At Duality Health, we are committed to providing accurate and confidential sexual health advice, including information on various forms of contraception. In this blog post, we will delve into the details of one popular contraceptive method: the contraceptive implant. Read on to discover everything you need to know about this safe and effective form of birth control.

Understanding the Contraceptive Implant

The contraceptive implant is a small, flexible rod – about the size of a matchstick – that is inserted under the skin of your upper arm. It releases a low dose of progestin hormones to prevent pregnancy. The implant acts as a long-term form of birth control, typically lasting for up to three years.

The implant is popular because it is highly effective, with a success rate of over 99% if inserted correctly. If you have your implant fitted within the first five days of your menstrual cycle, you will immediately be protected against pregnancy; otherwise, you’ll need to use additional contraception (such as contraception) for the following seven days. 

The Fitting Process

Having the implant fitted is a simple outpatient procedure that takes less than 5 minutes. A trained healthcare professional will numb your arm before the insertion takes place, so there is often little to no pain throughout the procedure. Once inserted, the implant does not move around your body, although it may occasionally shift marginally from the incision site. The removal process is equally simple and painless. 

Advantages of the Contraceptive Implant

Some of the key benefits of having the contraceptive implant fitted include:

  • Convenience: Once the implant is inserted, you can forget about it for up to three years, making it an ideal option for those seeking long-term contraception without the hassle of daily pills or frequent doctor visits.
  • Reversible: If you decide you want to get pregnant or switch to another contraceptive method, the implant can be easily removed by a healthcare professional.
  • Efficacy: With its high success rate, the contraceptive implant provides peace of mind and reliable protection against pregnancy.

Side Effects & Other Considerations

As with all forms of contraception, there are a number of possible side effects that users should be aware of. Many of these will settle down with time, but if they persist, you can choose to have your implant removed at any time. 

Many implant users will notice changes in their menstrual cycle: while some will experience constant bleeding, others may find that their period stops altogether. Whilst these changes are not detrimental to your health, it might be worth seeking advice from a medical professional or considering implant removal if you are unhappy with these changes. Once removed, your cycle should return to normal. 

Other side effects that some implant users have experienced include headaches, breast tenderness, mood changes and weight fluctuations – though these are often mild and temporary. As above, if any of these side effects are severe or long-term, please seek advice from a medical professional. 

It is also worth noting that the use of some medications, such as those for seizures (fits), HIV or for tuberculosis, can make the implant less effective. It is important to check with your medical provider if your medications are compatible with the implant when evaluating whether this method is right for you.  

Safe, Non-Judgemental Sexual Health Advice in Northern Ireland

If you require professional advice on the contraceptive implant, the contraceptive coil or guidance on STD testing, Duality Health can help. To book a consultation, or a fitting or removal appointment, please give us a call on 028 3083 3666.