My husband and I have 4 children. He has two from his first marriage and I have a daughter from my first marriage (all teenagers). We have a daughter together who turned 3 Sept 23rd, 2013. After she was born we decided we did not want any more children, so I spoke to my midwife about permanent sterilization and she referred me to see her colleague the next week to go over my options. At the appointment she told me about Essure, an implant that is inserted in the fallopian tubes which then causes scar tissue around the implant coils to fully close the tubes over a period of 3 months. She informed me that this was an easy procedure, did not require surgery and I could go back to normal activities the following day. I thought this was a great option since I didn’t want to miss any more work since I had missed many weeks after I had our daughter. I did some research online but didn’t find anything negative about the procedure so I had it done Jan 14th, 2011. I was asleep for the procedure and I had cramping for about 2 days (like I was told to expect) then felt fine until I got my first period which was painful and very heavy. Over the next months I started experiencing all kinds of issues that progressively got worse. I started having pelvic pain, at times shooting pain, painful periods, painful intercourse and ovulation, extreme bloating, extreme fatigue, joint and muscle pains, numbness in my hands and feet, shorter cycles and longer periods, anxiety, stiffness/pain in calves when sleeping, weight gain and hair loss. All these issues began to impact me on a daily basis, I could hardly get through the day without taking a nap, running errands and doing things around the house took everything I had in me, I was always hurting somewhere, I felt I could not be the mom and wife I wanted to be and started to get depressed over not being able to function normally. It wasn’t until January 2013 that I started thinking about the time all my problems started happening and realized all of them started after I had the Essure implants put in. I really felt like the coils were at fault for all these problems. I was pretty sure my body was fighting these implants and making me sick in the process. Then one day in June 2013, I had extreme pressure on my bladder on top of the pelvic pain and went to the emergency room. I mentioned to the doctor and nurses that I thought maybe Essure was causing all of this and none of them had ever heard of it. They gave me a shot for pain and told me to see my family doctor without doing any tests except taking a urine sample. I was not pregnant but I had blood in my urine. This is when I decided to go back online and start doing research on Essure. I wanted to see if there were other women who were going through the same thing. I not only found a Facebook group with thousands of other women with the same symptoms but I also found Erin Brokovich’s site dedicated to sharing women’s stories and to collect 5000 signatures on a petition to bring to congress for them to look into their PMA license and to have them do something to inform others about the potential effects on women. I was so relieved to find others going through the same thing because it confirmed what I thought Essure was doing to me and it was comforting to know that I was not alone but at the same time I was appalled at the amount of women with issues and that this product was still out there hurting others. I saw my family doctor 2 days later and this is where my journey began to ultimately get these things out of me. Over the course of the next 2 months she ordered an ultrasound, x-ray, urinalysis, blood work and a CT scan. She wanted to rule out other possibilities. The coils appear to be where they are supposed to be on the x-ray but it’s hard to tell when you can’t see the fallopian tubes on the x-ray. She didn’t find anything abnormal on any tests but wanted me to see an OBGYN about the pelvic pain. By this time it’s the beginning of August. They referred me to an obgyn but when I called to make an appointment I couldn’t be seen until the end of September so the receptionist said I could see a nurse practitioner the next week so I took the appointment. She was very attentive and said that if I wanted them out I should be able to get them out. She told me that since she’s not a surgeon that she would have to talk to her colleague and get back to me the next day to let me know. She called me the next day and said that her colleague reviewed my records and didn’t feel comfortable removing them because my ultrasound looked fine. She hadn’t even met me or heard anything I was going through. I was crying and so upset that I had to start all over again. I did some research online and read reviews to find my next obgyn. I found a man who had great reviews on healthgrades and called to make an appointment. He didn’t have any openings until September 19th but I still took the appointment and waited what seem like forever. I was very anxious to go and was afraid it would be a repeat of my first obygn appointment and didn’t know if I could go through that again. I got there Thursday September 19th, his office staff was super nice and they brought me into his office. A few minutes later he came in and introduced himself. He asked me what was going on and I explained to him all my symptoms and that all of them started after I had Essure placed and then he said the best thing I’ve ever heard. He said “Well I’m not a fan of Essure and I always push for men to get vasectomies when possible.” He explained to me that he does not place Essure in any patients who don’t have any problems in the pelvic region, only in some cases when women already have issues and are on pain medicine or birth control to reduce bleeding. He said it sounds like your body is reacting to the coils. He said the first thing he wanted to do was an ultrasound. I handed him all my records including the ultrasound I had in July and he said wow your doctor made things very easy for me! He looked those over and said that I had 3 options. 1, put me on birth control pills to reduce the bleeding but that defeated the purpose of getting Essure, and would not take care of my other problems. 2 have a look inside to see if anything else is happening via laparoscopic procedure but that would more than likely lead to a 2nd surgery and my 3rd option, a hysterectomy. He said this was the best option and believes I would feel much better after. So #3 we picked and told me that his receptionist would contact me the following week to schedule the pre-op appointment and surgery. He said he will do the laparoscopic da vinci assisted vaginal hysterectomy. He is going to remove both tubes with coils intact; uterus, cervix and he said he will leave at least one ovary depending on how they look. I left his office with tears in my eyes, good tears that I finally found someone who listened and wanted to help me. Sept 24th his receptionist called me and told me my surgery date would be Nov 8th (3 days after my 35th birthday). As much as I don’t want surgery, (which is the reason I chose Essure) I know that I will feel better afterwards and hopefully get MY life back. It upsets me that I’ve suffered for the last 3 years and that I now need major surgery to get back to normal. It upsets me that after the research I did, I found out that there was a nickel warning on Essure packaging asking doctors to do a skin allergy test for nickel prior to implanting. I was never told about this or given the test. I also found out that the manufacturer convinced the FDA to remove that nickel warning in July 2011. I was implanted January 2011 so why was I not given this test? I really do believe that some women implanted with Essure suffer from a foreign body auto-immune reaction. Whether it’s because the coils contain nickel or pet fibers I’m not sure but I believe for some women it creates devastating and life altering problems. I feel that doctors are not properly informed on this product and I do not blame my implanting doctor but I do hold the manufacturer responsible for not properly informing doctors and patients on its potentially long term devastating problems. I had my hysterectomy Friday Nov 8th 2013. I am now 20 days post op and even though I am still recovering from a major surgery I don’t have any of the pain I had prior to my surgery. Since surgery I no longer need to take muscle relaxers before bed to stop the stiffness/pain in my calves because I no longer have the problem. I no longer feel fatigued and need to constantly take naps. I no longer have numbness in my hands or feet. I no longer have pelvic pain or back pain. I no longer have bloating in my abdomen. I feel like I have my life back!