What is the Essure Contraceptive Procedure?

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The Essure procedure is a short, hormone-free and surgery-free medical procedure in which a physician inserts Essure contraceptive inserts into a woman's fallopian tubes, not with an incision but by taking the "natural pathways", the vagina and cervix. Most of the time, the procedure is quick and women can go home less than an hour after the procedure has completed. They can resume their normal activities the following day.

Essure inserts are made out of materials used frequently in medicine, such as what is used in heart stents, and is considered to be very safe.

Essure is permanent birth control, and according to the manufacturer it is more effective than tubal ligation. It is considered a barrier method of contraception, although it blocks contraception at the fallopian tubes, not the cervix.

Essure is FDA approved. It has been on the market for about ten years, and has been used by an estimated 600,000 women.

Post-Procedure

In the three months following the procedure, according to the manufacturer, a woman's body "works with the inserts to form a natural barrier" in the fallopian tubes that prevents sperm from reaching any egg and therefore preventing pregnancy. During the length of this three month period, a woman must continue to use another form of birth control in order to avoid pregnancy.

Essure Confirmation Test

The Essure confirmation test is a test in which dye is introduced into the cervix in order to determine whether the inserts are in place and that the fallopian tubes are completely blocked.

Drawbacks

Contraceptive failure is always a possibility, however remote. No form of birth control or contraceptive is 100 percent effective, including this one.

Essure does not work for every woman; in some women the procedure fails to create the natural barrier.

Finally, some women experience side effects either during or immediately after the procedure, which might include mild to moderate cramping, nausea and/or vomiting, light-headedness, bleeding or spotting. No matter how mild the side effect, one should always inform one's health care professional.


 
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