What is Essure?

I was just watching a commercial for this new birth control called Essure. It’s a permanent female procedure, but is non-invasive. From what I can tell on their website, they stick something in your fallopian tubes and viola! No more babies!

I was listening to the “fine print talk” and I’m seriously confused… and intrigued. I’m not looking to get fixed any time soon, and I have no need for medical advice. I’m just curious about the mechanics of this procedure and if anyone can explain it better than their website, I’d love to hear it.

This sounds like it could be a great step forward for permanent birth control for women; no downtime to heal, quick, easy, etc. From what I can tell, it would be even easier than men getting the snip snip, I think.

So what’s the skinny on this?

I just got this done a couple of weeks ago, so I can tell you what my experience was like. It’s a variation on a hysteroscopy, which is putting a small camera up the uterus. They used the camera, and also whatever small tool for the procedure went up at the same time. They found my fallopian tubes with the camera, and used the tool to put a nickel-titanium coil in each tube. That is the end of the first part, the second part is that my fallopian tubes become blocked with scar tissue. In about 3 months, there’s an X-ray involving dye, where they put dye in my uterus and check to see if any of it gets past the fallopian tubes. If it does, they give it another 3 months and check again, I think. I’m still two and a half months from getting my first X-ray, so I don’t know if it’s working, but I haven’t had any problems with it yet. The cramping right after the procedure was bad enough that I had a pain pill and a nap, but was fading even that same day.

I picked it because I wanted something non-invasive, permanent, and non-hormonal. I’ve had great luck with hormonal birth control so far, but I’ve been on Depo for 7 years and am worried about my bones.

Basandre, the “scar tissue” part makes it sound pretty irreversible, which makes it sound not much different from a tubal ligation—you just get the fallopian tubes blocked instead of severed. What are the pros and cons of Essure vs. tubal ligation, in your opinion? Is it the degree of invasiveness of the surgery that makes a difference?

Invasiveness and recovery time, pretty much. Yes, it’s irreversible. I won’t really be able to take time off to recover from abdominal surgery anytime in the near future, and I didn’t like the idea of staying on Depo. It’s also billed as a doctor visit, with the same small co-pay I’d have if I went to my regular doctor for a checkup.