Implanon is a thin, matchstick like device that is implanted under the skin of a woman's upper arm. There, it emits hormones and prevents pregnancy for three years. Is Implanon the right birth control method for you? What are its advantages and disadvantages?
Implanon works by releasing the hormone progestin into your body (much like depo Provera, the injectable birth control "pill"). The effect of this is that you will stop ovulating. And, when no eggs are released from your ovaries, you are not able to become pregnant. The same hormone also thickens cervical mucus, creating an "impenetrable fortress" which sperm can't get through.
A recent study showed that most women choose the pill or condoms as their birth control method, but that they often have too much faith in their effectiveness. Implanon actually came out better in this study, though others have been critical of the implant's reliability in the past. One thing is for sure you will never have to worry about forgetting to take the implant! Overall, you will have a reliable contraceptive, unless you take it with contraindicated medications. Talk to your doctor about this before getting Implanon.
So, at a glance, why would Implanon appeal to you? You can remove it at any time and see your fertility return quickly afterwards, unlike with depo Provera. You can use Implanon even if you can't take estrogen for some reason, and that also means that Implanon is fine for women who are breastfeeding. Obviously, once it's in, you can stop thinking about it.
Implanon has similar side effects to most other hormonal contraceptives. Additionally, the site where it is placed can become infected or inflamed, but this is rare. And, if you want to quit using Implanon, you have to make an appointment with your healthcare provider to get it taken out.