GYNAECOLOGISTS have welcomed news that a new implant may be about to revolutionise sterilisation procedures for women. Currently, permanent birth control measures involve keyhole procedures performed under general anaesthetic and many can have long-lasting side effects. Now, medics have another option, known as the Essure method, which involves no anaesthetic and is similar to a tubal ligation in men involving two tiny spring-like implants.
Martin Farrugia, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Cadogan Clinic in London, said the only downside was that it was irreversible, adding: "We use a hysteroscope, basically a thin telescope that is inserted into the neck of the womb, which allows us to see exactly what's happening. Once the location of each tube is satisfactorily identified, the surgeon presses a button on the hysteroscope which releases the spring. This then lodges permanently in each tube at a depth of about 2cm. The implant contains polyethylene plastic fibres which cause a reaction, known as fibrosis, which gradually blocks the tubes with scar tissue over a period of two to three months."