I honestly felt like I was dying at times.
I’m Mish and I live in Sheffield. I’m now 50 and this is my story.
Myself and my husband approached my doctor in 2005 to be sterilized. We spoke to a Gynaecologist who told us about this new product which was a new way to sterilize and much less riskier than my husband having a vasectomy. Easy to implant, non-invasive and non-surgical.
I was 100% sure I did not want any more children and was told this would be non-reversible so myself and my husband decided to go for it. I was not told of any side effects, and I was never told there was nickel in the device.
I went in for my Essure procedure with my husband. I was told to take some paracetamol an hour before the procedure. The procedure didn’t take very long and I watched it on a screen with my husband in the room with me.
Three months later I went back for an x-ray, which showed the coils in place and my tubes looked to be blocked. I was not offered the HSG as guidance.
“Great,” I thought, “I can now get on with life with my family,”. How wrong I was.
Within a year of having Essure fitted, I started to have terrible pains in my abdomen. I had excruciating periods and huge blood clots most months, and really painful intercourse. This continued until I was referred to an HRT clinic because I was so violent with my moods; something had to be done, so of course it had to be my hormones – NOT!
I was given HRT patches which did help with my mood swings, but then the other symptoms came along:
- Loss of libido
- Heavy bleeding
- Continuous clotting
- Abdominal pain
- All over joint pain
I didn’t want to walk or do anything. I felt like I had needles sticking in my stomach. I honestly felt like I was dying at times.
I generally felt extremely unwell all the time. I’d be driving and would go dizzy and light headed, so had to pull over. I started to slur my speech, had dizzy spells and my work was suffering – so I was sent for a Rapid Risk Asessment which included MRI, with a full health check all done in one day. Of course, everything came back inconclusive and the Neurologist was baffled.
Over the years I was in and out of A&E with chest pains, abdominal pains… You name it, I had it. Of course everyone looked at me like I was a hypochondriac, what with all the visits to my GP and hospital and nothing found. Not once did anyone query whether it could be Essure related. Even my close friends were thinking I was making it up, I’m sure. Maybe my husband did at some point – and I wouldn’t blame them. I was told I had Bell’s Palsy at one point in A&E – it looked like I had a stroke, when my face started to droop one side.
I was given Fluoxetine (an anti-depressant) to help with my mood swings and the Mirena Coil to help with heavy bleeding. I’m not sure that Mirena should be fitted alongside Essure. I had several visits back to the gynaecology department, and scans. Nothing was ever found wrong with me.
The depression became really severe. I started to drink a lot and wanted to get drunk as often as I could – because in my own way, I thought this helped me to cope. I was like a different person to the woman who my husband married. I hated myself.
I started to drink a lot… I thought this helped me to cope. I hated myself… I ended up taking an overdose.
I couldn’t take how I felt, how I couldn’t cope at home, or with my children. I ended up taking an overdose. Luckily I came out of it OK and I am here to tell my story.
I am ashamed of how I treated my husband, and I am so, so lucky that he loves me enough to have stood by me through it all. He really is my rock.
In September, I stumbled across the Essure page on facebook and alarm bells rang. I sat and cried, knowing I wasn’t going mad and that there are other people with exactly the same symptoms as me.
I contacted my GP who referred me to the hospital for removal of Essure as I was 100% positive this was the cause for all those years. I had some blood tests done prior to my appointment with the consultant (the same one who implanted my Essure).
I went with my husband, fully armed with everything I needed regarding Essure and how I knew this had been affecting me. Of course, he did not admit my symptoms were, or could be, Essure related – but very happily agreed to my hysterectomy without any problem or argument. I still think this was strange; it seemed far too easy, especially as I know that he has denied other ladies this.
At the same meeting, he told me I was NOT menopausal and did not need HRT! My God… I was so angry. I had been on HRT since I was 39! HRT entailed so many risks and this should never have happened.
I’ve been prodded and poked for 10 years and never has anyone found the reason why I had been so ill for so long.
4 Months after that consultation, I had a LAVH Hysterectomy (uterus removed through the vagina, with keyhole surgery help) leaving my ovaries. My symptoms disappeared almost immediately. I had never felt better, once I had recovered. I had energy again… I wanted to shop again, which my husband was a little worried about!
I know that if I had been informed about the side effects and risks, I would never had agreed to having Essure and neither would my husband. I can never get those years back. Why would anyone want to go through this, knowing how dangerous it is?
Thank you for reading my story.