Oral contraceptive pills (also known as “the pill”) are a widely popular and effective form of birth control. Millions of women in the U.S. rely on birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control states that oral contraception pills are the second most common form of birth control for women in the U.S. age 15-49. The most common reason for taking birth control pills is to prevent pregnancy; however, women can also take birth control pills for other purposes, such as reducing menstrual cramps, regulating menstruation and reducing migraines.
This blog has been updated to reflect the most recent FDA findings and changes in our practice in regard to the Essure procedure.
The Essure procedure is a permanent birth control method developed by an American company called Conceptus. Essure is their main product. During the procedure, tiny flexible coils made out of polyester fibers, nickel-titanium and stainless steel are passed by a small tube called a catheter from the vagina through the cervix and uterus and into the Fallopian tubes (Fallopian tubes are two very thin tubes that lead from the ovaries into the uterus). Once in place, the Essure coils cause tissue growth (scarring), which seals a portion of the Fallopian tubes. This tissue barrier prevents sperm from reaching the ovaries. Essure was the only permanent birth control device made for women that did not require a surgical incision.
Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are one of the most effective forms of contraception from which a woman can choose. In fact, other than tubal ligation (having your tubes tied), there is not a more effective female birth control method than an IUD. In addition, an IUD can provide you with benefits, such as reversibility, long-term effectiveness, fewer side effects than other birth control methods and affordability. However, IUDs do not protect against sexually-transmitted diseases, and the devices can cause complications in very rare cases.
An ectopic pregnancy is any pregnancy where the fertilized egg attaches and begins to grow outside of the uterus or womb. In a normal pregnancy, a fertilized egg develops into a fetus in the lining of the uterus. In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants elsewhere within the female reproductive system. Over 95% of the time, an ectopic pregnancy implants in the fallopian tubes, the tubes that run from the ovaries to the uterus. However, in rare cases, an ectopic pregnancy may occur in the cervix, intra-abdominal area, or another location.
A look back at Essure
It’s been almost 16 years since the Food and Drug Administration approved Essure in late 2002. Back then, Essure was created as an alternative to tubal ligation, a surgical procedure in which a woman’s “tubes are tied” — or, more accurately, clamped and sealed, resulting in sterilization and permanent birth control.
How does Essure work?
Essure implants consist of two tiny, implantable metal coils that are inserted into the fallopian tubes — a pair of tubes along which eggs travel from the ovaries to the uterus. Once inside the fallopian tubes, Essure implants cause scar tissue to gradually form, eventually blocking the tubes and preventing fertilization of a woman’s eggs. While tubal ligation is considered major surgery that requires local, general or spinal anesthesia, Essure involves a simpler procedure that can be done in a doctor’s office, with less anesthesia required.
Once you decide you no longer want to become pregnant, you have several options to choose from when selecting a permanent birth control method. You may choose between non-surgical and surgical solutions, depending on your overall health and condition. Below we discuss the most commonly performed permanent birth control procedures. Read More
We hear it all the time: “My husband doesn’t know who I am,” “I can’t stop yelling at the kids,” “I’m crying all the time,” and “After I get my period, everything’s better.” Almost every woman will experience PMS symptoms in her life. About 70% of women will suffer from headaches, mood swings, bloating and other problems that can affect their relationships and sense of wellbeing. And in about 20% of these women, the symptoms are severe enough to require medical treatment. So if you found your way to this blog in search of PMS relief, you’re not alone.
But what’s a woman to do during those difficult days every month? Read More
October 30, 2014 – Earlier this month, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that the first-line contraceptive choice for sexually active adolescents is a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC). This is a new recommendation for the APP, which is an organization of 62,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. Read More
First, the simplest way we describe these pills to our patients is to call them emergency contraception that prevents pregnancy after unprotected sex. They are not traditional birth control. And they do not cause abortion because they work before a pregnancy occurs.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, fertilization, the union of an egg and a sperm, occurs in the fallopian tube. During the next few days the fused egg and sperm move through the fallopian tube to the lining of the uterus, where it implants as a cluster of cells that will become the fetus and placenta. Emergency contraception pills do not work at this point. Read More
One of the most personal decisions our patients make is the type of birth control they use. Our website describes many of the different options available, including barrier methods, hormonal options and intrauterine devices (IUDs), and we regularly help our patients identify the best birth control choice for their unique body, lifestyle and personal preferences.
What is Nexplanon?
One option that’s becoming increasingly popular is a method called Nexplanon. Many of our patients choose Nexplanon because it is discreet, effective, long-acting and convenient. Nexplanon provides long-term, easily reversible contraception that remains effective as it steadily releases hormones over the course of three years.
Nexplanon comes in the form of a small, flexible plastic rod, about the same shape and size as a cardboard matchstick. This rod is placed just under the skin in the upper arm. This insertion is performed during a brief office procedure by a qualified nurse or physician.