Michella, 32 years old, has had complications with Essure just eight weeks after it was implanted.
“I had some irregularities for a few cycles but didn’t think anything was wrong - until I had extreme abdominal pain,” says Michella.“I followed up with the ultrasound dye test 90 days post-procedure to make sure the coils were implanted correctly and to make sure that scar tissue hadn’t formed. Everything looked fine. And my first period seemed normal, but it never ended.”
Along with Michella’s complaint, the FDA has received more than 5,000 Essure adverse event reports since 2012, the year Michella had the device implanted. A Facebook page called Essure Problems has 27,000 members. Given the number of women who use Essure to prevent pregnancy (Reuters estimated half a million in the United States), attorney Lance Unglesby believes that thousands more women could be suffering with Essure complications but aren’t associating their injury with the device.
Many women, including Michella, have filed similar complaints with Unglesby. “Women have reported heavy bleeding [some have required blood transfusions], constant heavy bleeding, dyspareunia or painful sexual intercourse, chronic pelvic pain, chronic fatigue and hair loss,” says Unglesby.
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As if her problems can’t get any worse, the ER doctors are concerned that Michella could have organ perforation, but she can’t afford the co-pay to have further tests. “I have to pay for groceries first,” Michella says, who is a mother of two young children and going through a divorce.
“Before I called an attorney, I wrote a letter to Bayer detailing my symptoms. I had no reply, which speaks volumes to me. I want to ask Bayer, ‘What am I supposed to say when my children want to play but I’m too exhausted?’ I’m trying to do the right thing for my kids. At this point, because I’m in so much pain, I am considering a hysterectomy.”