July 21, 2017 — Bayer has withdrawn its birth control implant Essure off the market in Canada due to declining sales, according to The Toronto Star.
Health Canada issued an advisory about Essure side effects earlier this year, following similar action in the United States. Like the FDA, Health Canada was concerned that patients were not being adequately warned about long-term side effects and other problems.
Essure is the only non-surgical sterilization implant device. Bayer advertised Essure as an alternative to a traditional sterilization procedure known as a tubal ligation — or “having your tubes tied.”
Bayer claimed Essure was a quick 30-minute outpatient procedure, ideal for busy women, with less bleeding, pain, and faster recovery.
Instead, over 10,000 women in the U.S. reported serious side effects. Safety concerns continue to increase as celebrities like Erin Brokovich and grassroots “E-sisters” have called for Essure to be banned.
As a result of declining sales, Bayer says it will stop selling Essure in Canada over the next few months:
“This decision was taken for commercial reasons, and the favourable benefit-risk profile of Essure remains unchanged. This is not a recall of the product from the market.”
In recent years, studies have shown that women who choose Essure instead of a tubal ligation are 10-times more likely to require follow-up surgery. Some of the most serious risks associated with Essure include heavy menstrual bleeding, chronic pain, auto-immune disease, migration or fracture of the device, and unintended pregnancy.