Temporary forms of birth control tend to be regimented, and no form is 100% effective; at some point, you may consider a permanent solution. The permanent solutions for women include hysterectomy, tubal-ligation (TL), and a new innovative procedure called Essure. The first option represents major abdominal surgery, a hospital stay and significant recovery time. Even TL requires incisions, recovery time, and the inherent risks of general anesthesia, as it does for men having a vasectomy.
Essure is the name of a medical device and a procedure that has been pioneered by a company out of Mountain View, California. I learned about it while attending the BlogHer ’06 conference. (The women at Essure read this blog!) The FDA approved it in 2002, and it represents a significant step forward.
How does it work?
A tiny micro-insert coil is placed in each of your fallopian tubes without any incision. Then your body works with the device to close the passage with tissue. It can take 3 months or more and an alternate form of contraception (or abstinence) should be practice during that time. Then in 3 months, you undergo a special type of x-ray, called a hysterosalpingogram or HSG for short. For some women, it will take longer for the tissue to form. The x-ray is no more invasive than the procedure itself and involves a special dye. (Note: This type of x-ray was first developed for use with infertility procedures, so you should remind the radiologist that you are there to confirm the micro-insert placement!)
If you’re still interested, discuss it with your doctor and find a doctor that is approved to perform the Essure placement. I used their online search tool to find doctors approved to do the procedure within a 50 mile-radius of Atlanta, Detroit, and San Francisco and found 30 or more in each location. If you call the Essure hotline you get to speak to a nurse .
- Less invasive, no incisions required
- Faster recovery time, in most cases back to work next day
- Doctor’s office procedure, not under general anesthesia
- No hormones added to your body’s chemistry
- 99.8% effectiveness rate (based on four clinical years of data)
"Are You an Essure Woman?
If you’re sure you don’t want any
morechildren and you are tired of using temporary birth control… "
Try to get past the huge assumption that you’ve already had children, because this device and the procedure associated with it represents some significant advances in permanent birth control. I recommend reading the No Regrets post on the Essure blog.
A Permanent Solution: Part 1
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