Australian women join Essure class action

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Australian women who suffered severe complications from the birth control implant Essure are signing up to join a class action against the maker of the device.

Law firm Slater and Gordon says it’s been contacted by a large number of women who suffered a range of adverse conditions after having the Essure device implanted.

Some symptoms were so severe that many of the women needed needed a complete hysterectomy.

Slater and Gordon Associate Ebony Birchall said the law firm will pursue the class action against Essure’s manufacturer Bayer, which recalled the implant from sale in Australia in May last year.

“Essure was hailed as the new wave of contraceptive devices,” she said in a statement on Monday.

“Unlike traditional permanent contraceptive surgery, Essure was marketed as being fast, effective, and minimally invasive, it could be inserted in your doctor’s office.

“However for the women who have experienced complications it has been incredibly damaging.”

The device, which was also recalled from sale in the United States last month, features a metal coil which expands to anchor the device in the fallopian tube.

However the implant has corroded inside some women, exposing them to nickel poisoning, and causing problems with their uterus and other organs.

Women who have used the device have also reported complications including irregular periods, pelvic or abdominal pain, reduced libido, and muscle pain.

The implant was originally listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods in 2010.

Five years later, the Therapeutic Goods Administration imposed extra requirements on Bayer so it would have to monitor and report the rate of adverse events related to Essure.

The device was also put under review by US health authorities amid large numbers of complaints.

Tanya Davidson, a stay-at-home mother of four young children, says she’s battled “eight years of hell” after receiving the implant.

She suffered severe side effects including hair loss, severe menstrual bleeding, chronic fatigue and stabbing ovarian pain before being diagnosed with a nickel allergy.

She had the implant removed in early 2016, but because the device broke during the procedure she needed to have a hysterectomy six months later because of the damage caused by fragments of the implant.

“For years doctors told me that the symptoms were in my head and that they couldn’t be related to the device,” she said.

“I know there must be other women out there who are in the same boat and I want them to know they are not alone.”

Slater and Gordon said the class action is open to all women who have suffered complications as a result of an Essure implant.

© AAP 2018

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