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Ready for Permanent Birth Control?

With all the new options for contraception, women have many choices in selecting the best birth control method for them.  They may be interested to learn about an effective method of permanent birth control: hysteroscopic tubal occlusion (also known as ESSURE). 

Eleven years after FDA approval, this updated version of a tubal ligation is still relatively unknown to women.  If a woman wants her “tubes tied” this is done in an operating room by a laparoscopic procedure (a camera is inserted into the abdomen and clips are placed on the fallopian tubes).  With ESSURE, nickel coils are inserted into the fallopian tubes, causing scar tissue to form.  This scar tissue blocks the tubes and prevents sperm from reaching the egg.

ESSURE is not reversible and is 99 percent effective.  Many people think that a tubal ligation is 100 percent effective, but that is a misconception.  Studies show that ESSURE may be even more effective than the traditional laparoscopic tubal ligation.

Many women are choosing ESSURE over the traditional approach.  Here’s why:

  • Less invasive: The camera is inserted through the vagina and into the uterus
  • Easier recovery: minor cramps as opposed to recovering from surgery and needing time off work
  • Office or surgery center procedure, not a trip to the operating room
  • Hormone-free birth control
  • More economical – often covered with a copay.

Patients use another form of birth control for three-months. After those three months, a confirmation test called HSG (hysterosalpingogram) is performed to make sure the procedure was successful.  Dye is injected into the uterus and an x-ray is taken. If the x-ray shows no dye spilling out of the fallopian tubes, the procedure is a success.  The confirmation test is required and provides a real peace of mind for women.

Everyone is different, and some women want instant effectiveness.  They get that with the laparoscopic tubal ligation.

Nonreversible sterilization is not for everyone.  And ESSURE is not an option for some women who choose sterilization.  Women who have certain problems with the uterus should not have the tubal ligation.  Those problems include certain uterine anomalies, uterine scar tissue from a previous endometrial ablation, fallopian tubes that can’t be seen coming into the uterine cavity and a few other situations.  Otherwise, ESSURE makes sense for a lot of women. 

If you think ESSURE may be right for you, please call to arrange an appointment with your Genesis OB/GYN physician.  Phone: (520) 795-0771. 

 

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