I had the Essure procedure done in January 2004 and have experienced multiple issues ever since. It started off simple enough with what I thought were menstrual cramps, even though I had never had any type of menstrual cramping prior to the procedure. The next thing I knew I was passing giant blood clots and the cramping worsened. Before long I began getting recurrent urinary tract infections, which again, I had no history of prior to the procedure. Next I began having symptoms similar to when I was pregnant previously and took a pregnancy test which indicated I was pregnant. I made an appointment with my ob/gyn (not the one that performed the surgery) only to be told that not only was I not pregnant, but that I may have cancer and needed to undergo testing. Of course I was devastated at this point. After testing came back and it was determined that it was not cancer, I was found to have nine ovarian cysts. There is no history of ovarian cysts on either side of my family, therefore, I am not genetically predisposed to developing them and again had no history of them myself prior to the procedure. The ob/gyn said that it was nothing to worry about and that most women have ovarian cysts, especially while menstruating. I was not on my period at the time, but was still relieved that it was not cancer but what I was told was a common disorder. It is important to note that all of this occurred over an extended period of time.
Now it has gotten to the point that the cramping is often debilitating during my period, bringing me to tears and keeping me prisoner. My periods are now highly irregular sometimes ending only to begin again the next day, sometimes not coming at all, and sometimes lasting only a short time, but always requiring multiple super absorbency tampons each day and often causing embarrassment from severe leakage. I have had difficulty with losing weight, constant bloating, anxiety, irregular heartbeat, chronic urinary tract infections, insomnia, fatigue, lethargy, mood swings, general decline in health, seizure-like brain activity, lowered levels of serotonin, depression, feeling as if I will black-out, diarrhea, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and more.
As I sit here typing this, while not on my period, I am experiencing severe cramping on my left side where they found five of the nine cysts and have been cramping consistently for over a week now and wishing that there were some way I could afford the $6000.00 surgery to remove the Essure or turn back the hands of time and reject the notion of having the Essure procedure. As the mother of a soon to be ten-year-old child who has special needs and needs me to be able to meet those needs I thoroughly regret having ever even heard of this inhumane surgical procedure which renders me helpless, hopeless, and unable to devote myself to my son as he requires and deserves. I have been through so much because I underwent this ‘simple out-patient procedure,’ that I was told had no side effects, including being made to feel as if I was insane for feeling that there was a link between the implants and my proceeding symptomatology; having to suffer the trauma of being told I may have cancer and then having to wait for test results; and chronic, indescribable, excruciating pain which is far worse than the natural child birth I had experienced previously. Other related symptoms I experience include significant weight gain, migraines for which there is no neurological origin, mood swings, anxiety, lethargy, features of PMDD as described in the DSM-IV-TR or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 4th edition, text revision (APA, 2000).
In addition, the Summary of Safety and Effectiveness that Conceptus had to submit to the FDA prior to approval for Essure indicates that they knew about these side effects, gained approval anyway, and continued to peddle their product while denying culpability. I am utterly disgusted by such disregard for human suffering, particularly as Bayer (the ones that make pain relievers among other things and are now the manufacturers of Essure devices) is contributing to such pain and suffering.
References: American Psychological Association. (2000). DSM-IV-TR. Arlington, VA: APA. USFFDA. (2002). Summary of safety and effectiveness data. Retrieved from http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/