Thousands of women across the country are asking the FDA to take Essure off the market. Essure is a non-surgical, non-hormonal permanent birth control, and is 99.8 percent effective for women who don’t want any more kids.
However, after experiencing severe side effects and even getting pregnant, KFOR reports that some women question the safety of the popular birth control.
How it works
Essure is inserted into the Fallopian tubes, where tiny metal coils are implanted by a gynecologist. After several months, uterine tissue grows into the metal coils, blocking conception.
Some of the side effects have included joint pain, chronic fatigue, weight gain, heavy menstrual cycles, migraines, hot flashes, hair loss and severe pain.
Many women also have Essure coils which have migrated to other areas of their bodies, cutting through internal organs in the process.
'Most excruciating pain'
Sarah Payne got the Essure coil implants in 2010. Though the procedure is supposed to be relatively painless, Payne said it was the most excruciating pain she’d ever felt.
“It was like a ripping.” Payne said. “When you stand up it feels like someone’s taking your muscles or your insides and trying to pull them apart. It would take me to the floor.”
She believes inflammation from the metal coils sent her into early menopause.
After calling her doctor and others to report the trouble and severe pain, they all suggested a hysterectomy.
“He said, ‘Your only choice is to have a hysterectomy, and then we’re going to put you on bio-identical hormones.’ And all I could think about was more pills.” Payne said.
Victims speak out
Victims of Essure have come together on Facebook, posting pictures and sharing nightmare stories about their side-effects of what they call "e-hell."
Activist Erin Brockovich also joined the fight by launching a website for women who have suffered because of Essure.
The company that invented Essure, Conceptus, is now owned by Bayer, and claims that they did rigorous testing before releasing their permanent birth control implant.
Conceptus got premarket approval (PMA) which preempts future lawsuits, meaning that women who have injuries because of Essure have no way to get compensation from the company.