Raj K. Syal, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.    |    Jenna A. Everson, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.    |    Holly Westmoreland, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.   

Essure birth control is now offered as an in-office procedure.

The Procedure: How it Works

Your doctor will place flexible, coiled inserts into each of your fallopian tubes through the natural pathways of your vagina, cervix, and uterus. With Essure birth control, there are no incisions necessary. The tip of each insert remains visible to your doctor, so that your doctor can confirm that placement is accurate.

essure birth control 1

essure birth control 2

essure birth control 3

Your Body’s Response to Essure

Over the next three months following the procedure, your body will develop scar tissue within your fallopian tubes to act as a natural barrier to prevent sperm from reaching your eggs. Your ovaries will continue to release eggs, but they will be absorbed naturally into your body because fertilization does not occur. During the first three months following the procedure, you must continue to use another form of birth control.

Three months after the Essure procedure, we will perform a test to confirm that your fallopian tubes are completely blocked. A special dye is used under X-ray to get visual confirmation that the scar tissue formed in your tubes is sufficient to block your eggs from fertilization. Upon confirmation by your doctor, you will be able to rely on the Essure method of birth control as the only method needed to prevent pregnancy

Three key features of the Essure birth control insert help make it the most effective permanent birth control available: the shape, the size and the material from which it’s made.

  • Shape: The small, soft Essure birth control inserts are designed to slide easily into each fallopian tube and stay in place.
  • Size: The Essure birth control inserts stay secure, forming a long protective area. They also remain visible, so your doctor can confirm that they are properly placed.
  • Material: The Essure birth control inserts are made from the same trusted, silicone-free material used in heart stents. The material is flexible, so it conforms to the shape of your fallopian tubes.

Essure birth control 4

Benefits of Essure:

  • Surgery-free This simple procedure is performed in our doctor’s office in less than 10 minutes
  • Hormone-free
  • Anesthesia-free
  • Worry-freeSince 2002, over half a million women and their doctors have trusted Essure as the most effective method of permanent birth control.Most women return home within 45 minutes of the procedure and return to normal activities in less than a day. Over the next three months following the procedure, your body develops scar tissue within your fallopian tubes to act as a barrier against pregnancy. Once the barrier is confirmed through an Essure Confirmation Test, you’ll enjoy the confidence that comes from knowing you are protected from an unwanted pregnancy.

Common Questions about Essure Birth Control

What is Essure?

Essure is a proven, non-surgical, hormone-free permanent birth control procedure that works with your body to prevent pregnancy.
How effective is Essure?

Essure is 99.8% effective,* the highest of any form of permanent birth control.
What are the benefits of Essure?

Essure birth control is the most effective* available, offering benefits no other permanent birth control ever has:

  • No surgery
  • Simple, ten-minute procedure can be performed in the comfort of our office
  • No slowing down to recover
  • No anesthesia necessary
  • No hormones – a more natural birth control method
  • Peace of mind
  • Your doctor will confirm when you can start relying on Essure for permanent birth control

Since 2002, Essure birth control has been trusted by over half a million women and their doctors, and is covered by most insurance providers.

The above information is based on four years of clinical data.

How does Essure work?

An Essure-certified doctor places soft, flexible inserts into each of your fallopian tubes through the natural pathways of your vagina and cervix. There is no incision necessary. The tip of each insert remains visible, so your doctor can confirm that placement is accurate.

Over the next three months, your body works with the Essure inserts to form a natural barrier within your fallopian tubes that prevents sperm from reaching your eggs. You must continue to use another form of birth control during these three months.

After three months you’ll take an Essure Confirmation Test to confirm that the inserts are in place, your tubes are fully blocked and you can begin relying on Essure for permanent birth control. Learn more about how Essure works.

What are the Essure inserts made of?

The silicone-free Essure birth control inserts are made of a polyester fiber, nickel-titanium and stainless steel alloy. These are the same trusted materials that are used in heart stents and hundreds of other medical devices (e.g., heart valve replacements, blood vessel grafts and abdominal repair).
Can I still get Essure if I think I have a nickel allergy?

