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Contraception. 2013 May;87(5):539-48. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2012.08.006. Epub 2012 Oct 4.

Pregnancies after hysteroscopic sterilization: a systematic review.

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Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA.



Female sterilization is the second most commonly used form of contraception in the United States. Newer approaches to female sterilization, including hysteroscopic methods, have been approved for use in the United States since 2002. Little is known about the occurrence and timing of pregnancies after these procedures.


The objective of this systematic review was to identify evidence that assesses when and how often pregnancies occur following hysteroscopic sterilization. The PubMed database was searched for all studies published from database inception through March 2012 that reported whether or not pregnancies occurred following hysteroscopic sterilization.


Twenty-four original research articles of fair quality met the inclusion criteria: 22 studies of women who underwent Essure® placement and 2 studies of women who underwent Adiana® placement. Eleven articles that documented bilateral tubal occlusion with hysterosalpingogram (HSG) or placement with X-ray or ultrasound following Essure® placement did not report any pregnancies with follow-up ranging from 7 months to 7 years. The remaining 11 articles identified 102 reported pregnancies. Eighteen of these pregnancies occurred prior to the 3-month period required before imaging for contraceptive reliability. Two articles did not report what follow-up imaging was performed among women after Essure® placement; one of these articles reported three pregnancies. Two reports from the same study of women who underwent Adiana® placement reported six pregnancies during the first year of follow-up, three pregnancies during the second year of follow-up and no pregnancies during the third year of follow-up.


Fair-quality evidence suggests that among women who were followed beyond 3 months after hysteroscopic sterilization, pregnancies were rare and generally occurred among women who had no imaging follow-up or had inadequate confirmation of placement or occlusion. Few pregnancies occurred in women with documented bilateral tubal occlusion by HSG or correct placement at 3 months by ultrasound or X-ray. Only one study reported follow-up past 5 years. Further studies are needed to address the long-term effectiveness of hysteroscopic sterilization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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