How Risky is It to use Essure Birth Control?

There has been an increasing number of complaints from women who experienced adverse side effects after getting their birth control implants. This often happens when the implant migrates, causing discomfort. If you suspect that your implant is making you sick, you should visit Dr. Darin Swainston, an experienced Summerlin robotic gynecological surgeon.

What Is A Birth Control Implant?

Implants are one of the most cost-effective, long-acting contraceptives for women worldwide. An implant is a single, matchstick-like rod that is inserted subdermally by a clinician under the skin of the non-dominant arm.

These implants work by releasing progestin into a woman's body, which then prevents a woman from getting pregnant. The most common FDA approved implants are NEXPLANON®, JADELLE®, and Essure®.

The Essure Birth Control Implant

According to Bayer, Essure's manufacturing company, this implant has a 99.3% effective rate. Essure received FDA approval in 2002. This implant, unlike others, does not require surgery to implant. Instead, doctors go through the vagina and uterus to insert this metal coil into a woman's fallopian tube.

It works by forming scar tissue in the fallopian tubes, which then blocks sperm from reaching the egg hence preventing pregnancy. Essure implants are made of polyester fibers as well as platinum, nickel, silver-tin, and titanium stainless steel.

Essure is a permanent contraceptive method; therefore, you need to be sure about not wanting children in the future. Women on Essure still get their periods and may experience changes in their flow.

Essure Confirmation Test Overview

Once the procedure is complete, a confirmation test is carried out to verify whether the implant was placed correctly. The analysis is performed three months after the implant procedure and can only be relied upon if the results are satisfactory.

Side Effects

According to an article by The Guardian, Dr. Veersema a Dutch gynecologist, performed nearly 500 surgical removal procedures, because the Essure implant had pierced the internal tissue and also migrated into the abdomen.

What's worse is the FDA reported eight deaths linked to Essure. Although there's little evidence, one woman suffered an embolism after a hysterectomy, which was linked to this implant. Other side effects include inflammation, fatigue, uneasiness, and depression.

Since early 2016, reports of the adverse effects have increased, and FDA recorded 5,019 complaints in 2016 alone. There were also class-action lawsuits over Essure, with Germany facing 16,000 lawsuits.

Bayer decided to discontinue the sale of Essure in 2018. In their announcement, the company stated that the phasing out was due to low demand and not due to safety concerns.

Essure Birth Control Removal Options


Bayer suggests using this procedure that involves cutting the fallopian tubes. To perform a linear salpingotomy, the surgeon makes a small incision that exposes the implant. The implant is then freed from the surrounding tissue before the removal of the coil.


A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure aimed at removing a woman's uterus. It is only recommended after other treatments fail to work. A hysterectomy addresses issues such as excessive bleeding, uterine fibroids, and chronic pain. The surgeon must be careful not to transect the implants to prevent any fragmentation of the coil.

Removing the Essure implant is a risky process. Most times, doctors unintentionally break the coil leaving fragments that later migrate to other body parts. A tiny piece could lead to perforation of internal organs.

Finally, women must do proper research before choosing implants as a form of contraception. Due to the delicate nature of implants removal, it's best to visit a specialist with sound clinical judgment.

 If you plan on getting your implants safely removed, then you should book an appointment with Darin Swainston MD, FACOG, who provides robotic-assisted Essure removal surgery.

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