Get Tubes Tied or Essure?

For women, there are two forms of permanent birth control - "get tubes tied" (tubal ligation) or the Essure procedure. While both are highly effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy, however, there are significant differences in the procedures themselves.

Tubal Ligation Procedure
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Tubal Ligation "Get Tubes Tied"

When a woman wants to "get tubes tied," she is referring to the tubal ligation procedure. This procedure involves severing and sealing or pinching shut the fallopian tubes in order to prevent sperm and egg from meeting and causing fertilization. The procedure typically is performed on the thin portion of the fallopian tube closest to the uterus, called the isthmic portion.

There are several procedures that can be referred to as tubal ligation, the most common of which is the partial salpingectomy, where the fallopian tubes are cut and realigned by suture. Other procedures involve using clips to clamp the tubes, the mechanical blocking by tubal rings, or cauterization or electrocoagulation.

Tubal ligation normally requires general anesthesia and may require a hospital stay. It is a higher-risk procedure than Essure or vasectomy, with a mortality rate of 4 per 100,000 surgeries. It has a larger initial cost than other contraceptive methods and hormone production, libido, and the menstrual cycle may be affected.

Laparoscopic Tubal Ligation Procedure

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Procedure: Essure

In contrast to "getting tubes tied," Essure is a non-invasive procedure performed using a special scope to place micro-inserts in the fallopian tubes. Scar tissue builds up around these inserts over a three-month period, causing the tubes to be blocked. Recovery is rapid, no hospital visit is necessary, and general anesthesia is not required - only a small amount of numbing medication (local anesthesia) is used during the procedure. There is far less risk involved than tubal ligation, and it has a lower cost; covered by most insurance plans. Essure often only requires a simple co-pay and the Essure procedure is free for Family PACT patients. Read our Essure & Family PACT page for more details.

Contact Dr. Ghodsian to learn more about which procedure might be right for you.

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