I got the Essure coil – doctors told me symptoms were ‘all in my head’

A mother who started having debilitating symptoms after having the Essure contraceptive device fitted has revealed how a gynaecologist told her it was all in her head. 

Tanya Davidson from Bendigo, Victoria, was told she was imagining things when she experienced agonising symptoms shortly after having getting the Essure coil. 

She’s one of a group of women who took a class action in Australia in April against six organisations who are said to have played a role in the coil’s distribution and development. 

And British women who have been left with ‘crippling pain’ after having the Essure contraceptive coil fitted can now take legal action against its German manufacturer.

Previously a healthy and energetic mother of four, in 2010 Tanya’s life was quickly turned upside down by the side effects of the contraceptive device.

Tanya Davidson thought the non-surgical contraceptive device would be the better route as a mother of four, but the contraceptive turned her life upside down

Ms Davidson's daughter only remembers her as being unwell her entire childhood. Ms Davidson had to eventually have a hysterectomy because of the Essure coil (pictured)

She experienced excessive bleeding, extreme pelvic discomfort, and even clumps of her hair falling out.

The Essure coil is a form of contraceptive, which is placed in both Fallopian tubes, meaning scar tissue accumulates stopping any potential pregnancies.

Ms Davidson saw the contraceptive device as appealing due to the non-surgical method of insertion.

She told ABC Australia: ‘When you’ve got four little ones crawling around you can’t afford to have the time off.’

The Essure coil is placed into the Fallopian tubes as pictured. A group of women in Australia including Ms Davidson have taken action against its manufacturers. 200 women in the UK have now been given the go ahead to take legal action in the UK

However, within days the once busy mother was left with debilitating pain.

Attempting to get medical professionals to acknowledge her excruciatingly painful symptoms – even some as obvious as a face rash – was a continuous struggle.

One GP was so dismissive of Davidson’s symptoms, and recommended she paint a wall in a room red to improve her lowered libido. 

However, despite her gynaecologist telling her the device was safe and that he would recommend the device to ‘any of his family relatives’, it was later found Ms Davidson was allergic to the nickel contraceptive coil.


Essure is a permanent birth control procedure that involves inserting a tube into women’s fallopian tubes.

It is non-hormonal and causes the build-up of scar tissue that prevents eggs from reaching the womb.

Accoding to Essure.com, it is 99.3 percent effective when used as a sole method of contraception.

Vaginal bleeding, abdominal discomfort and cramping are expected after the procedure.

Long-term risks include pain of varying intensity.

In the US, more than 15,000 women have reported complications to the FDA, including pain, allergic reactions and ‘migration of device’.

Allergic reactions are thought to occur due to the device containing nickel and polyester.  


Medical professionals then wanted to remove her Fallopian tubes along with her Essure coil.

She advised her surgeon not to pull the Essure coil due to it’s reputation of breaking.

But the surgeon did so anyway, leaving pieces of plastic and nickel scattered across her abdomen.

As a result, Ms Davidson had to have a full hysterectomy but the effects of her relentless allergy and chronic illness continue to persist almost six years later.

She stated: ‘I want someone to be accountable to for doing this. Not just to me but to my kids, they’ve lost their mum, my partner lost his wife.’

Her daughter, Tahlia 17, recalled that she only ever remembered her mother being sick

She told the Age: ‘I don’t know any different. She’s mum. This is just how it is.’ 

However, Ms Davidson is not the only woman to have felt the aftermath of the Essure coil.

As of today, 200 women in the UK have been given the legal go ahead to launch action against manufacturer of Essure. 

The German pharmaceutical company Bayer bought Essure’s manufacturer, Conceptus in 2013.

As more adverse reactions to the contraceptive continued to pile up, the German firm stopped distributing the coil in May 2017 in Australia.

It was also withdrawn from the UK market during the same year.

The company behind the coil, Bayer, stressed the device had been through 10 clinical trials.

A spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘Bayer’s highest priority is the safety profile and effectiveness of our products and we have great sympathy for anyone who has experienced health problems while using any of our products, regardless of cause.

‘The company stands by the safety profile and efficacy of Essure and will continue to defend itself from these claims vigorously.’

They continued: ‘Bayer believes the claims brought in this litigation are without merit and will vigorously defend itself.

‘While all birth control products and procedures have risks, the totality of scientific evidence on Essure demonstrates that the benefit risk profile is positive.

‘Its safety profile is consistent with the risks disclosed since its approval and is comparable to other female permanent birth control options.’


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