Implanon is a form of hormonal contraceptive that consists of a small, thin plastic sub-dermal implant that is inserted into the under-arm of a woman by a trained clinician. Once inserted, the implant can prevent pregnancies for up to three years without having to be changed or replaced. Implanon is very effective as it involves little room for user error. There is no pill to forget to take, or patch or ring to forget to change. Once the Implanon has been placed it starts working and does not require anything else from the user. Implanon can be easily removed, however, should the user decide they would like to become pregnant.
- How Does Implanon Work?
- How Effective Is Implanon?
- How Do I Get It?
- Is Implanon the Right Method for Me?
- Does Impanon Prevent STDs Too?
- Are There Any Side Effects Associated With This Method?
How Does Implanon Work?
Implanon contains progestin which is a synthetic version of a hormone that your body produces naturally. When Implanon implants are inserted into the underarm it begins to release small amounts of progestin into the blood stream. The hormone acts to prevent pregnancy by preventing ovulation and by thickening the cervical mucus, which can prevent sperm from entering the uterus, and by thinning the uterine lining.
How Effective Is Implanon?
Implanon is considered one of the most effective (99%) birth control options available. The mechanisms of pregnancy prevention employed by Implanon are similar to other hormonal birth control options but since implanon requires the user to do little after insertion there is very little room for user error making the device more effective. There is no pill to forget to take, no patch or ring to forget to replace. Once the implant has been inserted it starts working and will continue to work for up to three years.
How Do I Get It?
To get Implanon you must make an appointment with a trained clinician. To find a properly trained clinician near you visit Implanon’s website and use their Find a Healthcare Provider page to find a clinic near you.
Is Implanon the Right Method for Me?
Implanon is a long term birth control method. If you think you would like to become pregnant sometime in the next three years you may want to choose a different method. Also, Implanon is injected into the skin and may cause scaring. On rare occasions improper insertion of implanon may result in surgical removal.
Your health care provider can help you decide if Implanon is right for you.
Does Implanon Prevent STDs Too?
Implanon is great for preventing unintended pregnancies but it offers NO PROTECTION against sexually transmitted diseases! If you are at risk for contracting STDs, you will need to take the necessary precautions to avoid them as well as pregnancy. To learn more about STDs and how to prevent them click HERE
Are There Any Side Effects Associated With This Method?
The Implanon rod is inserted under the skin in the upper arm, and it is possible for the implant to be placed improperly (too deep or too shallow). If this happens the device may not work properly and if placed too deep, the implant may be difficult to remove and may require surgery. After placement, you should be able to feel the implant with your fingers under the layer of skin. If you cannot locate the implant you need to return to your health care provider. There may also be an increase in swelling, tenderness or scaring at the injection site.
Some women experience weight gain while using Implanon. This is caused by an increase in appetite and can be avoided through proper diet and adequate exercise.
A common side effect of Implanon is a change in the normal menstrual pattern. Some women may have irregular periods or spotting, frequent bleeding or spotting, or no periods at all. A return to a normal menstrual pattern will return when the Implanon implant is removed.
Some women have experienced an increase in headaches, ovarian cysts, and mood swings. If these occur, you should contact your health provider.
If you experience severe abdominal pain, chest pain, shortness of breath, severe headache, blurred vision, or swelling or severe pain in one leg, seek medical care immediately.