All about the contraceptive Implanon
What exactly is Implanon and how does it work?
Implanon is a method of birth control that gets implanted just under your skin, on your upper arm. Once it’s implanted, it works as continuous contraception for up to 3 years. It’s actually been said to be one of the most effective birth control methods to use.
Implanon looks like a tiny, thin, flexible plastic matchstick and the way it works is by releasing a hormone called progestin that prevents pregnancy from taking place. It does this by keeping your eggs from leaving the ovaries. Pregnancy can’t happen if the egg doesn’t join the sperm. The progestin hormone also makes the female’s cervical mucus thicker, making it difficult for the sperm to get to the eggs. So, the implant leaves very little room for any mistake for you to fall pregnant.
How Implanon is inserted
Your doctor or any other health care professional will implant the matchstick-like rod under your skin in your upper arm in a quick procedure. You should both make sure that the Implanon is in your arm, after insertion, and you can check by feeling for it. If neither your doctor nor you can feel the implant immediately, you may need special tests to check if it is in place.
Once the Implanon is placed in your upper arm, it will protect you against falling pregnant for up to three years. Your doctor can remove your implant at any time you want. However, your ability to get pregnant does return quickly after the implant is removed.
Before getting Implanon, talk to your doctor or health care professional about whether or not the implant is right for you. Remember to be open about any health condition or concerns you may have because this could affect your doctor’s decision to recommend Implanon to you.
STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections) Prevention
Implanon does not prevent the spread of STIs such as HIV. Always use a condom along with the implant to help protect yourself.
There might be side effects with Implanon such as:
- Weight gain
- A pain or an infection in the arm, but only rarely.
- Pain where it was inserted.
- Stomach Pain
- Back Pain
- There might be some discolouring of the skin over the implant.
- Tender, sore breasts
But these are the less common ones chomas. The most common side effect, especially in the first 6-12 months is irregular bleeding. Your periods might become lighter and fewer or may be the complete opposite – they may become heavier and longer. You might bleed lightly and have increased spotting in between periods. These side effects are normal chomas.
When do the side effects get serious?
- have a pain, bleeding, pus or increased redness at the place where the implant was inserted,
- suspect a lump in your breast
- have skin or eyes turning yellow
- have no period at all after the inserting the implant
- have heavy or continuous bleeding from your vagina
- notice that the implant comes out or the place where it was inserted becomes uncomfortable
- blood clots (the risk increases if you smoke)
Then that means you must visit your doctor almost immediately as these are more serious side effects.
- Your period cramps will ease.
- You don’t have to take medication on a daily basis.
- It’s safe, simple and convenient.
If you are thinking about getting the Implanon then visit your nearest Planned Parenthood clinic or doctor as they are there to help. Your health care professional will be able to give you better direction on whether or not you can start using Implanon. The implant does not protect you against any STIs, including HIV, so always use a condom to protect yourself.
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