Hormonal birth control implants are very thin capsules from artificial material filled with hormonal preparations. By means of a thin hollow needle, birth control implants are inserted under the skin (usually into the area of a forearm) after local anesthesia. The basis of the implant action is the release of a hormone progestogen, which gets in the blood, provides long-term and effective birth control action.
The main mechanisms which provide efficiency of birth control is a delay of the ovulation, a condensation of the mucous layer in the uterus neck that doesn’t allow sperm to reach an ovum; and also thinning of a mucous membrane of the uterus wall that doesn’t give the chance to an ovum to be fixed properly.
How Does a Birth Control Implant Work?
The implant releases progestogen into the bloodstream, challenging the path of the sperm through the cervix to reach the ovum; progestogen also thins the lining of the uterus so that the fertilized egg could not gain a foothold. The birth control implant is effective within 3 years, but it can be removed at any time. If the woman wants to terminate the implant (for example, in cases when there is an intolerance of components or when the woman wants to get pregnant), the doctor may remove it at any time.
How Can the Birth Control Implant be Inserted?
The gynecologist shots the birth control implant under the skin of the forearm, during the procedure anesthesia, is used. After the introduction of a birth control implant, there is no need to impose seams as an implant is small. After the procedure, the forearm may be sensitive, small bruises and slight swelling may appear as well. All these inconveniences will pass soon.
Who May Use?
Most women can use subcutaneous birth control implants, however, you should inform the doctor about your condition of health, in order, he could tell you whether this type of birth control is suitable specifically in your case.
How Effective and Reliable is Subcutaneous Birth Control?
The efficiency of a hormonal birth control implant exceeds 99%. The hypodermic birth control implant is one of the most effective methods of birth control. Hormonal birth control implants have extremely low Perl’s index of 0-0.8 and this method belongs to the most reliable methods of birth control.
The Cases For Contraindication
Subcutaneous birth control implant is not recommended:
- during pregnancy;
- if you wish to keep a regular menstrual cycle;
- if there are bleedings during the period between menstrual cycles and during sex;
- if you have diseases connected with blood vessels or heart;
- when the blockage of blood vessels or thrombosis exists;
- if you have the diseases of the liver;
- in case you experience migraines;
- if you have or had breast cancer;
- if you have diabetes;
- in case you have liver cirrhosis or tumors;
- if there is a risk of osteoporosis.
Is The Implant Safe?
The majority of women may use hypodermic birth control implants, but nevertheless, at an application of any medicine, there are certain “risk zones”. Therefore, you should very carefully choose the method of birth control that would suit you best. Before the introduction of the birth control implant, you should consult your doctor to evaluate comprehensively whether this method of birth control suits you.
Disadvantages Of Hormonal Birth Control Implants
- Hormonal implants are not recommended to be used by the young girls who haven’t given birth yet! As the risk violation of menstrual function of ovaries exists, which may lead to infertility.
- Hormonal birth control implant is one of the most expensive methods of birth control. Removal of implants may also be applicable.
- Periods may become irregular, and bleeding between the cycles may occur.
- Unpleasant feelings and discomfort are possible, such as: tension in breasts, headaches, changes in mood and decrease in sexual desire.
- Sometimes there are some difficulties at a withdrawal of birth control implants. In this case, you may need surgery.
- Menstruation cycles may become irregular, a little longer or even disappear.
- There can appear some acne or spots on the face or body.
Advantages of Birth Control Implant
- There is no need to care for birth control throughout a long time (from 2 to 5 years).
- The level of possible errors in the application of a contraceptive implant, in this case, is even lower than it is in the case of the vaginal ring. Hormonal birth control implants are installed immediately for a long term.
- It has a very low index of Perl which is from 0 to 0.8 (the number of women is one out of a hundred people who got pregnant despite using this method of birth control) and this method is among the most reliable methods of birth control.
- As the hormones get to blood through the skin, they do not affect a digestive tract therefore even in the case of diarrhea or vomiting, the effect of hormones remains.
- Don’t make a negative impact on a liver.
The birth control implant works effectively within 3 years, but if you have planned pregnancy, it can be removed ahead of schedule. Since the implant is located directly under the skin, you can always grope it. As soon as the implant is removed, the ability to conception is restored. The birth control implants suit breastfeeding women who can’t take the combined oral birth control pills.
How to Remove a Birth Control Implant?
