Obstetrics & Gynecology Associates offer women the latest sterilization methods to prevent future pregnancies. For women, this involves blocking both fallopian tubes in a female’s reproductive tract.

Traditionally, female sterilization was only offered in the operating room under general anesthesia. This would require 1-2 incisions on the abdomen and entry into the abdominal cavity to burn/cut/clip the fallopian tubes. The risks of any surgery in the abdomen include injury to underlying intestines or blood vessels, as well as the risk and recovery of general anesthesia. This can result in a 1-2 week recovery time and small abdominal scars. The failure rate of these methods were as high as 2%.

Essure is an alternative to traditional tubal ligation and provides sterilization without having to burn the fallopian tubes, make cuts/incisions on the abdomen, or need to go to the operating room. Essure is an insert that is placed into the fallopian tubes through the vagina and cervix.

Small, flexible inserts are placed into the fallopian tubes by a catheter passed from the vagina through the cervix and uterus. The insert contains inner polyethylene terephthalate fibers to induce benign fibrotic reaction and is held in place by flexible stainless steel inner coil and a dynamic outer nickel titanium alloy coil. Once in place, the device is designed to elicit tissue growth in and around the insert to form over a period of three months an occlusion or blockage in the fallopian tubes; the tissue barrier formed prevents sperm from reaching an egg.

Unlike other forms of tubal ligation, no general anaesthetic nor incision through the abdomen is required. Similar to some other methods of birth control, initially additional forms of birth control must be continued for 3 months to prevent pregnancy until the method’s effectiveness can be confirmed.

Follow Up
The FDA has recommended that all women who undergo Essure obtain a 3 month Essure Confirmation Test. In 2015 the FDA approved a simple in-office ultrasound as an effective means of determining correct position and location of the Essure coils within the Fallopian tubes. Once you have had this ultrasound 3 months after your procedure, you may rely on the Essure procedure to prevent pregnancy permanently.
Risks

  • Perforation, expulsion, or other unsatisfactory location of the insert
  • Pregnancy and increased risk of ectopic pregnancy
  • Pain, cramping, vaginal bleeding, menstrual pattern changes, light periods at first then longer, heavier periods lasting up to 6–8 weeks due to changing birth control methods to a non-hormonal solution.