Monday, November 23, 2009


After plugging vasectomy as the superior choice for couples looking for permanent birth control, I got an email from Nicole, senior account executive with Loomis Group. Nicole is part of the team that is marketing a type of female sterilization method that I had neglected to mention: Essure.

The Essure system places a nickel coil into each fallopian tube using a 'simple, in-office' procedure. The system was FDA approved in 2002. Both Nicole and the Essure website make it sound fantastic - short recovery time, no anesthesia required, no incisions and high efficacy. However, advertising executives and websites are around to make shit smell like roses, so I decided to do a little more digging.

you want to put that where?

Research shows that women do tend to be happy with the procedure compared to standard laparoscopic tubal ligation. It sounds like if it goes well, it's pretty great. The procedure is only supposed to take about 15 minutes, and usually works after about 3 months (alternate birth control is required in the interim), and works permanently.

However, the stories from women who've had bad experiences scare the crap out of me. First of all, it may be simple, but it's not painless - which is not surprising considering it has to be placed through the cervix. Pain, bleeding, expelled coils...yowtch. It also appears that the coils are difficult to remove without at least a partial hysterectomy. Internet forums are hardly unbiased reporting, but they're also unsolicited and uncompensated.

So, I'm sticking with my guns and going on record as saying that vasectomy is the way to go, but think that Essure is definitely something for women with higher pain threshold than I to talk to their docs about. If you've had Essure placed and are willing to share your experience, please comment!!

Finally, although I can't fully recommend the product, I appreciate Nicole for contacting me and letting me know I'd missed something - and for being the first person I don't know to read Chakabox. Thanks, Nicole!!

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