Hundreds of UK women take legal action against sterilising device manufacturer Essure
24 November 2020
Hundreds of UK women take legal action against sterilising device manufacturer Essure – Have you been affected?
Women in the UK are launching legal action after suffering prolonged pain, abnormal bleeding, and other serious side effects after being fitted with the sterilisation device Essure.
The claims are being brought against the German pharmaceutical company Bayer, which manufactured the device.
The UK litigation is currently on a much smaller scale than in the US, where thousands of women have sued Bayer over Essure but more and more UK women are realising the potential link between their previously unexplained symptoms and the Essure device. There are now more than 1000 women subscribing to a related Facebook page.
Essure was introduced in 2002, it was promoted as an easy, non-surgical procedure - a new era in sterilisation. The metal coil was inserted into the fallopian tube to cause scarring, blocking the tube and preventing pregnancy.
The product became controversial from 2013 with many women reporting severe pain and by 2017 it was largely withdrawn from the UK market. Many women who had the device fitted have now either had hysterectomies or are waiting for procedures to remove the device.
Gynaecology Professor Bas Veersema, an expert in Essure removal, at UMC Utrecht hospital, in Holland, says the monitoring of new medical devices is inadequate.
"We learned from the mesh problems, we have learned from the breast implants, we have learned from the Essure device, that if you put materials in the body for a long time, we need more information, with long follow-ups, what it does to the body," he says.
Manufacturer Bayer has already set aside more than $1.6bn (£1.2bn) to settle claims from almost 40,000 women in the US.
Have you experienced unexpected problems with a contraceptive device?
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