Essure

The Essure system is a type of permanent birth control for women. It cannot be reversed.

During insertion of the Essure system, your health care provider uses flexible tube with a small camera (hysteroscope) inserted through the vagina, into the cervix and up to the uterus. Once the openings to the fallopian tubes are visualized, small metal and fiber coils are passed through the hysteroscope and into your fallopian tubes. The Essure system causes scar tissue to form around the coils, blocking your fallopian tubes and preventing sperm from reaching the egg.

The Essure system takes three months to become effective in preventing pregnancy, and in some women, it may take up to six months. During this time, you must use other contraceptive methods to prevent pregnancy. Essure doesn't offer protection from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).


Why it's done Risks How you prepare What you can expect

The Essure system is a type of female sterilization. It offers a permanent way to prevent pregnancy. Benefits of the Essure system include:

  • Permanence
  • Effectiveness
  • Lack of significant long-term side effects
  • No need to buy contraception, interrupt sex for contraception or seek partner compliance
  • No incision or scarring of the skin
  • Convenience — the Essure system can be inserted at your health care provider's office

The Essure system isn't appropriate for everyone, however. Your health care provider may discourage implantation of the Essure system if:

  • You might want to become pregnant
  • You gave birth or had an abortion within the past six weeks
  • You recently had a pelvic infection
  • You're allergic to the contrast agent used to confirm tubal blockage
  • You have a uterine or tubal condition that prevents access to one or both tubal openings
  • You previously had a tubal ligation
© 1998-2015 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Terms of use