A class action lawsuit is being led against medical device manufacturer Bayer, over allegations that its Essure contraceptive device has caused life-changing complications for hundreds of women in Australia.
Law firm Slater and Gordon announced earlier this week (13 August) that it will represent women who have suffered due to the device in the class action lawsuit.
The Essure device is a small, insertable coil made from nickel and polyester. The device is placed into the fallopian tubes to form a natural battier against sperm, preventing pregnancy.
Bayer has been subject of controversy for a number of years now due to its Essure device, which has been linked to many complications for women. These include, corrosion; exposure to nickel poisoning and organ perforation. Some women have even had to undergo complete hysterectomies as the only safe way to remove the product.
Earlier this year Bayer decided to end sales of the Essure device in the US, relating the decision to a decrease in sales.
In a press release related to ending sales of the device, Bayer stated it “remains strongly committed to women’s health where we have long been a leader”.
Now, Slater and Gordon’s lawsuit will look into whether the device was inherently defective.
“Essure was hailed as the new wave of contraceptive devices. Unlike traditional permanent contraceptive surgery, Essure was marketed as being fast, effective, and minimally invasive, it could be inserted in your doctor’s office,” Slater and Gordon associate Ebony Birchall said.
“However for the women who have experienced complications it has been incredibly damaging. It has literally turned their lives upside down.
“For most women the only solution has been to have a complete hysterectomy,” Birchall continued.
Tanya Davidson had the device inserted in 2010 and has since suffered from complications such as hair loss, severe menstrual bleeding, chronic fatigue, gastric issues, stabbing ovarian pain and loss of cognitive function.
“The loss of cognitive function has been the scariest as it just feels like it continues to get worse,” Ms Davidson said.
“Every day I wake to the feeling of brain fog, have trouble remembering simple things like the names of everyday objects or get lost mid-sentence. I was terrified I was experiencing the onset of early Alzheimer’s Disease.”
“Some days I just feel like I can’t get out of bed, but as a mum I don’t have a choice. For years doctors told me that the symptoms were in my head and that they couldn’t be related to the device.
“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,” she added.
Slater and Gordon states that a large number of women have contacted the law firm but there are likely to be many more women who don’t realise their symptoms are related to the Essure device.
To find out more go to the law firm’s Essure Class action page.