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Are Essure Birth Control Implants Safe?

By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

For women who want a permanent form of birth control, there are few non-surgical options. One of those options is Essure, a coil that can be implanted by a doctor instead of requiring invasive surgery. But Essure implants don't come without their own risks, including device failure, infection, and hemorrhage.

Here's what you need to know about Essure birth control implants and what to do if you've been injured by one.

Impregnable Implant?

Essure markets itself as "the only permanent birth control you can get with a non-surgical procedure." That non-surgical procedure, as described by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), involves a doctor or health care provider inserting "flexible coils through the vagina and cervix and into the fallopian tubes." As a woman's tissue forms around the coil, the fallopian tubes become blocked, preventing sperm from reaching the eggs. Due to this tissue growth, Essure implants are not intended to be removed.

And while Essure says its implants "can help you stop worrying about an unplanned pregnancy," that's not always the case. The FDA found "Essure failure, and, in some cases, incomplete patient follow-up, have resulted in unintended pregnancies."

Warning to Women

But unintended pregnancies weren't the only risk with the implants. Clinical trials revealed:

  • Short-Term Risks: Including mild to moderate pain during the Essure placement procedure and cramping, vaginal bleeding, dizziness, and pelvic or back discomfort immediately after.
  • Long-Term Risks: Including pelvic pain, perforation of the uterus or fallopian tubes, and migration of Essure inserts through the fallopian tubes or uterus into the lower abdomen and pelvis.

In response, the FDA issued a "black box warning" regarding Essure implants, the most serious warning available. While regulators declined to remove the device from the market completely, they did call for further studies and advised that that "some women may be at risk for serious complications," including damage to their uterus and fallopian tubes if the implant shifts out of position.

If you've experienced adverse side effects from an Essure birth control implant, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney today to discuss you case.

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