Subcutaneous hormone implant: what it is and how it works
How does the subcutaneous hormone implant work?
It is a thin and flexible bar about 4 cm long and with a diameter of 2 mm, which is inserted into the inner part of the patient's arm (on the left arm if the patient is lateralized to the right, on the right arm if the patient is left-handed ).
Active already after 24 hours and for an average duration of 3 years, the implant releases a contraceptive hormone (etonogestrel) into the body that blocks ovulation.See also
No contact: what the no contact rule is and how it works
Effectiveness of the subcutaneous implant
According to the World Health Organization, the subcutaneous hormone implant has a contraceptive efficacy of 99.9%. The rare cases of ineffectiveness are mostly due to incorrect installation. The implant is placed very quickly (no more than two minutes!) And retracts through an incision made under local anesthesia.
The pros of the subcutaneous implant
- A very high contraceptive efficacy, which is close to 100%.
- A contraceptive effect lasting three years (you no longer have to remember to take the pill every day).
- Contraception is active in the 24 hours following the installation of the implant.
- After the withdrawal of the implant, the restoration of fertility is rapid. Hormone values return to normal in less than a week.
- In 99.7% of cases there are no complications.
The cons of the subcutaneous hormone implant
- Doctors capable of placing and withdrawing the subcutaneous implant are rare.
- Once the hormone implant has been withdrawn, a small scar remains on the arm.
- Some (rare) side effects: alteration of the menstrual cycle, longer periods, weight gain, acne, headache, nausea, breast pain ...
- Cons-indications: venous thromboembolism, estrogen-dependent tumors, severe liver infections, undiagnosed genital bleeding, hypersensitivity to the active substance or one of its components.
Who is it suitable for?
This contraceptive method is indicated in case of:
- contraindications to the pill or spiral.
- failure of other birth control methods (tendency to forget the pill).
- personal conditions that prevent the use of the pill.