A woman was left unable to have children after her contraceptive coil which she was told had fallen out was left inside her – for 29 years.
Jayne Huddleston was told by a GP in 1990 that the device she had fitted around a year earlier had fallen out.
She had another device fitted but when she and her husband David, 61, decided to have children two years later, the second device was removed but the first remained.
For years Jayne, from Wistaston, near Crewe, suffered with symptoms including heavy periods, bleeding, stomach pain and infections.
She was unable to conceive so Jayne and David underwent eight failed rounds of IVF between 1995 and 2002 – including six privately funded rounds costing them thousands of pounds – in the hope of having a baby together.
Jayne’s remaining copper coil was picked up in 2019 during scans she underwent after complaining of back pain.
She underwent surgery under general anesthetic to remove the device.
Jayne, now aged 63, said: “After the coil, which I now know was the second one, was inserted in 1990 I started to suffer with symptoms.
‘’It wasn’t nice at all. I remember visiting my GP on several occasions and being told it was just hormonal.
“However, after the second device was removed we struggled to conceive. I remember the GP checked my hormone levels and I was told that they were normal.
“Me and David tried everything we could think of but nothing happened and we were referred to specialists who suggested IVF.
“Even after initial failed cycles the doctors didn’t seem too concerned. They said we had good quality embryos and I also had proven fertility.
‘’I remember at one stage David even asking the doctor whether they were sure a coil wasn’t still there? We were told no it would have shown up on a scan.
“Despite further attempts I didn’t fall pregnant. We gave ourselves a cut-off point and decided we couldn’t face the emotion of going through further attempts.”
Jayne, who had a son Darren, 38, from a previous relationship, had the copper coil fitted in May 1989.
Following a routine smear test in June 1990 she was told there was no sign of it and Jayne was referred for an ultrasound which was clear.
Jayne sought medical advice for back pain in 2019.
During an appointment a smear test was also carried out, during which a doctor believed she had seen a coil and a scan confirmed the device.
Following the discovery of the coil, Jayne instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate and has since secured a six figure settlement from the GP’s insurers.
Jayne added: “When I was told in 2019 after the scan that they could see the coil I couldn’t believe it.
‘’I was devastated. I was crying and could only think about the babies me and David should have had. It was just a complete shock.
“All me and David wanted was to have a child together to make out family complete. I couldn’t believe that we had had so many cycles of IVF.
“Everything we went through, all of the emotion, then having to pick ourselves up to try again just felt like a waste. It felt like it was all for nothing because I still had a coil in place.
“While following surgery to remove the coil my symptoms have gone I’m not sure we’ll ever get over the psychological pain of the last 30 years.
“I just hope that by speaking out I can raise awareness of the issues we’ve faced to hopefully mean others don’t have to go through what we have.”
The settlement will help compensate for the private IVF treatment Jayne and David underwent.
It will also allow them to receive specialist support to try and come to terms with the psychological impact of not being able to have children together.
Zoe Donohue, the specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Jayne, said: “This is an incredibly unusual but equally disturbing case which has had a devastating impact on Jayne and David.
“Not only did Jayne suffer serious physical complications for more than 25 years, tragically we believe she and David were denied the chance of having the baby they so longed for and consequently had to endure the psychological upset of numerous failed IVF attempts.
“We believe that if Jayne had undergone more thorough investigations and had been sent for an X-ray her coil would have been found and removed, meaning she wouldn’t have had to go through the ordeal she has.
“While nothing can make up for what Jayne and David have been through, we’re pleased that we’ve been able to secure this settlement, allowing them to access the specialist support they require to try and overcome what happened the best they can.”