Most women come to a point in their lives when they know their family is complete.
“Some of my patients say they have always had a ‘magic number’ of children in mind, and when they reach that number, they are done. Other women have less concrete plans, and simply decide they have all the children they want or can handle,” explains Victor Benezra, M.D., FACOG, board-certified OB/GYN with MIMA.
Dr. Benezra explains that when a woman is absolutely sure her family is complete, it is important for her to carefully evaluate what type of birth control method she wants to use going forward. While it is essential for her to be protected from an unplanned pregnancy, it’s also important for her to choose the best form of birth control for her lifestyle. “Unfortunately, many women simply assume that their current birth control is the best fit, when there may be a better solution for them,” he says.
At some point in their lives, most women will use a form of hormonal contraception, such as an oral contraceptive, a patch or ring, or an IUD that contains hormones. “While ‘the pill’ and its counterparts can be a perfectly good solution for some, many women do not want to remain on hormones throughout their 30s and 40s due to blood pressure, heart disease or lifestyle concerns (such as smoking or obesity),” explains Dr. Benezra. “Naturally, the option of vasectomy surgery is entertained, but many men decline or delay the procedure.”
A permanent contraception survey conducted by Harris Interactive in 2011 regarding men and vasectomy reveals interesting findings:
- 44 percent of women who are done having children have asked their partner to have a vasectomy.
- Nearly half (48 percent) of these women describe their husbands as “open” to the idea.
- Among those who have offered/agreed to a vasectomy: 36 percent have been waiting for a year, 16 percent between one-to-two years, 9 percent three-to-five years and 39 percent have been waiting more than five years.
- 28 percent of women think it’s more likely that they will win the lottery than their husbands going through with a vasectomy!
“When evaluating birth control methods, women need to consider how well they will fit into their daily routine,” says Dr. Benezra. “Most temporary birth control methods are only as effective as the user, and unplanned pregnancies are more common than people think. If a woman cannot remember to take a pill at the same time every day, or is inconsistent in using condoms or a diaphragm, she runs the risk of having an unplanned pregnancy.”
While fertility does decline in a woman’s late 30s and 40s, it is important that she be vigilant about practicing proper birth control to avoid an “oops” pregnancy. In fact, nearly half of the pregnancies in women over the age of 40 are unplanned.
TAKING CONTROL OF FERTILITY
“Every woman must make the decision about whether permanent birth control is the right solution for her and her family. For many women, the ability to take control over their fertility and know that they are permanently protected from future pregnancies is very empowering and liberating,” says Ginger Burton, ARNP with MIMA OB/GYN. “Permanent birth control allows them to be more spontaneous with their partners and allows them to focus on their families and their relationships.”
According to Dr. Benezra, the best option for women who are looking for a simple, hormone-free solution is permanent birth control. Most women today, however, associate permanent birth control with tubal ligation, which requires surgery, general anesthesia and recovery time. “I am happy to report that tubal ligations are quickly becoming obsolete because there is a widely available non-surgical method of permanent birth control now available. It’s called Essure, and it can be performed in a doctor’s office in a matter of minutes.”
THE ESSURE PROCEDURE
The Essure procedure uses small inserts to block the fallopian tubes, without cutting, burning or general anesthesia. During the procedure, the fallopian tubes are accessed through the cervix and soft, flexible inserts are placed in each tube. Within three months, the body forms a natural barrier around the inserts which prevents sperm from reaching the egg, so conception will never occur. A woman must continue to use another form of birth control during this time.
Three months after the Essure procedure, a doctor will perform an Essure Confirmation Test to confirm that the tubes are fully blocked and that the woman can rely on Essure for permanent birth control. Having confirmation that the procedure is successful frees a woman from the fear of an unplanned pregnancy and the routine of temporary birth control, so she can relax and enjoy life’s pleasures.
One of the greatest advantages of Essure over other permanent procedures is the quick recovery time. Normally, a woman can resume her regular activities in less than a day, with little or no discomfort.
“Essure is covered by most health insurance plans, and when performed in a physician’s office, the cost for the procedure can be as low as a simple co-pay,” says Dr. Benezra. “It is also 99.9 percent effective, making it the most reliable birth control available.
“My patients have had overwhelmingly positive responses to the Essure procedure. I have been performing these procedures in my office over the years and am happy to report a 100 percent success rate,” he adds.
“I am a busy mom of two kids and I want to be able to focus all my time and energy on my children and not have to worry about an unplanned pregnancy,” says Ana Restrepo, a patient of Dr. Benezra. “I recently had the Essure procedure and I was back at home in no time, caring for my kids and going about my daily routine. Like most moms, I simply do not have the time for the recovery associated with surgery.”
Permanent birth control is a big decision — the procedure cannot be reversed so a woman should be sure her family is complete.
For more information on Essure, call Dr. Benezra at (321) 729-6166, ext. 2229.