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Compensation paid in IUD cases

Some women have been surprised, when following the fitting of contraceptive coils by their doctors, they have become pregnant and suffered damage to their wombs.

The Medical Defence Union discovered that problems have been encountered involving intrauterine devices (IUD’s). They have been the cause of an increase in compensation, with significant sums being paid in damages to patients, of more than £100,000. One sum related to a woman who sustained a perforated uterus and another, who was fitted with a second IUD, because her doctor did not realise she already had one in place.

98 lawsuits concerning the coil were brought against general practitioners between 2002 and 2011. The accusations of malpractice were studied by the Medical Defence Union. It was revealed that of this number, 39 cases had recorded a complication termed uterine perforation. A further 16, involved family doctors and their failure to remove an existing coil, before the insertion of another one.

The number of reported cases is considered relatively small, taking into account that 127,000 women each year in England, have an IUD fitted. This is performed in a community related medical environment, generally a GP’s surgery.

The coil is manufactured from plastic and copper and has become a popular alternative to the “Pill” and condoms. This is primarily due to the product offering a 99% protection against pregnancy, and the capacity to last about ten years. However, the negative aspects include infection risks, extra painful periods and the potential for dislodgement.

Should a woman be pregnant, the coil must be removed as soon as possible. This is irrespective of a woman wanting to carry the child or not. However, should the coil be removed, it could increase the possibility of a miscarriage.