The contraceptive implant
- A contraceptive implant is a means of contraception.
- The doctor fits the implant under the skin in the upper arm.
- It can be left there for 3 years.
- It is reliable on condition that it is fitted properly.
What is a contraceptive implant?
It is a small thin rod 4 cm long and 2 mm thick. The doctor fits the implant under the skin in the upper arm. The rod releases progestogen.
How does the contraceptive implant work?
The contraceptive implant releases progestogen. It prevents pregnancy in the same way as the pill. The hormone ensures that the ovum is not released. The mucus at the entrance to the uterus (cervical mucus) becomes impermeable for sperm. The cervical mucus becomes unsuitable to host a fertilised egg cell (ovum).
How does one use the contraceptive implant?
The general practitioner or abortion doctor fits the contraceptive implant under the skin of the upper arm. The contraceptive implant can be left in its fitted position for 3 years (2 years for heavier women).
What side effects does the contraceptive implant have?
Fitting and removing the implant sometimes creates problems.
During the first months, there is a chance of irregular vaginal blood loss. In due course, menstruation can disappear. This is not serious: menstruation will start again after the contraceptive implant has been removed.
Methods containing only progestogen do not create any additional risk for thrombosis (clotting in the circulatory system) or for heart or vascular diseases.
How reliable is the contraceptive implant?
The contraceptive implant is as reliable as the pill, on condition that it is fitted properly.
The chances of pregnancy are approximately 0.3% per year.