On July 17, 2006 the FDA approved one of the most effective hormonal contraceptives
ever developed, called Implanon™. It is a flexible plastic rod the
size of a matchstick that is put under the skin on the inner side of your
upper arm. Implanon™ contains a hormone called etonogestrel also
found in some
birth control pills. Implanon™ prevents pregnancy for three years in several ways.
The most important way is by stopping release of an egg from your ovary.
Implanon™ changes the mucus in your
cervix which may keep sperm from reaching the egg. Also, Implanon™ changes
the lining of your
uterus so it’s unreceptive for egg implantation. Your chance of getting
pregnant is very low (less than one pregnancy per 100 women who use Implanon™
for one year).
Because Implanon™ contains only progestin and provides up to 3 years
of protection without daily, weekly, or even monthly action, so t is well-suited for:
- Women who wish to or need to avoid estrogen (e.g. minimizes attributable
side-effects of nausea, headaches, and blood clots)
- Teens who find adherence to a contraceptive regimen difficult
- Current Depo-Provera® users looking for greater convenience & avoiding
adverse effects on bone density
- Healthy adult women who desire the convenience of long-term protection
- Women who are breastfeeding
The most common side effect of Implanon™ is a change in your menstrual
periods. Expect your menstrual period to be irregular and unpredictable
throughout the time you are using Implanon™. Usually you’ll
have less bleeding, and some will have no bleeding. The time between periods
may vary, and you may have spotting in between periods. Some women do
Your doctor can remove Implanon™ at any time, but must do so after
three years when the implant runs out of hormones. If you want to become
pregnant after Implanon™ removal, your ability to get pregnant should
return quickly. In conclusion, most women are satisfied with Implanon®,
citing its long duration, high efficacy, and convenience.