Long’s problems began within weeks of insertion, necessitating five trips to the emergency room in just three days and costing her family thousands.
“I felt like I was going to die, I felt like death,” Long said. “I had this deep, deep pain in my abdomen just two to three weeks after placement, anyone in their right mind would think this all started when this device was put into my body.” Eventually, she too had to have a full hysterectomy.
At least one death has been reported in relation to the use of Essure, according to a report by ABC 2 in Baltimore. A woman went to the emergency room with abdominal pain sometime after having the device installed, and was found to have a raging infection in her reproductive tract. Her cervix, fallopian tubes and uterus had all become necrotic, dead tissue. The infection ultimately killed her.
Over 5000 women have joined a Facebook group for those with unmanageable side effects, and their stories reveal a very dark side to the device:
Group founder Angie Firmalo, 41, told the Chicago Tribune that she started the page two years after getting Essure – two years she spent suffering with heavy periods, joint pain, cramps and other symptoms. Ultimately, she discovered the coils had drifted out of her fallopian tubes and become embedded in her uterine wall.
“They sell Essure like a cruise, hand you a pamphlet like you're going on vacation,” Firmalino told the paper. But Firmalino is not alone in thinking her experience has been anything but a holiday. She says in just the last year, 435 members of her Facebook group reported having to get the supposedly permanent devices removed due to complications ranging from chronic pain to organ damage.
Easy to insert, very difficult to remove, and the kicker is that the parent company is immune from prosecution:
None of the women who have been negatively impacted by Essure are able to sue its manufacturer, Bayer, for damages. The device was granted “preemption status” upon its approval in 2002, which grants its maker immunity from lawsuits related to its use. This is a major reason Erin Brockovich has gotten involved – she wants to strip Essure of its preemption protection and allow women to seek compensation for their pain and suffering.
“Preemption is not about the Essure women – it affects all consumers," Brockovich told ABC. "If someone had a medical device installed, there's no recourse for victims, and the company is protected. If there's a problem, the company gets a pass, because they have preemption. It dawned on me the consumer didn't know. The women didn't know that this existed.”
Once more, the war on women isn't concocted in conservative circles or by religious groups. It's a permanent battle waged by the sexual libertarians who teach that sexual intimacy can easily be rendered sterile. Women don't need to be "fixed," but respected -- and that respect is essential when it comes to their delicate reproductive system.
Might be time to rethink your aspirin -- in principle.