I heard on the news that the Essure system is going off the market. What does this mean for women who use this device for birth control?
Answer From Yvonne Butler Tobah, M.D.
Essure is an implantable birth control device that permanently blocks the fallopian tubes. The company that makes the Essure system of birth control announced that it would stop selling the device in the U.S. on Dec. 31, 2018. Sales of the device stopped in 2017 in all other countries.
The company cites commercial reasons, not safety issues, for halting sales of the device.
But there have been reports of serious side effects with the device, including persistent pain, development of a hole in the uterus or fallopian tubes, and movement of the device from the fallopian tubes into the pelvis or abdomen. Studies on the safety of the Essure device will continue even after it's off the market.
If you already have the device in place and don't have any side effects from the device, you can continue to rely on Essure to prevent pregnancy. Speak with your doctor or other care provider about any safety concerns you may have about the device.
If you have persistent pain or other symptoms that you think might be related to the Essure device, talk with your doctor or other care provider about your options. Removing the Essure device may require surgery, which poses certain health risks.
Aug. 29, 2018
Yvonne Butler Tobah, M.D.
See more Expert Answers
- Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on manufacturer announcement to halt Essure sales in the U.S.: Agency's continued commitment to postmarket review of Essure and keeping women informed. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/ucm614123.htm. Accessed July 31, 2018.
- Greenberg J, et al. Hysteroscopic sterilization. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Aug. 1, 2018.
- Frequently asked questions about Essure. Bayer. http://www.essure.com/faq. Accessed Aug. 1, 2018.
- Butler Tobah YS (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 20, 2018.