While choosing a method of contraception, it is relevant to understand the effectiveness and functioning of each. An implant contraceptive is a small, flexible tube which is inserted under the skin in the upper arm. It slowly releases progesterone and is effective for three years. It is a reversible contraceptive measure. It works by stopping the release of the egg each month and by thickening the mucus of the cervix, so that a mucus plug is formed and sperms cannot enter the uterus. It also thins the lining of the uterus so that implantation cannot occur.
How effective is the Implant contraceptive
- An implant contraceptive is usually considered 99% effective.
- It doesn’t interfere with sexual intercourse.
- The process of insertion is very simple and takes no more than five minutes. Due to anaesthesia, it is generally painless.
- It is a reversible contraceptive measure. Your fertility returns as soon as you stop its use.
- It can be safely used by women who cannot use oestrogens or are lactating.
- This implant also protects against pelvic infection. The mucus plug in the cervix doesn’t let bacteria travel into the vagina easily.
- Some women fear that the device may ‘move’ in the body. It is a very rare occurrence that the device might shift; normally it stays at the site of the implant.
- However, the numerous side effects of the include headaches, depressions, dizziness, and weight gain. 1/5th of all users may have vaginal bleeding. Some women also have menstrual problems such as irregular bleeding or no bleeding at all. Tenderness of the breasts and fluid retention are also common.
- Implant contraceptive cannot be used if you experience vaginal bleeding, severe liver disease or a cyst in the ovary.
- If your body mass index is over 35kg/sq. metre, the implant should not be used in the third year as its efficacy decreases.
- Very heavy women find this implant ineffective as a contraceptive measure.
Insertion/removal of the implant must be done by a trained doctor; else you may develop pain or infection. In case you cannot feel the implant nor have vaginal bleeding, it is advisable to consult your doctor. There may be infection due to some other reason which may require treatment.
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