Advantages And Disadvantages Of The Implant
- it works for 3 years
- it doesn’t interrupt sex
- it’s an option if you can’t use oestrogen-based contraception, such as the combined contraceptive pill, contraceptive patch or vaginal ring
- it’s safe to use while you’re breastfeeding
- your fertility will return to normal as soon as the implant is taken out
- it may reduce heavy periods or period pain
- you may experience temporary side effects during the first few months, like headaches, nausea, breast tenderness and mood swings
- your periods may be irregular or stop altogether
- you may get acne or your acne might get worse
- you’ll need a small procedure to have it fitted and removed
- it doesn’t protect you against sexually transmitted infections , so you may need to use additional contraception as well
What Are The Side
Most side-effects caused by the contraceptive implant occur when you first start using the implant. They are not usually severe.
The most common side-effects are:
- Changes in your periods .
- Fluid retention and breast tenderness.
- Acne: your skin may temporarily worsen, although it can also improve.
- Itching or bruising after implant insertion.
The contraceptive implant does not cause ‘thinning’ of your bones . It does not usually cause altered sex drive , but some women who have experienced other side-effects also say that their sex drive was reduced.
Other symptoms, including mood swings or low mood, weight gain and breast tenderness, are commonly described. However, the evidence that they are caused by the contraceptive implant is very unclear, as they seem to occur equally commonly in women using non-hormonal methods of contraception.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of The Implant
Dont have to remember to take anything every day lasts for up to 5 years. Is reversible you can choose to have it taken out at any time. Doesnt interfere with having sex. Highly effective and reliable at preventing pregnancy in the near future.
May cause irregular periods or periods that last longer. This is quite common in the first 6 months but it can last as long as you use the implant. This can be annoying, but its not harmful and the implant will still work. If the bleeding is a problem, you can get pills to help. May cause a sore or bruised arm after the implant is put in or taken out. There is a small risk of infection. Sometimes its not easy for the nurse or doctor to find the implant and you might have to see someone else to take it out. Does not protect against STIs, so its important to use condoms when you have sex.
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Can I Have The Implant After Emergency Contraception
After taking levonorgestrel as emergency contraception the implant can be inserted immediately. You should avoid sex or use a barrier method of contraception for 7 days. In addition you should take a pregnancy test 3 weeks or so after the time you had unprotected sex.
If you took ulipristal acetate the implant should be inserted 5 days after taking the tablet. You should avoid having unprotected sex or use a barrier method of contraception until the implant is inserted and for 7 days after. You should also take a pregnancy test no sooner than 3 weeks after the last time you had unprotected sex.
Is It Safe To Leave The Implant In If I Am Pregnant
Depending on the implant you have, there are some distinct risks associated with leaving it in when pregnant.
If you become pregnant with an implant inserted, you have a higher-than-average risk of ectopic pregnancy. This is when the fetus implants outside the womb, which can put your life at risk. Your risk of miscarriage is also elevated, even if the fetus implants normally.
For these reasons, it is essential to see your doctor if you feel cramps, have bleeding, or get a positive pregnancy test when you are on the implant. They will then advise you about removing it .
Implants and injectable progestins like Depo-Provera will often stop your periods, making it difficult to know if you are pregnant. For this reason, Id advise paying attention to things like nausea and breast tenderness as possible indicators that you should take a pregnancy test.
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How Is The Implant Removed
You will receive a local anaesthetic to numb the skin over the implant first. It usually takes a few minutes to remove an implant. If the implant has been put in correctly, it should not be difficult to remove. The doctor or nurse will feel for the implant under the skin, make a tiny cut and gently pull the implant out. Occasionally an implant is difficult to feel under the skin and it may not be so easy to remove. If this happens you may be referred to a specialist centre to have it removed with the help of an ultrasound scan.
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At A Glance: The Implant
- The implant is more than 99% effective.
- Once the implant is in place, you don’t have to think about it again for 3 years.
- It can be useful for women who can’t use contraception that contains oestrogen.
- It’s very useful for women who find it difficult to remember to take a pill at the same time every day.
- The implant can be taken out if you have side effects.
- You can have it removed at any time, and your natural fertility will return very quickly.
- When it’s first put in, you may feel some bruising, tenderness or swelling around the implant.
- Your periods may become irregular, lighter, heavier or longer.
- A common side effect is that your periods stop . It’s not harmful, but you may want to consider this before deciding to have an implant.
- Some medicines can make the implant less effective.
- It doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections , so you may need to use condoms as well.
