Today I went into hospital to have my ‘Essure’ sterilisation procedure. I thought that I would write and tell you all about it and what to expect if you’re having it done, I mainly decided to write this after looking myself for stories that weren’t horrifying before going in and I will be honest I really didn’t find any! Please note some of the information in this is taken from the Essure website whilst the rest remains details of my experience. ( Don’t worry it isn’t gross) You can read how I made the decision to get this done HERE .
What exactly is Essure Sterilisation?
Essure is a permanent birth control procedure that works with your body to prevent pregnancy. During the Essure procedure, a soft, flexible insert is placed into each of your fallopian tubes. Over the next three months, a barrier forms around the inserts. During this time you must continue using another form of birth control to prevent pregnancy. This barrier, which is made of scar tissue, helps keep sperm from reaching the eggs so pregnancy cannot occur.
How does it work?
A small Essure insert is permanently placed into each of your fallopian tubes by your doctor. These inserts work with your body to form a natural barrier that keeps sperm from reaching the eggs, preventing pregnancy. It usually takes about three months for the barrier to form. You must use an alternative form of birth control during this time. Three months after your Essure procedure, you will need to have an Essure Confirmation Test to determine if you can rely on Essure for birth control. You must continue to use another form of birth control until your doctor tells you that you can rely on Essure to prevent pregnancy.
I went to bed extremely early last night. The nerves had kicked in and I just figured the sooner I went to bed the sooner it would all be over.
I woke up bright and early at 6am, my appointment was for 9am. Sat had my breakfast and a coffee. There is no restriction on eating or drinking with this procedure so you can carry on as normal. The kids got up at 7am to get ready for school as usual and I jumped into the shower (couldn’t have someone messing down there without being clean could i?). Gareth went to collect his mum to look after the babies and we were good to go.
Time went extremely fast and before I knew it I was nervously climbing into the taxi to make my way to the hospital. I had already been taken through the procedure in my previous appointment so knew what to expect, However this didn’t stop me stupidly watching YouTube videos the night before and reading everyone elses stories.
Gareth came with me for moral support and I’m glad he was sat in the waiting room as it was a welcome distraction. We got to the hospital and headed towards the Women and Children’s centre. It was honestly one of the longest walks in my life. Once we had found where we were supposed to be we were told to sit and wait to be called. The waiting room was literally full of women sat looking as nervous as I felt. One by one the ladies were called to the doctor whilst I sat waiting. It got to 9:30 and I started to think that I would never get called in.
Called to see the surgeon
10am arrived and the doctor finally called my name, I was taken into a side room where the doctor went through a questionnaire with me, explained again the full procedure and asked me about 50 times if I was sure this was what I wanted. He then explained that I was due to be taken into my procedure in 40 minutes. A nurse would supply me with pain relief, then I was free to go for a wonder until it was time to get called. I sat back in the waiting room for around 5 minutes before the nurse called me. She handed me a pot with paracetamol and ibuprofen in it with some water then said I was good to go.
After bumping into friends on the way and stopping for a quick natter. Gareth and I made our way to the cafe where we sat and ate brownies and shortbread ( there goes the diet). I sat there watching the time ticking away on my watch thinking I thought things were supposed to be slow when you were clock watching. Actually the time was flying by and before I knew it I had to go back up to wait to be called.
We sat for a short time before I was called in, it was now or never and at this point I was unbelievably nervous. The nurse showed me into a tiny room where there was a bench full of robes, a chair and a toilet attached to it in like a side room. She explained to me that I was to remove everything from my bottom half, go to the toilet and have a wee, put on the gown and then make my way through the next door in front of me where I was to be greeted by the surgeon and 2 nurses.
They were very welcoming and reassuring, explained to me how to sit on the special bed. It looked like a bed with a piece cut out obviously to make the access easier. I was asked to place my feet in the stirrups and lie back without moving my bottom. She lifted the back of my top up for me to make sure I didn’t get wet.
The surgeon asked if I was ready then began. There was a screen to the side of me so I was able to watch the whole thing from start to finish. He took a large rod with a camera fitted to the end and inserted it through my vagina. There was no anesthetic and the only pain relief I had was the paracetamol and ibuprofen I had been given earlier. This was actually not uncomfortable at all and was definitely no worse than when you have smear test. He then explained to me that he was about to enter it into my womb and it could be uncomfortable.
As the camera rod went through the womb opening the pain began but it wasn’t intense pain just really uncomfortable, like you would get a period pain. He then showed me the inside of my womb which was amazing to see, he searched for my fallopian tubes which is when he discovered that mine were actually further back than normal making it more tricky to see and get to. This meant that he had to wiggle around quite a lot to find it, This was the point where it was painful but again it wasn’t unbearable ( I didn’t swear anyway 😉 ).
Time for the springs
The nurse then explained to me that although the next piece of equipment looked quite scary it was very very tiny in reality about the size of a sewing needle just very very long. I watched as the surgeon pushed the wire through the camera tube then into my tubes. This was crazy to watch you wouldn’t think your tubes were that long. He inserted them first to the awkward tube that was very far back slowly took it back out releasing the spring and I watched as the spring twisted itself into the tube. (I’m not going to lie, I am very into medical stuff so found this amazing to watch).
Then it was time for the other tube again he threaded the long wire in and into the tube , slowly moving it back and releasing the spring. It looked exactly the same as the YouTube videos I had watched before. If you want to see for yourself I found THIS video the best for showing you, despite it being in French its easy to see what happens. It isn’t gory at all.
I was asked to lie still for a little while before attempting to sit up. (This is because a lot of ladies faint during the process) Whilst I lay there I was speaking to the nurses and telling them how ironic it was that I was sat there to prevent pregnancy when I was originally told I would never have children. It is quite bizarre when you think about it. She also had similar issues to myself but managed to conceive :).
I was finally allowed to sit up then asked if I wanted tea or coffee and told I could get dressed and make my way out. Once out they called Gareth over and we sat into a recovery room. I was tender and in quite a bit of pain at this point but still nothing that I couldn’t handle. Childbirth is worse!
After sitting in recovery for around 10 minutes a nurse came across to check I was ok . We were free to leave whenever I felt able. Now I hate hospitals so immediately stood up and made my way out.
I got home and straight into my pjs. The pain at this point was a bit more intense but nothing I couldn’t handle. The best thing for it was sleep so went for a nap.
I had some slight bleeding but nothing major and when I woke up I felt completely fine and I mean completely fine! I just have what I can describe as very mild period pain.Other than that I feel as fit as I did when I walked into the hospital and this is less than 12 hours later.
About an hour or so I had some more pain relief as I was getting a little sore but again just paracetamol and ibuprofen.
Now just to wait for the results in 3 months to see if it has worked or not 🙂