A Sunshine Coast mother has issued a desperate warning to all women after she almost bled to death because of an incorrectly-fitted intra-uterine device.
Shannon Hubbard chose the Mirena device as a form of contraception and it was fitted by her GP, Bundaberg News Mail reports. But soon after, the 25-year-old realised something was very wrong.
Shannon began bleeding rapidly, filling a "maternity-sized pad" every half an hour.
"When I was losing that much blood with large clots, I knew something was wrong," she recounted. "I went to emergency, and by the time they got me to a bed I had bled through the maternity pad, my pants, and the wheelchair seat was covered in blood."
"I don't know whether the GP checked the positioning of my uterus, but either way she got it wrong," Shannon told Bundaberg News Mail. "I have a retroverted uterus which means it's tilted, and I've now found so many stories of other women with the same condition, so it's not a rare thing."
In hospital the IUD was removed. But Shannon then suffered haemorrhagic shock.
"I went really cold. I remember being freezing and physically shaking because so much blood had left my body, and that's the moment that was most traumatic," she explained. "I was worried my eight-week-old baby wouldn't remember me if I died."
As 9news.com.au, Shannon was rushed to emergency surgery twice, where doctors inserted a balloon catheter to stop the bleeding. She was also pumped with 17 bags of blood.
The Sunshine Coast woman then learnt she would need yet another operation.
"The third surgery was four hours. They found a massive four centimetre tear in my uterus and large blood blister," she said. "When I talked to my surgeon and I described to him how I was feeling, I said it was like I was dying. He turned to me and said 'you were'."
While the operation was a success, Shannon was advised the risk would be too high to have children.
"I’m devastated and I don’t know how it's going to affect me,” she said. "I'm only 25, I had lots of years ahead of me and it's been taken away.”
Although she does not want to scare women off the Mirena advice, Shannon has warned others to be informed about their bodies, the position of their uterus and the possible risks involved.
“I wanted to make it very clear that my message isn’t to never get a Mirena," she said. "I just wasn’t really informed and I feel as though if I had known of the risks for women with different shaped uteruses I would have discussed with the doctor.”