I had the Essure procedure in August 2010. When I had the procedure, I had extreme pain when my doctor was inserting the coils, especially on one side. I thought I was going to come off the bed and punch the doctor in his face. And, this was after having a local anesthetic injected into my butt. The three shots injected into my cervix and uterus really hurt as well. Essure fails to tell you about these.
After the procedure, I drove myself home; no one was required to drive me to and from this “in-office procedure.” I was in a lot of pain. My pain was so bad that I went back to see my doctor. He did a pelvic exam and told me nothing was wrong that he could see. I felt like saying, “Well, you can’t see all the way up inside of me, so how do you know nothing is wrong?” He didn’t investigate any further. I just assumed I was having an unusual amount of pain and stuck it out.
Three months later, in November of 2010, I had the follow-up HSG appointment at the hospital where they inject the dye into your uterus and see if it goes through your fallopian tubes. You do not get the results right away; they send them to your doctor. My doctor called me once he received the results to inform me that the Essure procedure did not work. I received the paperwork from the hospital in which it stated one coil had perforated my right fallopian tube. Needless to say, I did not go back to that doctor.
I found and new doctor and made an appointment. I told the new doctor what had happened and showed him my paperwork. He scheduled surgery for me to have the right coil removed, if possible, and get a tubal ligation. I had a tubal ligation and the Essure coil in my right fallopian tube pulled out. After surgery, which was performed in February of 2011, my new doctor informed me that the coil had perforated my uterus and my right fallopian tube. That could only be seen once the camera was inside of my body. I had extra pain from my tubal ligation and surgery because of the coil that had to be removed from my uterus and fallopian tube. I now have a pretty thick scar on my lower abdomen underneath my belly button because of the camera that had to be inserted there and moved around so much to allow the doctor to remove this coil and clamp my tubes.
The whole year of 2011, I began to have extremely heavy periods. I was bleeding through a tampon and pad. Also, my periods were ten days or longer every time. I spoke with my new doctor and he informed me I could have uterine ablation performed to stop or decrease the heavy bleeding of my periods. He told me I could not have the NovaSure procedure because it is not compatible with the Essure procedure; however, he said I could have the Therma-Choice uterine ablation (heat by warming water in a balloon that is inserted inside of the uterus). Therefore, I had the Therma-Choice uterine ablation procedure in January 2012.
After having this procedure, my periods went back to normal. I didn’t really have any more problems until recently. I did check into if any other women were having problems with Essure after having to have surgery to remove the coil on my right side and my tubes clamped. I didn’t really see much about Essure perforation online besides other women complaining about the procedure itself and other problems with it. I figured there was nothing I could really do about it now. I already had it and had to have surgery. It’s not like I can turn back time; I would if I could.
It has been now been over five years since I had the Essure procedure. I have started having light vaginal bleeding (I don’t even really consider it bleeding, I consider it brown discharge), pain during & after sex, frequent urination, and pain in my lower abdomen that can be severe at times. I have been to the hospital and my OB/GYN doctor (the same one who removed the coil and performed my tubal ligation and uterine ablation).
I do not have any infections, no STD’s (I’ve been with the same man for 10 years), no urinary infections, and I am not pregnant (or I was not at the time of my appointments). My insides (as far as the doctor can see during a pelvic exam) look perfect. My ultrasounds (pelvic and vaginal) look normal. They cannot seem to tell me why I am having these symptoms.
I asked my doctor about my Essure procedure. As soon as I said “Essure,” he told me about women going to the FDA right now. And, all I was going to say was, “Do you think my other coil that was left inside me could have moved or came out of my fallopian tube?” I didn’t get the chance to ask him that because we then started talking about what was going on with this “new” news. Then I forgot to ask him about the coil possible “migrating” somewhere it is not supposed to be.
Today, October 7, 2015, I went on the internet to search the possibility of me being pregnant because my boss keeps joking with me telling me I am pregnant because I have been feeling sick in the mornings and urinating a lot. Therefore, I wanted to check the Essure website to see the possibilities of pregnancy with having the coils in place. Then I was going to check on the possibilities of being pregnant with a tubal ligation.
