The Dalkon Shield
The Dalkon Shield was an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD) that women used in the early 1970s and 1980s. Produced by the A.H. Robins Company in the US, the Dalkon Shield was a contraceptive device placed directly into a woman’s uterus that was supposed to prevent the development of a fetus in the uterus. In the 1980s, researchers uncovered an array of severe birth defects and injuries caused by the Dalkon shield, including pelvic infection, infertility, and death of the user. Eventually the A.H. Robins Company took the shield off the market, and the US Food and Drug Administration banned the device. Some users of the Dalkon shield sued the producers of the device, winning millions of dollars in compensation and punitive damages. After the dangers of the Dalkon Shield became public through those lawsuits, the popularity of intrauterine devices decreased significantly in the US.