New form of birth control at hospital

From left, Dr Suzie Peatman and nurse hysteroscopist Chris Coates with patient Nicola Pearson. (S)
From left, Dr Suzie Peatman and nurse hysteroscopist Chris Coates with patient Nicola Pearson. (S)

A GROUNDBREAKING new service for couples looking for a permanent method of birth control is soon to be provided at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton.

The Essure permanent birth control system, manufactured by Conceptus, is a minimally invasive technique designed to provide a non-surgical alternative for women seeking sterilisation which involves no anaesthesia, no cutting and just a simple, on average 10-minute process.

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is planning to run two consultant led outpatient clinics a month at the Friarage and currently has more than 25 women waiting for the new procedure.

The quick and convenient method of female sterilisation is 99.83 per cent effective based on five years of follow-up with zero pregnancies reported in clinical trials.

Before Essure, women opting for sterilisation would need a day-case admission for an operation to have their “tubes tied”.

A doctor uses a hysteroscope – a narrow telescope – to insert two soft and flexible inserts into each fallopian tube and tissue develops around the inserts closing the fallopian tubes.

A confirmation test is taken three months after the procedure to confirm the device is in the correct position and been successfully implanted.

During this time, couples must continue to use alternative methods of contraception.

Dr Suzie Peatman, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, said: “We are delighted to be offering this service at the Friarage for local women.

“I think it’s very important that women make choices for themselves and we finally have a technique comparable in simplicity, accessibility, and safety to vasectomy in men.

“The procedure is undertaken as an outpatient procedure, meaning women can resume their normal activities quickly.”

Nicola Pearson was the first patient to have the procedure at the Friarage.

Following the birth of son, Noah, Nicola, 37, had heart and other medical problems leaving her at high risk for a general anaesthetic procedure.

She decided she did not want any more babies as it would be too dangerous for her and the Essure procedure was the perfect solution for her.

She said: “The whole experience has been very positive for me. The treatment was very quick and convenient, though a little embarrassing.

“I am glad I did not have to have surgery and it only took an hour from start to finish and I was home again.

“With my health problems it was the most suitable treatment for me and I was soon back to normal. I would recommend it.”