Women Continue to Suffer From Nickel Allergy Due to Essure

Women from around the world are coming forward to talk about their negative experiences with Essure, a permanent birth control. For most women, the only option to relive the constant pain is to have a hysterectomy. Unlike a tubal ligation, Essure is marketed as a permanent birth control that is simple and doesn’t require any surgery. It’s meant to be easier, cheaper, and safer than having your tubes tied. However, the fact that the Essure inserts are made with nickel has sparked several severe allergic reactions in women, making it no longer the safest option.

Essure coil

Photo Credit: http://tubalreversalclinic.com/

What is a nickel allergy?

A nickel allergy is one of the most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis, which is an itchy rash that appears when your skin touches a usually harmless substance. Nickel allergy is normally associated with earrings and other jewelry, and can be found in everyday items such as coins, zippers, and even cellphones or eyeglasses.

Nickel allergies can affect people of all ages and usually develops after repeated or prolonged exposure to items containing nickel. Approximately 10-20% of the population is sensitive to nickel. Once a nickel allergy is developed, you will always be sensitive to the metal and need to avoid contact.


If you have a nickel allergy and you’re exposed to a nickel-containing item, the allergic reaction, or contact dermatitis, normally begins within 12 to 48 hours after exposure. This reaction may continue for as long as two to four weeks. Some nickel allergy signs and symptoms include:

  • Rash or bumps on the skin
  • Itching, which may be severe
  • Redness or changes in skin color
  • Dry patches of skin that may resemble a burn
  • Blisters and draining fluid in several cases

How is a nickel allergy linked to Essure?

The Essure insert is made of materials that include a nickel-titanium alloy. Once the inserts are placed inside the body, small amounts of nickel are released from the inserts. Women who are allergic to nickel could potentially have a severe allergic reaction to the inserts.

According to a study reviewing reported adverse events associated with nickel hypersensitivity in patients with Essure implants, the suspected nickel hypersensitivity is small, but is reported as very painful and severe. Reports were reviewed from 2001 through July 21, 2010 and over 650 patients results were tested.

What are some treatments for nickel allergies?

There are some at home treatments to relieve the stress of contact dermatitis due to nickel allergy. Most women who suffer from a nickel allergic reaction due to Essure are forced to have the coils removed, and undergo the surgery for a hysterectomy.

Home remedies:

  • Soothing lotions: Calamine lotion can be used to ease itching
  • Apply wet compresses: This can help to dry blisters and relieve itching
  • Moisturize regularly: The skin has a natural barrier that’s disrupted when it reacts to nickel and other allergens. Using lotions or creams can reduce your need for topical corticosteriods.
  • Try antihistamines: Benadryl can be helpful in relieving itching for a short time

Although the FDA is fully aware of the toxicity of nickel, and that women tend to have nickel allergies more than men, they still approved its use in Essure. Due to the nickel inserts, more and more women are coming forward with severe allergic reactions to Essure, and being forced to have surgeries to remove the device altogether.

If you or someone you love is suffering side effects from the Essure Implant, contact our Essure lawyers today, click the banner below to access the Essure Claim Evaluation form.

Zofran form

Sources: NCBI, ATSDR, Mayo Clinic