Implanon is a small, thin hormone implant used as birth control that is inserted under the skin. It prevents pregnancy for about 3 years.
The hormones released by Implanon work to:
- Make vaginal fluids thicker and prevent sperm from reaching the egg
- Prevent ovulation (release of an egg) during your menstrual cycle
- Prevent attachment of a fertilized egg to your womb (uterus)
Inform your healthcare professional of any pre-existing disorders such as cancer, thrombosis, jaundice, diabetes, blood pressure or allergy to birth control pills.
Implanon is inserted by an experienced physician or healthcare professional under the skin of the non-dominant upper arm.
It involves the following steps:
- Your health care professional orders a pregnancy test. You should be negative for the test. Insertion is performed during the first 5 days of your period.
- Local anesthesia is used at the site of insertion. Implanon is carefully inserted below the skin of your arm.
- The incision is closed with two bandage coverings. The upper bandage may be removed within a day. The inner bandage is removed after 3-5 days.
There are no serious complications associated with the use of an Implanon implant. It is normal to stop getting your periods after a few months. You must discontinue using Implanon if you experience the following:
- Headaches or dizziness
- Tenderness of the breast
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
- Vaginal irritation
There is no special care needed. You will need to follow certain precautions including:
- Quit smoking and the use of tobacco
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Limit sun exposure
Implanon must be removed before 3 years and involves the following steps:
You are given local anesthesia. A small incision is made at the site of the implant.
The Implanon is carefully removed and the incision is closed with a bandage.
You may experience swelling, tenderness or bruising at the site, but these should go away in a few days.
The advantages of using an Implanon implant include:
- No need for birth control pills
- Safe while breast-feeding
- Suitable for women allergic to estrogen
Implanon may not work successfully for obese women. Also, it does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).