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Cost of Female Sterilization: Essure Permanent Birth Control

Updated on January 21, 2011

Essure Device


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.


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.

It's Non-Invasive

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:

So far.

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.


Submit a Comment

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    keithemaz 4 years ago

    I had this procedure performed 2 yrs. ago in my OB/GYNs office. It was a little more uncomforatble than a PAP. However, it was similar and more than tolerable. The procedure was the cost of my copay for an office vist. I had the "secondary" (make sure) procedure at the hospital. It cost $700 out of pocket for the radiologist and facility. My OB/GYN was included in the price. It wasn't a pleasant procedure; as there was pain. Not horrific-but a decent amount of pain.

    I have had zero problems. Zero pain. I am not pregnant. I have no incision. I am thrilled with the device to date.

    Although, if I were confronted by a giant magnet...I might feel differently:)

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    lisa walker 7 years ago

    IM 26 MUM OF 4 HAD THI ENSSURE DONE 2009 HAD THE ALL CLEar that was blocked a 9 mths later pregnant now im 24 wks happy but didant want any more children...... am sueing the hospital told have a good case to sue them don't trust this method again

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    Laura 7 years ago


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    medical biller 7 years ago

    The Essure cost 4500.00

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    EchoKay 7 years ago

    I just had my second child now my husband and i have a girl and a boy we don't want anymore children trying to decide if he should have a vasectomy or if i should get the essure procedure but we need to know how much the essure costs without insurance because we don't have any insurance right now and need to save money to have one or the other done does anybody know how much it costs

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    40 yr old mom to be 8 years ago

    Well, I had the procedue in Oct. 2008. The procedure went quite well. Had my confirmation test three months later. I was told I'm 100 percent block. Well, Sept. 2009, I just found out I'm 8 weeks pregnant. My doctor can't or won't give me any answers. He said this has never happened before. I'm 40 years of age and not satisfied with these results.

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    one hip mama 8 years ago from Nashville, Tn.

    I had it done and love it check out my hub: are you sure yes, Im Essure cute huh? I tell you how it went in detail

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    Jose Bolanos, MD 8 years ago

    The Essure is a significant advance in contraception. No general anesthesia and no incisions! Using a hysteroscope, the inside of the uterus is visualized and the micro inserts are placed into the ostia of each fallopian tube. The complete occlusion takes 3 months in order to completely block the passage of sperm. When we discuss scar tissue, it is really not the same kind of scar tissue that causes pelvic problems for women. Instead it is a formation of connective tissue around each coil which causes the obstruction or blockage. There is no pain or adverse effect from this, and most patients are very happy with the procedure. We have been very happy with the results on our patients.

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    CindyLou 9 years ago

    I am considering the procedure, and i am a little nervous. Growing scar tissue in my body is a little firghtening, and I'm a big baby for any kind of pain. I'm wondering how uncomfortable the procedure is. Does anyone have info?

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    IBHeidi 9 years ago from Coastal SC

    I did it! I'm about 6 weeks after the procedure, which went very smoothly and looking forward to the dye procedure.