A cleaner ‘feared for her life’ after claiming to have suffered such a severe reaction to her IUD contraception that she ‘looked like a burns victim’.
Danelle Leseberg, 33, from Temecula, California, claimed the Skyla Intrauterine device (IUD) or ‘coil’ she had fitted in August 2017 left her body covered in hives and painful rashes and made her life ‘absolute misery.’
The avid biker, who had hoped the device would help with her painful periods, claims she also developed hallucinations, insomnia, breathing difficulties and dropped three dress sizes.
Danelle claims her initial symptoms were dismissed as ‘normal’ before later ones were wrongly attributed. But after 16 visits to the doctors and three trips to ER she eventually became to believe her living ‘nightmare’ was being caused by her contraception.
Danelle said she cried with relief the moment it was removed in February 2020, but it took around a year for her body to return to normal and she’s still suffering its aftermath – including ‘horrible’ PMS and allergies to 103 foods.
A spokesperson for Bayer, who manufacture Skyla IUD, said they ‘take all reports of adverse events very seriously and, in conjunction with health authorities, continuously review the benefit-risk-profiles’ of all its products.
Danelle Leseberg, 33, from Temecula, California, said the Skyla Intrauterine device (IUD) or ‘coil’ she had fitted in August 2017 left her body covered in hives and painful rashes and made her life ‘absolute misery’ (pictured at the height of her symptoms)
The rash spread over the totality of Danelle’s body, pictured, and was extremely painful, leading her to believe she was going to die
Danelle said: ‘People were shocked. They thought from afar it just looked like I was sunburnt but when I got closer I would look like a burns victim and they were concerned like “are you ok?” and I was like “I’m fine”.
‘It started with this little patch right underneath my belly button. I thought it was shingles and was like “ok, this will go away” and it didn’t.
‘It started to spread so I got a little concerned and my doctors thought “you probably ate something or rubbed up against something, just take some Benadryl, it will go away”.
‘After three months of having it in I started seeing those spots and I was like “ok, this isn’t right”. It started to manifest all over my body and I was covered within a month.
Pictured: the rash spread over Danelle’s legs, down to her feet. She said it felt like she had ants crawling all over her body
Danella, pictured showing how her body has recovered, claimed she was left with long-time allergies and complications following her IUD insertion and removal
‘It was excruciating. It basically felt like a million ants crawling all over my body and I couldn’t get them off.
‘Every second of the day was absolute misery. I’d wake up in the middle of the night scratching myself to the point where I was bleeding and I have scars all over my arms and legs. It was bad.’
Danelle claims she didn’t have a period for around six months but still had symptoms including stomach cramps, breakouts and bloating around five pounds of water weight.
The cleaner said the ‘excruciating’ pain of the rash made her life ‘absolute misery’ and that she suffered from insomnia
The hives were so unbearable, pictured, that Danelle admitted she would wale up scratching herself in the middle of the night, and would make herself bleed
The hives spread over Danelle’s chest, arms, legs and stomach, pictured. She was told the side effect was ‘normal’ after she complained of the rashes shortly before they appeared, she claimed
She covered up her hives using long sleeves and loose trousers, even during the summer months, as she couldn’t wear tight clothing because it was so painful.
Danelle said: ‘Doctors just said it was normal. I was like “how is this normal? I don’t feel right. I’ve got these spots on my body”. They just kept saying “it will go away, give it time.”
‘I had 16 doctor’s visits just trying to figure out what was going on because we didn’t know it was the IUD just yet. It was just a nightmare.
‘It was the same thing ‘we don’t know what it is or what’s causing it. Here’s all these medications’. I took so many medications.
It took over a year for the rash to completely disappear once Danelle had her IUD removed: pictured: the body recovering from hives
‘They thought I had scabies at one point and I was like ‘that’s disgusting, I’m not around anything dirty or children’, so they gave me medication for that which broke me out even further.
‘I started hallucinating a month before they took it out. I was at Bootleg Canyon in Nevada and everything got worse.
‘We were camping and I ended up sleep walking and I was standing in the middle of the field and woke up and started hallucinating.
‘I started seeing stuff like people. I thought I saw my dog who was in the truck sleeping with my boyfriend and I thought I was hearing voices for a month and would have these horrible flashes. It was really scary, I thought I was going clinically insane.’
Danelle feels much better now, following the removal of her IUD in February 2020, pictured, but at the height of her issues, she claimed she suffered from hallucinations
Even though she’s now recovered from the hives, pictured, at the height of her issues, Danelle claimed she couldn’t go to the bathroom alone because it was too painfull
Pictured: the hormonal coil that Danelle claimed had caused her three-year-long health issues before it was removed in early 2020
Danelle, pictured following her recovery, claimed the IUD completely ‘stopped’ her life and admitted she had to quit her job because she was in too much pain
The 33-year-old claims when her symptoms were at their worst she’d be lucky to have around two hours sleep a night as she’d wake up every few minutes scratching and screaming.
Danelle said: ‘It completely stopped my life. I lost my job because of this. I had to quit because I was so sick.
‘I couldn’t get up to even go to the bathroom by myself because I was in so much pain.
Can IDUs cause hives?
An IUD – Intrauterine Device – also known as coil, is a T-shaped plastic and copper device that is put in the womb as a form of contraception on women.
There are several types of IUDs, namely hormonal and copper ones.
Hormonal IUDs release hormones with aim to stop the fertilization of a woman’s eggs.
There are several brands of hormonal coils in the US.
Skyla, the coil used by Danelle, releases a hormone called Levonorgestrel, and lasts for three years.
