New warnings on Essure permanent birth control are scary

Jun 29, 2015 at 7:32 p.m. ET
Image: Photo Alta/Eric Audras/Getty Images

Permanent birth control exists specifically to end worries over accidental pregnancies. It is supposed to give women a big sigh of relief. Unfortunately, the FDA is currently reviewing Essure for some scary additional side effects to the coiled springs that act to permanently block a woman's fallopian tubes. It might not be as great after all.

Essure works by sending the coil-like device into the fallopian tubes via implantation. Eventually, tissue grows over it and blocks sperm from reaching a woman's eggs. It's been around for 13 years. Now federal health regulators are reviewing the safety after hearing from patients that it caused fatigue, depression and weight gain.

The Food and Drug Administration still says they are not 100 percent sure those are side effects, but are having a special meeting, which causes some concern. The truth is, it sometimes seems like there is no good birth control.

More: New documentary explores scary side of hormonal birth control

After years of trial and error and trying just about everything under the sun, I am very pleased with my Paragard IUD. There are no hormones and it lasts for a good five to 10 years. I had one after my second pregnancy and took it out five years later to try for baby number three, and was pregnant again quickly. I got a new one after number three was born and have happily not been pregnant and never had anything to worry about.

But I also know I will still be fertile in 10 years when it has to be removed and then what? As I have told my husband, that's the time he needs to take one for the team. Permanent birth control should be the domain of the man. Women spend our whole lives worrying about birth control, so it's on the man to take that final step. It's less invasive and ultimately less risk than it is for the woman.

More: What birth control is right for you?

This Essure news only makes that more clear. When it comes to ending fertility, it's a vasectomy for the win.

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