Contraceptives come in various forms. The subcutaneous contraceptive implant offers the advantages of being reversible and long-lasting – offering effective protection for up to five years – and may be a great option for women who want a “set and forget” style of contraception.
How Does It Work?
The subcutaneous contraceptive implant comes in the form of a small rod that is placed under the skin in the upper non-dominant arm. It releases a continuous dose of the progestin etonogestrel, which causes the cervix to secrete a very thick mucus that blocks entry of sperm into the uterus. The implant will also inhibit ovulation and promotes the thinning of the endometrial lining of the uterus, which may alleviate menstrual discomfort and reduce the flow.
The implant starts working immediately if you are within the first five days of your menstrual cycle, or after seven days at any other point in the cycle. Use alternative forms of contraception during this time.
These rods are placed under the skin in the upper non-dominant arm and can work for up to five years. If you decide that you wish to get pregnant, the implants can be removed before their expiry and you can try to conceive within a month of removal.
Who Can Get the Implant?
The implant is a suitable contraceptive for all types of women at any age, including breastfeeding women. The only women who should not get subcutaneous implants are women with a history of breast cancer, undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, or who are currently pregnant.
What is the Procedure?
If you decide you want to get an implant, contact our specialists at Orange Blossom Women’s Group in Trinity to book an appointment and discuss your options. If you choose to get the implant, they will apply a local anesthetic to numb your arm and the rod will be is inserted under your skin in the non-dominant arm. A special plaster will be applied to hold the implant in place until the skin has healed.
When the implant needs to be replaced or when you decide you wish to conceive, the implant will be removed following the same procedure.
Subcutaneous contraceptive implants are great for women who don’t want to take a pill every day and who want protection that is 99 percent effective. If you’re interested, call our team at Orange Blossom Women’s Group in Trinity to discuss what options you have and perhaps to schedule a visit for the insertion of a subcutaneous contraceptive implant.