Essure was a form of permanent female sterilization developed by the pharmaceutical company, Bayer. Originally launched in 2002, Bayer discontinued sales of Essure in the United States in 2018 as a result of a string of lawsuits, and the decision from the Food and Drug Administration to restrict its sale. For many women, getting an Essure reversal may not be driven by a desire to one day become pregnant, but rather to simply protect their health and wellness. Here, we’ll explain everything you need to know about this controversial product, and what can be done to reverse its effects:
During an Essure procedure, a doctor places a small metal coil into the fallopian tubes. In theory, this should cause fibrosis –– the building up of excess scar tissue –– which in turn will block the fallopian tubes. By blocking the fallopian tubes, an Essure procedure eliminates the possibility of fertilization and conception.
Unfortunately, Essure procedures also caused many harmful side effects. Thousands of women reported experiencing a wide range of symptoms including:
- Pelvic pain
- Excessive bleeding during menstruation
- Back discomfort
One of the most troubling issues associated with Essure is the possibility for the device to become dislodged. In one high-profile instance, an Essure device came loose and became stuck inside a woman’s uterus. The FDA received reports of eight deaths related to the Essure procedure.
If you’ve experienced any of the symptoms listed above, then it’s important to consider an Essure reversal procedure. And even if you haven’t experienced any adverse symptoms following an Essure insertion, you should still speak with a medical professional about the possible risks and complications associated with the device.
Women who have had an Essure procedure may be able to become pregnant again after an Essure reversal. However, it’s worth noting that most women who undergo an Essure insertion and subsequent removal will require in vitro fertilization to conceive. Whether or not a woman is able to conceive after an Essure reversal often depends on a number of factors.
In its simplest terms, an Essure reversal involves removing the device and the scar tissue within the fallopian tubes. The procedure itself is outpatient, and typically only lasts around 30-45 minutes. Like other forms of tubal ligation reversal surgery, recovery time varies. In general, though, women should be mostly recovered (i.e. able to walk around on their own) within a day or two. Full recovery –– including the ability to perform vigorous physical activity –– may take around two weeks.
Contact a Professional
If you’re one of the thousands of women who chose to have an Essure insertion, then it’s imperative to speak with a doctor as soon as possible. Even if you haven’t experienced any of the negative side effects associated with Essure, your health still could be at risk.
Dr. Joseph Hazan has years of experience performing tuboplasty and tubal ligation reversal procedures and is an expert in the field. He holds certification from American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a member of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can contact him here to schedule a fertility consultation.