Mother was driven to the brink of suicide by contraceptive implant

‘It felt like a knife was being twisted in my stomach’: Mother, 39, claims she was driven to the brink of suicide by contraceptive implant that left her in agony for seven years

  • Alana Nesbitt, 39, from Belfast, was fitted with the Essure sterilisation device 
  • Mrs Nesbitt’s seven year nightmare is now over, after she had a hysterectomy
  • Her life ‘became filled with pain’, which left her almost entirely bed-bound
  • She spiralled from a size 8 to 20, with her BMI reaching 35.9 at her lowest point 

A mother claims she was driven to the brink of suicide by a contraceptive implant that left her in agony and made her obese.

Alana Nesbitt, 39, from Belfast, described the pain of the Essure sterilisation device as feeling like a ‘knife was being twisted inside my stomach’.

Mrs Nesbitt’s seven year nightmare is now over, after she had a hysterectomy to have the controversial contraceptive removed.


Alana Nesbitt, 39, described the pain of the Essure sterilisation device as feeling like a ‘knife was being twisted inside my stomach’. Pictured before the implant left, and after right

Mrs Nesbitt’s seven year nightmare is now over, after she had a hysterectomy to have the controversial contraceptive removed (pictured in hospital)

Recalling her ordeal, the mother-of-two said: ‘Everything seemed fine for two years but then my life turned upside down in 2014.

‘I remember collapsing at work and the only way I could describe the pain was like being stabbed.

‘The pain was so intense and frequent that I couldn’t even walk up the street. I became so depressed that I would feel suicidal.

‘I’d come home to my two girls, Lauren (12) and Emma (eight) and be unable to really spend time with them, and look after them.’

Mrs Nesbitt – who had the hysterectomy last month – added that her life ‘became filled with pain’, which left her almost entirely bed-bound.

She claims she spiralled from a size 8 to 20, with her BMI reaching 35.9 at her lowest point.

Mrs Nesbitt visited her doctor to have her tubes permanently tied in 2012 to prevent any further pregnancies.

Instead, Mrs Nesbitt was fitted with Essure, which was pitched to her as being ‘quick’ and ‘pain-free’.


Mrs Nesbitt (left) – who had the hysterectomy last month – added that her life ‘became filled with pain’, which left her almost entirely bed-bound. Pictured right, her daughters Lauren (12) and Emma (eight)

It was only when Mrs Nesbitt heard another woman on the news describing similar symptoms that it clicked that the Essure implant could be to blame (pictured with her daughters)

She said: ‘I thought I was making the right decision having it as it only had a one day recovery time, whereas having my tubes tied would’ve been five.’

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

It is non-hormonal and causes the build-up of scar tissue that prevents sperm from reaching eggs and eggs from implanting into the walls of the uterus.

According to Essure.com, the device is 99.3 percent effective when used as the sole method of contraception.

Women who have had the device fitted claim it has left them in agonising pain, with some even being driven to the brink of suicide.

In July, it was announced that Essure would be discontinued in the US amid reports of thousands of women suffering excruciating pain, bleeding and allergic reactions.

Essure was first marketed in the UK in 2009. In August 2017, Bayer – its manufacturer – instructed hospitals to stop using it.

It was only when Mrs Nesbitt heard another woman on the news describing similar symptoms that it clicked that the Essure implant could be to blame.

Mrs Nesbitt claims that despite growing evidence pointing towards the implant, doctors didn’t help initially.

Waiting three years for her symptoms to be taken seriously, she was told in 2017 that she would be added to a waiting list for a complete hysterectomy.

Discussing life after having it removed, Mrs Nesbitt said: ‘Essure has changed who I am – it’s made me feel numb.

‘It’s taken me seven torturous years, and it’s taken away my choices. There’s no going back, a hysterectomy is permanent.

‘Even though I didn’t want any more kids after I’d had a really bad reaction, now it feels like that entire choice has been taken away from me.’

A Bayer spokesperson, which manufacturers Essure implant said: ‘Patient safety is the greatest priority at Bayer and we investigate reports of side effects of all our medicines or medical devices thoroughly.

‘We stand behind the positive benefit risk profile of Essure, which continues to be supported by more than a decade of science and real world clinical experience.

‘Bayer would like to emphasise that recent independent expert reviews of Essure carried out by medical devices safety authorities have each addressed the safety of Essure in detail and have each concluded that Essure has a positive benefit / risk profile.’

Discussing life after having it removed, Mrs Nesbitt said: ‘Essure has changed who I am – it’s made me feel numb (pictured with husband Liam)

WHAT IS THE ESSURE DEVICE THAT HAS CAUSED CONTROVERSY AROUND THE WORLD?

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

It is non-hormonal and causes the build-up of scar tissue that prevents sperm from reaching eggs and eggs from implanting into the walls of the uterus.

According to Essure.com, the device is 99.3 percent effective when used as the sole method of contraception. 

Women who have had the device fitted claim it has left them in agonising pain, with some even being driven to the brink of suicide.

Essure launched onto the global market in 2002, with more than 34,000 women across the world complaining of side effects in the years since.

In July this year, it was announced that Essure will be discontinued in the US amid reports of thousands of women suffering excruciating pain, bleeding and allergic reactions.

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

The US Food and Drug Administration previously placed multiple restrictions on the device following patient reports of adverse events.

Such events included the device ‘migrating’ and even perforating organs.

In May, the FDA said doctors must show women a checklist of the device’s risks before implanting it, which caused demand for the implant to plummet. 

Essure was first marketed in the UK in 2009. In August 2017, Bayer instructed hospitals to stop using it. 

Although there had been a growing number of complaints against the device, Bayer insisted the product was is withdrawn worldwide for ‘commercial reasons’, with women preferring permanent methods of sterilisation. 

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