11/20/2020, 14.20
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More than 30 years of suffering for women forced to use intrauterine devices

by Wang Zhicheng

Coils fitted in the uterus during botched operations have led to poor health, bleeding, incontinence, fatigue, and chronic pain that lasted decades. Complaints by women are almost always rejected.


Beijing (AsiaNews) – An aging population and labour shortages are prompting the Chinese government to reconsider its birth control policy. However, while the one-child, later two-children policies might appear outdated to Chinese authorities today, their legacy still reverberates among the women who for decades suffered from forced contraception by family planning authorities.

In an article published yesterday titled “In Depth: Women Fitted With Mandatory Birth Control Devices Find Little Recourse After Decades of Pain,” Caixin relays the story of two women – Lu Ying in Zhejiang and Teng Youxia in Shanghai – who have suffered for almost 30 years from poor health, bleeding, incontinence, fatigue, and chronic pain caused by intrauterine devices (IUDs).

Lu had an IUD fitted twice, because the first coil "didn’t work", but after several years she was told that two coils had been fitted in her.

In Teng’s case, after years of acute pain and bleeding, she found out that the coil fitted in her was too big and had scarred her pelvic region. When she had the coil removed, parts were left behind unbeknownst her.

Eventually, the two women took legal action against provincial authorities, but whilst after 30 years of suffering, Yu got 120,000 yuan (about US$ 18,200) by way of compensation, Teng received nothing because she could not prove that the fragments in her uterus came from the implanted coil the authorities forced upon her.

For the authors of the Caixin article, “It is far from unusual for IUD-related cases to be rejected because the mingling of government and medical elements mean they don’t easily fit into any existing legal category. According to Caixin’s research, most cases of women suing the authorities over their IUDs have been rejected on such categorization grounds.”

It is estimated that after the one-child policy was imposed in the late 1970s, at least 400 million abortions were performed  in China.

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