Essure and Surrogacy, can I Make it Work?

If you’re looking into becoming a surrogate, you’ve likely done a lot of research. You know about the medical procedure and the legal contracts. You have likely looked into the compensation options. But you may not know one thing that could possibly disqualify you: Essure.

What is Essure?

Essure is a form of permanent birth control. Instead of using hormones or incisions, they insert two small coils into the fallopian tubes. After the coils are in place, the body naturally develops scar tissue around the coils. The tissue then builds up until it completely blocks the fallopian tubes.  This procedure could possibly complicate your chances of becoming a surrogate. This is because Essure (and similar procedures) have a possibility of poking through the embryonic sac to puncture it. Therefore, someone who has undergone Essure would likely be unable to become a surrogate.  

What do Fertility Specialists Say?

While researching what fertility specialists have had to say, we came upon the words of Dr. Collin Smikle, of Laurel Fertility Care

“The reason that Essure was used in the first place for contraception is that it is very effective in blocking the portion of the tubes as they leave the endometrial cavity. During the insertion, a tail is left that trails into the cavity and acts as a wick for the granulation tissue to generate and close the proximal portion of the tube.  This tail persists after the granulation is complete and can be seen for years afterward.  Patients who have gotten pregnant with the device may have premature rupture of the membranes or early loss due to the string.   

Therefore, it isn’t that someone with the Essure device can’t be a surrogate. However, it does mean that she may need to undergo a procedure to make sure that there isn’t any tail protruding into the cavity to cause any disruption of implantation.  Many programs would rather not tolerate the risk so would not select a surrogate with one in.”

There is Hope

As with many things, there are sometimes ways around things and of course, each agency has different qualifying points.   Your doctor may remove all Essure “tails” in order to ensure the coils will not interfere with a developing fetus.  Depending on the situation and the qualifying points of the agency, this may be a suitable answer. Furthermore, if you do not yet have a permanent form of birth control and want to leave your options open regarding future surrogacy, you should probably avoid having Essure coils placed.  Talk to your doctor and look into other options such as tubal procedure instead.

All of this to say, the dangers of becoming a surrogate for someone after having had the Essure procedure usually far outweigh the benefits.   So a possible intended parent would likely choose the option to simply go with another surrogate.  

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