An estimated 100,000 women in the UK have been fitted with an Essure implant, a device manufactured by the multinational pharmaceutical company, Bayer.
The implant, which was available on the NHS and administered in just 15 minutes in GP surgeries, was offered women a ‘non-surgical alternative’ to traditional sterilisation methods. It has, however, left many users in chronic pain, caused nickel poising, perforated organs, triggered autoimmune reactions and, in some cases, necessitated that hysterectomies.
Urogynaecological meshes (known as ‘transvaginal meshes’ or ‘TVM’) are used to treat women suffering from medical conditions, such as pelvic organ prolapse, which are particularly common after childbirth. The aim of the mesh is to give support to weakened organs and to repair damaged tissues and fitting it requires a small surgical procedure.
However, the fitting of the mesh has, for many women, been known to cause severe complications and had life changing consequences.
Primodos and other forms of Hormone Pregancy Tests (HPT) were pills given to women between 1956 and 1978 by GPs to test for pregnancy. These hormone-based drugs worked by triggering a period if the woman was not pregnant and replaced urine-based samples as faster way to obtain results.
These drugs were removed from the market in 1977, but this is not before thousands of women had used it and resultantly given birth to babies with malformations.