What is Implanon?


Implanon is a hormonal method of contraception that is implanted in a woman’s arm and designed to last up to three years. Like other hormonal methods of contraception Implanon works by preventing ovulation so the woman does not produce an egg each month. Implanon also works by changing the mucus of the cervix making it thicker so sperm has a harder time getting through and by changing the lining of the uterus so it is not thick enough for implantation.

Implanon is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. That means only about one woman in 100 becomes pregnant while using Implanon.

Because Implanon is a hormonal method that is positioned under the skin in the arm, it must be inserted by a health care provider. Insertion is a simple procedure done in the clinic or Doctor’s office and requires a small incision. Insertion is usually done within the first five days of the woman’s menstrual cycle-within five days after starting her period and a back up method of contraception should be used for the first seven days after Implanon insertion until it becomes effective. After insertion a woman can and should feel for the implant under the skin regularly to make sure it is in place.

It is important to remember that Implanon does not offer protection against HIV or sexually transmitted diseases so if the woman who is using Implanon is not in a monogamous relationship, condoms should be used as well.

Women should not use Implanon if they:

  • • Smoke
  • • May be pregnant or are pregnant
  • • Are prone to blood clots
  • • Have a history of liver disease
  • • Have a history of breast cancer
  • • Have a history of irregular vaginal bleeding

For others, Implanon is relatively safe, though there is some risk of side effects. Implanon is designed to last three years. When the three years is up, she needs to have the Implanon removed and another inserted if she wants to continue with Implanon as her method of contraception.

Implanon is also 100% reversible. If a woman desires pregnancy prior to the three year usage, she can have it removed and fertility returns. Some women have become pregnant very soon after having Implanon removed.

If long term, reversible contraception is what a woman is looking for, Implanon may be a good method to consider.


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