Women don't know about non-surgical permanent birth control, including the Essure procedure which is celebrating its 10 year anniversary at the AAGL 40th Global Congress of Minimally Invasive Gynecology
A recent first-of-its-kind survey of 1,006 mothers in the U.S. showed that more than 75 percent of women reported being done having children, but only 24 percent discussed this decision with their OB/GYNs. Without these important patient-physician conversations taking place, the survey found that women remain largely unaware of their permanent birth control options. In particular, the survey showed low awareness for non-surgical permanent birth control methods like the Essure procedure, which has been available in the U.S. since 2002 and is the most effective form of permanent birth control available.
"I was surprised that so many women who report being done having children are not talking to their healthcare providers about their decision," said Dr. Linda Bradley, President of AAGL and a practicing OB/GYN. "Permanent birth control can be an ideal solution for couples who are content with their families and want to avoid future unplanned pregnancies. However, most women are unaware of permanent options that do not require surgery, revealing a huge opportunity for us, as physicians, to educate our patients."
Patients Don't Know About the Non-Surgical Permanent Birth Control Methods
Nearly 90 percent of women surveyed knew about vasectomy and tubal ligation, as these are typically the first options most couples consider when they are done having children. However, only 12 percent were aware of non-surgical, minimally invasive solutions such as Essure.
"Although non-surgical permanent birth control for women has been available for nearly a decade, I often find female patients are surprised to learn that they don't have to get a tubal ligation or ask their husbands to go for a vasectomy," said Dr. Bradley. "The Essure non-surgical permanent birth control procedure offers women the option of no incisions, no hormones, no general anesthesia and no slowing down to recover."
Women Want Effectiveness, But They're Sticking with the Familiar
Though women surveyed said that effectiveness was one of the most important factors when considering permanent birth control, many women who are done having children are continuing to rely on less effective methods like condoms, which have a 15 percent commercial failure rate, or the Pill, which has an 8 percent commercial failure rate.
In comparison, a 10-year global study being released at the AAGL meeting explores the data of the commercial use of Essure by approximately 500,000 women and tracks closely with Essure's clinical effectiveness rate of 99.8 percent.