As soon as I typed “Essure Procedure” in the Google search bar, I saw the website titled “Essure Procedure – Erin Brockovich”. I also saw the Essure website. I clicked on the Essure website and started reading through it again. I noticed right away they had added risks or added to the risk statements on the “safety” section of their website. These added risks and statements were not there when I had the procedure done in 2010.
Risks the Essure website had listed but differed for me: 1) “You may experience mild to moderate pain.” Wrong! I experienced severe pain. And, they should have listed that severe pain can be experienced in some women but they did not. They should also inform the doctors performing this procedure that if a woman has severe pain they should perform more than just a pelvic exam. They should at least give an x-ray to see if the coils have done any internal damage or have not been inserted correctly. They should have some test right away to at least see if they are in place instead of having to be in so much pain.
Statements added to Essure risk statements that were not listed in 2010: 1) “Surgery may be necessary to repair the puncture.” This statement was added to the risk statement: “In rare cases, part of an Essure insert may puncture the fallopian tube.” They did not tell me I may have to have surgery after the fact if the coil punctured my fallopian tube. They also did not state that the coil could puncture my uterus, which it did to me. 2) “You should arrange to have someone available to take you home after the procedure.” This statement was added to the risk statement: “You may experience mild to moderate pain and/or cramping, vaginal bleeding, and pelvic or back discomfort for a few days after the procedure. Some women experience nausea and/or vomiting or fainting.” I did not have to have any one drive me to or from my in-office Essure procedure in which I had severe pain, cramping, and pelvic discomfort. 3) “There are reports of the Essure insert migrating into the lower abdomen and pelvis. If this happens, it may be necessary to surgically remove the migrated device.” This risk statement was not listed under “long term risks” before. I figured if it didn’t happen already, I was good. Now, I am scared that this is what may be going on with me right now. I will hate to have surgery a second time because of this stupid Essure procedure that has already caused me so many problems. 4) “If you have the NovaSure® procedure, a procedure that removes the lining of the uterus to lighten or stop menstrual bleeding, after the Essure procedure, it is unknown if this will affect the blockage in your tubes, and your risk of pregnancy may increase.” This statement has been completely reworded and added to. The Essure website only said that the “NovaSure® procedure” was not compatible with the Essure procedure. It didn’t say anything about “a procedure that removes the lining of the uterus to lighten or stop menstrual bleeding, after the Essure procedure, it is unknown if this will affect the blockage in your tubes, and your risk of pregnancy may increase.” So, what about the Therma-Choice uterine ablation I had? Is that not compatible with Essure either? No one said anything about that. My doctor researched it before letting me have it too! Now I’m scared that having this procedure could cause me problems as well.
New risk statements that were not listed at all in 2010: “There are reports of chronic pelvic pain in women, possibly related to Essure.” This risk is now listed under “long term risks.” Could this be why I am having so much pain lately? If so, what the hell? I don’t want to be in pain like this for the rest of my life. And, I don’t want to have to take pain meds for the rest of my life either.
I now have so many questions for Bayer about the Essure procedure that I did not have in 2010 BEFORE having the procedure. Like: What are the LONG term effects? And, how do you know what the LONG term effects are if only a five year study was conducted? What are the LONG term effects of nickel being released into the body? What are the LONG term risks of getting pregnant? How can you tell your patients if you only conducted a 5 year study? Why would the FDA approve this?
Now I have to have more tests to see what is going on with me. I really do believe the coil left inside me is migrating to a different part of my body or trying to work itself out of my fallopian tube. It seems like my doctor doesn’t want to check into anything having to do with this Essure procedure now. I think he may think I was coming in to see him because of the news about the Essure procedure. But I wasn’t. I was coming in because of my brown discharge, pelvic pain, and pain/bleeding during & after sex. I didn’t even know what was going on with the Essure procedure in the news. I do now. And, I want to let everyone know the problems I had with this procedure. I want to tell women not to have this procedure, to go ahead and have a tubal ligation (which they have been performing for years). My mom told me not to have the Essure procedure because it was too new. Now I know I should have listened to her. With age comes wisdom.