Since the Essure system is no longer being manufactured or sold, what does this mean for women who have this device implanted?
Answer From Yvonne Butler Tobah, M.D.
Essure was designed as an implantable birth control device that permanently blocked the fallopian tubes in women. The company that made the Essure system of birth control discontinued sales of the device in the U.S. in 2018. Sales of the device stopped in 2017 in all other countries.
The company cited 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 continue even though it's off the market.
If you already have the device in place and don't have any side effects, 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.
March 04, 2020
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.
- Essure permanent birth control. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/implants-and-prosthetics/essure-permanent-birth-control. Accessed Feb. 24, 2020.