Everything You Need To Know About The Birth Control Implant

Author: Maharshi Soni on May 02,2024
 implant for hormonal contraception

In today's world, the landscape of contraception is vast and varied, offering individuals an array of options to suit their needs and lifestyles. Among these choices, the birth control implant shines as a discreet yet powerful method for preventing pregnancy. If you're considering this form of contraception, you likely have questions about how it works, its effectiveness, and what to expect before, during, and after insertion.

Understanding the Birth Control Implant

The birth control implant, known by its brand name Nexplanon, is a slender rod, approximately the size of a matchstick, containing a progestin hormone called etonogestrel. This hormone is released slowly into the body and works by preventing ovulation, thickening cervical mucus, and thinning the uterine lining. By targeting these fundamental mechanisms, the implant effectively prevents pregnancy with high reliability.

Learn More: Safe And Natural Birth Control Methods

How Does Birth Control Implant Work? 

Ovulation Inhibition

Suppressing ovulation is pivotal to the implant's efficacy. By maintaining a steady release of the progestin hormone, the implant communicates with the body, signaling that ovulation has already occurred, thereby preventing the release of additional eggs from the ovaries. This inhibition of ovulation significantly reduces the likelihood of fertilization, acting as a robust barrier against unplanned pregnancy.

Cervical Mucus Alteration

The progestin hormone released by the implant catalyzes the thickening of the cervical mucus, altering its consistency and composition. This thickened mucus acts as a formidable barricade, impeding the progress of sperm through the cervix and into the uterus. By creating this hostile environment for sperm, the implant adds an extra layer of defense, further diminishing the chances of conception.

Uterine Lining Thinning

Another critical function of the progestin hormone is its ability to thin the uterine lining, known as the endometrium. This thinning process renders the uterine environment less conducive to implantation, making it challenging for a fertilized egg to attach and thrive. By inhibiting the implantation of a fertilized egg, the birth control implant reinforces its effectiveness in preventing pregnancy.

STD Prevention through Birth Control Implant

Condom Usage

Incorporating condoms into your sexual practices is paramount for safeguarding against STDs. Condoms act as a physical barrier, preventing direct contact between bodily fluids and reducing the risk of STD transmission. When used consistently and correctly, condoms offer a high level of protection against a wide range of STDs, including HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.

Check This Out: Taking Careful Choices: Birth Control Methods for Safety

Regular STD Testing

Routine STD testing is an integral component of sexual health maintenance. By undergoing regular screenings for STDs, individuals can detect infections early, receive prompt treatment, and prevent the spread of STDs to their partners.

Open Communication

Discussing STDs, contraceptive preferences, and sexual health concerns allows partners to make informed decisions together and reinforces mutual respect and trust.

How Long Does It Take For Birth Control Implant To Work?

Transitional Period

After insertion, it typically takes a few days for the birth control implant to reach its full contraceptive effectiveness. During this transitional period, the progestin hormone begins circulating throughout the body, exerting its contraceptive effects on ovulation, cervical mucus, and uterine lining.

Use of Backup Contraception

For protection against pregnancy during the transitional period, it is advisable to use a backup method of contraception, such as condoms. This dual approach provides an added layer of security, minimizing the risk of unintended pregnancy while the birth control implant establishes its contraceptive efficacy.

Gradual Integration

As the birth control implant becomes fully effective, it seamlessly integrates into your daily life, offering long-lasting contraception without the need for ongoing maintenance. By adhering to the prescribed timeline for backup contraception and following your doctor, you can navigate the transition period with confidence and peace of mind.

Insertion Process

Insertion Process of implant

Numbing

Before the insertion begins, apply a local anesthetic to the area where the implant will be placed. This numbing agent ensures you'll feel minimal discomfort during the procedure, if any.

Positioning

Once the numbing has taken effect, carefully position the applicator device over the designated area on the inner side of your upper arm. This area is chosen because it allows easy access and ensures the implant remains discreetly tucked away.

Insertion

With precision and care, use the applicator to insert the implant just beneath the surface of your skin. The implant is a slender, flexible rod that slides easily into place. While you may feel a slight pressure or pushing sensation, many individuals report feeling minimal to no discomfort during this step.

Bandaging

Cover the insertion site with a small bandage or adhesive strip once the implant is in position. This helps protect the area and keeps the implant securely in place as it begins to work its contraceptive magic.

Post-Insertion Instructions

Before you leave the office, provide detailed instructions on how to care for the insertion site and what to expect in the days following the procedure. They'll also review any potential side effects or warning signs to watch out for and how to contact them if you have any concerns.

Life After the Birth Control Implant Is Inserted

Contraceptive Confidence

With the birth control implant in place, you can feel confident knowing that you're protected against unplanned pregnancy. Unlike methods that require daily attention, such as birth control pills, the implant offers long-lasting effectiveness without the need for regular maintenance.

Menstrual Changes

After getting the implant, it's common for individuals to experience changes in their menstrual cycle. These changes can include lighter periods, irregular bleeding, or even the absence of menstruation altogether. While these changes may take some time, they're typically not harmful and often improve over time.

Managing Side Effects

Like any form of contraception, the birth control implant may cause side effects in some individuals. These can include headaches, breast tenderness, mood changes, and acne. However, many people find that these side effects diminish or disappear after the initial adjustment period.

Regular Check-Ins

While the birth control implant provides long-term contraception, it's essential to schedule regular follow-up visits. During these visits, your provider can assess the placement of the implant, address any concerns or side effects, and ensure that your contraceptive needs are being met. These check-ins offer an opportunity to discuss any changes in your health or lifestyle that may impact your contraceptive choices.

Flexibility and Freedom

One of the critical advantages of the birth control implant is its flexibility. Whether you're planning to start a family soon or want to take a break from hormonal contraception, the implant can be easily removed. This flexibility allows you to adapt your contraceptive strategy to suit your evolving needs and goals.

Also Read: Effective Contraception: Implant Birth Control Pros And Cons

Conclusion

The birth control implant offers individuals a highly effective and convenient option for preventing pregnancy. By understanding how it works, what to expect during and after insertion, and the importance of follow-up care, you can make an informed decision about whether the birth control implant is the right choice for you. With the birth control implant, you can take control of your reproductive health and enjoy peace of mind, knowing that you're protected against unplanned pregnancy.

FAQs

How Effective is the Birth Control Implant?

The birth control implant is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy with typical use, making it one of the most reliable forms of contraception available.

How Does it Feel to Get an Implant Inserted?

Most people report feeling a brief pinch or sting during the insertion process, similar to getting a vaccination. Some may experience mild discomfort or pressure as the implant is placed under the skin, but the procedure is generally well-tolerated.

How Soon After Getting the Implant Can I Have Sex?

It's advisable to wait at least 24 hours after insertion before engaging in sexual activity to allow the implant to settle into place. However, if you're concerned about pregnancy, using a backup method of contraception, such as condoms, during the first week after insertion is recommended.

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