Chronic Pain,  Hormones & Contraception

Essure

Essure

Rose Black

What do you do when you’ve researched, fact checked, read reviews, and done your deciding, only to find out that your well researched choice was almost the worst possible choice? Well, for starters, you do everything you can not to die. Then you take all of that guilt and self loathing and you chuck it out the window because it is detrimental to your survival.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts and even with extensive planning, things just don’t work out. People lie. Doctors take payouts. Tested mechanics fail. Things get messed up.

From Essure.com – a gif showing how Essure is ‘supposed’ to work.

With Essure, this was a “safe” and “studied” permanent birth control that was legal, one that should have saved my life after a dangerous high risk pregnancy nearly took it multiple times. I had done my research. I had looked at all the possibilities. My first choice was denied me by an ill informed doctor that refused to even read the backstory on my case, insisting that her methods and opinions were best for me despite not knowing me, so I went with what I could to keep myself alive and well “enough” for my only child when we had come so close to losing our lives so many times already.

But life makes fools of us all. Big time.

When my Essure was implanted in 2015, there weren’t many, if any, negative reviews on Essure available and there certainly wasn’t anyone speaking up about its problems in such a way that you could find the comments publicly online. I didn’t even know there were problems with the Essure coils until mine ruptured through my fallopian tube and nearly killed me, quickly. It happened fast. All of it.

Here I am, a new mom, exhausted, struggling to stay alive, literally fighting for my life and desperately advocating for my health upon deaf ears, when my only choice for a long life with my child is permanent birth control or organ removal. I was very careful. I followed all of the rules, was careful during Essure implantation recovery to the point of being absurdly over cautious, and things still backfired horrendously. What was an active life spent doing things like pole dancing daily and babywearing my 50 pound toddler during family 5Ks quickly spiraled into being unable to even walk myself to the bathroom, instead becoming dependent on others for all care and reliant on my spouse to carry me to bathroom. Things progressed quickly and with significant complications to the point that I couldn’t even be left unsupervised for fear of how quickly Essure was deteriorating my body, leaving me underweight and incapable of caring for myself.

There’s no way to possibly plan for things like this. Even the best researched and tested birth control can go wrong. Something that works for someone might be a death sentence for someone else. Birth control is a very delicate, difficult mine field of problems and limited choices with a mounting list of horrendous side effects, some of which are worse than the original problem and last long after the medication is discontinued. However, the one thing that shouldn’t happen is doctors denying when there is a clear problem.

Essure almost killed me, rapidly without warning, and yet it took nearly a year of fighting for my life to find a doctor that would believe what was going on and actually help. The first doctor I saw when my Essure ruptured my fallopian tube actually told me, point blank, that she had no clue why I was hurting and bleeding out so profusely and blacking out in increasingly more dangerous situations because she thought I looked perfectly fine. It took my spouse complaining that having sex with me was hurting HIM for another doctor to finally believe me when I said sex was painful and my Essure was killing me. They never listened when the problem was just mine and I was the only one speaking.

The symptoms I experienced when my Essure ruptured were: constant pain since insertion, heavy menstrual bleeding, blackouts, dizzy spells, inability to eat solid food, intense nausea, vomiting due to pain, vision problems, fatigue, severe pain, limb weakness, pain with orgasm, and intense waves of pain that would occur seemingly randomly at steady intervals during the day. There were probably other symptoms I missed, but those were the most severe and problematic. These symptoms were not only uncomfortable, but progressed to the point that they became dangerous in and of themselves.

Luckily, I do not have any lasting physical complications due to Essure since my radical hysterectomy removed the devices completely. However, I did lose my organs. Because of Essure, I lost my cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and a third of my vagina. The surgeon who implanted the Essure also injured my vagina and lied about it. If only the emotional damages were what was left after Essure, that would still be too much.

I was one of the lucky Essure survivors.

Most who have been implanted have developed long term complications, autoimmune problems, or more extensive injuries. My coils ruptured through my fallopian tubes, but there have been reports of multiple coils implanted, coils that have migrated through the uterus, coils that have migrated into the abdominal cavity, coils that are imbedded in other organs, coils that have punctured bowels…… I was one of the lucky ones. Through doctor error and device malfunction, thousands have been injured and many are still suffering because of a faulty medical device.

In a world where healthcare is uncertain and doctors can be paid off with profits to ignore pain, you can only make the best choice for yourself. When problems arise, do not let the ego of any human being, doctor or not, tell you what you feel. If your instinct is that something is wrong, you deserve compassionate, comprehensive care. Never stop fighting for the healthcare you deserve and need. You are more than a diagnosis, and your life will be more than the health problems you face. If you have been hurt at the hands of the medical industry, you are not alone. Your life is valid and you deserve happiness.”

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