Pharmaceutical

Woman sues Bayer over injuries caused by Essure contraceptive

Essure Woman sues Bayer over injuries caused by Essure contraceptive Marlee Scott delivered four children without an epidural to deaden the pain of childbirth. But after having the Essure permanent birth control device implanted last June, she experienced pain so severe she had to take prescription painkillers.

The medication masked the pain, but it didn’t ease her other strange symptoms – “non-stop” menstrual bleeding, aching joints, bloating, and losing chunks of hair. Miserable and desperate, Marlee agreed to have a hysterectomy just three months later because she could no longer endure the suffering. She blames her suffering on Essure.

“I didn’t want to get a hysterectomy at 26 or at all in my entire life,” she told The Star. “I told my doctor, ‘I’ve been on pain meds for the past three months. I want out.’”

Marlee had the surgery and says she is no longer suffering, and for that she’s thankful. But she’s also angry at Bayer Healthcare, maker of Essure, for not adequately warning her of the risks associated with the contraceptive device. She is one of many who have filed a potential class-action lawsuit in Canada against Bayer over injuries they claim were caused by Essure.

Essure was approved in Canada in 2001 and in the U.S. in 2002. The device consists of two nickel alloy coils that are implanted into the fallopian tubes where they create a barrier preventing the sperm from fertilizing the egg. Since the contraceptive device hit the market in North America, it has been linked to nearly 10,000 complaints ranging from autoimmune and allergic reactions, and abdominal pain, to infections.

The device can also migrate and puncture the fallopian tubes or the vaginal wall and become embedded in other organs. Some women, like Marlee, have had to undergo hysterectomies to have the device removed.

In February, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered that a black box warning be placed on the safety label of Essure to more clearly define the risks associated with the device. Health Canada is currently reviewing safety concerns with the device and is expected to offer its recommendations in May.

Meanwhile, lawsuits against Bayer over Essure side effects continue to mount in both the U.S. and Canada.

Source: The Star