Here’s to the second entry of my new series: Contraception 101 where I discuss different contraception methods with their pro’s and con’s.
The previous entry: The Contraceptive Patch
What is the Implant?
The contraceptive implant is a plastic rod roughly the same size as a match stick that’s placed under the skin of the upper arm. It’s considered to be a LARC which stands for long-acting reversible contraception.
How does the Implant work?
The implant works by releasing the hormone progestin in small doses into the bloodstream. This then prevents the ovaries from releasing any eggs whilst thickening the cervical mucus making it harder for the sperm to fertilise an egg.
How long does it last for?
The implant named ‘Nexplanon’ lasts for 3 years after that there will be no more hormone left to be released into the bloodstream, it will then need to be removed.
How efficient is it?
The implant is considered to be over 99% effective, therefore making it the most effective method available.
When used over a 3 year period, less than one implant user out of every thousand will become unexpectantly pregnant.
How is the Implant inserted?
The implant has to be inserted by a trained healthcare professional, this could be at your local GP surgery or a sexual health clinic.
The doctor/nurse will use a local anesthetic to numb a small area of your inner upper arm, the implant will then be inserted just under the surface with a special needle. The whole procedure only takes a matter of minuites, once it’s complete it’s normal for the area to feel tender and bruise.
How is the Implant removed?
The implant also has to be removed by a trained healthcare professional.
The doctor/nurse will start by using a local anesthetic to numb the area where the implant sits. A small insition is made in the arm and the implant is gently pulled out.
- It can be removed
- It’s a long-lasting method
- Reduces heavy/ painful periods
- Easy to hide
- It can be used when breastfeeding from 6 weeks after birth
- A good option for those who can’t use estrogen contraception
- Doesn’t interrupt sex
- Fertility is back to normal on removal
- A trained healthcare professional is needed for insertion and removal
- Initially changed bleeding patterns
- Weight gain
- No STI/HIV protection
- Can experience side effects such as headaches, nausea, acne, breast pain, and mood swings
Have you tried the Implant?