Female sterilization procedure is a permanent way of preventing women from conceiving and acts as a form of birth control and is the most commonly used family planning method used across the globe. It is an out-patient procedure performed in hospitals, clinical or doctor’s office. Complications post procedures are very rare and include bowel or bladder injury, infection, problems related to anesthesia and internal bleeding. Intensive research has been conducted in order to find the most ideal option for birth control. High efficacy, easy accessibility to the procedure, and cultural acceptability are the major criteria for the determination of ideal family planning method. In addition, it is often demanded that the method should be simple, easily learned, quick and should be able to be performed in outpatient setting without anesthesia.
The global female sterilization procedures market can be segmented based on procedure type and geography. Geographically, the global female sterilization procedures market can be categorized into four major regions namely North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World. Procedures are further classified as surgical and non-surgical sterilization. Surgical approach involves cutting (tubal ligation), tying (with clamps, clips or rings) or sealing (with the help of electric current) of the fallopian tubes while non surgical method involves blocking of the fallopian tubes with the help of tiny spring like coils. On non-surgical insertion, these tiny devices evoke formation of scar tissue thus blocking the fallopian tube. The blockage of tubes is confirmed with X-ray after few months. Various procedures include hysteroscopic (no-incision) method, high risk method such as hysterectomy and incision methods comprising laparoscopy, laparotomy and mini-laparotomy.
A hysterescope inserted into the uterus through the vagina and cervix, allows direct visualization of the tubal ostia and endometrial cavity. Hysteroscopic sterilization is found to potentially fulfil majority of the criteria. However, advent of minimally invasive birth control methods such as transcervical sterilization procedures, implantation of intra-uterine devices, sub dermal contraceptives and others has resulted into decline in demand for hysteroscopic sterilization in women. Laparotomy is less commonly used procedure when compared to the commonly used laparoscopy and mini laparotomy. Technological development in the optics, video technology, illumination and instrumentation has extended the scope of laparoscopy in gynecology. Moreover, this procedure allows minimal recovery time, less risk of contracting infection and overall improvement in patient care.
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Increase in the awareness of the device and procedure by direct-to-consumer advertising with the help of radio, internet, TV, and print media may boost the unit sales. Certain drawbacks associated with female sterilization procedures are that these do not provide protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and also possess risk of infection, bleeding and pain. The Essure system by Conceptus, Inc. (a subsidiary of Bayer Healthcare) is a novel method of permanent female sterilization. It can be performed in office setting and involves implantation of a small metallic structure into the fallopian tubes of the patient willing to be permanently sterilized. This implant works by creating a scar tissue over it thus blocking the fallopian tube and preventing egg fertilization. A similar system known as Adiana system developed by Hologic, Inc. was introduced in the market which involved use of silicone implant. However, the Adiana system has been discontinued in the market by the company.
Some of the key players contributing to the global female sterilization procedures market are Conceptus, Inc., Hologic, Inc., Ethicon, Inc., Cooper Surgical, Inc., Boston Scientific Corporation and American Medical Systems.
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