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How does the Essure sterilization procedure work?

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Quick Answer

The Essure procedure is a non-surgical permanent sterilization method that involves placement of flexible coils into the fallopian tubes to block the tubes via the formation of scar tissue, explains the Food and Drug Administration. This process does not require surgery or an incision, as the Essure springs are inserted through the vagina and cervix. The Essure procedure is not reversible.

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Full Answer

The primary benefits of the Essure procedure over other sterilization techniques is that it is simple and quick to implant without surgery, according to the FDA. Essure is the only non-surgical, permanent sterilization method approved by the FDA as of 2015. Implantation usually takes less than 10 minutes and is performed in a doctor's office rather than in a surgical theater. Most women recover from the procedure within two days. An Essure procedure does not require general anesthesia or release hormones.

Essure is not without some risks, reports the FDA. Potential side effects from Essure implants include pelvic pain, rash and itching that may be associated with nickel allergies, and the potential for the implants to migrate within the body or perforate the fallopian tubes. It is possible for Essure implants to fail to prevent pregnancy, and the presence of the implants may increase the chance of an ectopic pregnancy.

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