As your doctor may have already told you, you need to have a confirmation test 3 months after the Essure procedure to confirm that you can rely on Essure for birth control. Until you receive this confirmation, you MUST use alternate birth control.
What is the Essure Confirmation Test?
The Essure Confirmation Test verifies that the inserts are in the correct location, and depending on the type of test, may also verify whether the tubes are blocked. The Essure Confirmation Test can be a transvaginal ultrasound (TVU), an x-ray exam using a special contrast dye in your uterus, or both. Your doctor will advise you on which method or methods are best for you.
What does the test involve?
One type of confirmation test your doctor may perform is the TVU. During this test, an ultrasound device will be inserted into your vagina. The ultrasound will enable your doctor to see the Essure inserts within your fallopian tubes and determine if they are in the proper place.
If the doctor is unable to determine if the inserts are in the proper place with the TVU, he/she may need to order an additional confirmation test using an x-ray and contrast dye. During this test, a radiologist injects a special contrast dye into your uterus. The dye is visible on x-rays. This lets the radiologist look at your fallopian tubes to confirm that the inserts are properly placed and that your tubes are blocked.
If you have experienced unusual post-procedure pain or have undergone treatment that suppresses your immune system such as chemotherapy or use of corticosteroids such as prednisone, talk to your doctor before scheduling the Essure Confirmation Test. The TVU test may not be appropriate for you.
When should I have the Essure Confirmation test?
You should have the test 3 months after your Essure procedure. However, it’s important to remember that for some women, it may take longer than 3 months for Essure to completely block the fallopian tubes, requiring a repeat test at 6 months.
What do I need to know about backup birth control?
Talk to your doctor about which method of birth control you should use for the 3 months after the procedure. Some women can remain on their current birth control. Other women, such as those using an intrauterine device or contraceptive (IUD or IUC), will need to switch to another method.
When can I stop using a backup form of birth control?
You can stop using a backup form of birth control only after your doctor has reviewed your Essure Confirmation Test results, you get confirmation that your Essure inserts are in the right location, and you are told that you may rely on Essure for birth control.
Do I really need the Confirmation Test?
Yes. The Confirmation Test is an important and necessary step in the Essure procedure. You must continue to use another form of birth control until you have your Essure Confirmation Test and your doctor tells you that you can rely on Essure for birth control. For some women, it may take longer than 3 months for Essure to completely block the fallopian tubes, requiring a repeat confirmation test at 6 months.
To learn more about the Essure Confirmation Test, click here.