Coil Foils Pregnancy

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of tiny coils to sterilize women. These coils can be placed in a woman's fallopian tubes without an abdominal incision or general anesthesia. Once in place, the coils induce the formation of scar tissue and then permanent infertility. A woman should only opt for this method of birth control if she does not wish to have any children in the future.

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Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D.
Frederick Hecht, M.D.
Medical Editors, MedicineNet.com


FDA APPROVES NEW FEMALE STERILIZATION DEVICE

November 4, 2002 -- The Food and Drug Administration today approved a small metallic implant that is placed into the fallopian tubes of women who wish to be permanently sterilized. Unlike other currently available surgical sterilization procedures for women, placement of the device does not require an incision or general anesthesia.

The product is the Essure System manufactured by Conceptus, Inc., of San Carlos, Calif. FDA expedited review of the product because of its potential benefit to couples seeking alternative means of sterilization.

During the implantation procedure, the physician inserts one of the devices into each of the two fallopian tubes. This is done with a special catheter that is inserted through the vagina into the uterus, and then into the fallopian tube. The device works by inducing scar tissue to form over the implant, blocking the fallopian tube and preventing fertilization of the egg by the sperm.