Hi, my name is Nicole. I am a 33 y/o mother of 3. September 2012 i approached my OBGYN for options to get my tubes tied. My family was complete. I had the Mirena IUD and was aware that my string was not visible. She agreed that I needed an Ultrasound to determine the current location of the IUD. After the US she suggested I have the Essure procedure. Since she would need to do a hystoscope to retrieve the IUD she said she could insert the Essure at the same time. She told me it would be a quick painless office procedure.. The day of the procedure the Nurse incorrectly told me NOT to take my pain medication the MD had sent me home with prior to the procedure. She said it was for after the procedure only. I had severe pain and the insertion time was extensive. Only to found out after the fact that i should have taken the pain medication prior. Ugh.
I had the Essure placed Oct 5, 2012, and that’s when the nightmare began. In December, i noticed a vaginal odor and some discharge while I was out of state visiting family. When i returned in the beginning of January I saw my GYN and was treated for Bacterial Vaginosis. For the next 9 months, i was in and out of the GYN office and on the phone every few weeks complaining about recurrent infections.. I took every antibiotic known to man twice, including a boric acid vaginal treatment. The GYN treated my husband for infection as well, just as a precaution, since we didn’t know why it kept coming back. This vaginal odor and discharge was ruining my sex life, caused some uncertainties between my husband and I, and was a mental stressor. My GYN mentioned a time or two that maybe the coils were causing this constant excretion of infection, but that is as far as the conversation ever went.
In March- 2013 i began noticing some pains in my left knee and ankle. They never really hurt at the same time and wasn’t enough to stop my activities.. I then noticed some pain and swelling in my left foot, but it too wasn’t severe. I began a new exercise program in June 2013 and the pain in my left leg exploded!. I sought the treatment of a sports medicine doc, who sent me to an orthopedist. I had an MRI on my leg because Xrays were only showing ‘traumatic arthritis’. WHAT? I am 33, and i haven’t had any ‘trauma’. This was insane. My MRI showed ‘bone marrow swelling’. I was pretty freaked out at that, because everything i read on that was related to CANCER. I began going to physical therapy 3x a week and started receiving steroid injections in my foot. I walked with a limp and had to completely stop all exercise.. I was terrified of the worst. All the while, dealing with these vaginal infections.. I thought i was losing my mind.
In August 2013 my mother called me and was reading an article on girls who receive the Gardisil injection for preventative HPV. She was reading a story of a young girl who was having alot of the same symptoms in her legs.. She said the injections are ‘metallic based’ and wondered if i was having a reaction to the ‘nickel’ coils.. I began researching as much as i could on nickel allergies and was amazed at the rate of recurrent infections and ‘autoimmune’ disorders patients were experiencing. I had been taking medications for Rheumatoid Arthritis two times a day to be able to just get through the day.. I then came across the Essure Problems Facebook page and realized I wasn’t losing my mind.
This facebook page was such a huge comfort to me. I immediately called my Physical Therapist and told him. I then called my GYN and demanded these poisonous coils be removed asap. She quickly agreed and set me up for a laparoscopic tube removal.. I am so thankful my GYN was so great about helping me rid my body of this stuff. I had the coils removed on Sept 11, 2013. Upon entering surgery, i was having a lot of vaginal discharge that morning. I have NOT seen, smelled, or felt one ounce of discharge, odor, or infection since that day.. The symptoms almost immediately disappeared.
In addition, my leg is healing too. I am off of my arthritis meds, back to running. I walk without a limp. I can wear heels. I do still have some pain some days in my leg, but not anything like it was. I have an area on my foot that is ‘calcified’ from the ‘arthritis’. I don’t think it will ever go away.. I plead with the Essure company to REQUIRE nickel allergy testing BEFORE insertion. It should be put in with the normal preop labs that are required.
I will stand strong and continue to speak out about this until something is done.. It is NOT ok for women to feel like this and for the company to ignore out issues. I am thankful that my medical issues were not as severe as some of the ones i have read, but none the less, I was robbed of 11 months of my life.
Thank you ERIN for being our voice!