Teacher tells how she almost died from contraceptive coil infection

‘It was the scariest experience of my life’: Teacher, 25, tells how she almost died when her contraceptive coil became embedded in her womb causing sepsis

  • Jessica Cowgill, 25, was admitted to Blackburn hospital with agonising cramps
  • On admission, doctors discovered she was suffering life-threatening sepsis 
  • She was rushed into emergency surgery where she had to have the coil, one of her fallopian tubes, an ovary and part of her uterus removed

A nursery school teacher was almost killed by her contraceptive coil after it became embedded in her womb and caused sepsis.

Jessica Cowgill, 25, repeatedly visited her GP complaining of agonising cramps, but they were dismissed as period pains and tests failed to show anything was wrong.

Eventually she went to hospital and doctors realised she was suffering from life-threatening infection sepsis.

An undated photo shows Jessica Cowgirl while receiving treatment at Royal Blackburn Hospital. She was admitted to the hospital after developing life-threatening sepsis 

She was rushed into emergency surgery where she had to have the coil, one of her fallopian tubes, an ovary and part of her uterus removed.

Miss Cowgill remains in hospital more than three weeks later.

Yesterday she said she feared her fertility could have been damaged and called for the copper coil to be banned. 

Miss Cowgill said: ‘I know the coil sounds like a good idea and low maintenance but it’s not worth the outcome I’ve had. My experience has been terrifying and exhausting.

‘I’m still unsure as to whether I’ll be able to have children – the doctors seem positive that I will as I still have my right tube and ovary.

‘But I wouldn’t want anyone else going through this for the sake of contraception when there are many other forms available.’ 

Ms Cowgill is pictured with her fiance Nathan Grogan, 27. Ms Cowgill was rushed into emergency surgery where she had to have the coil, one of her fallopian tubes, an ovary and part of her uterus removed

Jessica is pictured while being treated at the Blackburn hospital. Yesterday she said she feared her fertility could have been damaged and called for the copper coil to be banned

Ms Cowgill is pictured at the hospital in Blackburn with a dog comforting her on the bed. She had the coil put in when she was about 20 but after several years, the 25-year-old began to suffer agonising cramps and irregular bleeding

Miss Cowgill, from Blackburn, had the coil fitted when she was 20. It is a type of device that can be kept in situ for ten years.

During the various ultrasounds, doctors did not identify it as the problem and claimed it was in the correct place.

She had suffered agonising cramps for years but thought the pain was due to her periods.

She repeatedly went to her GP and last year was sent to see a specialist gynaecologist.

During the various ultrasounds, doctors did not identify it as the problem and claimed it was in the correct place

He examined her and performed an ultrasound scan but could not find anything wrong. Another trip to A&E earlier this year was also inconclusive and she was sent away with antibiotics.

However, the pain intensified and in February she was admitted to the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

There, doctors scanned her again and rushed her into theatre when they realised what was wrong.

Miss Cowgill added: ‘I’ve been having stomach pains for quite a while now and I’ve been seeing doctors to get to the bottom of it, but nothing came of it. I kept getting sent home. I took myself to A&E (and) I could barely walk through the doors.

‘Within a few hours I was being rushed into theatre and told I needed major surgery, which had a 50 to 79 per cent mortality rate.

The doctor examined her and performed an ultrasound scan but could not find anything wrong. Another trip to A&E earlier this year was also inconclusive and she was sent away with antibiotics

‘They removed my left ovary and fallopian tube as well as my copper coil contraception, I was also full of stomach ulcers.’

However, after the operation the pain continued and she was forced to have a second surgery when medics realised some of the infected tissue was still there.

Miss Cowgill, who is engaged to fiance Nathan Grogan, 27, added: ‘It’s been the scariest experience of my life but I’m coming out so much stronger. My bloods are showing that the infection is clearing up nicely.

However, after the operation the pain continued and she was forced to have a second surgery when medics realised some of the infected tissue was still there

‘Visually, my wound looks healthy and is beginning to knit back together but it won’t be for about a year until I have my reconstructive surgery after my body has formed a hernia.’

The contraceptive coil, or intrauterine device (IUD), is a T-shaped birth control device which is inserted into the womb.

The copper damages sperm and affects their mobility, meaning they cannot join with an egg, protecting against pregnancy.

The Daily Mail has long campaigned for greater awareness of sepsis symptoms and quicker treatment for patients to limit the numbers seriously affected.

 

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