Six years ago, Carrie, age 38, had the Essure device implanted. She decided not to have another child and her gynecologist convinced her that this device was easier, cheaper and safer than having your tubes tied. There were no Essure side effects, and because there was no discussion about complications, Carrie didn’t think to ask about the possibility of removing the device.
Six months after having the Essure device, she was a regular patient at the pain management clinic. “I’ve been healthy all my life and never had any back problems,” says Carrie. “I started getting terrible lower back and leg aches. My doctor ordered a few MRIs and CT Scans - I had medical insurance at the time - but nothing showed up. It got so bad that I couldn’t sleep at night, even with painkillers.”
Carrie went back and forth from the pain management clinic to physical therapy. She was also bleeding heavily; sometimes her period would last an entire month. Sex was just about nonexistent. “Sex was really painful. One time my partner almost drove me to the hospital,” says Carrie. “After we had sex the cramping got so bad that I was keeled over in pain, for at least an hour. I am so grateful to have this great guy who loves me. He has put up with so many sleepless nights, pouring warm baths for me in the middle of the night. But not having sex of course puts a strain on any relationship.”
Still, Carrie didn’t suspect Essure. As well, her sister had the device implanted and she didn’t have any problems. But a friend saw a televised news item about Essure complications.
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The more Carrie read online about Essure and how many women have suffered severe side effects, the angrier she became. And now she is concerned about a possible metal allergy. Carrie no longer has insurance, so she has to pay for blood tests to determine if she is allergic to the nickel in the Essure coil. About 10-20 percent of the population is allergic to nickel, yet the FDA approved Essure, fully aware of nickel toxicity.
“At this point I want Essure removed but am I looking at a hysterectomy? I don’t want more children, but I definitely don’t want that.”