UPDATE: Essure will no longer be sold after the end of 2018. Find out more here.
There’s been a growing campaign to get the FDA to review the permanent birth control method Essure. Essure is a set of coils that a health care provider inserts in the fallopian tubes, where the coils cause the tubes to close up within a few months.
What we know about problems with Essure
Since the method was introduced in 2002, the FDA has gotten about 5,100 voluntary reports about problems with the device from women and health care providers. It’s hard to say what percent of women experience problems because we don’t know exactly how many women used Essure.
Women often reported more than one type of problem with Essure. The most commonly reported problems included pain (3,353), bleeding changes (1,408), headache (1,383), fatigue (966), and changes in weight (936). 941 women reported they might have an allergy to the metal in the coil (nickel). 482 reported the device had moved and 133 reported that it wasn’t placed properly to begin with.
The FDA wants to hear more
On September 24, 2015, the FDA will hold a public meeting to learn more about women’s experiences with Essure. At the end of the meeting, the members of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Device panel will make a recommendation to the FDA about what to do next—we’ll let you know what they say.
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