Birth Control Implant
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?
- Is it Safe?
- How do I get an Implant Inserted and Removed?
- What is the Cost of an Implant Insertion?
What is a Birth Control Implant?
An implant, the size of a cardboard matchstick, is implanted underneath the skin of the upper arm. There are two brands that offer this implant. They are Nexplanon and Implanon. This birth control method will help protect against pregnancy for up to 3 years.
How Does an Implant Prevent Pregnancy?
Like most birth control methods, it releases hormones into your body to prevent pregnancy.
The progesterone in the implant works by:
- Making cervical mucus thicker in a woman, which prevents sperm from getting into the eggs
- Keeping eggs in the ovaries, so they can’t join the sperm
What Are the Benefits?
The benefits of using a birth control implants are that its convenient, safe, and simple. This is why it is a popular choice among women.
Here are the reasons why women like the implant:
- No daily medicine required
- No prep work needed before vaginal intercourse
- Long lasting effects without sterilization
- Ability to use the implant while breastfeeding
- Ability to become pregnant once you stop using the implant
In addition, the implant is a good alternative birth control method for women who cannot have estrogen.
What Are the Disadvantages?
Breast cancer patients cannot use birth control implants.
Some side effects are undesirable, such as irregular bleeding within the first 6-12 months. However, most side effects can be reduced over time and after some slight adjustments.
These changes may involve:
- Fewer and lighter periods
- Heaver and longer periods
- Light bleeding and increasing spotting between periods
Note that, 1 out of 3 women stop having periods all together (after one year of having the implant).
Some of the other common side effects include:
- Sore breasts
- Change in sex drive
- Weight gain
- Pain at the insertion site
- Scarring or discoloring of the skin implant
- Mood swings, nervousness, or depressed moods
- Stomach pain
- Back pain
There are some serious side effects, but they do not occur often. Please notify a health care professional if you experience:
- Prolonged and unusually heavy bleeding
- New lump on your breast
- No periods (after having one every month)
- Increased redness, pus, bleeding or pain at insertion point
- Yellowing eyes and/or skin
The birth control implant can also increase your risk for the following:
- Ovarian cysts
- Blood clots in the legs, lungs, brain, heart, or eyes
- High blood pressure
- Gallbladder problems
- Benign or malignant tumors
- Ectopic pregnancy
How Effective is an Implant?
This method is very effective and can last up to three years.
Only 1 out 100 women become pregnant while using an implant.
Effectiveness can be reduced by certain types of supplements and medicine. These include:
- HIV medicines
- TB medicines
- Herbals (St. John’s wort)
- Yeast medicines (orally consumed)
- Mental disorder medicines
- Anti-seizure medicines
- Other prescription medications (consult with your doctor)
Is it Safe?
It is best to talk to your doctor or health care provider to see if this method is right for you. Most women can use this method safely but there are some risks.
Do not use this method if you have breast cancer or if you are pregnant.
How do I get an Implant Inserted and Removed?
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. It only takes a few minutes for the insertion.
After it is implanted, make sure you inform every healthcare professional you see after the insertion. Effectiveness lasts for 3 years but the implant can be removed at any time. The removal process is similar to the insertion and is not a long procedure. Once the insertion is removed, you can become pregnant right away.
If you choose to, a new implant can be inserted right after the 3 year period. 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.
What is the cost of an Implant?
In order to get the insertion you will need to consult with a healthcare professional first. Then you’ll need to contact a trained professional that can make the insertion.
The cost of this whole procedure can run from $0-800. The removal cost can run between $0-300. These costs depend on the coverage of your health insurance, where you live, and the medical programs provided.
Learn about other Birth Control Options and speak with your doctor before deciding on a method.