Local women are taking a medical company to court after they say their permanent birth control caused some major health problems.
The lawsuit was filed on October 31 at the San Luis Obispo County Courthouse. More than 80 women represented in the lawsuit say they’ve suffered injuries from Essure birth control.
Essure is a method of permanent birth control in which coils are inserted into the fallopian tubes creating a blockage that prevents the passage of an egg from the ovary.
“It was marketed as a very minimally invasive procedure that would allow these women to have the convenience of permanent birth control but it caused some horrible and debilitating side effects for some women,” said Breanne Cope, managing partner at Common Sense Counsel LLP.
Cope represents dozens of women, some from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, who are demanding a trial with the Bayer Corporation.
Cope says her clients have seen a wide range of health issues including autoimmune disorders, hair loss, anemia, or unintended pregnancies.
“The device can also migrate so it can leave the fallopian tube where it’s intended to stay and migrate to different organs and pierce the uterus,” Cope added.
After tens of thousands of complaints to the FDA, more than 16,000 lawsuits filed, and recent federal restrictions, Bayer announced it would pull Essure from American markets in December. The company says the decision is based on a decline in sales.
In a video statement, the manufacturer says it stands by the quality of the product.
“I want to emphasize that there has been no change in the positive safety and efficacy profile of Essure,” said Dr. Yesmean Wahdan. “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has maintained for several years that the benefits of Essure outweigh its risks.”
In 2016, the FDA ordered Bayer to add a boxed warning and patient decision checklist to all of their labeling, which led to a 70 percent decline in sales of Essure.
The case goes to trial in Alameda County in November of next year.