic to get all the pieces out. It was missing fragments of copper and one arm. After an X-ray and a CT, they saw the fragments between my uterus and bladder. They told me that copper can form intraperitoneal adhesion, and I had to undergo surgery. I was glad when it was all over”.
Terrible Pain from Expulsion
Maria, 23: “I had a ParaGard device knowing none of the potential side effects. I used this contraceptive device that made me bleed a lot, and I thought it was normal. It wasn’t until I was cleaning one day that I felt the strings rubbing on my legs, and I knew something was wrong. After this incident, I started experiencing intense sharp pain, so I had to have it removed. The doctor said the ParaGard was very nearly out. I was surprised to learn that the IUD had been expelled. The expulsion of the ParaGard IUD was actually what caused the cramps. But the IUD didn’t come out in one piece. So I had to have one more intervention that day to remove a piece that got stuck in.”
Copper IUD Removed Through Invasive Procedure
Susan, 25: “I asked at my clinic and they said I could continue using a menstrual cup after I got the copper IUD put in. Specifically, she assured me that if I was careful, it should be fine. And a friend of mine has done this every month. I was still inexperienced with having a copper device, so when I took out the cup and felt a shifting in my uterus, I wasn’t prepared for the worst. I went in to check for the strings, and that’s when I felt the IUD come out. The doctor told me that if it wasn’t causing problems at the moment, I could sleep with the IUD in this state. A trip to the doctor’s office was required for the IUD to be removed and a new one placed in. The doctor got forceps and was about to pull it out, but then stopped and said that it was missing a piece. I had to have an incision. It was much more complicated and painful than the insertion.”
The takeaway is that women report the ParaGard IUD is prone to breaking during removal, which can cause serious complications. Some women have reported that a defect in the design, manufacturing problems or the manufacturer’s negligence caused their ParaGard device to break. When they are left with fragments, this can result in painful and costly additional investigation and surgeries.
About the Author:
Hilda Oltean is an Atraxia Law case manager. In this role, she offers support to women when they have been injured by a ParaGard IUD. Hilda helps injured women get the information they need to assess their situation. She also helps injured women evaluate the possibility of a successful individual claim or class action lawsuit.