Sterilization is a permanent method of birth control. Sterilization procedures for women are called tubal occlusion. The procedure for men is called vasectomy.

Tubal occlusion closes off the fallopian tubes. This prevents the egg from moving down the fallopian tube to the uterus and keeps the sperm from reaching the egg.

There are three ways that sterilization for women can be performed:
  1. mini-laparotomy
  2. laparoscopy
  3. hysteroscopy
Mini-laparotomy and laparoscopy are done in a hospital or day surgery setting, hysteroscopy can be done in the office.  

Pelvic organ prolapse is a common, but little discussed issue among women as they age. Trauma that started with childbirth worsens over the years. Surgical intervention can bring relief to many women with this issue.


Essure® is a office based procedure that provides permanent contraception. Unlike a tubal ligation, the Essure Procedure can be performed in a doctor’s office without general anesthesia.

How Essure® Works

With Essure®, there is no cutting into the body. Instead, an Essure-trained doctor inserts spring-like coils, called micro-inserts, through the body’s natural pathways (vagina, cervix, and uterus) and into the fallopian tubes.

The Essure® Procedure

  • One to two hours before the procedure, the patient is given medication that will help keep the fallopian tubes open and reduce cramping.
  • During the procedure, the doctor inserts a narrow telescope-like instrument called a hysteroscope through the vagina and cervix and into the uterus. The hysteroscope is attached to a video camera that sends pictures to a monitor. This lets the doctor see inside the uterus.
  • Normal saline fluid flows through the hysteroscope and into the uterus. The fluid expands the uterus to let the doctor see the openings to the fallopian tubes clearly.
  • The spring-like micro-inserts are placed into each fallopian tube using a small, flexible tube (delivery catheter) that is passed through the hysteroscope.
  • The procedure takes about 10 minutes.
During the 3 months following the procedure, the body and the micro-inserts work together to form a tissue barrier. This prevents the egg from passing into the uterus, and sperm from reaching the egg. Therefore, fertilization cannot take place. Another form of contraception is needed until 3 months after the procedure when a dye test is performed to verify that both tubes are completely blocked.

Learn More about Essure

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