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Essure is a permanent, non-hormonal birth control option you can get from your gynecologist during a non-surgical procedure. Although it is less well known that other types of birth control, it has now been available for more than a decade. In addition to containing no hormones, which can be a benefit for some women, it is also more than 99 percent effective.

Essure is a small insert that is permanently placed into each of your fallopian tubes by your gynecologist. These inserts work with your body to form a natural barrier that keeps sperm from reaching the eggs, preventing pregnancy.

Things to Consider

Essure is highly effective with few side effects, and it eliminates the need to remember to take your birth control pill. Although there are many benefits to Essure, it is not for everyone. It is permanent, so if you think you want a child or more children someday, it is not a good choice. You should also consult with your partner or spouse about this permanent decision.

There are other factors that will help your gynecologist determine if Essure is right for you as well, such as your fallopian tube health, any past steroid use and allergies you may have. Also, if you had a pelvic infection recently, or if you are or have been pregnant during the past six weeks, you should wait to get Essure.

About the Procedure

The procedure usually takes about 10 minutes, and does not require general anesthesia. Here is what you can expect:

  • During the procedure, your gynecologist will insert a flexible tube with a small camera called a hysteroscope into your vagina. The tube contains small metal and fiber coils that will be placed in your fallopian tubes.
  • Next, your gynecologist will guide the tube into the cervix and up to the uterus.
  • Once your gynecologist can see the fallopian tube openings, they will place the coils. The gynecologist then removes the tube and hysteroscope and the procedure is complete.
  • Eventually scar tissue will begin to form around the coils. This process is what will block your fallopian tubes and prevent pregnancy.

After the Procedure

Most patients rest for 30 minutes to one hour post-procedure, but then return home and resume usual activities within a day or two.

The system can take 3 to 6 months to become effective. Therefore, after the procedure, you need to use another type of birth control until your gynecologist tells you it is okay to stop using it.