The Essure permanent birth control coil was designed as a non-invasive alternative to the standard surgical sterilisation procedure known as laparoscopic tubal occlusion (LTO). During LTO the fallopian tubes are blocked, clamped, tied or cut and the procedure often requires a general anaesthetic and, as with any form of surgery, there are associated risks.
However, many women who have been fitted with the Essure birth control coil have experienced devastating side effects and some have had to undergo hysterectomies as a result of the implant.
What is an Essure implant?
An Essure implant is a small metal coil which is implanted into the body without the need for surgery, a procedure known as hysteroscopic sterilisation. The implant is designed to provide permanent birth control. The Essure coil was introduced into the UK in 2009.
How does an Essure implant work?
The metal birth control coil was designed to be inserted into a woman's fallopian tubes via a non-invasive procedure (no cuts are made into the body) which could be carried out at a GP's surgery. Once inserted, the implant is intended to create scar tissue that will block the fallopian tubes and thereby permanently halt the passage of eggs down into the uterus.
What are the side effects of the Essure implant?
The Essure implant procedure was designed to be a simple process which would not require surgery. However, women who received the Essure coil began to experience very severe side effects, including:
- chronic pain
- nickel poisoning
- perforated organs
- triggering of autoimmune reactions
- necessity for hysterectomy
Researchers from the US (where the Essure implant was approved for use in 2002) have published studies which reveal these and other complications, including a higher rate of requiring further sterilisation operations within one year of undergoing hysteroscopic sterilisation (2.4%) when compared with standard sterilisation techniques (0.2%).
Essure implant claims
The implant was removed from use in the UK in 2017. The makers, Bayer, said at the time that the decision was "purely commercial".
In July 2020, a report ordered by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was published. Amongst other findings, it revealed:
- 9.1% of women fitted with the Essure implant suffered chronic lower abdominal or pelvic pain after the procedure (compared with 4.5% of women undergoing traditional sterilisation).
- 16.3% of women fitted with the Essure implant suffered abnormal uterine bleeding (compared with 10.2% of women undergoing traditional sterilisation).
It is also alleged that Bayer failed to report thousands of complaints regarding the Essure implants to the FDA. In 2008, an audit by Bayer identified this as a violation of FDA requirements; however, the company continued to market the product as a safe alternative to standard sterilisation.
Essure implant claims in the UK
It has been suggested that Bayer have estimated the value of claims made by women in the US to be around $1.6 billion (£1.2 billion).
Around 200 women in the UK have already commenced a claim against Bayer having suffered numerous, appalling side effects – many have either been forced to have hysterectomies or are waiting to have the implants removed (another procedure which carries certain risks).
If you have suffered complications following the procedure to administer the Essure implant, you can talk to Thompsons today about the possibility of making a personal injury claim for compensation.
All enquiries will be handled by our sensitive staff in complete confidence. We will be happy to talk you through your options and there is never any obligation to go ahead with a claim.
Call Thompsons today on 0800 0891 331 or fill in our online claim form so that we can call you back.
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