What is Implanon?
Implanon falls into the category of highly effective reversible contraceptive methods. This small hormone-releasing rod is implanted underneath the skin of your upper arm, where the user can monitor its presence without being bothered by it. One great advantage of Implanon is that the user does not need to remember to follow instructions, as with the birth control pill.
After the placement of the Implanon rod, this method is effective for three years. Implanon slowly releases progestogen, which is an artificial hormone that fulfills the role of the natural hormone progesterone. Implanon prevents pregnancy through a few main mechanisms:
- Implanon prevents ovulation.
- Implanon thickens the user's cervical mucus, making it impossible for sperm to penetrate the cervix and enter the uterus.
- Implanon alters the structure and thickness of the endometrium, the tissue that lines the uterus, making it impossible for any fertilized egg to implant.
Implanon is, in other words, a very effective method and an excellent birth control choice for a large number of women. In fact, Implanon is 99.9 percent effective as a contraceptive method, and the great thing is that it is almost impossible to misuse. Are there any disadvantages associated with Implanon? Sure, there may be mild side effects, also associated with other hormonal contraceptive methods. A distinct lack of periods is one possibility, but for most women that is actually an advantage. Implanon also carries a small risk of leaving a little scar on the user's upper arm after removal. A newer revised version of Implanon is called Nexplanon. Though there are some minor differences in composition, everything that we can say about Implanon also holds true for Nexplanon.
Return to fertility after having Implanon removed
You may expect that it will take a long time to see a return to fertility after having Implanon removed, because the method is designed to be in place to prevent pregnancy multiple years at a time. Don't worry, though. Though many return to fertility problems have been reported in relation to Depo Provera, the injectable birth control method that's also designed to act multiple years, the same is not at all true for Implanon.
In fact, a very speedy return to ovulation and a normal menstrual cycle is one of the greatest advantages of the Implanon implant! Women who are thinking about having Implanon placed, but who have heard horror stories about Depo Provera, can rest assured that the majority of women who have Implanon removed actually ovulate within a month! If you are looking for a birth control method that isn't quite as long term, there are other reasons not to choose Implanon, however. Let's not forget that Implanon comes with two minor surgical procedures one upon placement, and another to remove the device from your upper arm.
Women looking for a short-term contraceptive solution may prefer to look into methods such as combined oral contraceptives or the NuvaRing hormonal contraceptive ring or, of course, condoms. Those women who are currently using Implanon and who are thinking about trying to conceive in the near future have even less to worry about. All you need to do is make an appointment with your doctor to remove your Implanon bar, and you are good to go. You may well have your fertility back the very same month you have your device taken out. The quick return to fertility that you will see with Implanon does have some implications, though. Do you have Implanon in place at the moment, and would you like to have it removed to get pregnant soon? Now while you still can't conceive is the time to take your first preconception steps. The same goes for your partner too. Some things you should do before having Implanon removed are:
- Start taking a folic acid supplement daily.
- Improve your diet, where applicable.
- Take a critical look at your lifestyle neither you nor your partner should smoke, and you should quit drinking alcohol. New research shows tiny amounts of alcohol are enough to harm a newly developing fetus.
- Get tested for sexually transmitted diseases.
- Work on your weight, if necessary.
- See your doctor for a general preconception checkup. Actually, this is something you can combine with the appointment to have Implanon removed.