Contraceptive implant

Implantable medical device used for birth control

A contraceptive implant is an implantable medical device used for the purpose of birth control. The implant may depend on the timed release of hormones to hinder ovulation or sperm development, the ability of copper to act as a natural spermicide within the uterus, or it may work using a non-hormonal, physical blocking mechanism. As with other contraceptives, a contraceptive implant is designed to prevent pregnancy, but it does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.



Play media Insertion of a contraceptive implant into a woman's armPlay media Removal of a contraceptive implant from a woman's arm


Main article: Etonogestrel contraceptive implant Main article: Levonorgestrel implant

The contraceptive implant is hormone-based and highly effective, approved in more than 60 countries and used by millions of women around the world. The typical implant is a small flexible tube measuring about 40mm in length and is inserted under the skin (typically in the upper arm) by a health care professional. After it is inserted it prevents pregnancy by releasing hormones that prevent ovaries from releasing eggs and thicken cervical mucous. The two most common versions are the single-rod etonogestrel implant and the two-rod levonorgestrel implant.

Brands include: Norplant, Jadelle (Norplant II), Implanon, Nexplanon, Sino-implant (II), Zarin, Femplant and Trust

Benefits of the implant include fewer, lighter periods; improved symptoms of premenstrual syndrome; long-lasting, up to three years; smoker- and breastfeeding-safe; and the convenience of not needing to remember to use it every day. In some cases, negative side effects do occur, the most common being irregular bleeding for the first six to 12 months. Less common symptoms include change in appetite, depression, moodiness, hormonal imbalance, sore breasts, weight gain, dizziness, pregnancy symptoms, and lethargy.

With regard to helping women space their pregnancies appropriately, there is some debate about the most effective time to inser... more

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