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Courtesy of the Most Ironic Mailing List

After returning from a session of for-the-love-everyone-in-this-room-has-a-spanking-new-baby-attached-to-their-chest-in-a-baby-bjorn-but-me, Josh handed me a flyer that came in the mail that day addressed to me (not to “current resident” as our flyers usually come, but addressed to me as if someone at the Most Ironic Mailing List Corporation was chuckling as they plugged in my name).

you may have to click to enlarge and read

Thank you, Essure, for sending an openly infertile woman information on permanent birth control she definitely doesn’t need.

Um…this is precisely why organizations shouldn’t sell their mailing lists (er…a huge thank you to whomever gave my information to a sterilization business).

And a side admonishment: seriously, according to their website, insurance carriers cover Essure, which essentially is sterilization by causing scarring within the fallopian tubes (with the success tested three months after the sterilization with an HSG).  So insurance companies will pay for people to become permanently infertile, but they won’t pay for people to treat their infertility.


1 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 04.18.10 at 9:37 am }

I’m sure the insurance company also won’t pay for reversal of the procedure.

Maybe the sterilization hawkers wanted some free advertising on Stirrup Queens, in the spirit of “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

2 queenie { 04.18.10 at 9:40 am }

I’m so sorry that came your way. It’s totally asinine on the insurance front. The thing I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around is why? I used to think it was because middle aged white guys were making all of the decisions. But now, I see that infertility affects men, too. They are suffering alongside their partners. So why is it that infertility isn’t covered? When they are the decisionmakers on these things, are men who have suffered through infertility just not stepping up and being heard? I don’t know the answer.

3 Reba { 04.18.10 at 9:41 am }

it is pretty ridiculous that they’ll pay for this procedure but not fertility treatments. on the other hand, they’re probably thinking it’s better to give single women who can’t afford more children, and of course invariably have 4 or 5 of them, an option to avoid more babies on welfare.

i get offended watching the new mirena ad on tv (a woman saying “two is enough…maybe!” while watching her boy and girl destroy her house in mute) and it isn’t even addressed to me. a flyer would probably send me in to a little fit.

4 Heather { 04.18.10 at 10:00 am }

You should send it back to the company and suggest a link to your book/blog. Asshats.

5 N { 04.18.10 at 10:14 am }

I was wondering how the hell they did it, but could never bring myself to research it and find out. Oy. *hugs*

6 Genevieve { 04.18.10 at 10:24 am }

That would have sent me either into a fit of tears or hysterical laughter. Freakin mailing lists. (((HUGS)))

7 Kristin { 04.18.10 at 10:38 am }

What a fucked up thing to get in the mail. I’m sorry sweetie.

8 Heather { 04.18.10 at 10:49 am }

I agree, send it back!!!

9 caitsmom { 04.18.10 at 11:00 am }


10 Nichole { 04.18.10 at 11:05 am }

I absolutely HATE ESSURE!!! They have completely taken over every radio station with their annoying commercials and are all over the TV.

It infuriates me beyond belief that insurance pays for this. It makes absolutely no sense.

11 Blanche { 04.18.10 at 11:10 am }

That sound you just heard – that was my head exploding.

12 Meghan { 04.18.10 at 11:54 am }

Uggg. That is ridiculous. I too always wondered how it was done but didn’t have the guts to go to their website. And insurance covers it…WTF?

13 TeamWinks { 04.18.10 at 2:29 pm }

I’m not even going to go there. $#@^%@%$^@!

14 devon { 04.18.10 at 2:40 pm }

That commercial always makes me cringe!
And wow I didn’t know insurance covered it-Cringing again now!

15 Pie { 04.18.10 at 3:49 pm }

I wrote a blog post about the Essure commercials a few weeks back – they drive me nuts! And every time I see that ad, I and my DH yell at the TV. “Do you worry about becoming pregnant?” NO! NO I don’t!

I damn well better not get something in the mail from them. Grrrrr.

16 jesspond { 04.18.10 at 3:50 pm }

I mean come ON. That just reads “wah wah wah…what would I do if I can’t figure out how to do bcp and a backup? WAH!”

*eye roll*

17 Sue { 04.18.10 at 4:23 pm }

When I went in to have someone check on my lap incision a few years ago (the lap I had for endo and and 12 mos IF) the doctor on call, who had never treated me took a look and said, “ah, follow up for your tubal ligation?”

