Women say popular birth control has ‘ruined’ their lives

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — Oklahoma women question the safety of a popular birth control.

Hundreds of women say this non-hormonal permanent birth control has ruined their lives.

It’s called Essure, and it’s marketed for women who are done having children.

According to the marketing Essure is 99.8 percent effective for women who don’t want any more kids.

How It Works

Essure is a birth control device inserted into the Fallopian tubes. Tiny metal coils are implanted by a gynecologist in the doctor’s office. After several months, uterine tissue grows into the metal coils, blocking conception.

The Side-Effects

“It sounded like a good thing to me. I mean. I’ve got a busy life. I’ve got five kids.” said Crystal Plumlee.

Plumlee chose Essure because it was the most affordable, effective option.

“It’s not worth it.” she now says. “It might seem easier, but it’s not worth it in the long run.”

Plumlee now has joint pain, chronic fatigue, weight gain, irregular heavy menstrual cycles and debilitating headaches.

“There are some people who are having success with it, but I would not want to gamble that. I’m not a gambler. Unfortunately this is something I gambled with, and I’ve made one of the biggest mistakes of my life.”

Sarah Payne got the Essure coil implants in 2010.

Though the procedure is supposed to be relatively painless, Payne said it was the most excruciating pain she’d ever felt.

“It was like a ripping.” Payne said. “When you stand up it feels like someone’s taking your muscles or your insides and trying to pull them apart. It would take me to the floor.”

Soon after Essure Payne started getting migraines, hot flashes, night sweats, hair loss and severe pain.

She believes inflammation from the metal coils sent her into early menopause.

Payne called her doctor and others to report the trouble after she first got Essure.

They have all suggested a hysterectomy.

“He said, ‘Your only choice is to have a hysterectomy, and then we’re going to put you on bio-identical hormones.’ And all I could think about was more pills.” Payne said.

There are now thousands of women across the U.S. who are begging the FDA to pull Essure off the market.

The women have come together on Facebook, posting pictures and sharing nightmare stories about their side-effects.

Many women have Essure coils which have migrated; moved to other areas of their bodies, cutting through internal organs in the process.

They call it “e-hell.”

Also, several hundred Essure patients have gotten pregnant with so-called e-babies after Essure.

Recently, famous activist Erin Brockovich joined in the fight.

Brockovich launched this website for women who have suffered adverse effects because of Essure.

“So we have a device that`s intended to be permanent birth control, but women are getting pregnant on it.” Brockovich said during this webcast with Marlo Thomas:


Perhaps the most surprising part about this whole issue with Essure is that none of these women has any chance at a lawsuit against the makers of Essure.

The company that invented Essure, Conceptus, which is now owned by Bayer, claimed they did rigorous testing before releasing their permanent birth control implant, Essure.

Conceptus got what the FDA calls premarket approval (PMA) which preempts future lawsuits.

In other words, women who have injuries because of Essure have no way to get compensation from the company.

Mass tort attorney, Noble McIntyre calls this process, “profits over people.”

According to McIntyre, who is an expert in this area of law, the complaints against Essure continue to pile up.

“What the FDA says is if a product has gone through that level of premarket approval, and all the testing and all the literature, we the FDA say it’s safe. We (the FDA) approve it for use. Then that company has a product that is preempted from litigation, essentially exempted. You cannot sue them.” McIntyre said.

According to the FDA about 750,000 women have the Essure implant. 943 have reported an adverse side-effect on FDA.gov.

The FDA took a closer look at the reported problems and found no direct evidence those problems were caused by Essure.

“Essure was approved by the FDA in 2002 and has more than a decade of research and development behind it. It does what it is intended to do, provide an important alternative to tubil ligation.” said Bayer spokesperson Edio Zampaglione. “The fact is, that the adverse events that have been reported on the news and online about Essure are known and are listed in the Essure product information.”

