Life After the Implanon Implant

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Implanon is a type of hormonal contraceptive for women that protects against pregnancy for up to three years. It is a small implant that is inserted under the skin of the arm. Impanon carries similar risks and benefits to other forms of hormonal birth control.

How it Works

Once inserted Implanon works to prevent pregnancy in three ways: It stops the ovaries from releasing eggs, changes cervical mucus to keep sperm from reaching the egg, and changes the lining of your uterus to prevent implantation of fertilized eggs.

Benefits

Implanon is more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. Once you have an Implanon implant, you will be protected from unplanned pregnancy for up to three years. The only thing you need to do is to check periodically to make sure you can still feel the implant under your skin by gently pressing on the insertion site; the implant is not visible through your skin. A doctor can remove your Implanon implant at any time. Most women can become pregnant soon after removal.

Side Effects

The most common side effects to Implanon are changes in menstrual periods. Many women report irregular bleeding, lighter or heavier bleeding, or no bleeding. Some may also experience spotting between periods. Other common side effects include weight gain, mood swings, vaginitis, headache, nausea, dizziness, and pain at the insertion site.

Serious Risks

Some rare but serious risks can occur from implantation. Scarring or keloids can form around the insertion site, which can lead to difficulty when removing the implant. If the implant is inserted too deep within the skin, scarring or nerve and blood vessel damage can occur during removal.

Other serious risks include a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy, high blood pressure, gallbladder problems, liver tumors or serious blood clots. These risks are similar in other types of hormonal birth control.

Considerations

Serious problems are rare, but you must call a doctor immediately if you experience sharp pain or heaviness in the chest, constant calf pain, heavy vaginal bleeding, drastic decrease in energy level, or abdominal pain or tenderness. These can be signs of a serious problem.

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