My name is Laura and this is my story:
After my third child was born in 2006, I decided to have the Essure procedure. I was assured this procedure was the better alternative to other known procedures. I had the Essure procedure in the hospital and everything seemed to go well.
I suffered little side effects or problems in connection to the procedure….
Then in 2009 I discovered I was pregnant. I phoned the physician’s office and I was told that the pregnancey was most likely ectopic and I should go to the ER and get ultrasounds and tests. This I did. The hospital pulled all of my records on the Essure procedure and performed ultra-sounds until it was discovered that the pregnancy was in utero and looked normal. No mention of the Essure coils being a problem/concern was even mentioned. I was told, ‘If you want to keep the baby, better get an OB!’
Although I wasn’t ready for more children and had just started a Post-Bacc program in college, AND was going through a divorce (not my other childrens’ father) I decieded to have the baby. I had an OB who delivered my other children from a Catholic hospital and she was not informed or an advocate for the Essure. She simply told me we’d keep an eye on the pregnancy and everything should be fine. (I never could get the Dr. who performed the Essure to see me or discuss anything with me.) I was caught up in the shock of the pregnancy and figuring out my life.
Within the first 3 months of pregnancy I suffered from a hemmorhage and was treated at the ER. This Dr. informed me that I was having a miscarriage and that he could see a ‘mass’ but that it probably wouldn’t make it and I could go home and pass the ‘mass’.
I saw my OB the following Monday and she did ultrasounds immediately, questioned the ER Dr.’s treatment and informed me that it was a subchrionic hemorrhage and it could heal…we’ll keep an eye on it. A couple months later it looked like it healed and we continued care as usual.
My son was born in Jan of 2010. Within his first 2 months I noticed that he could not focus his eyes at all and they seemed to ‘bounce’ quickly. Over the next 4 months I battled getting agreements/referrals with his Doctor to have further testing. By the time my son was 8 mos old he was diagnosed with Septo-Optic Dysplasia and blindness. I was told that bleeding during pregnancy could have played a role. (Essure had never been mentioned at this point and I didn’t really think about it…my focus was on my son).
When it finally came time for me to face the fact that I needed a new procedure, I visited a surgeon from a different town, and she agreed that she disagreed with the Essure, that I’d been through enough, and that she would just remove my fallopian tubes. I agreed.
Imagine my surprise when the surgeon came to my bedside after the procedure and showed me the internal-camera picture of the right essure coil embedded in my uterus and scarred over. She told me, ‘this coil slipped (after years) and you became pregnant, it perforated your uterus and explains the hemorrhage during pregancy and possible the condition of your son.’ Although my fallopian tubes have been removed, the coil that slipped remains embedded in my uterus today. Whether or not this coil will slip again and cause further damage is yet to be seen.
I have filed lawsuits, but to no avail. My son has suffered everyday since birth and I am 34 years old and worried that in 10, 15, 20 years, as my body changes that I could indeed suffer more damage myself.
This has been a hell of a road for me. My education halted. Careers cancelled. Disability for my son. Living poor and struggling in order to be involved in therapy and teaching my son. I decided it was worth it to struggle in order to be home and here for my son, and all of my children. The embarrassment I carried around with me from having different fathers’ and living at the poverty level has caused a great deal of stress and depression. I get judged by people who have no idea what I have been through. My son and the fact that he is so brave, smart, and loving gets me through all of it most of the time, but this still doesn’t replace the ice-cold slaps in the face from the Dr. who performed the procedure, and who is still assuring women that it is GREAT, the attorneys who wouldn’t take my case, and the judge who dismissed the case.
Thank you for advocating for us women, Erin, you have no idea.