- Fertility & Reproductive Systems
Cost of Female Sterilization: Essure Permanent Birth Control
I found this ugly bugger on the FDA website. This is the device that is inserted into a woman's fallopian tubes to cause the scarring which blocks the tubes and prevents pregnancy. After seeing this picture, I'm going to pass.
The Old Fashioned Method!
What is permanent birth control? Non-surgical sterilization is a new option for women who are sure they're done having children. In 2002, the FDA approved the procedure, for which Essure's manufacturer, Conceptus Inc., claims cost less to perform than a tubal ligation and the recovery time is much quicker. Almost all women are good candidates for Essure, except for those with a history of tubal or uterine disease, or enlarged fallopian tubes.
How It Works
Placement of the Essure device doesn't require an incision or gereral anesthisia and in four years of clinical data so far has shown to be 98.8% effective at preventing pregnancy. Two of the devices, are implanted one each into the fallopian tubes by catheter. Scar tissue forms over the implant to , effectively blocking the fallopian tube. The egg cannot make contact with sperm.
This procedure is our first nonsurgical alternative to tubal ligation (aka getting your tubes tied). With about 700,000 American women electing to have tubal ligation each year. It is among the most common methods of contraception. But unlike the male counterpar, vasectomy, tubal ligation requires general anesthesia, two abdominal incisions, and a four- to six-day recovery period. The Essure procedure only takes 10-20 minutes. It's performed in a doctor's office using only local anesthesia. You're in and out in 45 minutes.
More About Essure
It takes about 3 months for the scar tissue that blocks the fallopian tubes to develop. During that time, you have to use another form of birth control. You'll also need to go back to the doctor to have an x-ray to make sure your tubes are sufficiently blocked.
Unlike the IUD, which can be removed when a woman decides she is ready to conceive, the formation of scar tissure makes Essure irreversible.
Worried about cost? Don't be. Because babies are a lot more expensive than sterilization, most health care plans will love to cover this procedure.
It's also hormone free. What could be better?
Here's what I don't like about it:
Dr. Richard Marvel, a University of Maryland Medical Center gynecologist, told Science Daily,
"This procedure will revolutionize permanent birth control because it is less invasive than tubal ligation or vasectomy." Wasn't it kind of nice when there was one thing the guys had to do? Will Essure ensure that no man ever again has to undergo the knife down there? Vasectomy is a lot less invasive than tubal ligation, but still involves some cutting. Essure seems ideal, but I'm still not sure about growing scar tissue inside my body. How about you?
Ladies, tell us what you think!
Here's a positive story about Essure.
And one - not so good.