San Tan Valley woman: "Essure ruined my life"

Posted at 7:02 PM, Mar 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-26 09:33:36-04

A San Tan Valley woman was one of the first to have the Essure device implanted, and says she suffered painful complications. 

A federal court has dismissed most of the counts in a lawsuit against Bayer in relation to the permanent contraceptive device Essure, however some can proceed.

In the ruling, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania let stand only two counts in the suit against the pharmaceutical giant. However, several other counts can be amended and re-filed. 

Patricia Rhodes was one of the first to have the Essure device implanted. She was part of the pharmaceutical trial. 

"I felt like I had itching inside my head," recalled Rhoades. "I couldn't sleep at night because of the itching, I could not function just before I got rid of them because it was getting so intense I could not take it anymore."

It wasn't until last year she had it removed -- along with most of her reproductive organs. She says those symptoms went away. 

Rhodes also has pending litigation against Bayer that isn't part of this week's ruling. 

Bayer released the following statement about the judge's decision in the Pennsylvania case:

Bayer is pleased with the Court’s decision to dismiss most of the claims and narrow the cases significantly. In addition, two prior courts considering similar claims dismissed those suits entirely. As FDA itself has stated recently in numerous media articles, ‘Essure remains an appropriate option for the majority of women seeking a permanent form of birth control.’  Bayer stands by the positive benefit-risk profile of Essure, the safety and efficacy of which is supported by clinical trials and more than a decade of science and real world clinical experience.

The law firm of McEldrew Young, which is co-counsel for the plaintiffs, has also released a statement. It reads as follows:

We are pleased the Court has allowed our clients to proceed with discovery on the claims of negligent misrepresentation and failure to warn by Bayer.

During the procedure with Essure, two metal coils are placed inside the fallopian tubes to block conception. Complications related to the device continue to be reported.

More than 5,000 complaints have been filed against Essure with the FDA. Thousands of women across the country have complained of severe pain, miscarriages, and serious injuries from the permanent contraception device. There are 300 reported pregnancies and 11 deaths linked to the device.

Take a look at the interactive timeline below for a full recap on ABC15's investigation into Essure. 

For a full-screen view, click here.