Families who have determined they no longer want to have children now have a permanent birth control option that takes little time and involves none of the complications of surgery.
Michael Heniser, DO, a family physician practicing at Community Health Center in Southwest Harbor is now offering Essure, a safe, effective alternative to surgical solutions such as tubal ligation. The FDA approved procedure is covered by most insurances including MaineCare.
“This gentle procedure can be performed in less than an hour,” said Dr. Heniser. The Essure procedure does not require any cutting into the body. Instead, Dr. Heniser inserts small flexible micro-inserts through the body’s natural pathways (vagina , cervix, and uterus) and into the patient’s fallopian tubes.
“The procedure is performed without general anesthesia, and most women resume their normal activities within one day,” said Dr. Heniser.
He was careful to point out that this procedure is only recommended for women who are certain they do not want more children. “The Essure procedure is not reversible and should be considered permanent,” he emphasized.
In the three months following the procedure, the woman’s body and the micro-inserts work together to form a natural barrier that prevents sperm from reaching the egg. “During this period, women must continue using another form of birth control,” said Dr. Heniser.
Three months after the Essure procedure, patients will need an Essure Confirmation Test to confirm that the tubes are fully blocked and that the patient can rely on Essure for permanent birth control.
“Unlike birth control pills, patches, rings, and some forms of IUDs, Essure does not contain hormones to interfere with a woman’s natural menstrual cycle,” said Dr. Heniser.
“While Essure may not be appropriate for all women, such as those with a nickel allergy, it does have many benefits,” explained Dr. Heniser. “Those include less worry associated with temporary birth control methods, avoiding surgical incisions or general anesthesia, and avoiding the risks associated with supplemental hormones.
“I recommend that women talk with their provider about Essure to determine if it is right for them,” said Dr. Heniser. To contact Dr. Heniser, call the Community Health Center at 244-5630.