Implanon (contraceptive implant)
Implanon (contraceptive implant)
Implanon is a birth control (contraceptive) implant for women. Implanon is a flexible plastic rod about the size of a matchstick that is placed under the skin of the upper arm. It releases a low, steady dose of a progestational hormone to thicken cervical mucus and thin the lining of the uterus (endometrium). Implanon typically suppresses ovulation as well.
A newer version of Implanon also is available. It's called Nexplanon and it's radio opaque. This means it can be seen on X-ray, which is useful for checking the location of the implant. Implanon and Nexplanon are the only contraceptive implants with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval available in the U.S.
Implanon is a contraceptive implant that's placed under the skin of the upper arm. Implanon releases a low, steady dose of a progestational hormone to thicken cervical mucus and thin the lining of ...
Why it's done
Implanon offers effective, long-term contraception. Among various benefits, Implanon:
Implanon isn't appropriate for everyone, however. Your health care provider may discourage use of Implanon if you:
Although the label for Implanon says it shouldn't be used by women with a history of blood clots, it isn't clear whether Implanon affects the risk of blood clots. The warning comes from studies of combination birth control pills that contain the same progestin as is used in Implanon.
Many experts believe progestin-only contraceptives have a significantly lower risk of these types of complications. However, the progestin in Implanon is a metabolite of desogestrel, which when used in oral contraceptives, appears to be associated with an increased risk of blood clots compared with pills with other formulations. Once again, it is not clear if this risk would be significant when the progestin is used alone as in Implanon, as opposed to when it's used with estrogen in an oral contraceptive.
In addition, tell your health care provider if you have a history of:
Implanon doesn't offer protection from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Less than 1 out of 100 women who use Implanon for one year will get pregnant. If you do conceive while using Implanon, there's a higher chance that the pregnancy will be ectopic — when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube.
Side effects associated with Implanon include:
How you prepare
Your health care provider will evaluate your overall health and do a pelvic exam before inserting Implanon. He or she will determine the appropriate timing for the insertion of Implanon based on your menstrual cycle and your previous birth control method. You may need to take a pregnancy test and use a nonhormonal backup method of contraception for one week.
A backup method of contraception may not be necessary if you previously:
What you can expect
Implanon insertion is typically done in a health care provider's office. The actual procedure takes just a couple of minutes, though preparation will take about 15 minutes.
During the procedure
After the procedure
It's common to experience some degree of bruising, pain, scarring or bleeding at the insertion site.
Contact your health care provider if you have:
Your health care provider may recommend removing Implanon earlier if you:
To remove the device, your health care provider will inject a local anesthetic in your arm beneath the implant. He or she will make a small incision in your skin and will push the implant toward the incision until the tip is visible and can be grasped with forceps. Your health care provider will then pull out the implant, close the incision and apply a pressure bandage. Implanon removal typically takes less than five minutes.
If you choose, a new device can be implanted as soon as the original device is removed. Be prepared to use another type of contraception right away if you don't have a new device inserted.
Insertion of Implanon
Implanon is inserted beneath the skin of the upper arm. Implanon releases a progestin hormone to prevent sperm from reaching the egg. Implanon typically suppress ovulation as well. ...
Last Updated: 2012-01-21
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