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Contraceptive Hormonal Implant in Singapore (Birth Control Implant)

Lady receiving Contraceptive Hormonal Implant in Singapore (Birth Control Implant)

Contraceptive Hormonal Implant in Singapore (Birth Control Implant)

What is a Contraceptive Hormonal implant?

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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How does the Contraceptive Hormonal Implant work?

The implant has a two-prong approach.

  1. It works by interrupting the ovulation process. The implant releases progestogen, a reproductive hormone, into the bloodstream. This suppresses ovulation and stops the monthly release of an egg.
  2. It also thickens the mucus of the cervix which compromises the mobility of sperm and at the same time thins the uterine lining. This significantly reduces the chance of implantation of a fertilized egg. 

The contraceptive implant has a 99% effective rate in preventing pregnancy.

When should I get a contraceptive implant?

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.

Effectiveness of the hormonal implant during the menstrual cycle

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.

Effectiveness of the hormonal implant after birth, miscarriage or abortion

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. 

What are the benefits of a Contraceptive Hormonal Implant?

  • It is effective for 3 years.
  • Has a 99% efficacy rate.
  • Perfect for women who have a hard time remembering to take their birth control pill every day.
  • Perfect for women who cannot use contraception that is estrogen-based. The combined contraceptive pill or contraceptive patch all contain estrogen.
  • Can be taken out at any point in time and your ability to conceive will be reversible.
  • Does not interrupt sexual intercourse in any way.
  • Can sometimes help reduce severe period pain and heavy menstrual flow.

Hormonal Implant

Is it painful to insert 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!

Who is the contraceptive implant suitable for?

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.

Who is the implant not suitable for?

Most women can use the contraceptive implant without issues. However, you should not use the implant if you:

  • Suspect that you are pregnant
  • Take medications that may affect the efficacy of the implant
  • Are experiencing bleeding after sex or between periods
  • Want your periods to remain regular 
  • Have breast cancer or are a cancer survivor
  • Have a condition that may affect your contraception choice 

In any case, you should consult your doctor!

When should I consider removal of my implant?

You should seek medical care as soon as possible if you:

  • Feel that the implant’s shape has changed
  • Can’t feel the implant under your skin
  • Notice that the skin around the implant is painful or discoloured
  • Discover that you are pregnant

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.

Picture of a tool used for Birth control implant

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average cost of a hormonal implant in Singapore?

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!

Can you still get pregnant with the implant?

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.

Can the hormonal implant cause depression?

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.

Does the hormonal implant cause weight gain?

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.

Will I lose weight if I remove my implant?

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.

Can the implant break in my arm?

The implant is made of flexible plastic; it is highly unlikely that it will break in your arm.

Are there medications that can affect the effectiveness of a hormonal implant?

If you are on any of the following medicines, your implant may be less effective:
- Medicine for tuberculosis, epilepsy or HIV
- Antibiotics 
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.

What can I expect when I remove my 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.

Can the hormonal implant stop working?

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.

Can the implant move?

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.

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