True nickel allergies are not as common as many people think. A good test is whether your skin reacts to the metal rivets in Levi’s® jeans, which are made from nickel. The amount of nickel released every day by an Essure birth control insert is very, very small—less than one-thousandth of the amount in the average daily food intake. In the Essure clinical trials, no adverse reactions to nickel were reported. But if you have questions about a possible nickel allergy, talk with your doctor before scheduling your procedure.
Is the Essure procedure painful?

Some women report mild discomfort or cramping, similar to a normal monthly cycle during or after the procedure.
What are the risks or considerations?

As with all medical procedures, there are risks and considerations associated with Essure:

  • No form of birth control should be considered 100 percent effective
  • Not all women will achieve successful placement of both inserts
  • During or after the procedure, some women report mild discomfort or cramping similar to their normal monthly cycle
  • Side effects during or immediately following the procedure may include mild-to-moderate cramping, nausea/vomiting, dizziness/light-headedness, bleeding and/or spotting

Is the Essure procedure safe?

Yes. The Essure procedure has been trusted by over half a million women and their doctors since 2002. The silicone-free inserts are made from the same proven materials that have been used successfully for many years in heart stents and other medical devices. Moreover, Essure birth control enables you and your partner to avoid the risks and discomfort of surgical procedures like tubal ligation and vasectomy.
Is Essure covered by my insurance?

Essure birth control is covered by most health insurance providers. If the procedure is performed in your doctor’s office, the cost may be as low as a simple co-pay, depending on your insurance plan.
Is Essure easily reversible?

No. Like other forms of permanent birth control, including tubal ligation and vasectomy, Essure birth control should not be considered reversible. It is for women who are certain that their family is complete.
How much time will I need to recover from the Essure procedure?

Most women go home within 45 minutes of the Essure procedure and return to normal activities in less than a day.
Will I still get my menstrual period after the procedure?

You will still have your normal menstrual period. Some women report slightly lighter or heavier bleeding than usual, but these changes might result from discontinuing hormone-based birth control such as the pill, and returning to your normal cycle.

If you’ve experienced pain or heavy bleeding with your period over the years, ask your doctor about what treatment options are available to you.

Will the Essure procedure cause me to gain weight?

Since Essure birth control does not contain hormones, it should not cause weight gain.
What is the Essure Confirmation Test?

The Essure Confirmation Test is a test performed three months after the procedure. A special dye is introduced into your uterus, then viewed on an x-ray to confirm that the inserts are in place and your fallopian tubes are fully blocked. Once you receive verification from your doctor, you can start relying on Essure permanent birth control for ongoing prevention. Learn more about the Essure Confirmation Test.
Do I need an Essure Confirmation Test?

Yes. The Essure Confirmation Test not only verifies that your fallopian tubes are completely blocked, but also that the Essure permanent birth control inserts are properly in place. Therefore, until your doctor performs the test and confirms that you can begin relying on Essure, you should not consider yourself protected from unplanned pregnancy and must continue to use another form of birth control.
How is the Essure permanent birth control procedure different from having your tubes tied?

Tubal ligation, also known as “having your tubes tied,” is a surgery performed under general anesthesia in a hospital operating room. Recovery time is typically 4-6 days.

The Essure birth control procedure is not surgery. It can be performed in your doctor’s office and requires no general anesthesia or incisions. Most women return to normal activities in less than a day. Essure birth control also has a confirmation test that lets your doctor verify that the inserts are properly in place and your fallopian tubes are fully blocked. Tubal ligation does not provide for this verification.

Are there risks or complications associated with tubal ligation?

Because incisions are made in the abdomen and the laparoscope is inserted blindly into the abdomen, complications may include infection, bleeding, damage to blood vessels, nerves, or muscles; damage to the bladder, uterus, or bowel requiring surgical repair; blood clots; failure of the procedure resulting in pregnancy; and, in rare cases, death. Additionally, tubal ligation requires general anesthesia, which is also associated with certain risks.
What are the risks associated with the general anesthesia required for tubal ligation?

Negative reactions to general anesthesia may include nausea and vomiting, slowness of the anesthesia to wear off, a sore throat resulting from the breathing tube required to be used with general anesthesia, seizure or heart attack, high temperature, confusion, and possible death.

If you are looking for a permanent birth control solution, ask your doctor if Essure is right for you.