‘Severe IUD reaction left me looking like a burn victim – I thought I’d die’

Danelle Leseberg, 33, said she was desperate to find a solution to her painful periods and feared she was going to die after multiple doctors reportedly didn’t take her seriously

Danelle Leseberg thought she was going to die after she claims she suffered from severe side affects from her IUD

A woman feared for her life after claiming to look like a burn victim after suffering from a severe reaction from her IUD.

Danelle Leseberg, 33, said she was desperate to find a solution to her painful periods and had the Skyla Intrauterine device (IUD) fitted in August 2017.

Three months later she says “excruciating” hives began appearing on her skin.

She said they soon covered her body making “every second of the day an absolute misery”.

Danelle also developed hallucinations, insomnia, breathing difficulties and dropped three dress sizes.

The avid biker claims her initial symptoms were dismissed as “normal” before later ones like her horrific skin outbreaks being wrongly blamed on “scabies”.

Danelle said she broke out in hives that left her sleeping for two hours each night


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After 16 visits to the doctors and three trips to A&E, she eventually became to believe her living “nightmare” was being caused by her contraception.

She said she cried with relief when her IUD was finally removed in February 2020 but says it took almost a year for her body to return to normal.

She also says she developed allergies to 103 foods and now suffers from PMS.

Danelle made multiple trips to the doctors before anyone took her seriously


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The former carer for the elderly urges women to do their research before even considering putting any contraception into their bodies and that if they feel something isn’t right – act on it.

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 their products.

Danelle, from California, 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.

Danelle finally got her IUD taken out in February 2020


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“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.

“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.”

She says 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.

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.

Danelle said it took almost a year for her symptoms to completely disappear after she had her IUD removed


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Danelle claims she has developed more than 100 allergies after having an IUD


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She also claims when her symptoms were at their worst she’d wake up every few minutes scratching and screaming.

Danelle said: “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 worse and I thought that I was going to die and not wake up one day and it scared me so badly.”

Danelle 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: “It took about a year for the hives to completely go. It started from my head and slowly worked its 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.”

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: “Do all your research before you even consider putting it in. Talk to as many gynaecologists as you can before you get it in, I should have done that myself, and I didn’t.

“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 as 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.”

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