Essure — Questions and Answers

What is the Essure procedure?
Essure is a permanent birth control procedure that can be done in the comfort of a physician’s office in about thirteen minutes — without hormones, cutting, burning or the risks associated with general anesthesia and tubal ligation.

During the procedure, small, flexible micro-inserts are placed in the woman’s fallopian tubes through the vagina and cervix. Within three months, the body forms a natural barrier around the micro-inserts that prevents the sperm from reaching the egg.

Three months after the Essure micro-inserts are placed in the fallopian tubes, a doctor will perform an Essure Confirmation Test to confirm that the tubes are fully blocked and that the woman can rely on Essure for permanent birth control. Until this test provides confirmation, another form of birth control is necessary.

Developed, manufactured and marketed by Conceptus Inc. (NASDAQ:CPTS), the Essure procedure has been FDA approved since 2002 and is 99.8% percent effective with zero pregnancies in clinical trials.

What is the Essure Confirmation Test?
After three months, a doctor can perform an Essure Confirmation Test, commonly known as an HSG (hysterosalpingogram). The Essure Confirmation Test, which uses lower pressure than a standard HSG, is a special type of x-ray to confirm that the micro-inserts are correctly placed and the fallopian tubes are completely blocked so Essure can be relied on for permanent birth control.

Is there any discomfort during the Essure procedure?
Some women report mild discomfort during or after the procedure that is similar to that of a normal menstrual cycle. A small number have experienced nausea or cramping in the hours following the procedure. For a summary of key risks and considerations, visit

Are there any side effects from the procedure?
The main side effects from the Essure procedure are pain/cramping and spotting/bleeding. For a summary of key risks and considerations, visit

Does Essure impact the menstrual cycle?
Since the Essure micro-inserts do not contain hormones, Essure does not affect the menstrual cycle. However, for women who have been using hormone-based birth control, it is possible that their periods may become slightly heavier due to the hormone decrease.

What happens to the egg?
Since the egg is not fertilized, the body simply absorbs it.

Is there an age restriction?
The Essure procedure is permanent and not reversible, so although there are no age restrictions, many doctors will not perform the Essure procedure (or any other sterilization procedure) on women younger than 25-30. When considering any form of permanent birth control, women must be sure that they have completed child bearing.

When can sex be resumed?
Intercourse can be resumed as soon as the patient is comfortable doing so. Because the micro-inserts are in the fallopian tubes at the top of the uterus, her partner will not feel the devices.

It is important to remember that another form of birth control must be used until the Essure Confirmation Test confirms that the micro-inserts are correctly placed and the fallopian tubes are blocked so that Essure can be relied on for permanent birth control.

What are the Essure micro-inserts made of?
The micro-inserts are made of polyester fibers, nickel-titanium and stainless steel. These materials have been used in devices implanted in the heart and other areas of the body for many years.

Are the Essure micro-inserts safe with medical tests?
The devices are completely safe with any type of medical test, including MRIs. However, the patient should inform her radiologists that she has the micro-inserts in her fallopian tubes, so they are aware of them when conducting and analyzing their test.

Is the Essure procedure covered by insurance?
Most insurance companies cover the cost of the Essure procedure, but patients should check with their insurance provider or physician to be certain. Visit “Is it Covered?” at for more information on how to check individual insurance coverage.

Why choose permanent birth control over temporary methods?
Every woman must make the decision about whether permanent birth control is the right solution for her and her family. For many women, the ability to take control over their fertility and know that they are permanently protected from future pregnancies is very empowering. Permanent birth control allows them to be more spontaneous with their partner and allows them to focus on their families and relationships.

Why choose Essure over other methods of permanent birth control?
For most women, there is a preference to have a minimally invasive procedure with a faster recovery time. Additionally, some women seeking permanent birth control have health conditions (such as obesity, allergy to anesthesia and certain heart conditions) that prevent them from undergoing a tubal ligation.

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