Contraceptive implants are long term birth control options for women. A contraceptive implant is a flexible plastic bar about the size of a matchstick, which is placed under the skin of the upper arm.
Contraceptive implants work by steadily releasing a low dose of progesterone hormone to thicken cervical mucus and thin the lining of the uterus (endometrium). It also suppresses ovulation as well.
For a contraceptive implant insertion, patients lie on their back with the arm that will receive the implant bent at the elbow and positioned near their head. A local anaesthetic is injected into the groove between the biceps and triceps muscles on the inner side of the upper arm. Then an applicator is used to insert the device just beneath the skin. Inserting the device too deeply will make removal difficult.
The healthcare provider feels the arm to confirm the presence of the implant. Patients are also made to do the same. If need be, an ultrasound or X-ray may be used to confirm that the device has been inserted.
The site of insertion is covered with a small bandage. A pressure bandage may also be applied to minimize bruising. The pressure bandage can be removed in 24 hours, but the small bandage must be kept clean and in place for 3 to 5 days. It’s likely to experience some degree of bruising, pain, scarring or bleeding at the insertion site, this is common.
However, if any other signs or symptoms occur, a healthcare provider must be contacted immediately. Such symptoms include:
Once the contraceptive implant is placed under the skin, it releases small amounts of progesterone. The hormone acts on the pituitary gland, which tells the ovaries not to release eggs. It also makes the mucus of the cervix thicker. Thereby making it harder for sperm to get to any eggs that may have been released.
A contraceptive implant prevents pregnancy for up to three (3) years. After which it must be removed and replaced for it to be able to continue to prevent pregnancy.
How effective is contraceptive implant compared to other birth control options?
Hormonal implants work 99% all the time.
Intra-uterine devices (IUDs) are 99% effective.
Birth control injection is 94% effective.
Birth control pills are 91% effective.
What is the process of a contraceptive implant removal?
For a contraceptive implant removal, a local anaesthesia is injected in the arm beneath the implant. A small incision is made in the skin and the implant pushed toward the incision until the tip is visible and can be grasped with forceps.
The implant is then pulled out, the incision closed and a pressure bandage applied. This typically takes less than five minutes.
What are likely contraceptive implant side effects?
There are likely contraceptive implant side effects that may arise from its use.
Can anyone use a contraceptive implant?
No! Contraceptive implants aren’t suitable for everyone. Such people include:
What are the benefits of using a contraceptive implant?
Some of the benefits of contraceptive implants include:
What the downsides of using a contraceptive implant?
There are several disadvantages of the contraceptive implant, which include:
How much does a contraceptive implant cost?
According to the Planned Parenthood site, a contraceptive implant cost between $0 and $1300. Removal of a contraceptive implant cost up to $300. Prices may, however, change unexpectedly.
How long does a contraceptive implant work?
A contraceptive implant lasts for up to 3 years.