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Hysteroscopic Sterilization (Essure®) Procedure

Essure® is a permanent method of birth control for women. A small, flexible device called a micro-insert is placed into each fallopian tube. The fallopian tubes are the tubes the eggs travel through from the ovaries to the uterus. Once the micro-inserts are in place, tissue grows into the micro-inserts, blocking the fallopian tubes. It takes three months for the tubes to become blocked. This blockage of the tubes keeps sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg to prevent pregnancy.

If you choose this method of birth control, be aware that it cannot be reversed.  Talk to your doctor about your choice for birth control.

How is the procedure done?

The procedure and your recovery will take several hours. It is best for your safety to have an adult take you home after this procedure.

  • You and your doctor will decide what type of anesthesia (pain medicine during surgery) is best for you.
  • You will need to undress from the waist down. You will be given a paper sheet or hospital gown to wear.
  • You will lie down on the exam table and put your feet in the stirrups.
  • An instrument will be used to expand the opening of the cervix.
  • Your doctor inserts a scope with a camera through the vagina and cervix and into the uterus.
  • Fluid is added through the scope and into the uterus. The fluid is used to expand the uterus so your doctor can see the openings to the fallopian tubes. You may feel some cramping.
  • A small tube called a catheter passes through the scope and into the fallopian tube. The micro-insert is attached to the end of the catheter.
  • The micro-insert is placed in the fallopian tube and the catheter is removed.
  • This process is repeated for the other fallopian tube. It takes about 15 minutes for the micro-inserts to be placed.
  • You will be given medicine to reduce spasms and cramping.
  • This procedure takes about 35 minutes.

When does it start working?

You will need to use another form of birth control for three months after the procedure or until your tubes become blocked. After three months, you will have an x-ray test called a hysterosalpingogram (HSG). This test is done to make sure that your fallopian tubes are blocked and the micro-inserts are in place. Pregnancy could occur if the micro-inserts fail to block the tubes.  Your doctor will tell you when it is safe to  use only the micro-inserts for birth control.

What are the benefits of Essure®?

  • Can be done in your doctor’s office
  • No incisions or general anesthesia  needed as with a tubal ligation
  • Most women return to their normal activities in one to two days
  • Covered by most insurance plans

What are the risks of Essure®?

Risks to having this procedure include:

  • Injury to fallopian tubes or uterus
  • Pregnancy outside of the uterus called ectopic pregnancy
  • Pain or cramping
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Menstrual cycle changes
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Sweating
  • Slowed heart rate

Call your doctor if you have any problems or signs of infection such as fever, vaginal discharge, odor or severe pain. 

Ohio State is recognized by U.S.News & World Report as one of the nation's highest performing hospitals in gynecology. Schedule an appointment at any one of our convenient central Ohio locations.