The birth control implant can be removed at any time. As the birth control implant is removed, at that very moment, the effect of birth control disappears, therefore, if you don’t plan the pregnancy, it is necessary to choose another birth control method at once. Also, the birth control implant is removed after 3 years of use, and further, it is possible to use the same birth control method. The birth control implant is removed exactly in the same way as it is injected under the skin, this procedure is made by the doctor-gynecologist or surgeon.
Side effects at prolonged use of a birth control implant
As well as when using any other hormonal birth control method, some women may experience the side effects, for example:
- change of mood;
- the hyper sensibility of a breast;
- exacerbation of an acne;
- skin rashes;
- the increase of weight;
- loss of appetite;
- the decrease in a libido;
Possible side effects most often appear in the first months after the introduction of the birth control implant, but if the birth control implant isn’t removed, the side effects disappear within 3-6 months. The organism needs time to get used, on average it takes about 3 months.
Birth Control Implant FAQ
Can the Implant Displace or Move Around?
Usually, the birth control implant remains at the place where it has been originally implanted. It can be felt under the skin. For women with a big surplus of weight the implant “hides” under the fatty tissue, therefore it is more difficult to define the location of it, and sometimes it is not easy to feel the birth control implant. Most precisely it is possible to define its place by means of ultrasonic research.
Can You Use Implant Just After Delivery?
Usually, the implant is recommended to implant in 3 weeks after the delivery. When the birth control implant is inserted on day 21 after birth, the birth control starts to work immediately. If the birth control implant is placed later than 21 days after childbirth, it is still necessary to use any methods of birth control during the next 7 days.
Can You Use the Implant After Abortion?
The birth control implant can be used right after abortion or interruption of pregnancy.
The Procedure of Removing of The Birth Control Implant
A small cut is made on the skin and the birth control implant is removed by a surgical clamp through the incision site. Usually, it takes a few minutes. The procedure of birth control implant removal takes a little more time than the procedure of implant installation.
What May Affect the Efficiency of Implant?
Some medicines reduce the efficiency of all hormonal birth control methods. For example, medications designed to treat HIV, epilepsy, and tuberculosis can do that. Also, some antibiotics can reduce the efficiency of a birth control implant. Before the doctor prescribes you any medications, you should inform him about a birth control implant.
Implant and the Menstrual Cycle
Perhaps the course of menstruation will change. In some women it disappears, becomes irregular, or vice versa lasts longer than usual. These changes are annoying, but they are not dangerous. In a case of long-term bleeding, you should consult a doctor to determine the true cause and to discuss further actions to reduce bleeding.
In Case You Want to Remove a Birth Control Ahead of Schedule
In case you want to stop using a birth control implant, it is necessary to go to your gynecologist who will remove it. Periods of menstruation and ability to conception will restore, and pregnancy may occur almost at once, before the next periods. In case you’re not planning a pregnancy, it is necessary to use other methods of birth control after the removal.
Do You Need to Remove the Birth Control Implant in Case of Surgery?
No. It isn’t necessary to do it, but it is necessary to tell the doctor that you have a hormonal birth control implant.
For How Long One May Use a Birth Control Implant?
If there are no medical concerns, the birth control implant can be used until menopause, and every three years it should be changed with a new one.
Can You Actually Get Pregnant With a Contraceptive Implant?
If you do not use medicines, which may reduce the birth control effectiveness of the implant, and if the implant is replaced promptly with a new one, pregnancy is almost impossible. If you still think that pregnancy has occurred, you must immediately make the appropriate test or visit your doctor. The use of birth control implants does not affect the indications of a pregnancy test. But even if pregnancy has occurred, there are no proofs that the birth control implant may damage the fetus. If you want to keep the baby, you simply remove the birth control implant.
How often Should one Visit the Gynecologist With a Contraceptive Implant?
Is required to visit your specialist in case there are any problems with a birth control implant and its work, and also when it’s time for the implant to be replaced with a “fresh” one. At the emergence of any problems, questions, or if you wish to get rid of the birth control implant you should make an appointment with your gynecologist.
When Does the Effect of the Implant Reduce?
The birth control effect lasts 3 years. In the third year of use, the implant starts to release a smaller dose of hormones, but this quantity is enough for a delay of anovulation and prevention of pregnancy.
Is The Implant Visible?
The implant is invisible under the skin, but you may feel it, touching the spot of implantation. Good luck!
Thus, a birth control implant is one of the most effective contraception means if applied correctly in a hospital environment. Good luck!
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.