August 04, 2006

A Permanent Solution: Part 2

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 .

The benefits:

  • 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)

If you are single and younger than age 35, you may have difficulty getting any doctor to perform any permanent birth control solution, so first be sure and then be persistent. It’s a permanent (non-reversible solution) after all. Oh, and if you visit the Essure website, please don’t be put off by the copy just below their headline. I have modified it here to apply to Purple WomenTM exclusively (tee hee):

"Are You an Essure Woman?
If you’re sure you don’t want any more children 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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Killer B said...

I just found your site post-BlogHer and I'm in love. Yay yay yay. I read a really disturbing article recently about a young woman whose doctors would NOT tie her tubes in her 20s (as someone much like her, I'm now quite terrified my time for rejection will come too). Essure sounds like a lovely alternative, and I always like to know what our options are. Thanks for the tip!

LauraS said...

Thanks for giving us a heads up on Essure. Sounds like an interesting alternative to TL.

Anonymous said...

FYI a vasectomy does not require general anesthesia. Recovery time would be about 2-3 days maximum, and being sexual again in 1-2 weeks, speaking from personal experience.

Jenipurr said...

Found this site through a link and was reading through archives. Thought I'd pop in on this subject, because I've gone through the Essure procedure (got mine done last year). I was the first one for that hospital (yes, I knew this in advance) but that was fine by me because the process is really pretty easy for the doctor to do (but by the way, for anyone who gets this done, if they offer you pain killers for the follow-up test, TAKE THEM).

By the way, I was 37 when I got it done. I'd broached the subject before, back around age 30, but the doctors were never interested in doing it because 'I might change my mind'. To be fair, I suspect they'd have said the same thing to a man who wanted a vasectomy, but it was still frustrating to be treated as if I couldn't know my own mind.

KIM said...

I had the Essure coils implanted five years ago. I have been chronically ill with peculiar symptoms since and am having them removed. My physician did not disclose that it is a huge ordeal to have them removed and that insurance will likely not cover the operation. Had I been aware of those two pertinent facts, I would have chosen tubal ligation, which has worked for years. I don't recommend Essure.

Teri Tith said...

Kim - I have not had a comment on this blog in a long time.

I really appreciate your sharing your personal experience. I think the folks at Essure would like to address this from a clinical standpoint.

Good luck with your procedure.


sasha said...

here i want to share about tubal reversalis a surgical procedure that restores fertility to women after a tubal ligation

Den Hamphery said...

Every woman has the right to dream of a child. Tubal Ligation Reversal allows a woman's ability to conceive naturally without any harm. Although tubal ligation is considered a permanent method of contraception, but then you think you're doing something wrong and you should not have a tubal ligation. But do not worry, about 90% of cases, the procedure can be reversed.

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