More than 200 women ‘left with crippling pain’ after having Essure coil fitted to sue its manufacturer for causing ‘irreparable physical and mental damage’
More than 200 women who have been left with ‘crippling pain’ after having the Essure contraceptive coil fitted can now take legal action against its manufacturer, it has been ruled.
Lawyers representing the women have said the coil ‘has caused irreparable damage physically and mentally.’
German manufacturers Bayer has indicated it will defend itself against the claims.
The Essure coil, which is a metal device inserted into a woman’s fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy, was withdrawn from the UK market in 2017.
Some women have reported suffering from constant pain and various complications after having it fitted, including heavy bleeding. This has forced some to have the device removed early or getting hysterectomies.
Amy Speers, 34, from County Down, Bangor, Northern Ireland, was left in agony after having an Essure sterilisation implant in 2014
The Essure coil, which is a metal device inserted into a woman’s fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy, was withdrawn from the UK market in 2017
The UK’s medicines regulator has said there are no risks to safety from the device, but those left with devastating effects have now won the right to launch a group lawsuit against Bayer.
Other women, who are not involved in the lawsuit, have also spoken about their experiences with Essure. Colette Masters told MailOnline she had the Essure coil fitted around eight years ago.
‘I am now on the waiting list to have it removed. I am tired of trying to get my doctors to listen to me, as they are saying that me feeling the way I do is just my age.
‘Like the majority of women I want be heard and want the powers that be to be [held] accountable.’
A second woman previously told MailOnline how she was left with such serious pain after having the coil fitted that she begged A&E staff for a scalpel to cut it out herself.
Amy Speers, 34, from County Down, Bangor, Northern Ireland, was 28 when she felt her family of four children with husband Chris, 42, was complete and decided to have an Essure sterilisation implant.
However the procedure, which was carried out in January 2014, instantly left Amy in chronic agony, despite being told she could have the implant – a flexible coil inserted into the fallopian tubes – inserted in her lunch break without any pain.
She has since had a hysterectomy, but said: ‘I was in chronic pain for five years leading up to that and I was in and out of hospital with seizures and chronic pain in the pelvic area and just really really sore.’
Following her experiences she launched her own campaign to try and ensure Essure was held to account.
Laura Linkson, who was fitted with Essure in 2013, said the pain left her suicidal, unable to move and feeling like a burden on her family.
Amy launched a campaign against Bayer Health Pharmaceuticals after her experiences, and hopes to never see the coil surface onto the market again
Another patient, Victoria Dethier, who was implanted with Essure in 2012, suffered pain for three years before having a hysterectomy to remove the device in 2015. Both women spoke to Victoria Derbyshire about their experiences in 2017.
WHAT IS ESSURE?
Essure is a permanent birth control procedure that involves inserting a tube into women’s fallopian tubes.
It is non-hormonal and causes the build-up of scar tissue that prevents eggs from reaching the womb.
Accoding to Essure.com, it is 99.3 percent effective when used as a sole method of contraception.
Vaginal bleeding, abdominal discomfort and cramping are expected after the procedure.
Long-term risks include pain of varying intensity.
In the US, more than 15,000 women have reported complications to the FDA, including pain, allergic reactions and ‘migration of device’.
Allergic reactions are thought to occur due to the device containing nickel and polyester.
Deborah Chalk has told the BBC how she immediately noticed severe symptoms after having the Essure coil fitted.
She said: ‘I began to suffer with headaches, abdominal pain, heavy bleeding, rashes, extreme itching and mood changes, to name a few.
‘The Christmas after the device was inserted, I woke up and my face had gone numb, which led to neurologists believing I had multiple sclerosis.’
Ms Chalk had the device removed privately and said she felt ‘immediate relief’.
The company behind the coil, Bayer, stressed the device had been through 10 clinical trials.
A spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘Bayer’s highest priority is the safety profile and effectiveness of our products and we have great sympathy for anyone who has experienced health problems while using any of our products, regardless of cause.
‘The company stands by the safety profile and efficacy of Essure and will continue to defend itself from these claims vigorously.’
They continued: ‘Bayer believes the claims brought in this litigation are without merit and will vigorously defend itself.
‘While all birth control products and procedures have risks, the totality of scientific evidence on Essure demonstrates that the benefit risk profile is positive.
‘Its safety profile is consistent with the risks disclosed since its approval and is comparable to other female permanent birth control options.’