The Essure coil has been a popular, effective, and permanent birth control method for women. FDA-approved in 2002, Essure’s safety has come into question. In 2018, the manufacturer took the device off the market, and many women have pursued Essure removal.
Let’s discuss the details of this surgical procedure and how your gynecologist in Sandwich, IL, performs it.
How Does the Essure Coil Work?
Essure coils are tiny, two- to three-inch cylindrical devices composed of polyester fibers and a blend of nickel, titanium, and stainless steel. Inserted into the Fallopian tubes between the ovaries and uterus, these implants irritate a woman’s reproductive system, causing tissue growth called fibrosis.
The fibrosis effectively blocks the Fallopian tubes, thus preventing conception or the union of a woman’s egg with sperm. The contraceptive effect is almost 100 percent, and permanent. The Essure coil was a potential alternative to more invasive tubal ligation surgery, another highly reliable permanent female sterilization.
What Problems Have Women Experienced?
Unfortunately, many women across the United States began experiencing health problems after their Essure procedures. So, the manufacturer took the devices off the market in 2018.
Problems women brought to their OB/GYN physicians include:
- Extreme tiredness
- Vaginal bleeding
- Abdominal cramping and pain
- Perforations of the Fallopian tubes and/or uterus
- Hair loss
- Allergic reactions to the coils
- Heavy periods
- Pain with sex
What Does the Removal Surgery Involve?
If women with Essure coils begin to have unexplained symptoms such as those listed above, they should consult with their gynecologists about surgical removal of the devices. A physical assessment and an ultrasound examination of the abdomen should confirm that Essure coils are causing the uncomfortable symptoms.
Unfortunately, removing the coils is not as simple as inserting them. Removal usually requires hospital surgery under general anesthesia.
The surgeon enters the abdomen through a two- to three-inch incision just above the public bone and removes a portion of the Fallopian tubes and the Essure devices. The part of the tubes in the abdomen is ligated or tied, thus rendering the patient permanently sterile.
Sadly, some women with Essure coils experience complications, such as endometriosis and other severe medical conditions. They may undergo hysterectomies or complete removal of the tubes, uterus, and cervix.
Do All Women with Essure Need Surgical Removal?
The answer to this common question is no. If you are not having any problems related to the Essure coils, leave them in place. However, please, feel free to ask your ObGyn doctor about your individual case. They can help you decide if you should have the devices removed.
Compassionate OB/GYN Care in Sandwich, Yorkville, Plainfield, and Aurora, IL
That’s what the two board-certified OB/GYN physicians and their team at Aishling Obstetrics & Gynecology provide to women of all ages. If it’s time for your annual exam or if you have questions about Essure or other methods of contraception, please call us for a consultation at one of our four locations. Phone (815) 786-1088, or request a visit online by filling in our confidential appointment form.