Before deciding to have the sterilization procedure, you should be aware of the Essure side effects.
What Is Essure?
Essure is a female sterilization procedure that is irreversible; other sterilization procedures include tubal ligation for women and vasectomy for men. Essure consists of small coil-like inserts that are placed into the fallopian tubes. After the placement of the inserts, scar tissue forms around the tubes that blocks the fallopian tubes around three months after the procedure. Since this is not reversible, you have to be sure that you do not want any more children before having this procedure.
Placement of Essure
Your physician can place the Essure inserts into the fallopian tubes in his office because there are no incisions or general anesthesia required. The doctor uses a hysteroscope, which is an endoscope that can be used to look into the uterus. The placement takes about 35 minutes. While the scar tissue is forming, you will have to use another form of birth control; in three months, you will need a radiologic dye test called a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) to determine if your tubes have been completely blocked off.
Essure Side Effects
As with all procedures, there are some Essure side effects. You may notice these side effects during or after the procedure.
During the Procedure
There often is some immediate discomfort during the placement of the Essure inserts. Immediate side effects include:
- Mild to moderate pain
- Small risk of perforation of the fallopian tubes
- Reaction to the type of anesthesia used during the procedure
If you have the inserts placed during the second half of the menstrual cycle or after ovulation, there is a chance that you might be pregnant and not know it yet. It is best to perform the procedure during the first half of your cycle to avoid the risk of pregnancy.
After the Procedure
Most women are back to normal activities within one to two days after the procedure. You may still experience a few adverse effects after the procedure like:
- Spotting or bleeding
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Pain in the pelvis, back, or abdomen
- Dyspareunia (pain during sex)
- Both inserts may not be placed successfully in both tubes at once
- Expulsion of the inserts from the fallopian tubes
The more serious side effects like expulsion are rare and occurred in less than 2 percent of women during the clinical trials. A few women developed hypervolemia, which is an excess of fluid in the body, after the procedure; this side effect may require urgent medical care to remove the excess fluid.
When to Call the Doctor
Your physician will discuss potential side effects with you prior to the Essure procedure. Many of the side effects are temporary and may not require an immediate call to your physician. You should alert your physician if a side effect is severe and interferes with your daily life; any sign of infection or dislodged inserts should be reported to the physician immediately as well. Essure side effects are generally mild but you should be aware of all of them before undergoing the procedure and talk to your doctor about any other side effects you can expect.