After years of infertility, and adopting 2 beautiful girls, I decided that I didn’t want to take birth control anymore. I talked to my doctor about other forms of birth control because I had heard of so many women getting pregnant after adoption and we didn’t want that. I had been struggling with something known as Vulvydynia which had been caused by years of hormones to try and get pregnant. So I wanted something easy and inevasive. So when my doctor told me about Essure I thought it was the best option for us. It would allow me to stop birth control, which was causing my Vulvadynia to get worse, and there was a quick recovery period with this procedure.
After the procedure everything seemed fine. After 3 months I went back to have the test to verify that the Essure worked. This procedure was extremely painful and I had to go back 3 times before they could properly perform the test and get a result.
My surgery was in the summer of 2009. By November I began having migranes for the first time. I visited my family physician and was sent for an MRI and then to a Neurologist. With no problems showing up on the MRI, I was prescribed medication and sent on my way. Then in April of 2010, I began to have severe burning and itching in the vulva area. At first I thought it was just another symptom of my Vulvydynia, but after months of diaper rash and bladder infection symptoms, I finally made an appointment with a Urologist. She did months of testing and finally sent me to a dermatologist. I had seen several reports of other women with Essure implants that had allergic reactions, but at first I didn’t put the two together. I made an appt with my ObGyn and she reassured me that it wasn’t the implants. However, she never tested me for an allergy prior to my surgery.
Again after months of different steriod creams, with not much relief, I decided to see an Allergist. At this point, I thought I was losing my mind. I explained to the Allergist what I thought it was, so we began to do a host of testing. Some easy and some painful. After all the testing I was no closer to a result. I decided to go see a ObGyn Specialist that could help with my Vulvydynia and maybe the other issues as well.
In August of 2012 I was able to see her and it was very reassuring that I had finally found someone that would listen to me. After months of treatment, she found a creme that helped some and was able to make the red streaks of raw skin bareable. Sex at this point was non-existant. My vulvydynia had worsened, so in August of 2013, I had a Vestubulectomy to basically put new skin on my vulvar. The surgery was a success and the pain associated with the Vulvydynia was 90% better. However, the red-streaked raw skin on the labia part of my vulva were still there.
After months of recovery from my surgery, but still having burning everyday, I’ve now decided to have my tubes removed. I know in my heart that I’m allergic to the nickel in the Essure springs and can’t stand the burning any longer. I may have to have a full hysteroctomy, but thankful I found a doctor that will listen to me and understand that a woman knows her body.
If my story will help one woman not endure the pain I’ve endured for the past 5 years then it’s worth telling. It’s hard to believe that in the US with all the regulations we have, that a company can still produce a product that is harmful, but still get away with injuring people.