Essure: Permanent Birth Control

All permanent methods of birth control performed by our physician require a surgical procedure. All of the procedures are brief and performed as an outpatient at Flowers Hospital. This means that you arrive at the hospital on the day of your surgery and are able to go home several hours after your procedure.

Permanent methods should be considered to be just that—permanent. While tubal procedures can sometimes be reversed, this often involves a much larger procedure that does not guarantee success.

One of the greatest risks of permanent sterilization is regret. This is often dependent on the age at which a woman decides to have the procedure. In one of the largest trials to assess regret after permanent sterilization, young age at the time of sterilization was the strongest predictor of regret, regardless of marital status or the number of children a woman had. In women age 20 to 24 years at the age of sterilization, an average of 4.3% reported regret over the follow-up period. In women age 30 to 34, the rate of regret was significantly lower at 2.4%.


Essure is a procedure that was developed as the “first non-surgical method of sterilization.” In other words, while it is performed in the operating room, the tube does not have to be cut or burned through abdominal incisions. The Essure procedure involves having a spring-shaped device placed into the opening of the fallopian tube. This device scars into the tube, blocking egg and sperm from reaching each other.

Description of the procedure: In the operating room, a small camera is inserted through the cervix into the uterus. The opening of both tubes is visualized with this camera. A thin tube is placed into the tube opening and the springs released into the tube. Because it takes time for the scar tissue to generate, a backup method of birth control must be used in the first 3 months. At the end of that time, a procedure called a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is performed. This is done in the radiology department at Flowers. Dye is injected through the cervix and an x-ray taken to ensure that the tubes are complete blocked.


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