Evansville, IN board-certified gynecologists, Drs. Basinski and Juran, offer women the latest sterilization methods to prevent future pregnancies. For women, this involves blocking both fallopian tubes in a female’s reproductive tract.
Traditionally, female sterilization was only offered in the operating room under general anesthesia. This would require 1-2 incisions on the abdomen and entry into the abdominal cavity to burn/cut/clip the fallopian tubes. The risks of any surgery in the abdomen include injury to underlying intestines or blood vessels, as well as the risk and recovery of general anesthesia. This can result in a 1-2 week recovery time and small abdominal scars. The failure rate of these methods was as high as 2%.
Fortunately, a new method, Essure, has been developed that can provide sterilization without having to burn the fallopian tubes, make cuts/incisions on the abdomen, or need to go to the operating room. Essure is an insert that is placed into the fallopian tubes through the vagina and cervix, much like other office procedures such as placement of IUDs.
Essure Permanent Birth Control
The Essure insert is a very small, soft, flexible insert made of medical grade titanium/nickel. Once the insert is placed, the fallopian tube grows inward around the Essure. All of this growth is internal to the tube causing no reaction outside of the tube. Because there is no burning or cutting, scar tissue is NOT created outside of the fallopian tubes and does not affect how a woman’s ovaries normally work to make hormones. Once the fallopian tubes have grown around the insert internally, this provides the most effective permanent prevention of pregnancy available with zero pregnancies in the clinical trials. While no birth control method is perfect, long-term data has shown that the failure rate of Essure is 0.2%. By contrast, the failure rate of traditional tubal ligation can be as high as 2%. This means that Essure’s success rate is higher than tubal ligation in the operating room, or vasectomies.
The developmental history of the Essure procedure is quite interesting. The device was mirrored after inserts that have been used for decades by Cardiologists and Neurosurgeons to treat abnormal blood vessels in the heart and brain. Millions of men and women have similar devices implanted in their heart and brains for many decades attesting to the safety of the device in the human body. As time progressed, researchers felt the device could also be used in the female tubes to stimulate growth within the tubes, thus blocking them permanently. As a result of their innovation, Essure was the first procedure offered for sterilization that could be placed without the requirement of burning, cutting, or general anesthesia and was FDA approved in 2002.
The actual Essure procedure usually takes 2-5 minutes to perform in our office. The placement of the Essure device is associated with mild to moderate cramping during this 2-5 minute placement. However, once placed most women have no perception that the inserts have been placed. About 5% of women will, however, report some mild cramping that will last a few hours to a few days while the body “gets used” to the inserts. You will be given medications following your procedure in case you happen to be in the 5% of women who experience cramping.
The FDA has recommended that all women who undergo Essure obtain a 3 month Essure Confirmation Test. In 2015 the FDA approved a simple in-office ultrasound as an effective means of determining correct position and location of the Essure coils within the Fallopian tubes. Once you have had this ultrasound 3 months after your procedure, you may rely on the Essure procedure to prevent pregnancy permanently.
In recent months there have been several reports in the media about adverse reactions and complications after Essure. Dr. Basinski and Dr. Juran strongly believe that Essure is a wonderful option for women desiring permanent sterilization. We know women have busy lives with families and jobs and the Essure procedure provides a safe, convenient, fast, effective option that keeps women out of the Operating Room and avoids general anesthesia and abdominal surgery risk.
For many years we have very closely followed the FDA reports and scientific literature published about the safety and efficacy of the Essure procedure. In addition, we are constantly reviewing our own outcomes related to the Essure procedure. We recently published a paper examining the outcomes of the first 1024 patients who underwent Essure in the practice. To date, we have found a very high rate of satisfaction among our patients with the Essure procedure, and we have currently undertaken a project to analyze long-term satisfaction rates of these patients. An additional approximately 200 patients have undergone the procedure since we completed our study and out of all these patients, only one has requested removal of their Essure devices. Zero pregnancies have been reported to us due to failure of the Essure procedure. Our outcomes are consistent with the existing scientific reports that show that Essure is more effective at preventing pregnancy and carries lesser risk of complication than any other existing method of birth control. Dr. Basinski and Dr. Juran are highly experienced at providing the Essure procedure, and we believe that experience matters – not just with the Essure procedure, but with any medical treatment. The Essure procedure is supported by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) as well as by Planned Parenthood.
While we have only had one patient out of 1300 patients whom have had the Essure procedure in our office request removal of their devices, we are available should any problems arise. We take our patients’ problems seriously, try to figure out what is causing them, and then try to arrive at a satisfactory solution for the problems you are experiencing. Should the need arise, the Essure devices CAN be easily removed with a laparoscopic procedure (like a tubal ligation) which will also result in permanent sterilization, and would not require a hysterectomy.
Although the Essure procedure is proven to be safer and more effective than any other existing methods of sterilization, both in Dr. Basinski and Dr. Juran’s experience and also in published scientific studies, we firmly believe in patient education and we support any decision our patients make. We will always provide you with all of your options and help you select the one that best suits you, be it the Essure procedure, a traditional tubal ligation in the Operating Room, or referral for a vasectomy.
You may return to normal activities within a few hours of your procedure. However, we ask that you refrain from sexual intercourse for about one week and that you do not drive until your medications from the procedure have worn off (2-4 hours).
As you can see, no matter what type of birth control a couple chooses to use, there is always a failure rate or risk of pregnancy, as no method can be 100% effective. As physicians, we want to offer the most effective method to couples that best fits their needs while minimizing unwanted pregnancies.
Always remember – when considering any permanent birth control method or sterilization procedure that these are non-reversible options and should only be performed when you and your partner are certain you no longer want any more children.
Schedule Your Procedure
When you’re in the market for convenient, long-term, reliable birth control, you need to give Essure a close look. Not only does this sterilization method boast more than a 99% success rate, but it is quick and simple with practically no downtime. When you and your partner make the decision that you want to prevent future pregnancies, Dr. Basinski and Dr. Juran are available to provide you with all of the information that you may need about Essure. Give us a call today to schedule your consultation to see if this procedure is right for you.