FAQ About This Permanent Method of Birth Control

Women who have completed their families and want a sterilization procedure, but don’t want the risks, the hospital stay, and the downtime associated with surgical tubal ligation, might be looking to Essure. The device blocks the fallopian tubes without surgery.

The expert OB/GYN specialists at The Association for Women's Health Care in Chicago help you understand the facts about Essure so you can make the decision that’s best for you.

How Essure prevents pregnancy

Essure is a soft, flexible insert that your doctor implants in your fallopian tubes in a simple office procedure. It takes on average 35-45 minutes. No cutting or incisions are necessary: Each device is gently threaded through your vagina and cervix and into one of your fallopian tubes. More than 96% of women are able to have both devices inserted in one appointment.

Over the next three months, your fallopian tubes create scar tissue in reaction to the Essure devices. The scar tissue forms a barrier that prevents sperm from traveling up your fallopian tubes and fertilizing your egg.  

After Essure is implanted, you can return to your normal activities within a day or two. If you feel bloated or uncomfortable after that time, you should talk with your doctor.

No hormones in Essure

Another advantage of Essure is that it contains no hormones. Essure creates a physical barrier to pregnancy without disturbing your chemical balance.

Importance of a three-month checkup with Essure

Your body needs about three months to build up the scar tissue necessary to permanently block your fallopian tubes. At your three-month checkup, your OB/GYN specialist at The Association for Women's Health Care uses transvaginal ultrasound and high-contrast dye to check that your fallopian tubes are indeed blocked.

If your tubes are not blocked, your doctor asks you to come back in another three months for a new test.

The other important benefit to a three-month checkup is that it gives your doctor a chance to be sure your Essure device hasn’t migrated, or that you’re not having any adverse effects. If you have a tubal ligation, a three-month checkup is not part of normal protocol, so you could have a complication and not realize it for some time afterward.  

Chance of pregnancy less than 1% with Essure

Until you’ve passed the Essure confirmation test, you can still become pregnant and should use other forms of birth control when you have sex. The risk of pregnancy after Essure is confirmed is similar to that of tubal ligation: less than 1% over the course of the first post-procedure year.

Permanent sterilization with Essure

Essure is a permanent birth-control procedure. You must be certain that you’ve completed your family before you’re implanted with Essure, because the sterilization can’t be reversed.

Whether to get Essure implants removed

If you are not experiencing any adverse effects with Essure, there is no need to have the device removed. Because your tubes have fused with the coil, removing Essure would require major surgery, with all of the attendant risks surgery brings.

The vast majority of women who’ve received Essure have suffered no adverse effects. Your OB/GYN specialist at The Association for Women's Health Care can check your tubes if you are worried, and can continue to do so as part of your annual gynecologic examination.

Candidates for Essure

You shouldn’t get Essure if you’ve already had your tubes tied or if you’re allergic to contrast dye. Your OB/GYN takes a complete medical history before agreeing to treat you with Essure. You can also ask for a list of contraindications.

Study up on Essure?

If you’re considering Essure permanent birth control, you should read the Essure patient-information booklet and patient-doctor checklist. When you’re considering permanent sterilization or any other form of birth control, your doctors at The Association for Women's Health Care take the time to explain the benefits and risks of each procedure, including Essure, and to answer any questions you may have.

To learn more about Essure or to set up a contraceptive consultation, contact the experts at The Association for Women's Health Care. You can phone the helpful office staff, or book your own appointment with the easy online form.

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