Here is the video statement released by Bayer:

Additional resources:

FDA Review of Essure



Search FDA.gov for adverse event reports 

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  • lisa

    I was ruined by Essure as well. If these adverse effects were listed…….I would not have gotten this procedure done. Essure ruined my life and since having them removed by hysterectomy 2 years ago, most symptoms have gone away but the weight gain of 60 pounds is hard to lose and I have minor symptoms of other issues. This product should be taken off the market so other women aren’t fooled into the product.

    • Darcie Ley

      Lisa, I can not express my most sincere and heartfelt apologies that this as happened to you. I ALMOST had this done, until I was reading the pamphlet and at the very bottom of the back page in the fine print, I saw that the Essure had NICKEL in it. SO… knowing that I could only wear earrings for a few hours without starting to get irritated and itchy lobes, or rings or bracelets without red, welt-y marks… I voiced this concern. AND – how crazy is this… I had JUST seen an episode of House. And the patient was a nun – about 30-35 yrs old, who was so horribly ill. They of course, did all of their tests and proclaimed all of their diagnoses, but they finally did a CT scan, and turns out, she had had an IUD put in YEARS ago, when she wasn’t a nun, and it had become part of her body… attached itself… not unlike what I’ve read of this horrible Essure hell. SO, I went and had an allergy test for Nickel, they put a patch on my back right in between my shoulder blades, which in the next 24 hours that I soon found out was a living hell. So – that answered THAT birth control option!! It was HORRIBLE. And to think if that was inside me… I really would have become that nun and had all of these symptoms that sooner or later would have been considered a hypochondriac. Having fibromyalgia is hard enough for people to take me seriously. ALL of you are in my thoughts and prayers. And I hope Erin Brockovich finds absolutely every single loophole and mistake they’ve done so there is retribution for all.

  • A. Kels

    I sympathize so much with these women, I had an IUD put in Jan. 2013 and had it removed one year to the day later in Jan. 2014 due to excruciating pain, hair loss and a noticeable increase in my hereditary migraines. I still have lingering pain and I’m suspecting it’s some kind of scar tissue (upon research, I technically shouldn’t have been allowed to get one in the first place.) I certainly hope that one day we will get out of the dark ages and work on birth control methods that actually work (or revert to natural family planning- I’ve been on that plan so far and it’s great! No babies, either!)

    • Darcie Ley

      Hi A.Kels… I was wondering which IUD you had put in… the Mirena or the ParaGard? I’m just so sorry you had all of your complications and damage. Seems as though companies create something new to help women – then it’s two steps back. Blessings to you!

    • J W

      I also had an IUD (ParaGard) put in 6 weeks after having exploratory surgery to determine the cause of intense recurring pelvic pain. Within 3 weeks, the IUD had worked itself halfway out of my uterus. My Dr explained that the pain that had intensified to unbearable only 1-2 weeks after the insertion was actually contractions. I was basically walking around “in labor” with my IUD for almost 2 weeks. This was supposed to be a safe, simple non permanent BC solution. Instead, I learned a valuable life lesson-no foreign bodies in my body and as a woman, if I want effective, relatively safe BC, I’m relegated to pills.
      All that to relate to your experience and inquire about the natural family planning methods you mentioned.

    • A.S.

      After I had my child in the beginning of 2012 via c-section, I had opted for an IUD as BC method (was Merina) after the healing period. I must say in my experience, I would never get another one! After having it in place for about 2 months, I had my OB doctor remove it because I was having bad cramping and sensations of being “stabbed” along with dizzy spells. I was told it had nothing to do with the IUD that something else was probably going on. Not long after having it removed the “stabbing” sensation went away and so did the dizzy spells. The only thing I still experience is the bad cramping when I get close to a menstrual cycle. No matter what symptoms have or have not been reported, ALWAYS listen to your body as no one else knows one’s body as well as yourself!

  • Cynthia Rupe

    “Soon after Essure Payne started getting migraines, hot flashes, night sweats, hair loss and severe pain.” There needs to be a comma after Essure, although “Essure Payne” seems appropriate in this case.

  • Keisha

    I had a very similar experience with Novasure. Years of medical bills and ultimately I will have a hysterectomy, yet I cannot sue because of the same FDA premarket approval.

