Implanon is form of birth control and is a flexible plastic rod, the size of a matchstick, that is put under the skin of your arm. It contains a hormone called etonogestrel and because it doesn’t contain estrogen it may be recommended for women who cannot use estrogen. It doesn’t use latex and won’t dissolve, however it can only be used to up to three years. Once three years has passed you can have a new rod put in.
Once you have had the Implanon inserted under your skin you can check to make sure it is in place by pressing your fingertips over the skin in your arm where it was placed. You should be able to feel the rod. If you do not feel the rod or it was not placed properly, it may not prevent pregnancy or it may be difficult or impossible to remove.
As with most procedures and contraception options there are some risk and while it is rare there are some serious consequences that may be associated with the insertion and removal of Implanon.
The most common side effect is a change in your menstrual periods. You should expect your menstrual periods to be irregular and unpredictable throughout the time you are using Implanon. About 1 in 10 women experienced bleeding problems. Other common side effects include: headache; vaginitis; weight gain; acne; breast pain; viral infections such as colds, sore throats, sinus infections, or flu-like symptoms; stomach pain; painful periods; mood swings; nervousness or depression; back pain; nausea; dizziness; pain; and pain at the site of insertion.
If you are pregnant, or you might be pregnant, have or have had blood clots, have unexplained vaginal bleeding, have liver disease, have or have had breast cancer, or if you are allergic to anything in you should use Implanon. You can talk to your gynecologist about the risks and any questions you may have.