Essure to Take Off the Pressure

Posted on | March 24, 2010 | 15 Comments |

For the last few days I’ve had a continuing, cheerful, refrain in my head, which goes like this:

Nooooo [pause] babeeeez for meeeeee…!

Why the refrain? Well, it’s because a) I don’t want to have children, b) I’ve never wanted to have children, and c) my gynaecologist has known me long enough that he’s agreed to d) get me and permanent contraception hooked up. In other words e) sterilised.

Response from the cheap seats (ie: mine): Yay! Followed by singing and the no-babies-butt-wriggling-dance.

I wrote recently about the not-wanting-to-breed thing, and how it’s just not understood by a lot of people (read: extended family). It is, however, something that Apollo and I are in complete agreement on, and have been since we met. So on Monday I took him with me to my gynae appointment.  Agenda: smear; follow-up colposcopy; discussion of permanent contraceptive measures.

It was almost funny how we both sat there while my very nice specialist made it extra-very-totally clear that the procedure we were discussing was, for all intents and purposes, permanent and irreversible, and was I sure I didn’t just want another IUD in case I changed my mind?  Of course, Apollo backed me up 100%, and that fact that he’s planning to get a vasectomy doesn’t change a thing: we both have other partners, and neither of us particularly desire to contribute our genetic material to a child (Apollo was asked last year to be a sperm donor for a friend, but for a number of reasons that didn’t go ahead. Although he would make very pretty children, neither of us want to raise them!).

I’ve known since I was about thirteen that I didn’t want kids. Twenty-odd years later, that hasn’t changed. If I get six years down the track from now and suddenly *boom* want them, then a) our relationship will need a lot of work to stay steady, and b) we can damned well adopt instead. I know I want this.

So, what is it that I’m getting? Methods of sterilisation have changed over the years – there’s no need for a hysterectomy, or even to get my tubes tied. These days it’s a simple operation where you’re in and out in a few hours, there’s only a local anaesthetic, and you don’t even get cut at all – it’s all done up through the vaginal canal!

It’s called Essure. Pretty much it’s targeted at women who’ve had children but don’t want any more, but hey – when did I ever fall neatly into a target group? If they aimed it at ‘kinky poly people who don’t want to breed thank you’ they probably wouldn’t get quite the same sales …

How Essure works is this: two of those micro-inserts you can see in the pic above (made from polyester fibre, nickel-titanium, and soft stainless steel) are inserted using a hysteroscope (so, through the vagina and cervix) into the fallopian tubes. A natural barrier then forms around them over the next few weeks, which prevents any sperm from reaching any eggs. Eggs are still released, but can’t get to the womb (or the sperm), so are reabsorbed into the body. I’ll still have periods, but I can cope with that. It’s the no-babies which is the point!

The effectiveness rate is 99.8%. I like those numbers. Not cutting me open? I like that too. No need to take hormones? Even better.

So my gynaecologist is making me a procedure date. I get tiny rods inside me. And never need to worry about pregnancy again.

Can you guess how happy this makes me?

Interesting reading about not having kids, and/or Essure:

Having Kids: Sometimes the Answer is just “No”

My Essure is done! (followed by) My HSG was this morning

Breeder Bingo card

The Childless by Choice Project

Pushing Babies: The Assault on Childless Women

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15 Responses to “Essure to Take Off the Pressure”

  1. Starfire
    March 24th, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

    Ohhhh, I could so look at getting this for myself. I don’t know why, but I’d thought that that it did away with periods as I think most other sterilisation methods do… and I actually kinda *LIKE* my periods, thanks very much :-)

    This kinda sounds like it would be the best of both worlds… Look forward to hearing how it goes!

  2. Margaret
    March 24th, 2010 @ 7:16 pm

    I am way excited that your doctor is ok with you having this procedure without having children first. So many doctors do not approve. WTG! :)

    I have had two babies and while I knew that my body could handle another pregnancy (or several), I also knew that it wasn’t right for my family. I got my tubes tied a couple years ago. I still bleed every month, but there’s no risk of having babies – unless miracles are happening. And in that case, I have a different miracle I need, not another baby. :)

    I hope the procedure is successful for you. :)


  3. Petal
    March 24th, 2010 @ 7:43 pm

    I have never heard of that procedure before but it looks bloody awesome! no major surgery, no messing with hormones, brilliant! And I think if you haven’t had the faintest of stirrings to have children in twenty years, your probably not going to…just cause your female doesn’t mean you *have* to breed.

