Sunday, May 22, 2011

Have You Completed Your Family?

Once a couple has decided that their family is complete, the option of having some type of permanent birth control or sterilization is worth considering. Unintended pregnancy is a possibility for women even close to age 50! For years, the choices were basically vasectomy for the male or a tubal ligation for the female. Now there is another option - Essure®!
The ESSURE® Procedure - non-surgical sterilization for women
The Essure® procedure is performed in the doctor’s office. It is quick, almost painless, and does not involve surgery. There is almost no down-time and people often resume their normal activities the very next day. Five year data shows a success rate of 99.8% making it the most effective form of permanent birth control available. There are no long-term side effects and no changes in hormones or the menstrual cycle.
Compare this to the alternatives. Vasectomy is a 30 minute surgery requiring an injection of local anesthesia in the scrotum. There is discomfort in the area for days afterwards. Many men are concerned enough about the risks of vasectomy that they will not consider this option, even if their family is complete. Tubal ligation for women is usually performed via laparoscopy. This is an out-patient surgical procedure requiring general anesthesia and up to a one-week recovery time.
What exactly is the Essure® Procedure?
In the doctor’s office the patient is set up for a pap smear type exam. Some local anesthesia is used internally and some oral pain medication has already been given ahead of time. A thin scope is gently placed through the vagina into the uterine cavity, and the images are displayed on a monitor. In minutes, an Essure micro-insert is placed through each tubal opening. That’s it!
These soft, flexible micro-inserts expand and block the tubal opening. This blockage results in permanent sterilization and is not reversible.

Three months afterwards, an X-Ray dye study is performed to confirm that the tubes are blocked and that the micro-inserts are in the proper position. Until then, a form of birth control is still necessary.
This procedure is covered by most major health insurers. For more information about having an Essure® procedure, contact our office at (626) 304-2626.