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Joanne’s Story

it was the worst, most distressing moment of my life

I have two children, 18 and 20. I attend a gym 6 times a week. After years of having issues with the contraceptive pill and trying every brand I decided it wasn’t for me. So I didn’t use anything other than condoms for nearly 2 years until one split so I had to take the morning after pill. That made me decide to have Essure as I couldn’t rely on condoms!

Essure wasmentioned at my smear test by one of the nurses, I’d never heard of it until then. I mentioned this to my doctor who referred me to Newcastle RVI. I then had a consultation with a lady who gave me the leaflet and went through all my options. I had another appointment at a later date with my doctor who fits Essure. This was when he told me it is all fine and that if I wish to have Essure fitted I’m fine to have this.

I did tell him that I’m allergic to everything and cant wear jewellery as it makes me itch. He said that I could just take antihistamines, I told him I always take them anyway.

On 6/7/2016, after I’d signed where needed on the form, the doctor was happy to take me through for my procedure with a nurse! I was told the Essure procedure was painless and can be done quickly then you can go back to work. Sorry but OMG – it was the worst, most distressing moment of my life! To make matters worse I chose to put myself through it!

So I did what he asked sit on the chair, bum on edge and legs in stirrups. They had a bucket below my bottom on the floor, I just thought “what is that for?” The doctor asked if I’d had any pain killers, I hadn’t, so they got me some pain killers.

Then he explained he was putting the camera up inside to make sure he could put the Essure in. He tried to go through my cervix and OMG the pain! I told the doctor it hurts when I have a smear done, I have a sensitive cervix! He then said “Oh if I’d known I would not have did the procedure without you being asleep!” So I was then offered gas and air, but by this point everything inside hurt!

He tried my left side first. I screamed “no its hurting too much”, I started to cry. The doctor then injected me with anesthetic for the pain. He really struggled to get the Essure in my left side. All I kept thinking was, I shouldn’t be doing this it’s wrong! I felt like he was scratching my insides, after a few attempts he managed to place the Essure in and said “That’s one done!” Seriously, I was so distraught by this point sucking on gas air, struggling to breathe as I was so distressed by the pain I was in.

They had a bucket below my bottom on the floor

My right side was placed with lots of pain but at least this time it went in quicker. “All done”, he said as he checked to see on the screen that the were placed correctly. As I attempted to stand up from the chair I nearly passed out, I was shaking with shock. I kept thinking “what have I done?!” Eventually I could stand and sort of walk, although this was painful. Luckily my daughter was with me to drive me home, as we walked to the car I felt like something wasn’t right, the pain was dreadful.

When I got home I went straight to the sofa for a lie down, I couldn’t cope with cramps, pain in my abdomen especially my left side and pains in my legs, my back. I took pain killers and had to put a hot water bottle on my abdomen. I had to take a few days off work!

I tried to be positive and think “Ah things will improve,” and anyway, I would be back to hospital for the 3 month check-up scan. The pains didn’t stop, my periods were so painful too. I had constant back ache, cramping, headaches, joint pains, exhaustion, bloating and lots of others.

I attended the RVI for my 3 month internal scan to check everything was OK. I told the doctor I wasn’t good, he told me everything looks fine and Essure was correctly placed. He wrote down my symptoms and said that they might not be caused by Essure! Well I didn’t have these issues before Essure. The doctor said he would not sign me back to my GP until I was happy. I said I would give it a go and see if my symptoms disappeared as my body got used to these coils inside of me.

But I got worse. There were more symptoms: lots of discharge, fuzzy head, I couldn’t move my fingers at times – it was like they’d seized up, hair loss, gum ache and lots more.

I ended up by at the RVI 4 more times; this included being seen by 2 other doctors and an ultrasound. I was at the point where I just wanted them out and I’d joined the Essure support group on Facebook. I was bloated, fat, tired, fed-up, confused; I actually felt like a really old person. The doctor agreed I could have my Fallopian tubes removed and that I could have a cancellation due to my family wedding commitments (4 in one year).

YIPEE I got a date for removal… On the 6/6/17, one year after I had the coils put in, I went for removal!

It was my year of hell. I asked the doctor for my Essure implants¬† when he took them out, but he said I wasn’t allowed. He did allow me to see them and take pictures of my operation pictures and of the Essure in a tub.

I took 4 weeks off work, I work with children; when I returned to work I was still unwell – but I had to go back.

I still get rashes and some discharge, my hormones aren’t quite right. I had to get strong antihistamines off my doctor as my rashes got so bad my whole body was itchy, and I had to double my Buscopan from 4 a day to 8 as my tummy hasn’t been right since. Ive also had more investigations done – blood tests etc – but all came back clear.

But I’m back to the gym 6 days a week, my weight’s coming off and I’ve got loads more energy!😊