Over the past decade, contraceptive implants have been growing in popularity.
What is a Contraceptive Implant?
Birth control implants, such as Nexplanon, are long-term birth control options. The implant is a small plastic rod that is approximately the size of a match. During an office visit, your OBGYN will ask you to lie down on your back and raise your arm so that your hand is next to your head.
A local anesthetic is administered before the implant is inserted with a special applicator. Your OBGYN will place the contraceptive implant on the inside of your upper arm, just under the skin in an area between the bicep and tricep muscles.
Benefits of Contraceptive Implants
Contraceptive implants will prevent pregnancy for up to three years. Fewer than 1% of women become pregnant with a birth control implant. In addition, unlike traditional birth control, there is no need to worry about birth control after opting for the contraceptive implant. Traditional birth control options include:
- Birth control pills offer short- or long-term contraception but require you to take a hormone pill daily. Birth control pills are most effective when taking at the same time every day.
- Intrauterine devices (IUD) may or may not contain hormones. IUDs provide long-term birth control, however, there is a risk the IUD may come out and require a visit to the OBGYN for reinsertion. You should regularly check to ensure the IUD is still in place.
- External contraceptives, such as condoms and diaphragms, must be used during intercourse. External contraceptives have a lower efficacy rate than other forms of birth control.
Risks and Drawbacks with Contraceptive Implants
Contraceptive implants can be expensive, up to $600 or more for your OBGYN to insert the implant. Also, birth control implants do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STD). You may experience bruising or redness following implantation.
Reversing Contraceptive Implants
If at any time you wish to become pregnant or after three years, the procedure is easily reversed. Your OBGYN will use a local anesthetic to numb the area, make a small incision and remove the implant. Following removal, a new contraceptive implant can be inserted for continued birth control. If you wish to become pregnant, fertility returns shortly following removal.
Speak with Dr. Nathan T. Thomas to discuss the possibility of contraceptive implants.