CONTRACEPTIVE IMPLANT

Hormonal Method

A contraceptive implant is a small, flexible rod that’s placed just under your skin in your upper arm.1 It releases a progestogen hormone similar to the natural progesterone produced by the ovaries.1 It works for three years.1 The implant is a method of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). LARC is very effective method of birth control because it doesn’t depend on you remembering to take or use it.Below you will get to know the advantages and disadvantages of the contraceptive implants.

CONTRACEPTIVE IMPLANT

Hormonal Method

A contraceptive implant is a small, flexible rod that’s placed just under your skin in your upper arm.1 It releases a progestogen hormone similar to the natural progesterone produced by the ovaries.1 It works for three years.1 The implant is a method of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). LARC is a very effective method of birth control because it doesn’t depend on you remembering to take or use it.1 Below you will get to know the advantages and disadvantages of the contraceptive implants.

REGIMEN1

<3-5
YEARS

BENEFITS

Highly effective1

Long-acting reversible

Easy to hide

 

    PROS OF IMPLANT CONTRACEPTION

    • Over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy - one of the most effective methods there is.1
    • It's very useful for women who find it difficult to remember to take a pill at the same time every day.2 Once the implant is in place, you don't have to think about it again for 3 years.2
    • It doesn’t interrupt sex.2
    • It can be useful for women who can't use contraception that contains estrogen.2
    • It's safe to use while you're breastfeeding.2
    • It may reduce heavy periods.2
    Pros

    CONS OF IMPLANT CONTRACEPTION

    • You'll need a small procedure to have it fitted and removed.2
    • Your periods may be irregular or stop altogether.2
    • You may experience temporary side effects during the first few months, like headaches, nausea, breast tenderness and mood swings.2
    • It doesn't protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).2
    Cons

    References:

    1- SexWise.Contraception.Contraceptive implants.available at: https://www.sexwise.org.uk/contraception/contraceptive-implant. Last accessed 31/1/2021

    2- National Health Services (NHS).Contraception.Contraceptive implants.available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/contraceptive-implant/ .last accessed 31/1/2021

     

      TINY, HORMONE STICKS?

      The contraceptive implant might sound a little space age initially but really it’s a highly effective, easy to hide contraceptive. About same size than a matchstick, the implant is placed just below the skin of your upper arm where it constantly releases the hormone progestin in small doses from a reservoir into your blood stream. The hormone keeps your ovaries from releasing eggs but also thickens your cervical mucus making it hard for sperm to move around in the womb and fertilize an egg.

      Contraceptive Implant - Hormonal Method

      HOW TO

      Once you’ve decided, after the counseling by your healthcare provider, that the contraceptive implant is the method for you, your healthcare provider will make sure that you are not pregnant and the implant can be inserted. After local anesthesia, a well-trained healthcare provider will numb a small area of your inner upper arm and insert the implant just underneath the surface with a special needle. Once the placement is finalized, there is little or nothing left to do or remember. Seriously, the implant releases small amounts of hormones into your blood over the course of up to 3 or 5 years, depending on the type. It is suitable for women who want highly effective long-acting reversible contraception and wish to avoid a daily, weekly or monthly regimen. It can be removed at any time with minor surgery by a well-trained healthcare provider. Once the implant is removed, the contraceptive effect wears off quickly and you can become pregnant as rapidly as women who have used no contraceptive at all.

      PROS / CONS

      • Over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy - one of the most effective methods there is.1
      • It's very useful for women who find it difficult to remember to take a pill at the same time every day.2 Once the implant is in place, you don't have to think about it again for 3 years.2
      • It doesn’t interrupt sex2
      • It can be useful for women who can't use contraception that contains estrogen.2
      • It's safe to use while you're breastfeeding2
      • It may reduce heavy periods2
      • You'll need a small procedure to have it fitted and removed2
      • Your periods may be irregular or stop altogether2
      • You may experience temporary side effects during the first few months, like headaches, nausea, breast tenderness and mood swings2
      • It doesn't protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)2

      FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

        The implant contains a progestin reservoir which is released in tiny doses during the three years or five years depending on the type to prevent pregnancy. It will need to be replaced after this time as the hormone reservoir will run out.

        The implant is about the size of a thin matchstick, and people have it inserted under the skin of the inner side of the upper arm. It can easily be felt, but it is not very visible, except to someone who is looking for it. There will be a tiny mark at the point of insertion, but this isn’t very visible providing the implant has been inserted by a trained healthcare provider.

        Many women find that heavy, painful periods are reduced. There can sometimes be irregular bleeding initially, but this should go after the first few months.

        After the counseling by your healthcare provider and making sure that you are not pregnant, the implant should be inserted within 7 days after the onset of menstrual bleeding, or immediately or within 7 days after abortion. If the contraceptive implant is inserted at any other time, you will need to use an additional non-hormonal (barrier) method for the following 7 days. In case of questions, please consult with your healthcare provider.

        Local anesthesia is used so there should be very little pain, and the procedure takes only a couple of minutes. There might be a bit of bruising or soreness afterwards.

        PP-PF-WHC-IQ-0007-1

        SUPPORTED BY

        A coalition of international partners with an interest in sexual and reproductive health