A new sterilization device for women is in phase III clinical trials and is anticipated to be available by the end of 2006.
The Adiana transcervical sterilization system is easy, safe and effective according to Dr. Alan Johns of the AAGL (formerly the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists). This device allows nothing to remain in the uterus. It involves the placement of a polymer matrix in the fallopian tubes using radio frequency energy to help with placement. The process is designed to stimulate tissue to growth into the matrix material to block the fallopian tubes.
This device is unique in that it does not involve any incisions and the matrix material is placed by hysteroscopy (by going through the cervix in the uterus to the fallopian tubes). Local anesthesia and IV sedation can be used instead of general anesthesia which involves higher risk. The studies done have shown no device-related adverse effects. Minor events included spotting, cramping and headache. Failure of tubal occlusion is always a possibility as no sterilization procedure is 100%, including tubal ligation.
This sterilization device seems to be safer (no incisions and no general anesthesia), easy to use (average procedure time is 12 minutes) and as effective as other female sterilization techniques (less than 1% failure rate).
Other questions may be whether it is as cost effective and successful in preventing pregnancy as vasectomy. We’ll have to wait and see…