A few thousand women say permanent contraception device Essure produces agonizing pain. Essure says they're in the minority. Erin Brockovich is on the case.
Ventura County Mother Tanya Lovis told CBS that she was "literally walking around hunched over holding onto my stomach for three weeks out of the month" thanks to intense pelvic pain and sharp stabbing cramps for nearly a year before she figured out what was up. “My body was telling me something was wrong,” she said: she was bleeding and vomiting, too.
Lovis finally connected her symptoms with Essure — a permanent birth control device that doesn't require surgery and claims it's more effective than getting your tubes tied — after finding around 1,800 women on Facebook who were experiencing similar ailments on the contraception.
After Lovis got a full hysterectomy (which included the Essure coils), she felt 100% better.
“Oh, I feel amazing. I feel like a new woman. I feel like they’ve replaced my body with another woman’s body,” Lovis said.
Erin Brockovich said thousands of women in the U.S. and Europe have written in to her Essure Problems Facebook Page and website to share similar stories. She's fighting to change the device's preemption status — by law, women who experience excruciating symptoms can’t sue Bayer, Essure's parent company.
Bayer says Essure does more good than harm. Here's a statement:
“At Bayer, we care about patients and take the safety of our products very seriously. We are saddened to hear of any serious health condition affecting a patient using one of our products, irrespective of the cause. Essure was approved by the FDA in 2002, and has a well-documented benefit-risk profile, with over 400 peer-reviewed publications and abstracts supporting Essure’s safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness. Approximately 750,000 women worldwide rely upon the Essure procedure for permanent birth control. A recent practice bulletin issued by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has recognized that hysteroscopy tubal occlusion for sterilization has high efficacy and low procedure-related risk, cost, and resource requirements.
“No form of birth control is without risk or should be considered appropriate for every woman. It is important that women discuss the risks and benefits of any birth control option with their physicians.”
Womanhood is a blast.
Image via AP.