What is Essure?
Essure is a barrier method of contraception, that is, it prevents the egg and the sperm from physically finding each other. In addition, this method of contraception does not contain hormones.
It is a small titanium spring 4 cm long, which is inserted into the fallopian tubes to obstruct them and not to let the ovum or sperm pass, and thus prevent fertilization and pregnancy.
This small titanium device is placed using a procedure called hysteroscopy . And what does all the placement work consist of? It is very simple, there are no cuts or incisions, it involves introducing, through the vagina, through the cervix, a camera (hysteroscope) that together with another device guide the specialist into the uterine cavity to see clearly and to be able to implant the Essure in the area of the corresponding tube.
This procedure is not performed under general anesthesia, but under mild sedation, during which the woman remains asleep, but breathing on her own. In addition, the procedure has a short duration, around 15 minutes.
This method of contraception takes three months to be effective, so it is recommended to use another type of contraception (other than the IUD ) during this time.
Like all procedures in medicine, Essure has its pros and cons. We explain them to you next, so that you are the ones that decide, in the last analysis, if you want to use it or not as a contraceptive method .
Essure is a small device of polyester fibers, titanium alloy, nickel and stainless steel, 4 cm long and 0.8 mm thick, which is inserted into the fallopian tubes by means of a hysteroscope. This mini device (Essure) is inside each of the tubes causing the male and female gametes can not be found.
In addition, to be in the tube and after several weeks, the device, thanks to the polyester fibers and interacting with your body, is creating an increasingly progressive obstruction, as they make a tissue (fibrosis) that covers the tube grow . In addition, these small springs can also cause adhesions and local inflammation, further clogging the fallopian tubes.
After three months of introducing Essure it is verified that the obstruction is complete by performing a test called hysterosalpingography (HSG) . This test involves the introduction through the cervix of a contrast fluid, which fills the uterus and passes through the tubes. This procedure is observed through X-rays. The HSG is a procedure that does not require sedation and lasts for a few minutes.
It is important to remember that both Essure placement and hysterosalpingography are procedures that must always be performed by a specialist (radiologist or gynecologist), and that it is essential that the patient come to this review three months after implanting the device. , to check that it is correctly placed, and that tubal obstruction has occurred.
But before we would like to tell you that there is an Essure quality that can be seen as an advantage, but also become a disadvantage, depending on what the woman wants in her reproductive future: Essure is an irreversible method, so it is essential that the decision to resort to him is very thoughtful.
Advantages of Essure
- It is irreversible, you will never have to worry about contraception again if it is the decision that you have adopted after meditating.
- It has a high effectiveness rate (99.8%).
- It does not contain hormones, nor all the inconveniences that this causes.
- It is an ambulatory surgery and of very short duration. Without using general anesthesia.
- It is not necessary postoperatively, the next day you can make normal life.
Disadvantages of Essure
- It is irreversible. In the case of wanting to get pregnant in the future, you would have to resort to an In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) .
- During the three months after the Essure placement you must use another contraceptive method, since it is not effective during this time.
- Being a very new method, you have less experience and, therefore, fewer women who have used it and fewer studies done about it.
- This method does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) .
- Three months after performing the procedure, the woman has to undergo a hysterosalpingography (HSG) .
- Cases have been described of women with significant discomfort, or who have suffered serious sequelae .
As with any medical-surgical procedure, side effects may occur when placing Essure , and it is important to note that some serious complications have been described in some patientswith Essure, such as severe pelvic pain, pelvic inflammatory disease , or tubal perforation. , among others. However, the percentage of affected, based on various scientific studies cited, is low.
However, the researchers warns that it is essential that the patient receives a comprehensive information prior to the placement of the device, including the procedure to be followed to extract it if necessary, so that it can make the most appropriate decision, and consult with its doctor any possible discomfort later, and recommends to the professionals that select the suitable women to carry this type of implant. We explain the most frequent complications.
- Some women may suffer from cramping, bleeding and nausea after the procedure.
- Fainting or dizziness after the procedure.
- Changes in your menstrual cycle can occur .
- In some cases you may need more than three months for the method to work.
- An allergic reaction to one of the implant materials may occur, as in the case of nickel allergy .
- If an incorrect placement of the Essure is made, it can cause discomfort in the woman.
- During the placement procedure there may be problems in the insertion of Essure, causing perforations in the uterus .
- The implant, after its distribution, can be expelled.
- It may happen that during the introduction procedure the two grafts can not be placed during the first procedure, and it must be repeated.