A recently-graduated engineering student from Tulane University is attempting to make his millions by turning his senior project into a business. Ben Cappiello and his colleagues seek to “better” the lives of women around the world by improving the delivery system for the controversial contraceptive/abortifacient intrauterine device, commonly called the “IUD.” Unfortunately, like so many problems our world faces today, the medical flaws and dangers inherent to IUDs cannot be fixed by a mechanical device.
When pushing the frontiers of any science, mistakes are bound to happen despite the best efforts and intentions of all involved. This has proven particularly true in the science of health care where innovative, but misguided treatments, have from time to time caused significant pain, or even death rather than the healing and restorative qualities sought. Some of these erroneous attempts to advance medicine have endured longer and proliferated more widely through the current medical community than others. The long history of modern IUDs alone (more than 70 different types have come, and gone, in the last fifty years) is ridden with maternal deaths and other severe medical complications.
Today, widely-documented shortcomings and dangerous side effects of the IUD include device expulsion, pregnancy complications, ectopic (tubal) pregnancies, pelvic inflammatory disease, uterine perforations, migration of the device into the abdomen, becoming embedded in the uterus, and potential for behavior as an abortifacient. Two types of IUDs are currently available in the United States, the Copper T and the Levonorgestreal intrauterine system (Mirena IUD).
Both types of IUDs alter the environment of a woman’s uterus to be hostile to sperm, egg, and developing post-fertilization human alike by releasing either small amounts of copper (in the case of the Copper T) or progestin (in the case of Mirena). This is partially accomplished by thinning the uterine lining (endometrium). The thinning endometrium prevents developing humans at the zygote level of development from implanting and continuing their development, causing a induced abortion.
Now, before you rush to judgment and say, Planned Parenthood said an IUD just prevents a fertilized egg from implanting, it’s not an abortion! Google that term – fertilized egg. You’ll find that a fertilized egg is just another term for human zygote – when egg and sperm have united and created a living, whole, distinct human being with a completely unique genetic code.
Medical studies document that, although pregnancy while using an IUD is highly unlikely, when a woman does conceive despite the now-hostile environment of her IUD-inhabited uterus, the chance of an ectopic pregnancy increases significantly. Ectopic pregnancies (or “tubal” pregnancies, so called for occurring in the fallopian tubes rather than the uterus), can cause, “internal bleeding, infertility and even death.” With rare exception, ectopic pregnancies result in the death of the pre-born child (often through direct chemical or surgical abortions), and frequently threaten the life of the mother so severely that risky surgery must be undertaken to attempt to transplant the child to the uterus.
In June, an ABC news affiliate in Cleveland, NewChannel5, reports:
“NewsChannel5 investigators obtained complaint records from the Food and Drug Administration. They show there have been 70,072 complaints about the Mirena IUD since 2000.
Many complaints involve serious complications. Since 2008, 4,775 women reported “device dislocation.” This may refer to the IUD becoming embedded in the uterus, moving from its initial placement at the top of the uterine cavity, or an IUD that has migrated outside the uterus, according to an FDA spokesperson.
The complaint reports also show 1,322 women have reported uterine perforations since 2008.”
The full 13,434-page compliant report can be viewed online here.
Currently, there are well beyond 300 lawsuits pending where women suffering serious harm from Mirena IUDs are suing Bayer for the pain they have suffered, time they have lost at work, and the immense costs of surgeries to recover IUDs “wandering” through their bodies and to repair the physical injuries which resulted. Several cases have even been documented where a second IUD was placed inside a woman after the first perforated the uterine wall and began migrating into the abdomen or other organs.
Additionally, medical studies have documented: “The IUD is not considered safe for women if they have not first given birth to at least one child, have a history of or had breast cancer, or have multiple sexual partners.” Mirena’s own marketing confirms these dangers.
With the IUD already fundamentally flawed on many biological levels, it is clear a flashy (or terrifying) new device, a gun, for inserting these devices into a woman’s uterus will not improve women’s health. While improving the method of placement may mitigate some health hazards of IUDs it does not address the underlying dangers. Bioceptive’s gun will only encourage wider proliferation of an already highly suspect device.
But just how common do the creators of this new IUD-shooter hope to make their devices? “”We’re trying to really democratize IUD insertion, so that everyone can do them, anywhere,” Cappiello said of Bioceptive’s invention. “All you have to do is squeeze this lever.“”