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Woman’s IUD Horror Story Ends in Amputation

A 25-year-old woman nearly died and had all the toes on her left foot amputated after an IUD “went missing” in her body.

The Daily Mail is reporting on the story of Tanai Smith of Baltimore, Maryland, who opted for an IUD (intra uterine device) after her daughter, Morgan, was born. Although she had the normal cramps headache after the insertion, within a few weeks the symptoms disappeared and she felt fine.

In October 2017, she visited a new OB-GYN for an annual checkup and was surprised when the doctor told her that she couldn’t see the IUDs. Because the T-shaped devices sometimes fall out, she was sent to a radiologist who performed an ultrasound on her stomach, cervix, and uterus. The scan found no evidence of the device.

Because she knew that the device did not fall out, and she had no symptoms that something was amiss, she just assumed it had “gone missing” and went home.

A month later, she was at work when she felt a sharp pain in her stomach. The first thought that popped into her head was to wonder if it might be the IUD. The pain became so bad that she finally left work and went straight to the emergency room. An X-ray revealed that her hunch was correct – the IUD had wedged itself into the wall of her stomach.

On December 13, she was in the operating room, expecting to have the device removed and to get back to her life.

But it wouldn’t turn out nearly so well.

“Everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong,” she writes on her GoFundMe page.

During the surgery, the doctor discovered that the IUD had traveled to her liver and broken into four or five pieces, making it difficult to locate and extract. When they finally managed to remove all the pieces she was given pain medication and sent home with her mother.

However, that night she began vomiting and bleeding vaginally. She was taken back to the hospital where X-rays revealed she was bleeding internally. Doctors rushed her back into surgery only to find that her ovaries had turned black and she would need to have all or part of her uterus removed.

Following this second surgery, she developed sepsis and was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit where she began to experience a tingling sensation in her hands and her feet grew numb. Although the feeling returned to her hands, her toes began to turn black from necrosis, which occurs when too little blood flow to an area causes the death of body tissue.

By the end of her ordeal, she lost all of the toes on her left foot and the tips of her toes on her right foot.

Thankfully, she has been complication-free since May. Although she has not been able to return to school or to her part-time jobs at Target and Johns Hopkins Hospital where she worked as a residential assistant, she’s happy to be with her daughter again.

“ . . .[W]ith faith and God, the prayers that everyone sent out, I am here today,” she says.

Smith claims she doesn’t regret getting the IUD, but she wants to be a voice of warning to women to be careful.

“It's always on my mind - I wish I knew what went wrong, so when my daughter asks why she has no brothers or sisters, I can explain,” she said.

Stories such as this are not uncommon for women who choose hormonal intrauterine devices as a method of birth control. At the present time, thousands of women are suing Bayer Pharmaceuticals, the manufacture of the Mirena IUD for complications similar to those experienced by Smith – device migration, organ perforation, and related injuries, including pressure buildup in the skull called pseudotumor cerebri.

Click here for more information on the harmful effects of artificial contraception.

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