Permanent Sterilization Frequently Asked Questions
What is Essure?
Essure is the most effective* permanent birth control available. Essure is a surgery-free and hormone-free permanent birth control procedure that places soft, flexible inserts in your fallopian tubes. These inserts work with your body to form a natural barrier that permanently prevents pregnancy.
How effective is Essure?
Essure is 99.83% effective*. That’s more effective than any form of permanent birth control, including tubal ligation.
How long has Essure been available?
Essure has been FDA-approved and available in the US since 2002 and has been trusted by over 600,000 women and their doctors worldwide.
What are the benefits of Essure?
Essure is the most effective* permanent birth control available and offers benefits that no other birth control can:
Surgery-free—A quick procedure performed in Dr Erhard’s office
Hormone-free—A more natural birth control method with no hormonal side effects
No slowing down to recover—Most women return to normal activities in less than a day
Proven—Over 600,000 women and their doctors trust Essure as the most effective permanent birth control method
Worry-free—Because your doctor will confirm that your tubes are blocked, you don’t have to worry about unplanned pregnancy and the hassles of temporary birth control again
Learn more about the benefits of Essure.
How does Essure compare to other methods of birth control?
For women who want a permanent birth control solution, Essure is the most effective* permanent birth control available. Unlike other permanent birth control methods, Essure is surgery-free and has a faster recovery. Additionally, Essure does not contain hormones that may interfere with your body’s natural processes. Learn more about how Essure compares to other methods of birth control.
Is Essure right for me?
When considering any form of permanent birth control, you should be sure that you are done having children. Essure is a great option because you have the reassurance of permanent birth control without surgery of other permanent birth control methods or the hassle and hormones of many temporary methods of birth control.
How does Essure work?
Dr Erhard places the soft, flexible inserts into your fallopian tubes through the natural pathways of your vagina and cervix, so no incision is necessary.
Over the next three months, your body works with the Essure inserts to form a natural barrier within your fallopian tubes. This barrier prevents sperm from reaching the egg so that pregnancy cannot occur. During this three-month period, you must continue to use another form of birth control.
After three months you’ll have an Essure Confirmation Test to provide you with the confidence that you are protected from unplanned pregnancy. This simple test confirms that the inserts are in place and your tubes are fully blocked so you can rely on Essure for permanent birth control.
What are the Essure inserts made of?
The inserts are made of a polyester fiber, nickel-titanium and stainless steel alloy. This is the same material that has proven to be safe in heart stents and hundreds of other medical devices. This material is flexible, so the inserts bend and conform to the fallopian tubes while remaining securely in place.
Can the Essure inserts be detected by airport security or metal detectors?
No, the inserts cannot be detected by airport security or metal detectors. The amount of nickel-titanium and stainless steel alloy contained in the inserts is very small.
I think I have a nickel allergy. Can I still get Essure?
True nickel allergies are not as common as many people think. A good test is whether your skin reacts to the metal rivets in Levi’s® jeans, which are made from nickel. The amount of nickel released every day by an Essure insert is very, very small—less than one-thousandth of the amount in the average daily food intake. In the Essure clinical trials, no adverse reactions to nickel were reported. But if you have questions about a possible nickel allergy, talk with your doctor before scheduling your procedure.
Is the procedure painful?
Some women report mild discomfort or cramping, similar to a normal monthly cycle during or after the procedure.
Will I be able to feel the Essure inserts in my body?
No, you will not be able to feel the Essure inserts once they have been placed in your fallopian tubes. The inserts are soft and flexible and are designed to bend and conform to the fallopian tubes.
Will my partner be able to feel the Essure inserts?
No, since the Essure inserts are placed in the fallopian tubes, your partner will not be able to feel the Essure inserts.
What are the risks or considerations?
As with all procedures, there are risks and considerations associated with Essure:
No form of birth control should be considered 100 percent effective.
Not all women will achieve successful placement of both inserts.
Side effects during or immediately following the procedure may include mild-to-moderate cramping, nausea/vomiting, dizziness/light-headedness, bleeding and/or spotting.
For a complete list of considerations, see the patient information booklet.
Is the procedure safe?
Yes, Essure avoids the risks, discomfort and recovery time of surgical procedures such as tubal ligation and vasectomy. Additionally, the inserts are made of the same material that has been proven to be safe in heart stents and hundreds of other medical devices. Learn more about how Essure compares to other methods of birth control.
Is Essure covered by insurance?
Essure is covered by major health insurance providers, including Medicaid. Find out how to verify your insurance benefits.
Is Essure easily reversible?
No. Like other forms of permanent birth control, including tubal ligation and vasectomy, Essure should not be considered reversible. Before choosing Essure, you should be certain that you are done having children.
Can I have Essure after giving birth?
You can have the Essure procedure six weeks after delivery, but not immediately following delivery. Unlike other forms of permanent birth control, there is no slowing down to recover, so you can get back to your family right away.
How much time will I need to recover from the procedure?
Most women go home within 45 minutes of the Essure procedure and return to normal activities in less than a day.
Will I still get my period? Will it be different?
Yes, you will still have your normal menstrual period. Some women report slightly lighter or heavier bleeding than usual, but these changes might be the result of discontinuing hormone-based birth control such as the Pill and returning to your normal cycle.
Could the Essure procedure cause me to gain weight?
Since Essure does not contain hormones, it should not cause weight gain.
How long do I have to wait after the procedure to have sex?
You can resume sexual intercourse whenever you feel comfortable doing so. Remember, you must use another form of birth control until you can rely on Essure for permanent birth control.
Is it safe to have an MRI after having the Essure procedure?
Yes, it is safe to have an MRI. Because the inserts are radiopaque (shows up on x-rays), they will show up on the images and may block some areas that the doctor wants to see. If you need an MRI after your Essure procedure, please give your radiologist your patient ID card and let the doctor know that you have the Essure inserts in your fallopian tubes so that adjustments can be made to take a good