Essure, a permanent birth control device that was known to cause uterine and fallopian tube fibroids, is finally off the market! Manufactured by Bayer, Essure was a nickel and polyester coil that could be inserted into a woman’s fallopian tubes. Scar tissue would form over the metal coils, causing a permanent blockage of the woman’s uterus and making pregnancy impossible.
Although Essure got FDA approval in 2002, its use has been very controversial. Over the past few years, women implanted with the device have been reporting a number of devastating side effects–in addition to cysts and fibroids, many patients experienced gastrointestinal, neurological, mental health and blood health complications after being implanted with Essure. In fact, between the time Essure was approved and the year 2017, over 26,000 filed Essure complaints with the FDA.
In spite of all these complaints, Bayer won’t admit that Essure was either unsafe or ineffective. Even as they pulled Essure off the U.S. market last month, the company insisted that their decision was because of declining sales, not due to any major health concerns. Bayer even complained that “inaccurate and misleading” information about Essure had contributed to the sales drop!
Even though Essure is no longer available in the U.S., Bayer will likely be dealing with the effects of this device for a long time. Thousands of women have sued Bayer for the devastating Essure side-effects they’ve experienced. Bayer’s response? The company says it “remains strongly committed to women’s health where we have long been a leader. We recognize that women want safe and effective options that best meet their individual needs, and we are committed to continuing our investment, innovation and leadership in this important area of health.” Bayer also plans to enroll women in post-market surveillance programs, and has said it will keep updating the FDA with any relevant health findings from the study.