Posted on October 27, 2011 at 2:26 PM
Thursday, Oct 27 at 2:56 PM
SAN ANTONIO -- The traditional permanent birth control for women has been tubal ligation known as “getting your tubes tied.” But there’s an alternative that’s gaining in popularity.
The technique can be performed at the doctor’s office with little down time. And it’s usually very affordable.
45-year-old Patricia Votion of San Antonio is finished having children. She’s proud of son Johnathon, 25, and daughter Cassandra, 22. But now, she’s through.
So, she consulted UT Medicine San Antonio Dr. Jason Parker about her options.
“I had been having some medical issues, high blood pressure, and I really don’t like taking the pill,” Votion explained. “So this was a really good way for me to not have to worry about any of that.”
Votion opted for Essure, tiny inch-long coils that are inserted into the fallopian tubes to create scarring. That scarring results in a barrier so the sperm cannot reach the egg.
A tool called a hysteroscope is used to place the coils.
“The advantage for the Essure procedure is that it can be done in the office with minimal recovery,” Parker, an OB/GYN said. “Most patients are back to their daily activities within 24 hours.”
Three months after the Essure procedure, doctors perform a confirmation test using dye in the uterus and an x-ray to confirm the coils are in place and the tubes are blocked.
Votion had never heard of this FDA-approved procedure before, but she’s glad she chose it.
“This is a safe and effective way to have it performed,” she commented. “You know, I didn’t want the IUD and I didn’t want to be on birth control anymore. So this was perfect for me.”
Essure is 99.8 percent effective. The cost for most patients is as low as their co-pay.
“It’s very cost effective for most patients and easy on their income during hard economic times which we’re all under right now,” Parker added.
No pills and no surgery is a really appealing option for a lot of women. And since it’s non-hormonal, there are none of those kinds of side effects to worry about.