When it comes to contraception, deciding among the options that will work best for you can be a tricky decision. Today, various contraceptive methods are available that aim to provide safe and effective protection against unwanted pregnancies. How do you know which one is right for your lifestyle?
Contraceptive implants have become popular for years for their reliable protection without the hassle of regular methods like pills or condoms. If you’re considering getting an implant – or just want to know more about them – this post outlines what are the benefits and risks of contraceptive implants so that you can make an informed choice about what’s best for your health and well-being.
What Are Contraceptive Implants?
Table of Contents
- What Are Contraceptive Implants?
- Why Do Women Use a Contraceptive Implant—The Benefits
- 1. It’s an effective way to prevent pregnancy.
- 2. It is a long-term contraceptive solution.
- 3. The implant is discreet and convenient.
- 4. You can be pregnant right away when you stop using the device.
- 5. The implant can reduce your period symptoms.
- 6. The birth control implant has health benefits.
- 7. The contraceptive implant insertion and removal procedure is minimally invasive.
- 8. This type of birth control is cost-effective.
- Possible Risks of Contraceptive Implants
Contraceptive implants, also known as ‘the rods’, measure about 1.6 inches long (or about 4 cm). It works for up to three years with 99% effectiveness. These implants consist of two tiny rods placed under the arm’s skin. It will be managed with a local anaesthetic so that you will not feel pain. However, you will still feel pressure or discomfort.
Contraceptive implants release pregestogen that stops the body from releasing eggs every month. It also thickens the cervix mucus so the sperm does not reach the egg. From the day it is implanted, it will start to work in preventing pregnancy after seven days.
Why Do Women Use a Contraceptive Implant—The Benefits
The contraceptive implant has gained considerable traction among women globally, becoming a preferred method of birth control. Here are the benefits of contraceptive implants:
1. It’s an effective way to prevent pregnancy.
Implants are known to be 99% effective. It means that fewer than 1 in every 1,000 women who have implants gets pregnant. Implants protect you from getting pregnant all day for three years.
2. It is a long-term contraceptive solution.
Once inserted, it takes up to three years before it needs to be replaced. You don’t need to worry from time to time that you might get pregnant.
3. The implant is discreet and convenient.
Implants are only done once. You don’t need to be reminded to take any every day. Once inserted, you are already protected in pregnancy with no other worries. Also, it is hidden; no one can see it.
4. You can be pregnant right away when you stop using the device.
Implants are reversible. It protects you if you have it, but if you want to get pregnant, removing it will give you a chance to get pregnant immediately.
5. The implant can reduce your period symptoms.
Implants can help improve your cramps and lighten your period; for some, it totally stops theirs.
6. The birth control implant has health benefits.
Contraceptive implants improve acne and can be used while breastfeeding. It is suitable for women who can’t use oestrogen-based contraception.
7. The contraceptive implant insertion and removal procedure is minimally invasive.
Insertion and removal of implants only take a few minutes. Insertion is done using a local anaesthetic to numb the inside of your upper arm’s area. Then, the implant will be inserted. You will not need any stitches after it has been fitted.
During removal, a local anaesthetic will still be used, and the doctor or nurse will make a tiny cut on your skin to gently pull the implant out.
8. This type of birth control is cost-effective.
Implants are costly upfront, but there are no costs beyond years, making it cost-effective.
Possible Risks of Contraceptive Implants
Image source: https://www.ippf.org/
Implants are generally safe for most people. However, all medications have possible risks. Here are some to keep in mind:
1. Device Migration or Expulsion
Migration or expulsion likely occurs during the first few weeks after insertion. These cases are rare. If ever it is noticeable, it should be located and removed.
2. Improper Placement of the Implant
The implant should be placed in the upper arm muscle. If it is not placed properly, it may migrate to other parts of the body and cause discomfort.
3. Infection or Injury at the Implant Site
Infection or injury at the implant site is rare, but it can occur. It may be due to improper placement or an underlying medical condition. To reduce the risk of infection, it’s important to keep the implant area clean and follow all instructions your healthcare provider gives before and after insertion.
4. Some Tenderness and Bruising at the Insertion Site
Some people may experience bruising and tenderness at the insertion site due to improper placement of the device or an underlying medical condition that makes it difficult for the skin to heal quickly after insertion. The discomfort should go away within a few days; consult your healthcare provider if it persists.
5. Allergic Reaction to the Device Used
Allergic reactions to implants are rare; only three cases have been reported. There is a higher chance of being allergic to the anaesthesia than the implant. It is accompanied by skin swelling and itchy lesions that worsen until the implant is removed.
6. Does Not Protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections
Implants don’t prevent sexually transmitted infections, only pregnancy. Condoms help protect against STIs. You can use it with implants to help protect you from pregnancy and STIs.
7. Risks of Side Effects
Implants barely have many side effects due to their hormones. If you experience some, it will subside in a few months. Here are some side effects you might experience:
- Spotting or changes in menstrual bleeding
- Mood swings
- Sore breasts
Contraceptive implants are a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy for up to three years. They are a great choice for women for their convenience, cost-effectivity, long-term protection, and health benefits. However, the risks of side effects should be considered before inserting it.
Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider and ask any questions you might have if you consider this birth control option for your needs.