Removal of Implanon

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Implanon is a method of hormonal birth control that is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. Shaped like a match stick, Implanon is a hormone filled rod that is implanted in a woman’s upper arm. Implanon prevents pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation, changing the uterine lining and cervical mucus.

Designed to last three years, Implanon must be inserted and removed by a health care provider and is a simple out patient procedure usually done in a clinic or Doctor’s office. At the end of three years, Implanon must be removed as it is no longer effective in preventing pregnancy. If pregnancy is desired and the Implanon is not replaced, fertility returns usually right away. If pregnancy prevention is still desired, another Implanon can be inserted and the woman will have another three years of protection.

Some women get nervous about having the Implanon removed but it must be done by a qualified health care provider who has been trained in Implanon removal. The woman is given a local anesthetic to numb the area on the arm and minimize discomfort. The health care provider will feel the woman’s arm to make sure the Implanon is palpable and in the correct place. A small incision is made at the insertion site and the Implanon is removed. If the woman wants to continue using Implanon, another one is inserted at this time. If she does not wish to continue using Implanon and does not desire pregnancy she should consider another method of contraception immediately as some women have become pregnant within days of Implanon removal.

Very rarely, removal is difficult because scar tissue has formed at the Implanon site on the arm. Sometimes during difficult removal the Implanon may break and the health care provider must take great care to make sure the entire Implanon is removed.

After removal the woman may experience some bruising, redness and pain at the incision site. This should be temporary but there may be a small scar. If pain persists, pus appears, redness and swelling do not go away, or the woman gets a fever, she should seek medical treatment right away as these are signs of an infection.

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