Essure is supposed to provide permanent birth control. During an office procedure, a doctor inserts a small metal coil into each of a woman’s fallopian tubes. Over the next few months, the coils cause inflammation and scarring that will prevent sperm from reaching the egg.
While Essure provides some women with a convenient form of permanent birth control, the device also poses some serious risks, including unwanted and dangerous ectopic pregnancies.
The Danger of Ectopic Pregnancies
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a sperm fertilizes an egg, and the fertilized egg attaches itself in the fallopian tube rather than in the uterus. The fallopian tubes are not able to handle an embryo as it grows, and the fallopian tube may rupture. Heavy internal bleeding can result and may cause a life-threatening situation for the mother.
Ectopic pregnancies (also known as tubal pregnancies) occur in about 1 out of every 50 pregnancies. However, one of the risk factors for a tubal pregnancy is inflammation or scar tissue in the fallopian tube that blocks the tube. This is precisely the situation Essure creates since the device works by causing inflammation and scarring of the fallopian tubes.
Ectopic Pregnancy Symptoms
If you have an Essure implant, then you must be aware of potential signs of a tubal pregnancy, such as:
- Typical symptoms of pregnancy such as a missed period, tender breasts, and nausea
- A sharp or stabbing pain in the abdomen
- Vaginal bleeding
- Gastrointestinal problems
See a doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of these ectopic pregnancy symptoms.
Ectopic Pregnancy Diagnosis and Treatment
Once you get to the doctor’s office or emergency room, you should report all of your symptoms and let the treating doctor know that you have an Essure device. The doctor will determine if you have an ectopic pregnancy by ordering a(n):
- Pregnancy test to confirm that you are pregnant
- Ultrasound to determine the location of the pregnancy and to check for any internal bleeding
- Blood test to check for anemia and blood loss and to confirm your blood type in case you need a blood transfusion
If a tubal pregnancy is diagnosed, then the doctor will recommend:
- Medication. Medications, such as an injection of methotrexate, can stop an embryo’s growth and allow the existing pregnancy to dissolve. To be effective, this treatment must be used in early pregnancy.
- Laparoscopic surgery. If your pregnancy is too far along to respond to a methotrexate injection and you are not yet experiencing significant internal bleeding, then your doctor may recommend laparoscopic surgery. A small incision is made in your abdomen, and the ectopic pregnancy is removed from your body. The fallopian tube may be repaired or removed, as necessary.
- Emergency surgery. Sometimes, laparoscopic surgery is not an option. Once significant internal bleeding has begun, emergency surgery is usually necessary to save your life.
Protect Your Legal Rights After an Essure Ectopic Pregnancy
While Bayer no longer sells Essure in the United States, an ectopic pregnancy may occur any time after you receive an Essure implant.
If this happens to you, then you may have experienced significant physical pain and emotional suffering, you may have high medical bills, and you may have lost time from work. You deserve full compensation for all of these expenses.
Similarly, if your wife, daughter, or mother died from an ectopic pregnancy caused by Essure, then you may have the right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit and recover damages for physical pain, emotional suffering, healthcare costs, lost income, loss of consortium, funeral costs, and other damages.
To discuss your potential recovery, we encourage you to contact Keefe Disability Law today for a free and confidential consultation with an Essure injury lawyer. We will provide you with an honest case evaluation and review all of your legal options with you so that you can decide if you want to pursue an Essure injury lawsuit.