A contraceptive implant is a non-oral, long-term birth control option. It is a small, flexible plastic rod-shaped implant that is inserted under the skin of the upper arm.
A contraceptive implant is best known for its convenience, takes the hassle out of contraception and eliminates the human error factor (such as forgetting to take the pill).
Inserting the implant is a simple procedure that can be done by your doctor.
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The implant has a two-prong approach.
The contraceptive implant has a 99% effective rate in preventing pregnancy.
There is no “right timing” for getting a contraceptive implant. One of the extremely advantageous features of the hormonal implant is that you can be fitted with one at any time during the menstrual cycle as long as you are not pregnant.
You are immediately protected against pregnancy if you have the implant put in during the first 5 days of the menstrual cycle. You will, however, need to use supplementary contraception like condoms for 7 days if the implant is fitted at any other time during the cycle.
The implant can be put in immediately after giving birth, a miscarriage or an abortion. It is immediately effective if it is fitted with the 21-day period after giving birth. If it is put in after the 21-day period, additional contraceptive protection is needed for 7 days.
The implant is immediately effective after an abortion or miscarriage; there are no time constraints to worry about. A mother can also safely breastfeed her baby with the implant.
Most people feel a little pinch or sting, similar to getting an injection. Your doctor will administer a local anesthetic to numb the inside of your upper arm. A small incision is made, and the implant is inserted just under the skin. You should not be able to feel the implant being inserted.
Usually, no stitches are required!
A woman can use implants until she reaches menopause. This is the time in a woman’s life when her periods stop on their own.
The implant is removed just as easily as it is inserted. A trained doctor or nurse can remove the implant. Your medical practitioner makes a tiny cut, and the implant is gently pulled out of your skin.
Once the implant is removed, a woman can get pregnant again.
Most women can use the contraceptive implant without issues. However, you should not use the implant if you:
In any case, you should consult your doctor!
You should seek medical care as soon as possible if you:
Do note that the implant stays in your arm for approximately 3 years. Your doctor will usually provide a card reminding you of the date of removal.
A contraceptive implant in Singapore can cost approximately $500. It may seem expensive but it is a one-time procedure that lasts for 3 years!
The implant has a 99% efficacy rate. So, it is highly improbable that you will get pregnant using the implant. However, it is still technically possible.
According to a clinical trial, about 5% of the participants became depressed after the implant was inserted. About 1% chose to have the implant removed.
Some women also experienced mood swings and periods of tearfulness. It was also noted that those who had a history of depression were more prone to this adverse effect.
So, if you tend to become depressed, you should let your doctor know if you are thinking about getting a hormonal implant.
Birth controls have often been linked to weight gain. However, there is no conclusive evidence that this is the case. Some women have reported gaining a few pounds, while others were unaffected. However, your doctor may mention it to you as a possible side effect.
If you noticed you were a few pounds heavier, the removal of the implant may cause you to shed some pounds. Again, there is no strong evidence that your weight will be affected either way.
The implant is made of flexible plastic; it is highly unlikely that it will break in your arm.
If you are on any of the following medicines, your implant may be less effective:
- Medicine for tuberculosis, epilepsy or HIV
We recommend using additional contraception like condoms if you are on any of the medicines mentioned above. You may also want to consider another form of contraception that isn’t compromised by your medication.
Your doctor will be able to advise you on how compatible your medications are with the hormonal implant.
The removal of the implant usually takes a few minutes. Your skin may feel sore for a couple of days after the removal.
If you experience any kind of side effects initially, those should disappear after you come off the implant.
Most importantly, your period should return to normal if it was affected by the implant. You should be able to get pregnant after the removal as well.
The implant will stop working after the 3-year expiration date. At this point, it will be removed and you have the option to be fitted with another.
This is a common concern by those who are thinking of putting in a hormonal implant. The implant moving is an extremely rare occurrence. If it happens, we suggest that you visit your doctor for medical assistance.
We hope that we have answered any questions that you may have about the hormonal implant, and helped you make an informed decision whether or not the hormonal implant is right for you.
If you are interested in this contraception method, we encourage you to speak to your doctor to discuss whether or not this is an option for you.