18 IF Crossroads { 04.18.10 at 5:21 pm }

I got the same mailing yesterday. And I spent about 20 minutes yelling and screaming at the injustice of it all. It makes me IRATE that my insurance covers Essure with a copay but covers jack shit in the way of Infertility treatments or meds.

19 Bea { 04.18.10 at 5:31 pm }

It makes economic sense for the insurance companies to cover this, so that I understand. (Although it would make economic sense for them to cover infertility treatment, but I guess that’s too political for them in the US?) I’m not sure why anybody thinks it’s a good idea to send out this type of ad to a wide mailing list.


20 K { 04.18.10 at 5:36 pm }

So let me get this right, wanting kids is a lifestyle choice so not covered by insurance, but NOT wanting kids is not a lifestyle choice, its medically necessary.

Okay. Got it.


21 Ceejay { 04.18.10 at 6:07 pm }

My insurance, which covers absolutely zilch when it comes to infertility (not even the appointment with the RE), does cover abortions. No matter how you feel about abortion, that’s incredibly unfair and wrong in so many ways. It makes me want to throw up every time I read that line in the fine print of our insurance–that “pregnancy termination” is covered. The ugly truth of the matter is that they save money by keeping us from adding dependents to our insurance.

22 mrs spock { 04.18.10 at 7:59 pm }

Dear Essure,

Thanks, but Mother Nature already beat you to the punch.

23 Amy { 04.18.10 at 9:02 pm }

When I went in to have someone check on my lap incision a few years ago (the lap I had for endo and and 12 mos IF) the doctor on call, who had never treated me took a look and said, “ah, follow up for your tubal ligation?”

24 Meghan { 04.18.10 at 9:13 pm }

It’s like the time I got two sample cans of Enfamil in the mail three days after a miscarriage. Blows your mind. I loved it when, at my 6 week postpartum appt after a baby it took 5 years to have, my doctor asked me what kind of birth control I wanted to use. After I stopped laughing at you, I said “Nature. Thanks.” Sorry you got wrecked by the mail–these people are all over the airwaves, and it’s just….too much. I can’t even GO to the insurance thing. Sigh.

25 Geochick { 04.18.10 at 10:20 pm }

The radio commercials for this procedure are currently driving me insane. I’m sorry you got bombarded by a stupid flier mailed to your address. *side rant* In one of the commercials, the wife tells that husband that he’s “of the hook” for a vase.ctomy. Come on – that’s outpatient and no big deal, why are the guys always let off the hook for this stuff? Yeah, permanent scarring of the fallopian tubes (not reversible) is way better than a simple outpatient snip.

26 Ashley { 04.18.10 at 10:34 pm }

Fascinating post on the insurance coverage of infertility-causing Essure, but not fertility treatments.

27 Calliope { 04.18.10 at 10:46 pm }

if only women ruled the world…
(seriously- getting that in the mail would have me crying for days. just the left fieldness of it all…sigh. hope you are ok.)

28 Mina { 04.19.10 at 2:34 am }

Oh, Mel, I am so sorry. I can’t begin to imagine what went through your mind reading that.
Insurance is surely daft, on various levels. The insurance I had before the current one did cover 100% Viag.ra (it is heart medicine, right), but they did not cover anything related to dental implant (dental hygiene is so overrated, isn’t it). It does not compare to IF being not covered, but I do wonder what are the insurance people thinking when writing these rules?

29 S.I.F. { 04.19.10 at 2:56 am }

Lovely. UGGGG. I’m so sorry Mel. That is just annoying.

30 Suzanne { 04.19.10 at 8:47 am }

I got one of those flyers in the mail too! It just drove me crazy!

31 Kir { 04.19.10 at 9:30 am }

I just threw up a little in my mouth…that is seriously …just…sad…and bad and oh it makes me so angry.

life is so unfair to me lately. This is just one more example of that. ICK!

32 Miriam { 04.19.10 at 12:02 pm }

The insurance probably also covers the HSG, too. For mine they said they did but later said it was IF treatment and declined it.

33 Miss Tori { 04.19.10 at 12:59 pm }

Mel, I’m sorry that you got this flyer in the mail. Makes ya wonder, huh?

