Australian women join Essure class action
Posted on 09/13/18 6:52 PM
Australian women who’ve suffered severe complications from the contraceptive implant Essure are joining a class action against pharmaceutical giant Bayer which manufactured the device.
The birth control implant Essure. Photo: AAP
Dozens of women have contacted law firm Slater and Gordon, which hopes to take the case to court before Christmas.
The device was recalled by Bayer in May 2017 after many women suffered severe side effects including irregular periods, pelvic or abdominal pain, reduced libido, and pain during intercourse.
Tanya Davidson, a mum of four from Swan Hill in Victoria, has joined the class action after enduring “eight years of hell” with the implant.
She says she suffered severe side effects including hair loss, severe menstrual bleeding, chronic fatigue and stabbing ovarian pain before being diagnosed with a nickel allergy.
Doctors removed her implant in early 2016, but because the device broke during the procedure she needed to have a hysterectomy six months later because of damage caused by implant fragments.
“For years doctors told me that the symptoms were in my head and that they couldn’t be related to the device,” Ms Davidson 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.”
Lawyer Ebony Birchall said hundreds of women are thought to have been affected and they are being urged to join the class action.
“A lot of women have said to us that they suffered for years and didn”t realise it was the Essure device was the problem,” she told AAP.
“Many of their symptoms have gone away after they had the product removed.”
The implant, which has been recalled from sale around the world, features a metal coil which expands to anchor the device in the fallopian tube.
However it corroded inside some women, exposing them to nickel poisoning, and causing problems with their uterus and other organs.
Ms Birchall said some women had developed nickel toxicity as a result of the implant, while others had discovered the device had migrated into their uterus.
Bayer won’t say how many Australian women were fitted with the device, saying the information was “commercial in confidence” but there is speculation that it could be up to 5000.
Bayer said it was aware of the impending class action and would consider any legal claim.
“Patient safety is of the utmost importance to Bayer, and we are always saddened to hear of anyone experiencing an adverse event with any medical device,” Bayer said.
“Bayer respects the rights of every individual to seek legal advice and take such further action as they may be advised.”
Slater and Gordon said the class action is open to all women who have suffered complications as a result of an Essure implant.
Other legal cases involving the Essure implants are underway in Canada, Britain and the US.