Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Women Urge FDA to Pull Contraceptive Device

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Women Urge FDA to Pull Contraceptive Device

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - Women who received a metallic birth control implant are urging health regulators to pull the device from the market, citing problems including severe pain, irregular bleeding and weight gain. The Essure implant has been sold for more than a decade and is frequently pitched to women as the only non-surgical option for permanent birth control. Manufacturer Bayer estimates 750,000 women have received the device since 2002.

But since 2013, the Food and Drug Administration has received thousands of complaints about the device from women and doctors. While the product's label warns about pelvic pain and bleeding immediately after the procedure, many women say these problems persisted and they required surgery to remove the device.

The FDA convened a panel of outside experts Thursday to review the device's safety.

In often emotional remarks, women described debilitating symptoms which they attribute to Essure.

- the associated press

Elena Mendez received her implant in February 2008 at the recommendation of her doctor. An emergency room nurse in New York, Mendez said she liked the idea that she could return to work after a quick, in-office procedure.

But soon afterward Mendez began experiencing severe, constant pain, including during sex.

"Pain became my norm every day, Mendez said. "This negatively impacted my marriage and I could not be the mother my children deserved.

Essure consists of two metallic coils inserted into the fallopian tubes, where they are intended to spur scar tissue that eventually blocks sperm. Bayer sells the device as an alternative to traditional procedures used to "tie the tubes, via incision or other methods.

Essure's warning labeling lists a number of potential risks, including that the device can slip out of position or puncture the uterus, requiring surgery to remove. Additionally, Essure is made of a nickel-titanium alloy that can cause allergic reactions such as itching and hives in some patients. …

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