Essure

Quick Facts

Most effective

Female sterilization without surgery

Hormone-free

Permanent

Does not protect from STDs

hand holding a small coiled spring

FDA News Update Regarding Essure

FDA restricts sale and distribution of Essure to protect women and to require that patients receive risk information

More About Essure

  • Essure is a procedure that prevents pregnancy permanently.
  • In an Essure procedure, your provider places small coils in the tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. Your body grows tissue over the coils and blocks the tubes. Since the eggs have nowhere to go, your body will just absorb them. If sperm can’t get to an egg, you can’t get pregnant.
  • This is meant to be a permanent form of birth control.
  • You can’t count on being able to get it reversed once you have it. Therefore, before you get Essure, you should be 100% sure that you don’t ever want to get pregnant.

How it Works

Your provider will give you local anesthesia to numb your cervix. They will use a small tube-like tool to place small coils in each of your fallopian tubes (the tubes that carry eggs). The tool goes through your vagina and the opening in your cervix, so no cuts are made. The whole thing takes less than 20 minutes. Most of the time you can go home and go back to your normal activities the same day.

Once you have Essure, it takes at least 3 months for your body to build up tissue around the coils and block the tubes. During this time you need to use a back up method of birth control, such as condoms, to prevent pregnancy. After 3 months, you get an x-ray test to make sure the tubes are blocked.

This method is a form of permanent sterilization. Because of this, there is a 30-day waiting period so clients have time to be sure this is the right choice for them.

Talk to your provider if you think that Essure might be the right birth control method for you.

a uterus with the right fallopian tube blocked by an Essure coil
Donut chart showing 99%. The title says "Over 99% effective"

Effectiveness

Essure is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. This means that less than 1 out of 100 women who use this method will get pregnant in a year. Essure is one of the most effective forms of birth control.

Essure takes about 3 months to become fully effective. At 3 months your provider will use an x-ray test to make sure your tubes are blocked. Be sure to use condoms or other birth control to prevent pregnancy until your test. After your x-ray test, you don’t have to do anything else.

 

Benefits

  • It doesn’t interrupt the heat of the moment.
  • The coils are put in through the vagina and cervix. No cuts are made.
  • It is hormone free.
  • Once you have your x-ray test at 3 months, it’s the only birth control method you’ll need.
Nine hands each holding a thumbs up
A young woman holds up her hands as if weighing options and looks thoughtful

Side Effects and Limitations

  • It’s permanent!  Reversal of sterilization is expensive and doesn’t always work. You should only get one if you are sure you do not want to get pregnant in the future.
  • There may be some pain, cramping or nausea the day it’s done. Most women have no long-term side-effects.
  • Most women return to normal activity in 1 to 2 days.
  • You must use another kind of birth control for the first 3 months until your x-ray test.
  • Rarely, you may be allergic to a coil or it may not stay in place. In these cases taking the coil out requires surgery.
  • Doesn’t protect you from STDs.

Family PACT Coverage

If you are eligible, Family PACT covers the cost of Essure. A provider can help you decide if Essure is the best option for you. You can search for a Family PACT provider near you by clicking on the “Provider Search” button in the right hand corner of this page.

California Department of Health Care Services Family PACT logo