Sexual Health » Sex Ed, Women's Health, Safer Sex: "Contraceptive Series Part 4: Implanon, the Hormonal Implant"

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Contraceptive Series Part 4: Implanon, the Hormonal Implant
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This is the third installment of my Contraceptive Series, in which I will provide accessible information about Implanon, the only hormonal implant option available in America at this time. This article will provide information about the basics of Implanon— everything you need to know when making a decision about what contraceptive is best for you.

  So how does it work?

It contains 68g of progestin etonegestrel, released in small doses. Once inserted, it lasts for 3 years and has a failure rate of about .38%, so it is on par with the ideal use of the Pill. It suppresses ovulation and thickens cervical mucus to slow the travel of sperm, or inhibit it altogether. The lining of the uterus also becomes very thin during use of contraception containing progestin, making it difficult for an embryo to implant. The fact that you do nothing to make it work except get it inserted means it doesn't really have an "actual rate" unless someone inserts it incorrectly. If you see a provider who has been trained in Implanon insertion, it will be over 99% effective.

  Who should use Implanon? Who shouldn’t?

It is important, before choosing a long-term birth control, that research is done to make sure it’s a good fit for you. This is a birth control that requires a provider’s assistance in its use. If you fear that in 3 years, you may not have health insurance or be able to afford removal, it may not be a good idea to insert Implanon, Mirena, or Paragard, the three longest-lasting birth control options in America today.

People who should consider Implanon are: non-breastfeeding mothers who want to space their children, women who know they will not want children in the next 3 years, women with endometriosis, women who want a private birth control, college students, women who often forget pills, women who want a hormonal option, women who want a long-term option but are fearful of IUDs, and women who want to ease their periods.

People who should keep looking: women who do not want to use hormones, women who are uncomfortable with being cut or things being under their skin, and women who want a guaranteed monthly bleeding.

  What happens once I get it?

Side effects associated with Implanon are similar to those of any other hormonal contraception. However, 36% of users experienced irregular bleeding, such as prolonged bleeding, frequent bleeding, or the halt of all bleeding, that is not as common with methods such as the Pill. Moodiness, weight gain, headaches, acne, breast pain, and decreased libido may also occur. Aside from moodiness and decreased libido, whose numbers are lower, each of which are reported by 10-15% of women, so these are definitely problems to consider: do you think Implanon is worth it?

Once you have Implanon inserted, be sure to take note of the date and remove it before its expiration at 3 years.

Next time, I will write about Depo-Provera, the progestin-only birth control shot. If you have questions about Implanon that I did not answer here, please ask in the comments below or send me a message!


Contributor: LusciousLollypop

I just recently got this birth control method. It took about five minutes to get it all set up, and a minute for insertion. For everyone that wants to know, they use local anesthesia.. which hurts the most. It feels like bee stings for about a minute, but the actual very large needle that pushes the implanon in, you don't feel it at all. It was sore for about a day and I love it. You can barely feel it and forget completely about it if you don't think about it.

Contributor: novanilla

Thanks for you personal account, LusciousLollypop!

Contributor: LadyUn0


Contributor: Sera26

Thanks for the info1

Contributor: bethicakes

I think it's awesome that you're writing a series on birth control Novanilla. There are alot of options out there for us and not all have cute commercials with dancers by the pool lol. Our bodies are all so different and can change so much after a pregnancy that we always need to be aware of the options. I had implanon in for almost a year after the birth of my last child while I decided to go for the tubal. I've never been one for taking pills and "normal" birth control (ie depo or the typical pill) was too strong anyways. I didn't do my research prior to having it put in and I can't stress how important that is. I was still nursing my daughter, and within 3 weeks, my milk all but dried up. I wasn't informed about side of things by my doc and didn't think to ask because hey, she knows I'm nursing. NOPE! That was about how long the bruise took to heal from the implanon being put in as well. After the first month all the tenderness was gone and the only time I felt it in my arm was when I would cross my arm in front of my chest and my other hand would touch it. Which you do eventually get use to lol. I was informed by an er doc that it can fail with antibiotics, it ask just depends on your body and the rx in question. If you do get this, please remember to inform people, aka er docs, that it's in your arm. I had a tenancy to forget about it. My periods did start fading off at about 6 months. At 10 months I had my tubal so it was out shortly after that. I do still have a small scar on my arm from the removal but my body had built up scar tissue so the incision to remove it was a bit larger than normal. I didn't care for the way it made me feel overall, it could have been life as well but we blamed the implannon, as I became a bit depressed about 2mo after it was put in and it didn't get better until about a month after it was out. I didn't gain any noticeable weight while I was on it, but I didn't seem to lose it as fast as I usually would have post pregnancy. I do remember reading up on it after it was put in and coming across the usual group of women who's body didn't tolerate it well and it had to be removed prior to the deadline so if you are losing your medical insurance after your six week check up, be sure to weigh the options well.

Contributor: bethicakes

... Wow sorry that was so long . Novanilla if ya need any input for any other bc posts, I've been on just about all the non pills lol.

Contributor: Laurinnichole


Contributor: Tibby

All i have to say isI have this. I was told it would lighten my periods, there MAY be SOME spotting off and on for a year. Well I have had mine fore over 2yrs and I'm still not just spotting ive had month long periods with light inbetween spotting. When I bring it up to the doctor im just told that its a side effect. Please explain to me why this is not stressed more to for potental user on the implanon??? when research its reviews on the internet it explains it. Bright side is i'm not pregant so it served the main purpose.

Contributor: Hermosura21

I got implanon put in with my last birth I have to say it has gone so much better for me than mirena.. I really don't get moody but the only bad thing is my period is very irregular sometime I bleed for a month straight and sometime just for two weeks it all just depends. I use to have mirena after my first childbirth but I was a total beep with that I would get upset over the smallest things and I had for almost a year bleeding almost everyday throught out that time till I just got tired of it and got it taken out, but when I did get it taken out they told me it was not put in right so that may have lead to my year round period.. Implanon is something to consider I would rate it much better than Mirena in my eyes

Contributor: Hermosura21

Tibby I agree with u on ur comment



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