Regarding the coverage of sterilization procedures by insurance. What I’m about to say will not be popular, but I am just the messenger here. Most insurance companies will cover tubal ligations and vasectomies, as around 85-90% of their insureds have a need for this at some point in their life, thus they will cover it. Is it fair? No. But is it the way it currently is? Yes. Does it make it suck any less? No.

34 a { 04.19.10 at 1:03 pm }

I swear – I don’t understand why insurance companies don’t cover infertility treatments. You would think they would want to create as many new customers as possible.

35 Another Dreamer { 04.19.10 at 1:54 pm }

I agree send it back.

And of course, insurance companies are backward. Most companies these days seem to be… it feels like everyone is out for themselves, and who cares about the community (or country) as a whole. It irritates me.

36 Flying Monkeys { 04.19.10 at 2:00 pm }

Hm. I’ve been getting diaper and formula samples in the mail out of the blue. My husband asked if I pissed anyone off on the interwebs and they put me on some mailing lists. I actually wondered for a minute if I had, but who would I have pissed off enough to be that much of a jackass?
I wonder what would happen if REs started sending out fliers like that. Do you think people would realize it’s more common than they think?
Sorry for the crappy flier.

37 Rocksgal { 04.19.10 at 3:17 pm }

Well, insurance will pay for it since sterilizing one woman costs them a lot less than paying for children she might have. Although, following this idea, why don’t they pay for the pill? Back before I knew I was infertile, I took that little pill religiously, and they wouldn’t pay for it.

I need to take my cynical hat off now.. 🙂

38 Alexicographer { 04.19.10 at 3:19 pm }

Oh, Mel, I’m sorry. Yes, insurance absolutely did pay for my DH’s vasectomy many, many years ago and absolutely did not cover the reversal or the IVFs that we needed as a result of the reversal’s failure.

39 Michelle { 04.19.10 at 6:53 pm }

I agree send it back.

And of course, insurance companies are backward. Most companies these days seem to be… it feels like everyone is out for themselves, and who cares about the community (or country) as a whole. It irritates me.

40 ocean dreamer { 04.20.10 at 10:40 am }

Ugh, how awful. And wtf with the insurance companies. Idiots.

Thanks for all you do with this blog and everything, btw. I’ve been reading for a little while, but think this is my first post. I also just got your book and am *loving* it. What a wonderful source of information and companionship as I head into IVF myself.

41 kimbosue { 04.20.10 at 12:21 pm }


42 KLTTX { 04.20.10 at 3:28 pm }

I received the same mailer and couldn’t help but laugh.

43 Marion { 04.21.10 at 2:57 am }

I can’t believe it! I think I would have phoned the company and given them a piece of my mind! I agree that it totally sucks that infertility is not covered by insurance!

44 Lisa { 04.21.10 at 4:35 am }

Sterilization is the last thing you, I and all other IF’s need, of course. I’ve never heard of Essure, but you can be sure that many people will hear of it once the April ICLW is finished. They messed with the wrong woman’s mind!

When I was turned down for coverage of my IVF, practically no one offered insurance coverage for fertility treatment. As much as I know that the system stinks (and their bureaucrats pulling the strings stink even more), I feel grateful that many women are now covered under better policies than I was in the dark ages of 2002. In the UK, the government does provide free IVF, etc… for many women, although within fairly tight criteria, which did not include me (age, already a mother). The annoying thing is the sense that they treat women’s health issues in general, as if its all by choice, rather than need. No! Fertility treatment for a woman of 39, who had had 4 miscarriages and 3 years of secondary infertility, was not equivalent to a face lift or any other cosmetic procedure.

I’d better leave it at that, because my blood pressure is rising. Thumbs down to Essure.

45 April { 04.21.10 at 10:12 am }

I haven’t gotten one from them, but Enfamil and Similac send me samples and flyers all the time. Each time it’s a nice punch to the gut too.

46 Battynurse { 04.23.10 at 11:45 pm }

Ugg. That sucks.

47 -K { 04.24.10 at 8:02 pm }

Good news is that because I only have one fallopian tube I get 50% off a tubal ligation should I ever feel the need to forget that I’m infertile. My doc’s sense of humor is often misunderstood.

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