Essure patients stage rally, meet with Ob-Gyns in Washington

They've taken to Facebook by the thousands. They drafted a globally known activist to help with their fight.

And now women who've had problems with the birth control Essure have gone to Washington, all in an effort to get a popular birth control device pulled from the market.

Bel Air mom Krystal Donahue was scheduled for a hysterectomy first thing Monday morning. She could have spent the weekend resting. Instead she spent Saturday and Sunday with other Essure patients, rallying to shine a light on side effects they've experienced from the device in hopes doctors would listen.

Donahue and a half dozen other Essure patients from across the country spent the weekend at the AAGL Global Congress on Minimally Invasive Gynecology at National Harbor. The American Association of Gynecologic Laporoscopists staged the event at the Gaylord National Resort.

Donahue and the group stood outside the event with signs spelling out their Essure issues. The birth control device, which is implanted in a woman's fallopian tubes, is the focus of a Facebook group that has been joined by more than 3,000 women. They complain the device has left them with severe pain and other complications including cysts, pregnancy and even prompted some to get hysterectomies to end their pain.

The Essure group held a closed door meeting the Executive Committee of AAGL. One participant blogged about the meeting, saying the committee is committed to sending out memos to thousands of doctors in their organization, letting them know about the complications so women who have experienced difficulties with Essure can get the attention they need.

Donahue and the other participants considered the meeting a victory for the group, which has enlisted activist Erin Brockovich in its efforts to get Essure pulled from the market.

Bayer, which bought the company that originally manufactured the device back in June, insists Essure is safe.  The company says the complications impact only a small number of the 750,000 users worldwide. 

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