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Indications: ESSURE is a form of birth control and is for women who are certain they no longer want children. It is a permanent procedure and should not be entered into lightly without careful consideration. Alternative options for permanent sterilization include birth control pills, patches, vaginal rings, injections, implants, and intrauterine devices. Vasectomy is permanent sterilization in men, and, offers patients another option as well for permanent sterilization.

Risks: All surgeries have some degree of risk, but serious complications are rare. The main risk of ESSURE sterilization is regret. This is a permanent procedure and is not easily reversed once performed. Other risks including bleeding, infection, or damage to other organs when performed through laparoscopy. Major side effects from the anesthesia and allergic reaction can occur. No method of birth control is 100% effective, including sterilization. Risk of pregnancy is < 1% after tubal sterilization but should it occur, it is more likely to be in the tubes, and should be evaluated promptly.

Procedure: ESSURE is an outpatient procedure which means you can go home the same day. On the day of surgery, an IV in placed for fluids and anesthesia. Once you are sleep, speculum in inserted into the vagina similar to like getting a pap smear.  A camera is then inserted through the cervix, into the uterus to view the openings to the tubes.  Next, the ESSURE procedure involves placement of soft, flexible, micro-inserts into the fallopian tubes.  There is no cutting and no incisions required.  The camera is then removed from the uterus and the procedure is finished.  

Recovery: After surgery, you will be observed for a short while to make sure your pain is controlled and you can tolerate something to drink and/or eat. Most women are ready to go home in less than 1 hour. It is normal to have some mild cramping or nausea.  Some women will also have some vaginal bleeding or discharge and feel slightly tired or achy. All symptoms typically resolve in 1 -2 days.  It takes 3 months for the tubes to form a scar around the ESSURE tubal micro-inserts.  A back-up birth control method should be used during this time followed by a special ultrasound after 3 months to demonstrate that the tubes are blocked. 

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