Are you are tired of waiting for you husband to “man up” and get snipped? When couples start talking about their long-term family planning, the inevitable debate always comes up: should he get a vasectomy or should she get her tubes tied?
Many of the women who come to me feel like they have taken care of the birth control responsibility for years, and now it’s their husband’s turn. But, like a tubal ligation, a vasectomy requires cutting into the body, and comes with potential risks that can make men ambivalent about the procedure. In the past, tubal ligation — a major surgery that requires general anesthesia and a hospital stay — was the only permanent birth control option available to women. But now, getting permanent birth control is easier than ever, with minimally invasive techniques like the Essure procedure. Essure can be the best solution for many couples, because it doesn’t require either partner to go under the knife. The Essure procedure is a gentle permanent birth control procedure that can be performed in an OB/GYN’s office in minutes. The procedure is often preferred over a traditional tubal ligation because it is a simple procedure that does not require cutting into the body, being put under general anesthesia, scarring, burning, hormones or slowing down to recover.
How it Works
During the procedure, small, soft inserts are placed into a woman’s
fallopian tubes through the cervix without incisions. The Essure insert are small, flexible and are made of nickel/titanium. The inserts consist of the same material that has been used in the heart and other areas of the human body (e.g., the brain the heart) for decades.
Over the next three
months, a natural barrier forms around the inserts and prevents the sperm
from reaching the egg.
After three months, a doctor performs an Essure Confirmation Test to verify
the patient is protected from an unplanned pregnancy. Until the confirmation is completed, an alternate form of contraception must be used while the barrier is forming around the inserts — often, the patient can stay on the method that she is currently using.
The procedure is 99.74 percent effective, based on five years of follow up, with zero pregnancies reported in clinical trials, making it the most effective permanent birth control available.
Essure has been FDA approved and in use since 2002, but over the past few years it has been gaining in popularity. It is a trusted and proven birth control solution for over 400,000 women worldwide.
Recovery Time and Risks
Women are typically able to go home within 45 minutes of having the procedure
and the majority of women return to normal activities in less than a day. As with all medical procedures, there are risks associated with the Essure procedure. Symptoms during or immediately after the procedure may include mild to moderate cramping, nausea/vomiting, dizziness/light-headedness, and bleeding/spotting.
Choosing Permanent Birth Control
It is important for all woman and their partners to understand that permanent birth control is PERMANENT. Essure, vasectomies, and tubal ligations should all be considered permanent because reversing vasectomies and tubal ligations is very costly, and only approximately 50% of vasectomies and tubal ligations that are reversed result in pregnancy. So when a woman is considering Essure or any other permanent birth control method, it is extremely important for her to know her family is complete — once a woman
Benefits of Permanant Birth Control
A lot of women want to get off hormones and stop worrying about an unplanned pregnancy. Since half of all pregnancies are unplanned, it is very important for a woman to choose the right birth control for the stage in her life. If a woman is sure she does not want any more children, the benefits of permanency include: no hormones, no daily routine to follow, and no stress about an unplanned pregnancy.
Find Out More
Women should talk to their gynecologist about Essure. To read about the procedure, or find an Essure physician in your area, visit www.essure.com (see link below).
About the Author
Dr. Patwardhan Practice, Partners in Women’s Health, is located in Denver, Col. Her website is www.piwhdenver.com (see link below).
Her particular clinical interests include in-office Essure permanent birth control, in-office endometrial ablation, laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy, contraception, and acupuncture for fertility- and pregnancy-associated conditions.
She lives in Denver with her husband, Drew, who is an urogynecologist, and their baby son. Dr. Patwardhan practices obstetrics and gynecology.