Where Can I Get The Contraceptive Implant
The contraceptive implant has to be fitted by a specially trained nurse or doctor. This service may be offered at your local GP surgery and, if it is, how to arrange it will probably be explained on their website. Alternatively, a contraception, sexual health or community gynaecology clinic will do this for you. You can find details of services in your area in the UK online.
In the UK the contraceptive implant is free of charge.
All contraceptive services are completely confidential. You will not need an internal examination, a breast examination or a smear before you can have a contraceptive implant. In some cases you may need a pregnancy test to be certain that you are not already pregnant.
Can You Get Pregnant If You Use Condoms
If you use condoms perfectly every single time you have sex, theyre 98 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. But most people dont use them perfectly, so in real life, condoms are about 85 percent effective. That means almost one in five women will get pregnant each year if they just use condoms.
The best way to make sure condoms are as effective as possible is to use them correctly. Some of the most common mistakes include:
- Putting them on too late, or pulling them off too early
- Not checking one for damage before use
- Using an oil based-lubricant like Vaseline or massage oil, which can damage the latex
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What Should I Do If I Get Frequent Or Heavy Bleeding
Irregular bleeding is a common side effect and will usually settle down within 3 months. Whatever your bleeding pattern, the implant is still effective.
If the bleeding does not settle or you are unhappy with the bleeding you can see a doctor for medications that can help with this. You dont have to wait until 3 months to do this.
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How Do I Use A Contraceptive Implant
You must see your doctor to get an implant. After conducting a physical exam, theyll insert the implant under the skin of your upper arm. It can stay in place for up to three years. Implant insertions take just a few minutes. Theyre done with local anesthetic, which makes the procedure painless.
After insertion, youll be sent home with a small bandage covering the insertion site. You may also be given a pressure bandage that you can remove after 24 hours. Some bruising, scarring, pain, or bleeding at the insertion site may occur after the procedure.
The contraceptive implant will stop working after three years.
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What Is Good About The Implant
- It is the most effective method of contraception.
- It can last up to 3 years.
- Once inserted you can forget about it for 3 years.
- Many users have no vaginal bleeding at all or light bleeding.
- Periods may be less painful.
- Acne can improve.
- You can use it while breast feeding.
- It can be taken out at any time by a trained doctor or nurse.
- Once removed your fertility quickly returns to what is normal for you.
- It is another contraceptive option if you have difficulty taking the hormone oestrogen. The Pill and vaginal ring contain oestrogen and progestogen. The implant only contains progestogen.
Can You Get Pregnant On The Implant
When Nexplanon is inserted correctly the chances of getting pregnant are very few which is around 1 out of every 100 which is just 1 percent. There are still some unanswered questions about how effective Nexplanon is on overweight women as not many studies have been done including overweight women. The chances of getting pregnant on Nexplanon are very rare but it is technically possible. But you should know that the side effects just after the implantation of Nexplanon can mimic the symptoms of pregnancy as the body is not usually used to the hormones at that time.
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When It Starts To Work
You can have the implant put in at any time during your menstrual cycle, as long as you’re not pregnant.
If the implant is fitted during the first 5 days of your menstrual cycle, you’ll be immediately protected against becoming pregnant.
If it’s fitted on any other day of your menstrual cycle, you’ll need to use additional contraception for 7 days.
What About If I Am Being Prescribed Certain Medications
There are certain medications that will make the contraceptive implant less effective. This includes some HIV, epilepsy and tuberculosis medications, St Johns Wort and certain antibiotics such as rifabutin or rifampicin.
We recommend having a conversation with your doctor to ensure that any medication you are taking will not affect the effectiveness of your implant. If your medication does affect this method then we would recommend looking for another method of contraception that isnt affected by your medication.
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Getting Pregnant On Nexplanon
Although the chances of getting pregnant while on Nexplanon implantation is very rare, it is still possible. If you are pregnant while on Nexplanon than you have higher chances that you pregnancy will be ectopic than the women who do not use birth control. Ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized eggs gets attached to any place other than the uterus .
The symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy are vaginal bleeding which is heavier or lighter than your usual period, sharp or stabbing pain that will come and go and vary in intensity usually in the abdominal or pelvis region. Ectopic pregnancy can cause serious internal bleeding, infertility and even death. It is highly advised to contact you health care provider if you think you might be pregnant.
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When Does The Contraceptive Implant Start Working After Giving Birth
After giving birth you are able to have the implant fitted any time and it is fine to use if you are breastfeeding. If fitted up to 21 days after giving birth you will be immediately protected against pregnancy. If the implant is fitted after 21 days, you will need to ensure that you use another method of contraception such as condoms for 7 days after the implant is fitted.
