When it comes to permanent birth control, whilst men only have vasectomy, women have options. The two most common and well-known are a tubal ligation (“having your tubes tied”); or Essure, a non-surgical, permanent birth control device. But which is better? We’ll take a look at both methods and examine their benefits and risks.
What is Tubal Ligation?
Tubal ligation, also known as “having your tubes tied”, is a surgical procedure where a woman’s fallopian tubes are closed off. This permanently prevents the egg from ever being fertilized.
The procedure can be carried out at any time, including right after you’ve had a baby. A surgeon will make a small cut in your abdomen and close up your fallopian tubes by cutting, tying, banding or clamping them. This ensures your eggs will never meet up with your partner’s sperm.
Benefits of Tubal Ligation
- It’s permanent. There are many long-lasting forms of birth control, such as the implant and IUDs, but tubal ligation is one of the few that is truly permanent.
- It’s extremely effective. Once your tubes are closed, that’s that. It’s one of the most effective forms of birth control out there, aside from not having sex.
- It’s not hormonal. Unlike other methods like the pill or the contraceptive shot, tubal ligation doesn’t involve any hormones so it won’t mess with your body. You’ll still get a period and your mood or sex drive won’t be affected either.
Cons and Risks of Tubal Ligation
- It lasts forever. Tubal ligation is meant to be permanent so only have the procedure done if you’re 100 percent sure you don’t want to fall pregnant ever again.
- It actually can be reversed but it’s expensive and not guaranteed. Surgeons can reopen your tubes but it’s an expensive procedure. It’s also not guaranteed - the success rate depends on your age and how much tube is left over.
- There’s a slight risk of complications. Tubal ligation is a safe procedure but there is always a chance of complications. Sometimes, there may be accidental injury to the bowel, bladder or surrounding blood vessels.
- Recovery time is longer. Because it’s a surgical procedure, tubal ligation requires longer recovery time than Essure (which is non surgical). Recovery time is typically one to three weeks, depending on the person.
What is Essure?
Essure is a non surgical method of permanent sterilization that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002. The method involves inserting a small metal coil into each fallopian tube. These coils block the tubes, preventing an egg from passing through and becoming fertilized.
Benefits of Essure
- It’s permanent. You never need to remember to take your pill, rebook an appointment to have an contraceptive shot or replace your implant again.
- It’s non surgical. Essure is the only form of permanent birth control that doesn’t require surgery. It’s inserted into the fallopian tubes via the vagina and cervix.
- There’s little to no recovery time. Because there’s no surgical incision or anesthesia needed, you’ll recover extremely quickly and be ready to go about your daily life almost instantly.
- It doesn’t involve hormones. Like tubal ligation, there’s no hormones involved so your mood and sex drive won’t be affected.
Cons and Risks of Essure
- You may experience mild to moderate symptoms straight after the placement procedure. Clinical trials found that some women experienced pain, cramping, vaginal bleeding, nausea, dizziness and other symptoms after Essure was placed.
- Some women still fall pregnant - usually with complications. There have been reports of some women experiencing ectopic pregnancies as the egg has been fertilized and implanted in the fallopian tube rather than in the uterus.
- There are some major long term risks and severe complications. Recent reports have found many women are experiencing various adverse side effects, including hair loss, fatigue, allergic reactions, autoimmune responses and perforated organs due to Essure migration.
Essure vs Tubal Ligation: Which is Better for Me?
As you can see, both methods of permanent birth control have different benefits and drawbacks. You should choose the method which is best for you and your individual needs. The main distinction is that tubal ligation is a surgical procedure while Essure is not. If you’d rather have a shorter recovery period, Essure appears to be the better option.
However, there is much evidence to suggest that tubal ligation is actually the safer choice. There have been a sudden increase in women complaining of complications caused by Essure. This has led to a surge in lawsuits filed against Bayer, the manufacturer. Essure has now been withdrawn from the global market because of these severe complications and accusations.
Essure Has Been Found to Cause Severe, Life Threatening Side Effects
Although Essure was marketed as a safe and effective form of permanent birth control by Bayer, many women have been complaining of painful side effects. Some have even suffered dangerous, life threatening complications that have changed their everyday lives.
These complications include:
- Essure migration - the coils moving to somewhere in the body that they shouldn’t be.
- Perforated organs as the metal coils have pierced through the surrounding tissues.
- Extreme pelvic pain as the coils have perforated organs or migrated. Some women have reported experiencing agonizing pain that prevented them from even getting out of bed, not to mention negatively affecting their daily lives.
- Painful intercourse or bleeding.
- Memory lapses - some women have reported experiencing brain fogginess or feeling as though they’ve had memory resets.
- Abnormal fatigue, leaving women unable to participate in their normal everyday activities.
What to Do Next
The most logical thing to do is to remove Essure from the body, but this is a complex procedure. Because the device is supposed to be permanent, there are few surgeons who are experienced in its removal. And even if they do know, many women will have to undergo hysterectomy (removal of their uterus) because Essure may have broken and the fragments may cause further problems if left within the body.
It gets worse. Most health insurance providers won’t cover the removal procedure or if they do, the coverage is only partial. Because Essure was marketed as a safe option, it’s not fair that you should have to foot the cost.
Have You Considered Hiring an Attorney?
A qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer can help. The right lawyer can guide you through the next steps and help you get the compensation you deserve. At Coxwell & Associates, our experienced team of lawyers have handled many personal injury cases. We’ve helped Mississippians find justice for over 35 years and we can help you with your Essure lawsuit.
We offer free case consultations so if you need help in getting your case started, contact us today, or if you want to read more about Essure check out our guide by clicking on the button below.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.