Morgan & Morgan is pursuing a mass tort against Bayer Healthcare for the birth control product Essure, which is linked to serious side effects. The device was available in the U.S., beginning 2002, but will be discontinued by the end of the year, according to The New York Times.
The birth control device has been alleged to cause serious side effects and complications, and on July 20, 2018, Bayer announced it was discontinuing the product by the end of 2018, according to The New York Times. Studies show that Essure could allow pregnancy and cause abdominal pain, bleeding, vaginal infection and, in severe cases, death. In fact, between 2002 and 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration received nearly 30,000 adverse event reports about issues with the product, according to the Times.
Initially, Essure was FDA approved and was available in stores all over the U.S. The device was approved based on how well it prevented pregnancy, how safe the procedure to implant the inserts was, and how safe the inserts continued to be for the patient after implantation. But according to the Times report, the FDA in 2017 limited sale of the birth control to doctors offices and clinics that "agreed to fully inform women about the product’s risks." The latest news might save a generation of women from serious side effects, but what about those women who've have had it implanted in them?
How Does Essure Work?
Essure is meant for women who are certain that they do not want any more children.
First, a doctor implants tiny inserts into each fallopian tube. The entire process takes 10 minutes and no anesthesia is required. The inserts are soft, designed to conform to each woman’s body shape, and do not contain hormones.
Once implanted, the patient needs to rely on another form of birth control for a period of three months – the time it takes for Essure to start working. After that, a follow up with a radiologist is required in order to confirm that the fallopian tubes are completely blocked. In order to do so, a dye is injected into the cervix and an X-ray is taken to ensure that no dye leaked past the Essure.
Essure is meant for women who are certain that they do not want any more children. This form of birth control is not effective for women who have had a recent pelvic infection, have had their tubes tied, have an allergy to contrast dye, have an allergy to nickel, or who are already pregnant before deciding to use Essure.
What’s Wrong With Essure?
The health complications are due to the fact that the inserts contain nickel-titanium alloys, a material known to cause allergic reactions. Once the inserts are placed in the body, they release nickel into the tubes and patients who are allergic to nickel may have serious allergic reactions.
Symptoms of a reaction include rash, itching, and hives. If you are currently using Essure and are experiencing these symptoms, you may be in danger of facing detrimental side effects.
In addition to allergic reactions, Essure can cause other complications, including:
- Pain/Abdominal Pain
- Heavier/ Irregular Menstruation
- Weight Fluctuations
- Device Breakage
- Malposition of the Device
Nickel is a very common allergen and can cause contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis causes an itchy, red rash. It can also cause dry patches of skin resembling a burn, blisters, and severe itchiness. Although the amounts of nickel released in the fallopian tubes by Essure are minute, the damage caused is severe and painful.
Can I Remove Essure From My Body?
For a long time, Essure was believed to be non-reversible. Now, although the process is fairly new, patients can reverse the procedure. Removing Essure coils is a surgical procedure which takes about 30-45 minutes and is conducted under general anesthesia. Openings are made into each fallopian tube and the coils are carefully removed so they remain intact. The openings in the fallopian tubes are then sealed. The entire procedure can cost thousands of dollars.
If you underwent the Essure procedure, and you are reversing it in order to have a child, it’s important to know that your chances of pregnancy are not ideal. After Essure removal, your chances are around 35-40 percent.
Although the amounts of nickel released in the fallopian tubes by Essure are minute, the damage caused is severe and painful.
I’m Experiencing Complications From Essure, What Should I Do?
If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, the first thing to do is visit a medical professional to identify the cause. A doctor may be able to confirm whether your complications are caused by Essure and will also be able to provide treatment to manage the conditions. If your symptoms are severe, visit an emergency room immediately.
If you are considering using Essure, it’s always important to check beforehand whether your body is suited for it. The procedure is difficult and expensive to reverse and you may suffer from long-term complications. Check with your doctor immediately if the rash affects your face or genitals.
What Are My Legal Options?
If you decided to use Essure to prevent pregnancy and experienced serious complications or side effects, you may be entitled to compensation. Essure was marketed as a safe, highly effective for birth control device, and the only permanent form of birth control that didn’t require surgery. As is shown through studies and through subsequent news of discontinuing of sales of the device, this may not be true.
Bayer Healthcare has now acknowledged that their device can cause various complications. The product has put users at risks for chronic pains and illnesses. Morgan & Morgan attorneys can help you file a lawsuit in order to receive the compensation to which you are entitled.
Our attorneys have decades of experience fighting for the rights of victims who encountered surprising and unwanted side effects from drugs and medical devices. We have fought large pharmaceutical and medical corporations on behalf of our clients and have recovered billions for them.
How Do I File a Lawsuit?
If you believe that Essure caused your complications, you may be eligible to file a mass tort lawsuit. You may be eligible to receive compensation for the damage caused by the product. Compensation can be used for future medical bills, lost wages, or even loss of life’s enjoyment. The amount of compensation you may be eligible to receive depends on when you started using the inserts, and how extensive your health complications are.
The first step is to contact Morgan & Morgan and speak to our legal team. Morgan & Morgan is the largest plaintiffs’ firm in the country and has offices in 16 states. You do not need to physically go into one of our offices in order to get help. By completing our free case evaluation form, you can speak to someone on our legal team who can advise you on your case.