When you cast about for a long-term birth control solution, you settled on Essure®, which permanently blocked your fallopian tubes without a surgical procedure. Unfortunately, some women developed complications due to these devices, which prompted the manufacturer to discontinue the product in December 2018.
If you’re wondering what your next steps are and whether you should opt for Essure removal, Dr. Fernando Otero and our team at Women’s Clinic of the Rio Grande Valley have outlined circumstances when this step may be appropriate.
The side effects of Essure
There are varied adverse side effects due to Essure, which the FDA tracked diligently. From 2000 to 2021, the organization reports the following side effects and the number of women who experienced them:
- Abdominal pain — 38,995
- Heavy menstruation — 17,542
- Device fragmentation — 10,151
- Perforation — 9,295
- Headache — 8,705
- Fatigue — 7,206
- Weight fluctuations — 6,087
- Depression/anxiety — 5,749
- Hypersensitivity/rash — 5,369
- Hair loss — 5,099
Another problem with Essure were reported pregnancies, which totaled 4,509 between 2002 and 2021. Sadly, some of these were ectopic pregnancies.
While these numbers may seem alarming, it’s important to point out that a majority of women who received Essure did not experience any adverse side effects.
Should you consider Essure removal?
If you’re considering Essure removal, we first want to point out that, unlike the initial insertion procedure, this involves surgery. And a very tricky surgery, at that.
If you’re experiencing quality-of-life symptoms related to your Essure devices, and you want them removed, it’s terribly important that you find a provider who has extensive experience with the Essure removal procedure.
Our own Dr. Otero is such a provider, and he understands the intricacies of the procedure. Done incorrectly, an Essure removal can leave you with a new set of adverse side effects, as the coils can break.
To avoid this and successfully remove your Essure devices, Dr. Otero fully evaluates the condition and location of the devices beforehand and then chooses one of several removal options, including:
- Hysteroscope to remove the devices
- Salpingotomy to remove Essure via an incision in your fallopian tubes
- Salpingectomy to remove your fallopian tubes entirely
- Cornual resection to remove part of your uterus
As you can see, the decision to have your Essure removed is one you shouldn’t take lightly, but it’s also one that may help you find much-needed relief if you’re having problems.
A good way to determine your best course of action is to sit down with Dr. Otero for a consultation. To get started, contact one of our offices in McAllen or Edinburg, Texas, to set up an appointment.