I had Essure implanted in May of 2012 at the age of 33. I have 4 children from my ex-husband and I cannot take hormonal birth control due to blood clots. Since I was taking Coumadin (blood thinners) the non0-surgical Essure procedure sounded like the perfect option. I asked about risks and was told that the only risk was of pregnancy in the first three months after implantation if I did not use a back up method of birth control. Other than that, no other risk factors were presented to me. I did a but of online research and could not find anything related to adverse reactions, side effects or risks. Within mere hours of my Essure procedure I was covered in a rash that spanned my entire torso, pelvic area and upper thighs. I asked the dr if any latex had been used in the procedure because I have an allergy, and they insisted that every precaution had been taken and nothing contained latex. Since it’s pretty common an allergy and most health care facilities are latex free, I had no reason to blame latex (plus my latex allergy causes hives and this rash wasn’t hives). I was told I would have some mild cramping from the implants on that first day, but nothing more than mild period cramps. This was BS! I had severe labor-like cramps and pelvic pain that entire day. It subsided a bit the following day but only if I kept taking 1000 mg of Motrin on a regular basis.
Within 5 days of my Essure procedure I was in the ER and diagnosed with Shingles for the rash that I had from day 1. To this day I have no idea whether it was actually shingles or not, but when I walked in to the hospital the day of my Essure procedure I was 100% healthy and every day since then I have not been! Pelvic pain and ‘shingles’ was only the beginning.
When I went for my 3 month check up and the HSG test, the coils were shown to be in place and tubes blocked. I addressed my sympstoms with the implanting Dr and she insisted that none of it was related to Essure. At this point my list had grown to include chronic lower back pain, migraines, horrible periods, and extremely painful ovulation in addition to the pelvic pain and rash that was still present.
I went on a search from Dr to Dr trying to see if my symptoms could possibly be related to something else; not a single dr could find anything wrong with me yet my symptoms progressed and I felt like crap constantly!
After a little more than a year of feeling this way, I searched the internet again, as I had done prior to having Essure placed, for Essure problems and side effects. This time I found the Facebook page Essure Problems. I was amazed to find almost 1000 women who had undergone the Essure procedure and were feeling the same things I was feeling. I wasn’t crazy! And I wasn’t alone!
In September of 2013, 1 yr and 4 months after my Essure procedure and my last pap smear, I went in to my regular OBGYN for my annual pap smear. I was horrified when, for the first time in my entire GYN history (since I was 17) I had an abnormal pap. My Dr ran the test a second time and also ran the typical STI tests as well as an HPV test. Everything except the pap came back fine. The pap was still abnormal. My Dr said he has never seen an abnormal pap without the presence of a positive HPV test. He repeated the HPV test a third time and it was still negative. I blame Essure! Never in my entire life had I ever had an abnormal pap, not even right before the Essure device was implanted, and now, all of a sudden, I get my first abnormal a year after having this device placed in my body?! As a result, I have had to undergo a colposcopy and LEEP procedure, both of which were not as easy as the internet makes them sound! The testing is still not complete as I still have ‘atypia cells’ (the stage before dysplasia) in the cervical canal which are being watched.
I had my Essure devices removed in November 2013 at Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston by Dr. Jon Einarsson through a procedure called tubo-uterine anastomosis. The only way to ensure that the coils could be removed in tact (because they are delicate and tend to break) was to remove the part of my fallopian tubes which encased the coils, cut away the damaged part of my uterus and reattach the tubes to a healthier portion of my uterus. Keep in mind that this only removed the coils and that the PET fibers the device is coated with are still in my body. At the time of removal, I had two functioning tubes. In January of 2014, I had one functioning tube (per another HSG) and in August of 2014 (a third HSG) neither of my tubes is functioning.
While most of my symptoms have gone, the residual effects of the device are still in my blood stream, still in my tissues and organs and I will likely never be rid of them. My joints ache due to inflamation, ovulation is still a nightmare (bleeding, severe cramping, nausea, bowel issues), my body is still covered in the same rash, but to a much lesser degree.
As a woman, I made a conscious choice to trust the doctors to know about this device and to give me the proper information, but that didn’t happen because they are ill-informed. I have since learned that there may be some truth to my assumption that Essure caused my abnormal pap, since it has been found that it can cause or progress cancer. I may not have had symptoms as severe as some of the other women who are suffering through this E-hell with me, but I’m still suffering. I’m still undergoing cancer screenings, tests and biopsies to make sure that I’m alive, no thanks to this device, to see my 4 kids grow up. Although I have rid my body from the devide itself, I will never be able to rid my body of the effects.