What is Essure?
Essure is a permanent type of birth control. Small flexible coils made of fiber and metal are placed in the fallopian tubes, which connect the ovaries to the uterus. Theses coils create scar tissue within the fallopian tubes, which forms a barrier that prevents sperm from reaching an egg. This is an outpatient procedure.
When is Essure used?
Essure is used for women who do not want to have any more children. It is a non-reversible form of birth control that does not have some of the side effects that hormonal contraceptives (birth control) do. It also does not affect your menstrual cycle.
What happens during the procedure?
Your doctor will use a speculum, which is the same instrument used during a Pap smear, to look at your cervix, the opening to your uterus. Your doctor will use a cervical dilator to help widen your cervix. A hysteroscope, which is a thin tube with a camera, will be placed into your uterus through your cervix. Your uterus will then be filled with saline (salt water) to make it easier for your doctor to see your fallopian tubes. Another small tube called a catheter will then be inserted into your uterus containing a flexible coil. Your doctor will place the catheter in one of your fallopian tubes and the coil will be placed in the tube as the catheter is removed. He or she will repeat the same procedure for the other fallopian tube.
What are the risks?
- Mild to moderate cramping
- There is a small risk of:
- Pelvic pain
- Damage to your uterus or fallopian tubes
- Blocking only one fallopian tube
- Pregnancy (This is more likely to happen during the first 3 months after the procedure while the scar tissue is forming)
What should I do to prepare for the procedure?
- Your doctor may ask you to take a hormonal contraceptive for a few weeks before the procedure.
- This thins the lining of your uterus, which is called the endometrium, allowing for better visualization of the openings to your fallopian tubes and easier insertion of the Essure coils.
- If you do not want to take a hormonal contraceptive your doctor will try to schedule the procedure right after your period when the endometrium is the thinnest.
- You will be under anesthesia for the procedure so you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment
What should I expect during recovery?
- Do not put anything in your vagina for 24 hours after the procedure (this includes tampons and having sex).
- You may experience cramping. You can take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever like Advil or Tylenol.
- You may have light vaginal bleeding for a few days. You can wear a panty-liner.
- Nausea or vomiting
- You will need to use a back-up birth control method until the confirmation test shows your tubes are blocked.
- Your doctor will ask you to come in after 3 months to do a test to make sure your tubes are completely blocked. This is also an outpatient procedure and involves your doctor injecting a special dye into your uterus and then taking an x-ray.
- Essure does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Only condoms can protect against STIs.
Call your doctor if you experience:
- Abdominal pain that is not relieved by an OTC pain reliever
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
- Fever greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit in the 10 days following the procedure
- One of the coils coming out of your vagina
Office number: (404) 778-3401, Monday – Friday 8:00AM – 5:00PM
- For emergencies after hours, calling this number will connect you to the operator, who will page the OBGYN physician on call.
If your pain becomes severe, or your fever rises above 102oF in the 3 days following the procedure you should go to the emergency room.