Watchdog watch

Ellen Hanrahan, a 36-year-old mother of two, was done having children. To make sure, she had tiny metal coils implanted inside her fallopian tubes, a relatively new form of permanent birth control marketed under the brand name Essure. A year later, Hanrahan began feeling a familiar form of fatigue — one she’d experienced with her previous pregnancies. Incredulous, she took a home pregnancy test. And then another. “I panicked, called my husband and said, ‘We have a problem,’” said Hanrahan, who was, indeed, 10 weeks pregnant. A team of researchers estimated Monday that as many as 9.6 percent of women could become pregnant within 10 years of undergoing hysteroscopic sterilization, or Essure. That is nearly four times the estimated risk after a laparoscopic tubal ligation, the more traditional method. The study, published in the journal Contraception, is the first to compare the effectiveness of the two main choices offered to women who seek a permanent form of birth control. "Overall, sterilization is very effective; the absolute risk of pregnancy is low," said lead author Aileen Gariepy, an assistant professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the Yale School of Medicine. "But if … one method is not as effective, that definitely needs to be part of the decision-making process and not overlooked."