  4. sweettart
    March 24th, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

    Ooo this is new for me too but I am *liken* it. Lots! Will be waiting to hear about the process but it is definitely now on my radar of possible choices. Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Dee
    March 24th, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

    Starfire – I don’t particularly love my periods, but they don’t cause me too much bother. I also have the advantage of knowing where I am in my cycle, so I can gird myself for hormonal migraine issues :)

    Margaret – he’s not particularly enthused about it (many of his clients are there for obstetric stuff), but known me long enough that I’ve worn him down. Being over 30 now seems to help!

    Petal – I know! It just sounds so simple, and that works for me. Mind you, even if it was a more complex procedure, I’d still want it.

    sweettart – I guess I’ll be updating everyone when I get the procedure done!

    xx Dee

  6. Theresa
    March 25th, 2010 @ 3:01 am

    Well it seems you’re all set!

    I’m just about to hit the 3 yr mark since my Essure was done and I am sealed up air tight. I don’t have to worry about ever having more children and my periods are all but non existant. (I had that hot water ablation done to my uterus. It’s the only one compatable with Essure, btw.)

    I may spot alittle but otherwise I don’t really need tampons EVER! How nice to not ride the cotton pony. I don’t have major mood swings either. Another perk!

    Please keep us updated. Are you getting the ablation done too?

  7. Gray
    March 25th, 2010 @ 3:56 am

    I must say, I like having options. And I really like this option for when I decide I’m done having kids! Thank you for sharing. :)

  8. Wendy Blackheart
    March 25th, 2010 @ 4:06 am

    Congrats on the no-baby makers! I’ve been debating getting fixed on and off for a while myself. I’m about 100% sure I don’t want kids, and I sure as hell don’t want to give birth to them myself (that whole pregnancy thing is…unnatural.)

    Of course, being 26, no one wants to hear about my no baby wishes, so we’ll see what happens.

  9. The Panserbjørne
    March 25th, 2010 @ 4:45 am

    I really don’t know why I haven’t yet gotten a vasectomy. I sure as hell don’t want any kids, and that is never-never-never going to change, so I can’t believe I haven’t had it done yet. Then I wouldn’t need to care about whether or not any potential partners were “safe”, as long as *I’m* shooting blanks.

    “Safe” not counting STDs, of course. I still practice safe sex in that respect.

    — PB

  10. Mina
    March 25th, 2010 @ 5:07 am

    Good for you! I too will never breed. Sylvanus will probably get the snip snip this year. We are still discussing this.

  11. Genevieve
    March 25th, 2010 @ 8:52 am

    Bravo for you! That’s a very personal decision. And you seem to be very confident nothing has changed for a long time so why not have something permanent done.
    Technically, since I haven’t gone thru menopause or had a procedure to ensure I couldn’t become preggie, I guess I still could and the thought of that… horror!! I love my children, and grandchildren, but I absolutely do NOT want to have more of my own. I might have to keep this info. handy!

    Good luck.

  12. Dana
    March 25th, 2010 @ 9:50 pm

    “Singing and the no-babies-butt-wriggling-dance” coming from over here for you! Woooot!

  13. Dee
    March 29th, 2010 @ 7:18 pm

    Theresa – We discussed ablation, but I don’t really feel the need for it. I find it easier to track my cycle if I’m bleeding (useful so I can prepare for my migraine to get worse), and I don’t have particularly painful periods. Will definitely keep everyone updated, though!

    Gray – You’re entirely welcome. I’m all about dissemination of information :)

    Wendy – They weren’t listening to me at 26 either, which is why I went for a Mirena IUD. No babies, no periods, and 5 years before replacement, meaning that when it came out I was over 30 and they started to listen!

    PB – Does that mean you’re considering it now? Apollo is planning to get the snip as well. Given that we both have partners, it seems sensible that neither of us are able to produce wee sproglets.

    Mina – Is it likely that you and Sylvanus will write about your discussion and decision(s)?

    Genevieve – It’s certainly worth thinking about. All contraceptive methods, even sterilisations, have a failure percentage rate. But some, like the Essure, have a positively tiny number. I like those odds much better.

    Dana – You wriggle that butt, hon!

    xx to all,


  14. silver rings
    April 11th, 2010 @ 4:57 am

    Great writing style, reading this blog via RSS as well. thanks.

  15. Dee
    April 11th, 2010 @ 10:43 pm

    Thanks, sr :)

    xx Dee


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