How Does No-Scalpel Vasectomy for Men Compare to Essure Tubal Procedure for Women

by Alex Shteynshlyuger MD

If you have any questions, to schedule a consultation or if you need a second opinion, please contact us or call (646) 663-5922

We offer weekday, weekend and evening office hours.

Dr. Alex Shteynshlyuger is an experienced vasectomy specialist who performs no-scalpel vasectomy with minimal discomfort for adult men who do not desire children and seek an effective permanent contraceptive option.

 No-Scalpel Vasectomy vs Essure Tubal Device

Essure vs VasectomyNo-scalpel vasectomy and Essure are two options for permanent birth control, also known as sterilization.  While both procedures offer protection against unwanted pregnancy, they do have some important differences. 

At New York Urology Specialists, our board-certified physicians can assist you in exploring your permanent birth control options.

What is Essure?

Essure is a permanent birth control option for women.  In this procedure, the physician inserts two metal coils through the vagina and cervix and into the fallopian tubes, which are the tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus.  The procedure is performed using a hysteroscope, or a flexible tube with a small camera.

Essure can be a good option for women who are certain that they do not want to have any more children, but it isn’t right for everyone.  Women who may be pregnant, are allergic to contrast dye, are unsure about ending their fertility, have only one fallopian tube or have fallopian tube disease or obstruction, or those who have had their tubes tied are not good candidates for Essure.  Additionally, Essure may not be appropriate for women who are allergic to nickel or those who have recently been pregnant or had a pelvic infection.

How does Essure work?

About three months after the Essure inserts are placed, scar tissue begins to form that blocks sperm from reaching the eggs, preventing pregnancy.

How does Essure Compare to Vasectomy?

While Essure is a permanent birth control option for women, vasectomy is a permanent birth control option for men.  In a no-scalpel vasectomy, a tool called a hemostat is used to create a small opening in the scrotum.  The tube that carries sperm out of the testicle is then cut and sealed.  After a vasectomy, sperm is unable to enter the semen, which prevents pregnancy.

It takes about 3 months for both Essure and vasectomy to become fully effective, so another form of birth control should be used during this time period.  After 3 months, a confirmation test is performed to ensure that the procedure was successful.  For vasectomy, this involves analyzing a semen sample to see if it contains sperm.  Women who have had Essure will need to return to their physician’s office for a transvaginal ultrasound and/or x-ray.  The confirmation test is mandatory because it can take longer than 3 months for scar tissue to form around the Essure device.  In that case, another confirmation test will need to be performed at the 6-month mark.

Both Essure and vasectomy can be performed in a doctor’s office using local anesthesia. No-scalpel vasectomy has been performed for more than 30 years, and the procedure has a good track record of safety and success.  Essure is a newer procedure and while it is safe for many women, some women have experienced significant complications that have led the FDA to issue a safety warning about the device.  Additionally, studies suggest that Essure placement has a 96-97% success rate.  This means that the Essure device cannot be properly placed in 3-4% of women.

The highly regarded urologists at New York Urology Specialists have more than ten years of experience performing a no-scalpel vasectomy.

Pain During Vasectomy vs Essure procedure

Most patients report that pain is minimal with both Essure and no-scalpel vasectomy.  In fact, patients undergoing no-scalpel vasectomy at New York Urology Specialists usually rank their pain around 2 to 3 on a scale of 10—very manageable (1 being no pain; 10 being ‘worst pain of your life”). Women who have had the Essure procedure compare the pain to a menstrual period, 9.3% of women experience mild to moderate pain during the procedure.

Procedure Length: Vasectomy vs Essure

No-scalpel vasectomy and Essure are very short procedures that can be performed in a clinic or doctor’s office, usually in 30 minutes or less.  We are pleased to offer no-scalpel vasectomy in our convenient, state-of-the-art offices located in midtown Manhattan.

Anesthesia for Essure vs Vasectomy

General anesthesia isn’t necessary with Essure or no-scalpel vasectomy.  Instead, local anesthesia (numbing just one part of the body) can be used.  At New York Urology Specialists, we offer no-needle, no-scalpel vasectomy.  This means that our board-certified urologists use a special device to deliver a high-pressure stream of anesthetic to the area.  Our patients are extremely satisfied with the level of pain control and quick recovery time that the no-needle, no-scalpel procedure offers.

Recovery after Vasectomy Vs Essure

Recovery time is quick with no-scalpel vasectomy.  Most of our patients are able to return to work about 2 to 3 days after their vasectomy.  Similarly, most women are able to resume normal activities within a couple of days of the Essure procedure.

Risks of Vasectomy vs Essure Risks

Although serious complications with Essure are rare, they can occur.  These include persistent pain, perforation of the reproductive organs, migration of the Essure device into other body parts, and abnormal bleeding.  There are also some common side effects that can occur after the Essure placement procedure.  In one study, 12.9% of women experienced mild to moderate pain following the procedure; 29.6% experienced cramping, 6.8% had vaginal bleeding, and 10.8% experienced nausea and vomiting.  The safety of Essure has only been established for women 21-45 years of age.  It is unknown whether Essure is safe for women who are younger or older than this.

Over the past several years, the FDA has received a number of complaints from women who have experienced serious complications with the Essure device.  Some of these women have even had the Essure device surgically removed due to painful side effects.  The FDA is now investigating the safety of Essure. They’ve issued a “black box” label for the device, which is the strongest safety warning that a medical product can receive.  

No-scalpel vasectomy is a very safe procedure that has been performed for more than 30 years.  Studies confirm the safety of no-scalpel vasectomy and show that the procedure has a low rate of complications.  However, some complications that may occur include bleeding, infection, pain, or sperm granuloma (a small lump caused by leaking sperm).  Most of these complications occur in less than 1-3% of patients and are transient.

Reversibility of Vasectomy Vs Essure

Both no-scalpel vasectomy and Essure are intended to be permanent forms of birth control, so you should only consider these procedures if you’re certain that you don’t want to have children in the future.  However, reversal of these procedures can be performed in many cases.  Essure reversal can be complicated and requires abdominal surgery, while reversal of vasectomy is typically less involved and less risky.  The board-certified physicians at New York Urology Specialists take a personalized approach to patient care and can help you decide on your best option.

Success Rate of Vasectomy and Essure

No-scalpel vasectomy and Essure are each considered over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.   In about 2-5% of women, Essure device cannot be positioned correctly and they require a different approach.

Patient Satisfaction of Vasectomy compared to Essure

Most patients are very satisfied with their no-scalpel vasectomy and Essure procedures.  Our no-scalpel vasectomy patients report that they are extremely pleased with the results of their procedure and with the world-class care they received at New York Urology Specialists.  Some women who undergo Essure develop significant complications which are currently being reviewed by the FDA.

If you have any questions, to schedule a no-scalpel consultation in NYC or if you need a second opinion, please contact us or call (646) 663-5922

Dr. Alex Shteynshlyuger is an experienced vasectomy specialist who performs no-scalpel vasectomy with minimal discomfort for adult men who do not desire children and seek an effective permanent contraceptive option.  Our patients come from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Westchester, NJ and LI for no-scalpel vasectomy in the office setting under local anesthesia.