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Permanent, Non-Surgical Birth Control Method Growing in Popularity

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DURHAM, N.C. — Permanent birth control is a popular idea for many women -- especially those who are finished having children.

For those who do not like the idea of surgery, there is a new option that is becoming quite popular in the Triangle.

Durham Regional, WakeMed and Rex hospitals are among those offering a new non-surgical alternative to women having their tubes tied.

Tina Albright, a 36-year-old mother of two is finished having children, but says she did not want to go through another surgery.

"I had had two C-sections and I didn't want to go through that again," she said.

Her doctor suggested


, a non-surgical alternative.

During the procedure, doctors place a small, flexible coil into each fallopian tube. Once in place, the coil expands blocking the fallopian tubes and preventing fertilization.

"The body's natural reaction is to cause the tubes to grow shut over a period of approximately three months," said Dr. Paul Andrews of Durham Regional Hospital.

Studies show Essure is about 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. Andrews uses it on many of his patients. He says most are just like Albright.

"I would say the average patient is someone in her mid to late 30s or early 40s who has two or three children at home and is certain that she would like a permanent method," he said.

Albright is happy with her decision, but says it is a decision women need to be sure about.

"I think the person needs to be sure, the family needs to be sure that they are finished having their children," she said.

The procedure is considered irreversible, so a woman really needs to be sure before having the procedure. No method of birth control or surgery is 100 percent effective. It is rare, but sometimes pregnancies do occur.


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