Holy Hormones Journal: Interestingly enough, my journey into women’s health was determined many years before I knew what was going on. My first job at 16 was in the manufacturing plant in New Jersey where my father worked as a pharmaceutical packing salesman. My sister and I worked on the line with women who were much older than us. What was our first job? Packing up individual boxes of birth control pills into larger boxes for shipment. Yup.
But why I really told you this story – because it was my father, who spent tireless hours on the road, representing his packaging company – wining and dining pharmaceutical company reps to let the company he worked package their drugs. I have hazy memories but I remember trialing drugs in return for toys and stuffed animals. Oh! You say – that’s why she is the way she is…. Perhaps. Although for those of you who follow me – you are also aware that I am a big proponent of the use nutritional supplements to repair the damage done to the brain from so many of the toxins in our lives.
Why I am really sharing this story is that at one point in time, my father was sitting on the couch in the family room – very despondent. Of course, at the time I was too young to understand why – but then he said: “Do not believe everything that is being advertised.” And that one sentence has stood out for me more than any other pear of wisdom that he shared with me. Well maybe, one other: “If you are going to do something – do it right.” Oh and the proverbial “Do as I say, not as I do.”
But seriously – it was his statement about not believing in everything that is hawked in pretty packages with pretty brochures. That is what happened to Melanie – and she is the reason I am sharing this article.
This woman is now turning her pain into advocacy – warning other women about the potential dangers of another drug wrapped and sold like a vacation package. Putting your hormones on steroids is not a vacation – it is sterilization. She has joined forces with over 100 women in Massachusetts who have also been injured by Essure.
What until you read the part about what her doctor told her after she started researching Essure – because she was having problems: Her doctor said she was experiencing “Internet-disease” and that she was “over-thinking” her pain.”
So I am leaving you with my father’s words of warning. Every company packages everything so we will buy into their product. It is a profit-making game and has nothing to do with how your well being in mind. PERIOD.
Women’s health: Burlington resident turns personal suffering into an advocacy for women across the country
Wicked Local Burlington
By Adrianne Simeone
Oct. 22, 2015
Burlington resident Melanie Goshgarian has been interviewed on “Good Morning America” and most of the Boston news stations. She’s not a celebrity; she’s a dispatcher for an area police department, who recently returned to work after four medical leaves of absence since 2009.
Her health problems began in 2008, when during an appointment with her gynecologist, the then-30-year-old Goshgarian, an active, healthy adult, married with two children, discussed permanent birth control options. Traditionally, the only permanent birth control option for women is tubal litigation, which is considered a major surgery with an expected recovery time of approximately two weeks.
Goshgarian’s gynecologist introduced her to a new option: the Essure implant, billed as the only non-surgical permanent birth control option, involving small coils that are inserted into the Fallopian tubes, a procedure that can be done in the doctor’s office without anesthesia and requiring minimum recovery time. Looking back, Goshgarian feels uneasy about her doctor’s enthusiasm for the new device. “I was sent home with a brochure in a pretty folder. It was sold to me like a vacation package and I fell for it. She told me this was a one-hour procedure and that I would never have to worry about it again. I’d be a ‘free woman,’” said Goshgarian.
Before having the procedure done, Goshgarian did her own research. “At the time, I did research the device and procedure. All I found was company-sponsored websites and nothing negative.”
Essure was developed by Conceptus, an American medical products manufacturer that became a subsidiary of Bayer in 2013. The product was approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in 2002.
Before the procedure, Goshgarian’s gynecologist asked if she had an allergy to nickel, to which she responded that her skin was sensitive to silver jewelry. Goshgarian was told that the two were different and that it wouldn’t be an issue.
Immediately after the implantation, performed by her gynecologist, Goshgarian experienced extreme back and pelvic pain, heavy bleeding, and nausea. After the suggested recovery period Goshgarian went to her gynecologist complaining of her severe symptoms, only to be told that she should wait and the symptoms would subside. According to Goshgarian, the doctor referenced the Essure website and said the company had not listed any of the side effects she was experiencing.
For months Goshgarian suffered extreme cramping and heavy bleeding during her periods, making it difficult to work and manage her daily life. She continued to see her primary-care physician who referred her three times to a general surgeon for pelvic pain. However, the surgeon had never heard of Essure and made the assumption that the pain was somehow connected to scar tissue from her previous C-sections. According to Goshgarian, he told her she had “Internet-disease” and that she was “over-thinking” her pain.
This is a two-part series – the second article about Melanie and her advocacy work is here: