My story actually involves two of Bayers devices, Mirena and Essure. After the birth of my daughter in 2007, I had the Mirena inserted after being encouraged by my doctor and his nurse. At the time we had six children between us, and I didn’t want anything permanant. When I went in to the procedure, I was not quite sure what to expect. I certainly wasn’t expecting the extreme pain I felt when it was inserted, by a nurse who didn’t appear to know what she was doing.
About a month later, I went back to make sure that it was still in place. Upon examining me, she couldn’t find the strings and told me that I must have expelled it at some time. I was pretty I would remember something that large falling out of me, but she assured me that it had. She wanted to try again, and I said no. She never suggested getting an ultrasound to look for the missing device. The pain of inserting Mirena was worse than child birth, so I opted for low dose birth control pills, as I was nursing my daughter.
Within about a month, I was pregnant with my son, born in 2008 perfectly healthy.
We now had 7 children and my husband didn’t want anymore, so we were looking again at birth control. My doctor spoke highly about Essure. My husband was moving about a thousand miles away at the time, and this seemed wonderful: no down time and it wasn’t quite as permanant as getting my tubes tied. With three children to chase around and care for alone, this seemed like a great option. I was told Essure was titanium tubes, simple insertion, no pain, and nothing about side effects or complications.
Within a year I was experiencing pain, non-stop bleeding, and bloating. We had relocated since getting the Essure implanted and I went to get a yearly exam. I was referred to an actual gynocologist, since we are military. He first tried pills, and they didn’t work, so he scheduled a laproscopy. He found evidence of endometriosis, something I struggled with for years, and an excessive amount of fibroids, cysts, pre-cancerous tumors and a very inflamed uterus. Essentially I had no choice but to get a hysterectomy, or continue to be in pain and suffer from severe anemia. I was 32. My uterus was the size of a 3 month pregnant woman.
Since then I have suffered from pain, some days worse than others, in my lower left side. No one had ever taken me seriously, I was refered from the gynocology nurse at the clinic to a gastro doctor. I never got to get a colonoscopy, quite frankly, with three children and being a fulltime student and often working, I didn’t have time. I assumed the pain was from the hysterecotomy and endometriosis.
Fast forward to 2014. I ran a 5k in April and have had awful pain in my left hip. I thought perhaps I strained it and I have been working out since, incorporating a lot of stretching. The pain had gotten worse so I finally broke down and got an x-ray. I received a frantic phone call from my nurse, asking me if I ever had an IUD. I explained yes, but it fell out in 2007. Guess what they found? Mirena, stuck in my lower left side. Apparently at one point and time there are other x-rays showing it in the upper right side. Yet this is the first I heard about it. The nurse had not once bothered to look for it. At no point and time was I told of any of the complications associated with either product. Yet every single day for 7 years I have suffered. I was never told Essure was nickel. I never had an ultra sound done to confirm expulsion of the IUD. Now I am about to start my internship I have been working for 4 year on (graduate school) and I need to have another, more invasive surgery. Folks, I have served in combat twice. I feel now like I am still a government test monkey, and that I am now at war with Bayer. Obviously the FDA is not watching out for our best interests, rather the best interest of the multi-billion dollar drug industry.
Today I was told how lucky I am, since obviously the IUD immediately perforated my uterus. Had she aimed it left, or right, even a bit, I would have bled to death. It is a miracle that my son survived with the trauma to my uterus. It is another that my uterus didn’t rupture when I went into labor. To say I am angry that their neglect, both the doctor and Bayer, put my life and my son’s life in danger, is putting it lightly.