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Are There Side Effects
As with any form of hormonal birth control, it is possible that you will experience side effects if you get the birth control implant. Possible side effects include spotting, irregular periods, or your period stopping . Other possible, less common side effects include, headache, nausea, weight gain, ovarian cysts, and pain, bruising, or infection at the insertion site.
Discuss the Advantages and Disadvantages of the Birth Control Implant with a Gynecologist. Book an Appointment at Lona Sasser Obstetrics and Gynecology!
Choosing The Best Birth Control Method For You
Condoms, diaphragms, and contraceptive sponges are single use and prevent sperm from reaching the uterus. Barrier methods can help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections. However, their failure rate can range from 13% to 18%. Often, this is due to improper use.
Birth control pills, the vaginal ring, the patch, and contraceptive implants or shots use hormones to reduce the risk of pregnancy. Their failure rate is 6% to 12%, often due to missing a dose, improper use, or interactions from other medications. Implants such as Nexplanon and shots such as Depo Provera are considered long acting, with the implant lasting up to three years and the shot three months.
These methods, which can also be used to help control heavy, painful, or irregular periods, should not affect long-term fertility. But you may experience a delay in getting pregnant after ending their use. According to a recent study, that delay could be two menstrual cycles for the implant, three cycles for the pill or vaginal ring, four cycles for the patch, and five to eight cycles for shots.
Inserted in the uterus, IUDs are the most effective long-acting reversible contraception method. IUDS can last five to 10 years depending on the type and the failure rate is less than 0.2%, meaning fewer than 1 per 100 women will get pregnant when using an IUD.
Natural family planning
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The Contraceptive Implant Is A Method Of Contraception That Stays In The Upper Arm For Three Years Perfect For Those Who Dont Want To Have To Remember To Take A Daily Pill
But how effective is it, and can you still get pregnant on the implant?
In short, the implant is more than 99% effective. This means that fewer than 1 in 100 women with the implant will get pregnant each year.
There are some other factors to consider when using the implant as contraception such as side effects and its use with other medication.
We answer your most common questions covering the below topics
What is the contraceptive implant and how does it work?
When does the contraceptive implant start working?
Can you get pregnant on the implant and how long does it last?
I want to get pregnant but still have the implant in my arm! what next?
Can You Get Pregnant If You Have An Implant
The birth control implant is a flexible plastic rod about the size of a matchstick that is placed under the skin of your upper arm. It releases a low, steady dose of synthetic progestin to thicken your cervical mucus and thin the lining of the uterus, preventing pregnancy.
Nexplanon is actually the most effective birth control option out there, with a failure rate of only .05 percent. That means that out of 10,000 women, only five using the implant will get pregnant within a year. This is almost always due to incorrect insertion rather than the implant itself.
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How Is The Implant Put In And Taken Out
- You need to see someone who is trained to put in and take out implants, like a Family Planning nurse or doctor.
- An injection is used to numb part of your arm, so you dont feel anything when the implant is put in.
- The rods are put under the skin and special plasters are used to hold the skin together until the skin heals.
- The implant is taken out in the same way. It will leave a small scar.
How Safe Is It
The implant is an extremely effective method of contraception. The pregnancy rate associated with the use of Implanon is very low. Less than 1 in 1000 women using it over three years will become pregnant. However some prescribed medicines may make an implant less effective so always inform your doctor if you are being prescribed medicines.
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Where Can I Get A Contraceptive Implant Fitted Or Removed
You can get the contraceptive implant for free, even if you’re under 16, from:
- contraception clinics
- sexual health or genitourinary medicine clinics
- some young people’s services
Some GPs or practice nurses are able to fit and remove implants, so you’ll need to check at your GP surgery.
Alternatively, most sexual health clinics will be able to do this for you.
When Should You Contact Your Doctor If You Do Not Get Pregnant After Stopping Your Birth Control
Getting pregnant can take longer than you might think. It can feel frustrating if it doesnt happen right away. But for many people, it can take several months. Try to be patient with yourself. You may want to consider joining a support group if you experience difficult feelings around trying to conceive.
Since fertility can begin to decline around 30 years old, the advice on contacting a doctor varies depending on your age.
The CDC recommends that women under 35 years old with no known health conditions or fertility concerns try to conceive for a year before contacting a doctor.
According to the ACOG, if you are more than 35 years old and do not get pregnant after 6 months of having sex without a condom or another barrier method, its a good idea to speak with your doctor about a fertility evaluation.
If you are more than 40 years old, its a good idea to have an evaluation before you try to get pregnant. This is particularly true if you have any health conditions that may impact fertility, such as endometriosis.
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