  • Claudia Bello

    I never tought that all the problems that I’m having with my joints, losing my hair, painful menstrual cycle ,headaches very bad all the time and my weight can be related with esure, I feel very upset about this! Now I have a question: it will be possible to take it off??

  • info@healingyou.com

    There is a lesson here… whatever you choose to do to your body … you are responsible for the outcome… I choose not to allow anyone to inject, implant or put into my body anything at anytime. Then.. only then, can I truly say… my body belongs to me…

  • Mary Aguilar

    I was one of the first women to have the Essure procedure. One of my coils fell out after a flu with severe coughing spells, but after re-insertion, I didn’t think I suffered any effects. I did develop large uterine tumors a few years later, and then had severe endometriosis, followed by surgery to remove my ovaries because they were engulfed in more tumors. Now I’m wondering…

  • Marcy

    Strictly from a numbers standpoint, this product is relatively safe…
    750,000 women use this…
    7,500 = 1%
    Less than a thousand women have reported problems… Let’s assume that twice that number are having problems but just haven’t reported it.
    We’re still talking 99.5% effectiveness…
    You don’t throw out the Penicillin because a few are allergic to it.

    • Darcie Ley

      Marcy. So, you’re an accountant for Bayer. You most certainly are not an advocate for your own gender. Did you not read what this thing has done to women? It has bore through tissue and organs and relocated itself into other parts of women’s bodies! WHAT part of that doesn’t scream to you, “STOP USING NOW!” I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more cold, crass, heartless comment made by a woman directly toward a horrible woman’s issue that needs attention NOW. What is the matter with you? SHAME ON YOU!! Keep your irrational, unfeeling and illogical reasoning to yourself. These ladies do not need someone like you commenting on this topic when you clearly are so unable to show empathy for what these ladies have been and still and will always go through. Better yet, YOU get the Essure implanted. Let’s see how that works for ya.

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  • Grace

    Did any lady who had this procedure sign a papper saying you gave up the right to sue? What right dose the company/FDA have to take that from you!? So let’s find a lawyer who will sue all the doctors….then see what happens. I think there has to be a way.

  • Anessa Shaffer

    I, myself, had the Essure procedure done in 2010. The procedure itself was not too bad while in the doctors office having it done. I was given prescribed pain medication to take home with me in case I needed it. Let me tell you, I am so glad I had the medication because once I arrived home I began to have the most unbearable abdominal pain I had ever had in my life. After sleeping for almost 7 hours at home, I awoke to feel 100% better and was able to return to work the next day. Now, after reading the entire article on this product and all these comments/concerns from others who have had the same procedure as I, I am wondering if the symptoms or changes in myself/body are related to having the Essure procedure done. I have for some time, experience issues with night sweats and unexpected sweats during the daytime as well. I have gained a tremendous amount of weight since having this procedure to the point that I am now having issues with my blood pressure. I am the heaviest I have ever been in my entire life. I have episodes of severe migraines for which never had before. Feeling fatigue all the time is not what I used to feel prior to this procedure being done. I am also having to take medication for my severe anxiety that I have. Never before I had the Essure procedure done, was I on ANY medications. Now I am on medication for my anxiety, acid reflux and blood pressure. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a person who likes to take medication unless absolutely necessary for my health. Feeling very concerned at this point….

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  • Chris Metzger

    This device does not even pass the eye test. (Doctor: I want to put this pointed metal spring deep inside you. Patient: Whatever you say doc. I know that you or your drug company rep would not hurt me.)

  • M.E.

    The U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) Contracting Center North Atlantic, located at MCAA NA Bldg T20, 6900 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20307-5000 has announced its plan to procure ‘ESSURE’ Permanent Birth Control devices, using Taxpayer money, to permanently sterilize Female Military Service-persons and their Spouses. It is announced under Solicitation Number: W91YTZ-15-T-0044 (https://www.fbo.gov/spg/USA/MEDCOM/DADA15/W91YTZ-15-T-0044/listing.html). Is this what we want our Tax-dollars spent on?

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