Another lawsuit has been filed against Bayer over Essure, the permanent birth control device for women. An Illinois woman alleges that Essure implantation led to serious complications, ultimately leading to the removal of her uterus and fallopian tubes. Essure consists of metal coils inserted into the fallopian tubes as a permanent form of contraception. The idea is that scar tissue grows around the coils after implantation, preventing sperm from reaching the eggs.
Essure was marketed as a non-surgical option for women who want to stop having children permanently. The lawsuit alleges that Bayer engaged in deceptive marketing with regards to Essure, claiming that the company concealed risks from doctors and the public.
In July 2015, the plaintiff began inquiring about permanent birth control options. Her physician discussed the Essure procedure as an option and gave her a brochure so she could view the information at home. The plaintiff alleges that she used these marketing materials in deciding to have Essure implanted. She underwent the procedure in late July. According to her lawsuit, however, her doctor discovered a complication, bilateral proximal tube occlusion, upon follow-up. Afterwards, she alleges suffering from chronic pelvic pain, menorrhagia and cramping.
The plaintiff alleges that her complications ultimately led to a hysterectomy, where the uterus was removed, and a bilateral salpingectomy where the fallopian tubes were removed, in order to alleviate symptoms. She alleges that she would never have undergone a procedure with Essure if Bayer had not engaged in false marketing tactics, misrepresenting the safety of Essure to her and her physician.
Essure has drawn a significant amount of attention from the media after a number of women reported injuries, allegedly from the device. The issue gained momentum, and the FDA held an advisory panel of independent experts to consider the risks and benefits of Essure last fall. The panel concluded that there was not enough data to prove that Essure is safe, and use of the device should be limited. The FDA followed up by advising a black box warning in February.