Essure is a form of permanent contraception for wimps. In simple terms, they bung a couple of medical-grade plugs into your fallopian tubes to stop the eggs getting out. This seriously beats any of that cutting and burning business for someone as squeamish as me.
I am finding it particularly interesting that I remember reading about this when I was 25 and it was first available... I was sure in Australia, but that didn't make sense (why Australia first and not the US or Canada?). I know for a fact that I commented in livejournal that by the time it'd be available in the UK, I'd be 30, and thus able to get sterilised easily - though I can't remember in whose journal I posted that comment. Now I am 31, looking at the FAQ on the .co.uk site, and seeing references to it being launched commercially in Australia in February 2001, meaning I remembered it perfectly :D
Now I only hope that I'm not allergic to nickel. Making an appointment with my GP tomorrow to talk about this. Of course, I won't get to see him until Christmas, but that's better than booking an appointment with a random other GP who doesn't know my history. (No, I can't use hormonal contraception, it might make me psychotic, thank you.) Keep your fingers crossed!