According to the Skyla website, serious side effects include:
– Ectopic pregnancy and intrauterine pregnancy risks. There are risks if you become pregnant while using Skyla. Ectopic pregnancy is a medical emergency that often requires surgery.
– Life-threatening infection. Life-threatening infection can occur within the first few days after Skyla is placed.
– Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Some IUD users get a serious pelvic infection called pelvic inflammatory disease. PID is usually sexually transmitted.
– Perforation. Skyla may go into the wall of the uterus (become embedded) or go through the wall of the uterus. This is called perforation. If this occurs, Skyla may no longer prevent pregnancy.
– Expulsion. Skyla may come out by itself. This is called expulsion. Expulsion occurs in about 3 out of 100 women.
Common side effects for the contraception include:
Pain, bleeding, or dizziness during and after placement. Changes in bleeding. Missed menstrual periods. Cysts on the ovary.
Other symptoms include abdominal or pelvic pain, acne or greasy skin, headache or migraine, inflammation or infection of the outer part of your vagina (vulvovaginitis) and painful periods.
The site warns this list is not exhaustive.
According to WebMD, bloating and skin rashes and classes as ‘infrequent’ and ‘rare’ side effects that those who are use Skyla can experience.
‘There was a point where I feared for my life, which was probably a week after my last hospital visit.
‘It just sunk in that they didn’t know what was going on with me and that really scared me because I was like “I’m going to die. Nobody can find out what’s wrong with me and I’m getting worse”.
‘The hives were getting all over my face, starting to get on my scalp, they were inside my ears, in-between my fingers and toes – it was just getting bad and I thought that I was going to die and not wake up one day and it scared me so badly.
‘I was just crying in the room and my boyfriend came in and he was like “are you ok”‘ and I was like “I’m going to die, I’m not going to get better, this is going to get worse”. It was a nightmare and it was when I was at my worst.’
Danelle, who loves motorbikes, claims her doctors didn’t initially believe her when she said her IUD was the root cause of her problems.
She claims she contacted various doctors, gynecologists and hospitals who wouldn’t remove it but eventually managed to do so four months later with a reproductive health organisation.
Danelle said: ‘I was sitting in the back seat crying my eyes out because I was in so much pain and it just dawned on me that I hadn’t taken any pills, eaten any gluten or anything that would break me out.
‘I was like “oh my God, my IUD is still in. This needs to come out right now.”
‘That’s what it was, that’s what had been causing it, I knew in my heart that’s what it was. It made me cry, I was like “oh my God, how could I be so stupid?”.
‘The moment I felt it leave my body was the biggest weight off my shoulders. I sat there and cried and the lady came over and she just hugged my head and was like “are you ok?” and I said “you have no idea how long I’ve wanted this out of my body”.
‘It took about a year for the hives to completely go. It started from my head and slowly worked it’s way down and the last hive I had was on my foot. I woke up the next day and it was done and I went into the backroom, got naked and looked at myself to make sure I didn’t have anything, and I cried.
‘I was like “there’s no way I’m back to normal. There’s no way I beat this”. The first thing I did was get on my bike.’
Danelle claims as a result of having the IUD she’s developed allergies to 31 pharmaceuticals, whereas before she was only allergic to iodine.
She also claims to now be allergic to 105 foods including green tea, spinach and broccoli and she was previously only intolerant to seafood and shellfish.
Danelle said: ‘I will never ever have the IUD again.
‘I’m allergic to so much now. A lot of them are pharmaceuticals. I kind of stay away from them now because I’m afraid if I take anything I’m going to break out in hives or my throat is going to close.
‘I had milk once and I thought I was going to die. It just tore up my stomach so bad like I’ve never felt in my life.
‘Do all your research before you even consider putting it in. Talk to as many gynecologists as you can before you get it in, I should have done that myself, and I didn’t.
Danelle in hospital with a rash on her hand, from when she still had her IUD. She went to the ER 16 times for her condition
Danelle, pictured now, said she felt she was ‘going to die’ when nobody could find what was wrong with her when the hives developed
Danelle urged other women and people on contraception to do their own research about birth control and to listen to their bodies
‘Know your own body and listen to it. If something isn’t right, do something about it. If you feel off go and talk to a doctor, don’t wait like I did. I waited and that’s what happened to me.’
A spokesperson for Bayer, who manufacture Skyla IUD, said: ‘At Bayer, patient safety is our highest priority.
‘We take all reports of adverse events very seriously and, in conjunction with health authorities, continuously review the benefit-risk-profiles of our products in order to ensure that the product information we provide to doctors and patients reflects the latest scientific evidence.
‘We encourage women to discuss the benefits and risks of any birth control option with their healthcare professionals.
‘Hormonal contraceptives including LNG-IUS (levonorgestrel-containing intra-uterine-systems) will be prescribed by the healthcare professionals following a comprehensive evaluation of the benefits and risks for the individual woman.’
Her condition and painful rash would leave Danelle in flood of tears, pictured. She said she is allergic to more than 100 types of food as a result of her issues
Pictured left: Danelle’s reddened hand covered in hives and right: a rash that developed on her face
Pictured: a tearful Danelle showing how the hive has spread to her neck at the time she developed the condition
Now, Danelle, pictured, who cried tears of relief when her IUD was removed, said she will never have another IUD ever again
Danelle, pictured, claimed she is now milk-intolerant as a long-term side effect of having her IUD removed. But the hives, pictured right, have gone
The avid biker, pictured on a day out, is now enjoying life to the full after having her IDU removed a year ago