When you chose to undergo a permanent birth control procedure, you likely do so in full faith that it will result in a safe and effective means of preventing pregnancy. What you might not have known is that procedures involving permanent fallopian tube implants such as Essure® have reportedly caused a host of serious side effects and complications in thousands of women ranging from chronic pelvic pain to even death. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Essure in 2002 and promoted it as a safe and effective method of permanent birth control. It was initially met with great enthusiasm as it was a non-surgical procedure that could be done in a doctor’s office without general anesthesia, with a virtually non-existent recovery period. However, the FDA approval was based on studies that examined the cases of less than 1,000 women. At the time of approval, it is alleged that the FDA was not aware that Essure was potentially dangerous.
HOW DOES ESSURE WORK?
The Essure birth control device consists of two small coils, made of a polyester-like fiber and a nickel alloy. It is implanted in the fallopian tubes by way of a catheter through the vagina. The coils are designed to induce scar tissue to form that would block the tubes and keep sperm from reaching the eggs, thereby preventing pregnancy. This is a process that may take three months. During that three-month period, an additional form of birth control should be used to avoid pregnancy to ensure the scar tissue was sufficiently formed to successfully block the tubes. After that, a follow up with a radiologist is required in order to confirm that the fallopian tubes are completely blocked. In order to do so, a dye is injected into the cervix and an X-ray is taken to ensure that no dye leaked past the Essure.