Birth control, like sterilization, is a way for men and women to prevent pregnancy. There are many different methods of birth control; some types also protect against sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs.!

Sterilization is a permanent form of birth control that is extremely effective at preventing pregnancy. But it is difficult to reverse if you change your mind, and it does not protect against STDs.

Both men and women can be sterilized. For women, a tubal ligation is performed; for men, a vasectomy is performed. Women have the option of tubal ligation surgery or the placement of a device called Essure.!


Essure is a form of permanent sterilization for women that is hormone-free. Placement of the device is a procedure done in the doctor’s office without the need for general anesthesia (being put to sleep.

How Is Essure Placed?

Essure is a tiny birth control device that looks like a spring. Doctors use a thin tube to thread an Essure device through the vagina, into the uterus, and then into the two fallopian tubes. Thus, each woman receives two Essure devices.

A mesh-like substance that’s embedded in the Essure device irritates the lining of the fallopian tubes, causing scarring that over time permanently blocks the tube..!

How Effective Is Essure?

Clinical studies have found that Essure is 99.8% effective in preventing pregnancy. Because the scarring occurs over time, women should take another form of birth control for three months after the procedure. During this time, they may experience changes in their monthly period or experience discomfort in their lower belly. After a few months, the doctor will take a special X-ray to verify that the fallopian tubes are blocked and you can rely on the inserts for birth control..!

What are Concerns with Essure?

After hysteroscopic sterilization with Essure, some women have problems. These can include changes in their monthly period, pain in the lower belly, or allergic reactions to the metal in the coil. If you have had any of these problems in the past, talk to your doctor or nurse about them before having the procedure.!

Essure Protect Against STDs?

No. Sterilization does not protect against STDs, including HIV (the virus that causes AIDS).

What Is Tubal Ligation?

Tubal ligation is performed in a hospital or outpatient surgical clinic while you are anesthetized (put to sleep).

One or two small incisions (cuts) are made in the abdomen, and a device similar to a small telescope (called a laparoscope) is inserted. The fallopian tubes are cut, tied, clamped, banded or sealed shut.

The skin incisions are then stitched closed. The patient is able to return home within a few hours after the procedure. Tubal ligation can also be performed immediately after childbirth through a small incision near the navel or during a cesarean delivery.

An estimated 700,000 American women undergo tubal ligation each year, making it the most common form of contraception in the U.S.