Table Of Contents
- What is a Birth Control Implant?
- How Does an Implant Prevent Pregnancy?
- What Are the Benefits?
- What Are the Disadvantages?
- How Effective is an Implant?
- How Safe is it?
- How do I get it Inserted and Removed?
- Cost of an Insertion
What is a Birth Control Implant?
An implant the size of a cardboard match stick is implanted underneath the skin of the upper arm. There are two brands that offer this implant which are Nexplanon and Implanon. This birth control method will help protect against pregnancy for up to 3 years.
How Does an Implant Prevent Pregnancy?
Just like any other birth control prevention mechanism, it releases hormones into your body to avoid pregnancy.
The progesterone in the implant works by:
- Making cervical mucus thicker in a woman which allows sperm from getting into the eggs
- Allowing eggs not to join the sperm by keeping eggs in the ovaries
What Are the Benefits?
The benefits of using a birth control implant include convenience, safety and simplicity. This is why it is a popular choice among women.
Here are the reasons why women like the implant:
- No daily medicine required
- Allows you to become pregnant once you stop using the implant
- For women who cannot use estrogen
- Ability to use the implant while breastfeeding
- Achieve long lasting effects without sterilization
- No prep work needed before vaginal intercourse
What Are the Disadvantages?
Breast cancer patients cannot use this birth control method.
Some side effects are more undesirable but are adjusted to with few/no problems. These side effects include irregular bleeding within the first 6-12 months.
Other side effects include:
- For most women, periods will become fewer and lighter.
- For some women, periods will become heaver and longer.
- For some women, light bleeding and increasing spotting between periods.
1 out of 3 women stop having periods all together (after one year of having the implant)
Some of the less common side effects include:
- Sore breasts
- Change in sex drive
- Weight gain
- Pain at the insertion site
- Scarring or discoloring of the skin implant
There are some serious side effects but do not occur often. Please notify a health care professional if these side effects appear:
- Prolonged and unusually heavy bedding from your vagina
- New lump on your breasts
- No periods (after having one every month)
- Increase redness, or pus, or bleeding or pain at insertion
- Yellowing eyes and/or skin
How Effective is an Implant?
This method is very effective and can last up to three years. Only 1 out 100 women becomes pregnant while having an implant.
Effectiveness can be taken away by certain types of supplements and medicines. These include certain things such as:
- HIV medicines
- TB medicines
- Herbals (St. John’s wort)
- Yeast medicines (orally consumed)
- Mental disorder medicines
- Anti-seizure medicines
Always keep in mind that STIs can still be transmitted without using extra precaution measures such as condoms.
How Safe is it?
It is best to talk to a health care provider to see if this method is right for you. Most women can use this method safely but do have some risks. This method should not be used if you have breast cancer or if you are pregnant.
How do I get it Inserted and Removed?
This method only takes a few minutes to be implanted. The doctor will look at your medical history and perform a physical before they proceed. Afterwards the doctor will apply a painkiller to the side of your arm. The painkiller allows the doctor to numb the area in order to make the insertion.
After it is implanted, make sure you inform every health care professional you see after the insertion. Effectiveness lasts for three years but can be removed anytime. The removal process is similar to the insertion.
A new implant can be inserted right after the three year period but if the insertion is removed, pregnancy can happen right away.
You are protected against pregnancy if you get the insertion done within five days of your period. If you get the insertion done at a different time, it is best to use a backup method for the first week of insertion.
Cost of the Insertion
In order to get the insertion you will need to first consult with a health care professional. That would be the first step in using this method. The second step would be contacting a trained professional that can make the insertion.
The cost of this whole procedure can run from $0-800 for insertion. The removal cost can run between $0-300. These costs depend on the coverage of your health insurance and state programs.