Women claim unbearable pain caused by form of birth control

Published: May. 9, 2014 at 2:48 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 23, 2014 at 2:48 AM EDT
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Christy Lee
Christy Lee
Britney Morrison
Britney Morrison
Dr. C. Reed Nett
Dr. C. Reed Nett

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Instead of tubal ligation some women are now opting for a new type of permanent birth control, a device called Essure.  But some of those women now blame that device for unbearable pain.

Christy Lee, 29, of Fairdale, said she and her husband decided after their youngest child Raelynn was born four kids were enough. She opted for the permanent birth control called Essure.

[READ: Statement from Bayer concerning Essure]

"It's very hurtful, definitely not what I signed up for," Lee said.

Tiny metal coils are placed in the fallopian tubes that block the sperm.

Since the procedure a year and a half ago Lee said she has had nothing but problems.

"Pain is like a shooting, stabbing, pinching pain. Since February been to the hospital three times over it," Lee said.

Britney Morrison, 26, of Louisville, knows the pain all too well.

"It's a stabbing, excruciating pain," Morrison said. "Feels like someone is taking a knife to the inside of the stomach and trying to cut form the inside of your stomach out."

Morrison, a mother of four, said the pain can only be caused by one thing - Essure. She started experiencing the pain shortly after getting the device and said the pain and exhaustion are so bad that everyday activities are sometimes impossible.

"I feel angry. I feel frustrated. I feel misled. I feel violated on so many levels," Morrison said.

There are nearly 8,000 members on the Facebook page Essure problems. A few reporting they got pregnant on Essure, others complaining of horrible pain and some saying the metal coils have migrated through their bodies.

Since the device is permanently placed some women are opting for a hysterectomy to have it removed. That's what Lee is considering.

Dr. C. Reed Nett, an OBGYN with Advocates for Women's Health, a part of Norton Healthcare, didn't place Essure in the two women we spoke to, but she has implanted it in many of her patients.

"There's many women who have had a positive experience with Essure," Dr. Nett said. "I don't have any hesitation when counseling women about sterilization including Essure as a safe option."

Legal experts said there is little recourse for the women experiencing problems because the FDA cleared Essure in 2002. Bayer, which bought the maker of Essure earlier this year, provided us with a video statement with Dr. Edio Zampaglione, with US Medical Affairs with Bayer Healthcare.

"The fact is the adverse effects that have been reported on line and in the news about Essure are known and listed in Essure product information," Dr. Zampaglione stated.

The manufacturer also pointed out in a written statement more than 750,000 devices have been sold worldwide and Essure has been shown to be 99.83 percent effective based on a 5-year study.

For Lee that's not enough.

"I wish they would take it off the market and do more studies," Lee said.

Medical experts point out that before women consider having any procedure done it's important to fully discuss any reactions or complications with your physician. And also no form of contraception is 100 percent effective.

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