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The Essure Permanent Birth Control Procedure


Updated June 27, 2014

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Risks Associated with the Essure Procedure
The Essure procedure is still relatively new, so long-term side effects are not yet known. As with any type of tubal ligation, there is always a small possibility that an ectopic pregnancy could occur.

According to Planned Parenthood, follow-up studies conducted on women two years after the Essure procedure indicate these potential risks:

  • The micro-inserts may have been expelled out of the fallopian tubes.

  • The coil implants may have been inserted too far, or not far enough, into the fallopian tubes.

  • The micro-inserts may have been pushed through the uterus or fallopian tube wall (perforation). Should this occur, surgery may be needed to repair the situation.

  • The coil implants could become damaged during other medical procedures, such as endometrial biopsy, dilation and curettage (D&C), or procedures that require the use of radio frequency

Additional complications that could occur during the insertion of the Essure implants include:

  • Mild to moderate pain
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Fainting following the procedure
  • Infection
  • Undiagnosed pregnancy
Women who have this procedure done during the second half of their menstrual cycle (after ovulation) are at an increased risk of unknowingly being pregnant at the time of the procedure. It is recommended that the Essure procedure take place during the first half of the menstrual cycle, before ovulation occurs.

It is possible for a portion of the insert to break off or for a woman to experience an over-absorption of fluids, though these complications are more rare than the others listed. There have been no reports of a broken insert causing pain or problems in preventing pregnancy. An over-absorption of fluids can result in shortness of breath or the need for medication to get rid of the excess fluid. This must be treated immediately to prevent more serious complications, including death.

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