At 29 years old, I had the Essure procedure on March 28, 2013. I was sore after the procedure and my abdomen was swollen, but thought that this was normal and would pass.
Then 5 days went by. I was eating dinner with my family when I became nauseated to the point that I had to stop eating and lie down. A few hours later, I was in excruciating pain on my left lower abdomen and nothing would relieve the pain. I was vomiting and my husband drove me to the ER. I had urine and blood tests, a CT scan of my abdomen, and ultrasound in the ER.
They ruled out ovarian torsion. They found a 3.5cm ovarian cyst that I had no knowledge of and ruled it out as the source of the pain. I was started on IV Dilaudid for pain, Zofran for nausea, and admitted to the hospital. The Essure coils were present in the CT scan and appeared to be in the right place according to the ER physician, although I had to tell the ER staff what Essure was when I arrived. I spent 4 days in the hospital dealing with a few nurses accusing me of being a junkie- I am not by the way.
I work full timeas the Director of Marketing for a local long term care community, am actively involved events around my community, and spend my free time enjoying my family and friends. I do not partake in illicit drug use or prescription abuse and have never liked to take drugs as I do not like how they affect me. My pain was 8-10/10 almost the entire time I was in the hospital, rarely dipping down to a 6 and was constantly on pain and nausea medicine. I could not keep a clear liquid diet down for several days. The gynecologist who performed my procedure was my hospitalist and came to see me 3 times while I was there. She said that the Essure coils could not be the cause of my pain and couldn’t suggest anything else that could cause it either.
She referred me to a Gastroenterologist to rule out any GI issues. GI evaluated me and said that he did not feel that my Gastrointestinal system was of any blame for my symptoms. I felt like no one was listening to me and my pain has not resolved. I asked for a second opinion at the hospital as I was frustrated with the lack of answers and was told by a General Surgeon that my body was probably rejecting the coils but then nothing further was done by that physician. I was sent home April 6th with Mobic and Vicodin and told to rest. The medicine does not decrease my pain, only my attention span, which I am uncomfortable with.
I scheduled follow up visits for April 9th with my primary care physician and the Gynecologist who placed the Essure. My primary care physician said that I was most likely having a reaction to something in the device and that the only way to get some relief is to remove it. He said that I would likely have to have my fallopian tubes removed. When I went to the gynecologist later that day, I was armed with my primary care physician’s knowledge and support of me and my predicament. Finally someone listened and responded to my symptoms! The gynecologist talked with me about the different options for removal and asked what I wanted to do. I told her that I still wanted to keep my ovaries as I do not want to take HRT. I also want to keep my cervix to prevent vaginal prolapse. I want Essure and the pain that comes with it out. My initial pain area started burning and feels hot from the inside as of yesterday, which I have started to feel on my upper thigh this morning.
The sharp pain has started spreading to the right side as well. My lower extremities are swelling and my abdomen remains swollen. I look like I’m 6 months pregnant and most definitely am not, verified at the hospital as well. I have shared my story with friends who are employed as physicians and they are suggesting the same conclusion as my primary care physician. My gynecologist said that she has done thousands of these procedures and I am her first patient to report complications after the recovery period so severe. I have so many emotions going on: anger, fear, resentment, sadness, but then also relief that I am finally being taken seriously. I have never been a stay at home on the couch kind of person. I always have to have something to do, somewhere to go, a project, etc. so these past few weeks have been absolute hell for me. I am scheduled to have a hysterectomy on April 12th and pray that it takes all the symptoms away so I can return to my life as I have known it.
I do not intend to spend the rest of my years unable to work, on medication, and in pain. I don’t understand why the manufacturer is still allowed to keep this product on the market. Even if the percentage of affected women is approximately 2%, that is still 20,000 per one million who receive the device. It is horrifying to think that no one has been able to stop this yet. I do not wish this on anyone.
I never wanted to have a hysterectomy and most certainly could not have imagined this two weeks ago. I intended on having all of my reproductive organs when I aged to a little old lady, sitting on my porch swing, and watching my grandchildren play. Some people might say that it’s excusable because I didn’t want to have any more children anyway, but I made a choice to have hormone free permanent birth control.
I do not get to choose whether or not to have a hysterectomy and fear what will happen next without it. I have already lost 2 weeks of my life and my son’s childhood to Essure that were supposed to be so wonderful. I was afraid that I was the only one or at least made to feel that way until I saw so many women affected negatively on hundreds of blogs on the internet. I pray to God that help is available for everyone. No one should be made to suffer.