Danger! Could This Birth Control Kill?

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PelvisBolt_LyNgoIllustrated By Ly Ngo.
A small but growing number of women are reporting issues with Bayer's permanent birth control option, Essure. Essure is a little coil that is inserted in an outpatient procedure. A doctor places one in each of a woman's fallopian tubes where its presence provokes the growth of scar tissue. Once the fallopian tubes are closed off by the scarring, no sperm can pass through, and the woman is protected from unwanted pregnancy.

The procedure boasts a high efficacy and a short downtime, making it ideal for women with a lot of their plates who are also completely certain that they don't want more children. But, the spiky coil has been shifting in some women, leading to unexpected pain and internal trauma. One woman died shortly after undergoing the procedure. And as it turns out, the device has a low, but still present, risk of perforating the uterus. Ouch.

No birth control method is going to be risk-free — even the pill increases the risk of blood clots and stroke in some women — but if Essure really is being implanted improperly or does present a higher risk of serious complications, then it's clear that it should be taken off the market.

Enter Erin Brockovich, storied consumer-advocacy hero, who is leading an investigation into the device. She says she has no financial interest in the outcome of the investigation but is simply interested in getting to the bottom of the device that might be making women sick. But in the meantime, anyone considering Essure should have a serious talk with their doctor. (Yahoo)