There are many methods of birth control on the market. If you’re a woman, you may have seen advertisements when you visit your GYN or spoken to your doctor about all the options available to you. For the guys maybe you’ve seen TV ads or you know the type your significant other uses. The point is there are a lot out there but not all of them are SAFE. This post is all about being cautious when deciding what to use as birth control. You never know that your choice might end with you dealing with lifelong health issues.
Throughout the years I have used a few different types of birth control. I never used the pill, which is the most conventional, because I hate taking pills in general so that just wasn’t for me. I took the shot version, also not for me (it made me fat 🙁 lol ). I’ve finally found a birth control that worked for me and that is the Mirena which is an IUD and I have had very minimal side effects. I feel very lucky to never have had a bad side effect from birth control. That is not the case with many women.
I want to share with you the story of one of my family members that has had a horrific experience with a certain birth control and has changed her life forever. The name of the birth control is Essure. It is a permanent form of birth control. According to Essure this is how the device works,
“A small Essure insert is permanently placed into each of your fallopian tubes by your doctor. These inserts work with your body to form a natural barrier that keeps sperm from reaching the eggs, preventing pregnancy. While the natural barrier forms over time, another form of birth control must be used.”
I interviewed my cousin so that she would give us an insight to her experience with Essure. This is what she had to say:
Jaimie: How did you first hear about Essure?
Cousin: During my first prenatal visit in 2013 my doctor at the time mentioned Essure to me. At the doctor’s office they told me that it was non- surgical and permanent.
Jaimie: What made you decide to choose Essure as your form of birth control?
Cousin: I didn’t at first. I was scheduled to have a tubal ligation and it was at that appointment that a new doctor told me that I should get the Essure device instead of the tubal ligation I was there to get. I was ready to get my procedure done and had already signed off on getting it done that day. I felt very pressured and they scared me out of getting the procedure that I was already prepared to have. They told me tubal ligation would be more risky and that Essure would be my better option.
Jaimie: Did you know about the side effects of Essure before you went through with the procedure?
Cousin: The doctor really down played any side effects and only mentioned headaches. They only kept pushing the good things about the Essure, such as that it was non-surgical and was non hormonal.
Jaimie: What was your first sign or symptom that something was wrong?
Cousin: I was constantly bleeding. It was very abnormal for me. The bleeding was mild/moderate but it was every day for about 4 months.
Jaimie: Did you go to the doctor right away?
Cousin: No, I was a new mom and I have two other children so I was just busy and kept pushing it off. I never thought that something would be going wrong because of this Essure device.
Jaimie: When you finally went to the doctor, what did they say to you?
Cousin: When I went to the doctor, they told me that the bleeding was most likely due to the depo shot I was taking as a back up to the Essure. The doctor gave me some pills to stop the bleeding and in a few weeks it stopped. So again I just didn’t think much of it.
Jaimie: What made you finally do research on Essure after having it implanted for 8 months?
Cousin: I happened to stumble upon a post of Facebook that was about Essure. It was a woman talking about her bad experience with the device. I then found a whole community of woman who had been going through the same thing as me. As I read all their symptoms and problems they had, I started to put the puzzle together. THIS IS WHY I’VE FELT SO CRAPPY ALL THESE MONTHS!
Jaimie: Looking back now, were there any other symptoms besides the bleeding due to the birth control?
Cousin: YES, now looking back I realize that I had experienced a lot of the side effects of Essure. I just never thought that something my doctor recommended for me would be such a nightmare. Looking back this is the LIST of things that I had been feeling since the device was implanted: brain fog (unable to concentrate), light-headed, headaches, anxiety, panic attacks, and tremors.
Jaimie: Now that you found out all about Essure, what did you do?
Cousin: After I had put the puzzle pieces of my own medical mystery together, I went back to the doctor. I told them everything that I had been feeling and with a vaginal ultrasound they were able to confirm that one of the Essure coils had migrated and attached itself to my uterus. They told me the only way to correct this issue was a hysterectomy.
Jaimie: How did this make you feel?
Cousin: I was shocked, I had mixed emotions. I didn’t know what to think but I knew that this was the only way to fix it and it was something that had to be done for my health.
For my cousin this battle with Essure in her body lasted about a year. Luckily she found the real cause of all her symptoms and today she is Essure free and feels a lot better. Unfortunately she had to lose her uterus, both Fallopian tubes and cervix in the process. After she was coerced into getting this NON SURGICAL permanent birth control she had to have major surgery to remove it.
Moral of the story, please make sure you do your research before putting anything in your body and trust your instincts.