FDA calls for new warnings, new data on Essure contraceptive device

(CNN)The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday that a new “black box warning” label is warranted for Essure, an implantable permanent contraceptive device. A black box warning in the labeling of products is “designed to call attention to serious or life-threatening risks,” according to the FDA website.

Monday’s announcement¬†comes after more than 5,000 women filed grievances with the FDA between November 2002 and May 2015, complaining of unintended pregnancies, miscarriages, stillbirths and severe pain and bleeding after an Essure implantation.

Approved by the FDA in 2002, Essure is a permanent form of birth control in which a coil is non-surgically placed into a woman’s fallopian tubes. Scar tissue is supposed to form around the device to prevent sperm from reaching eggs and fertilizing them, thus preventing pregnancy.

The FDA also called upon Bayer, which makes and markets Essure, to conduct surveillance that will assess “risks of the device in a real-world environment,” and said the agency will use the results of that study to “determine what, if any, further actions related to Essure are needed to protect public health.”

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