Updated: Sept 12, 2016

How Essure Works

EssureEssure is a permanent method of birth control intended to be far less invasive than surgical sterilization options. It consists of two metal coils. One is placed in each fallopian tube. Over the next few months, the flesh will grow around the coils, blocking the tubes completely and permanently. Unlike many forms of birth control, there are no hormones involved.

Essure is permanent, and the decision to get it shouldn’t be made lightly. While Essure has been surgically removed in some instances, this was not intended by the manufacturer.

Be advised, in addition to Essure Lawsuits pending in courts, there have been over 10,000 adverse reports to the Food and Drug Administration since Essure went on the market in 2002.

How Do I Get Essure?

Your doctor must insert Essure. Using a catheter with an attached camera, the doctor inserts the device through the vagina, past the cervix and through the uterus to the fallopian tubes. While it sounds invasive, the procedure takes less than 30 minutes. Some women have described it as painful. Pain, cramping, nausea, and bleeding have been reported in the days following the procedure.

According to Bayer, who makes Essure, you must use an alternate form of birth control for at least three months once the device has been implanted. This is because it takes months for the fallopian tubes to become closed. After three months, your doctor will confirm that the fallopian tubes are blocked and Essure can be relied on as effective birth control.


Bayer, citing a five-year study, claims Essure is “over 99% effective.”


Essure is considered a low-cost form of birth control because it is permanent, and thus does not require routine medical visits or the need to purchase pills or a contraceptive device each month.


  • Doesn’t require replacement or monthly maintenance
  • Permanent
  • Non-hormonal
  • Does not interfere with sexual activity
  • Much less invasive than surgical sterilization


  • Moderate pain is possible during the procedure
  • Does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases
  • Chronic pelvic pain has been reported
  • The device can “migrate” outside the fallopian tubes, potentially requiring surgery to correct

Update August 2016
In a post titled Groundbreaking Legal Decision in Essure Lawsuit, a California judge has rejected three claims by the defendant, Bayer, and is allowing cases to continue to be read. Read more about the Essure Lawsuit here.

Update March 2016
In February 2016, the Food and Drug Administration announced it will conduct new clinical trials to assess the risks of Essure.
Bayer currently faces several lawsuits from women who claim they were seriously harmed by Essure. The lawsuits allege that the company did not adequately warn women and their doctors about the potential dangers. The FDA has required the manufacturer to include a Black Box warning label and a patient decision checklist to inform women of the benefits and risks of using Essure.

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Birth Control News

How effective is your birth control?

For sexually active women, he effectiveness of birth control depends on how perfectly they use it. For this reason, there are two kinds of effectiveness rates. One measurement is for perfect use, as the method is tested in the lab or used in real life with no mistakes.

The other is typical use, the average including people who don’t always use the method correctly or every time sexual intercourse takes place.

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