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Janette’s Story

I did not know where I was, I was dizzy, felt sick and severe pain.

In the summer of 2014 I saw my GP regarding sterilisation, I was 46 with a grown up son and did not want any more children. I have previously been on the contraceptive pill, had the Nexplanon Implant, and 2 Mirena Coils both of which I did not tolerate, and had to be removed.

I was referred to the Gynaecology clinic who gave me two choices, to have the ‘old fashioned’ way of sterilisation, tubes tied, which I would have to have under general anaesthetic with a week off work, or the new way of having small coils inserted which would be done really quickly and I would be fine to return to work straight away. I was not told the name of the coils nor any side effects that they may cause.

Unusually for me I did not do any research, hindsight is a great thing but having spoken to both my GP and the GP’s that I work for, they have said that I should have been able to trust the consultant and there should be no need to research procedures.

I had the coils inserted on the 17th October 2014. After the procedure I was in a great deal of discomfort. Having had the Mirena before, it was nothing that I hadn’t felt, but the pain continued.

Over the following months I started to feel more tired my skin and hair looking dull, picking up various bugs and not recovering in the normal time. I was constantly needing to pass urine (typically 14 to 16 times per day) and always feeling desperate with severe pains if I tried to hold it. My periods became heavier with large clots, the cycle changing – bleeding for 5/6 days then stopping for a day and then bleeding again for a couple of days

I had the coils checked in January 2015 and was told that they were fine and I could safely use this as my form of contraception. I advised the consultant that I was getting some pain and my periods heavier but this he said would settle.

Getting fed up of the constant need to pass urine, the pelvic pain and the pain during intercourse I went to see my GP on the 1st April who asked me to complete a urine frequency study and told me that I probably had an overactive bladder but would order an ultrasound as well due to the pelvic pains.

I cried through the ultrasound as I was in so much pain. The radiographer kept asking if I had had surgery on my womb; yes, I have had a caesarean but nothing else. The report stated ‘arising from the fundal endometruim and extending through the myometruim to the border of the postero-fundal uterus a 23mm length echogenic linear structure suggestive of a foreign body.’ I explained to the radiographer that I had the sterilisation coils in place but she had no idea what I was talking about and did not think that it could be them.

On returning to my GP he referred me to gynaecology.

On 11th May 15, I was in so much pain at work that I contacted my GP for an emergency appointment to see if I could get any stronger pain relief. The GP admitted me to hospital that day.

On arrival at hospital the consultant who had inserted the coils said straight away, we must get those coils out, we will do a salpingectomy. I was discharged from hospital on 15th May with no operation performed as none of the emergency gynaecologists were prepared to do the salpingectomy as they knew nothing about the Essure coils. I was given a Prostap injection to bring on a temporary menopause which may stop the cramping but it could take 10 days for it to start working. Discharged, I was still in the same severe pain and told to see my GP to have further Prostap injections.

On the 27th May on getting up, I did not know where I was, I was dizzy, felt sick and severe pain. My partner took me back to the GP who readmitted me where they found that I had a urine infection. The Gynaecology consultant saw me on the 29th May and agreed to do the salpingectomy as soon as he could.

I had the Salpingectomy operation on the 1st June with a follow up to be booked for 4 months.

Since the operation, I saw my GP numerous times for infections, reactions to medications, unable to sit for any length of time and still suffering with the increasing pain and feeling like I was back to where I was before the operation.

On the 15th July I returned to the GP regarding what I thought could be oral thrush which would not clear using over the counter medication and was referred urgently to ENT. The ENT consultant confirmed that I was suffering from Black Hairy Tongue due to my immune system being so low.

On the 9th September 2015 I finally underwent a total hysterectomy. The consultant wanted to keep the ovaries to prevent further issues and sudden menopause however during the surgery he had to remove one ovary as he said that there were fragments attached to it. I was discharged the morning after the hysterectomy. On discharge I did not need any pain relief; all symptoms previously experienced went straight away.

The symptoms that I had following the Essure procedure

  • Black hairy tongue

  • Bloating

  • Brain fog

  • Brittle Dry hair

  • Brittle nails

  • Constant pelvic period type pain

  • Dizziness

  • Feeling of being pregnant, fluttering in stomach to feeling like about to give birth

  • Frequent urgent urination

  • Heavy clotting periods, bleeding for 5/6 days then stopping for a day and then bleeding again for a couple of days

  • Mood changes

  • Nausea

  • Painful sex

  • Problems with teeth

  • Reactions to medications

  • Swelling and pain in legs and feet

  • Tiredness

  • Unable to wear earrings due to irritation

  • Urine infections

  • Weight gain, approximately 3 stone