The Faculty of Sexual Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) would like to express their disappointment at the recent announcement that a reliable form of contraception, Essure®, is to be discontinued.
Essure® is a form of permanent female sterilisation which involves the hysteroscopic insertion of flexible micro-inserts into the proximal section of the fallopian tubes and is undertaken without general anaesthesia.
The FSRH and RCOG would like to reassure women that this is a commercial rather than a clinical decision and it does not represent any risks for women already using Essure®. However, withdrawal of any type of contraception from the market means a decrease in choice of contraceptive methods for women. It is of note that hysteroscopic sterilisation with Essure® increases contraceptive choice and offers an alternative to surgical sterilisation, particularly for women with contraindications to surgery. However, other highly-effective options are available for women, such as long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs).
Dr Asha Kasliwal, FSRH president, said:
“It is very important that women are informed about the benefits of all contraceptive options, including highly-effective long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC). LARCs present a number of features which make them a more effective form of contraception for women.
In particular, LARCs do not rely on consistent and correct use by individuals and it is notable that the percentage of women experiencing unintended pregnancies in the first year of LARCs use is much smaller in comparison to most other forms of contraception.
The copper IUD, progestogen-only intrauterine system (IUS), progestogen-only injectable contraceptives and progestogen-only subdermal implants represent great options available for women considering other methods of contraception.”
Read the statement in full below.