What are implantable contraceptives?
Implantable contraceptives, also known as birth control implants, are tiny rods (roughly the size of a match) that are inserted into the body to prevent pregnancy. Once implanted into the arm, these contraceptives release hormones to protect you from pregnancy for several years.*
How does it work?
The rod of birth control, also known as Nexplanon or Implanon, is implanted under the skin of the upper arm. The implant releases the hormone, progestin, which will stop you from getting pregnant.* Progestin works by thickening the mucus on the cervix, which will prevent sperm from reaching an egg.* It can also stop eggs from leaving the ovaries, so that there are no eggs to fertilize.* When your eggs aren’t released, you cannot get pregnant. The implant is said to work up to 4 years, but it is not a permanent form of birth control.*
If you decide that you do not want your implant anymore, your doctor can remove it for you. After the implant is removed, you should be able to get pregnant shortly after.* Implantable contraception does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Wearing condoms during intercourse will lower your chances of contracting or spreading an STD.
How is the implant inserted?
Your doctor will determine if birth control implants are right for you before the procedure. If you are a candidate, you will be given a shot to numb a small area on your arm during your appointment. Next, a special inserter tool will be used to slide the implant under your skin. The procedure only takes a few minutes. Most patients feel a pinch or sting when they receive the numbing shot. After that, you shouldn’t feel any pain or discomfort. After the numbing agent wears off, your arm may ache.* You might also experience swelling and tenderness, but this will pass after a week or two.* Your doctor will give you instructions on how to wash and take care of the skin around your implant for the first few days.
How effective is it?
Birth control implants are 99% effective.* Since it is in your arm, you will not have to worry about taking birth control incorrectly or at all. If you get Nexplanon during the first 5 days of your period, you are protected right away.* If you get the implant at any other time during your cycle, it is recommended that you use a second form of birth control to prevent pregnancy.*
Schedule in Spokane, Washington
If you live in Spokane or the surrounding areas and you are interested in implantable contraceptives, schedule an appointment at Jamison Family Medicine. We will be happy to answer any questions and concerns that you have about birth control implants. Schedule online or call (509) 319-2430.
*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.