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Contraceptive Implant

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A contraceptive implant is a reliable form of birth control that can be both easily fitted and removed by our GPs at Assure Health. It is inserted beneath the skin of the upper arm, with the aid of a local anaesthetic.

The implant is immediately reversible on removal. The benefits of this form of contraception are that you do not need to remember to take an oral contraceptive pill each day, and it won’t interfere with your sexual life. There are also no ongoing effects on your fertility levels.

The device is pre-loaded in a disposable applicator for easy insertion. The device releases a small amount of the hormone etonogestrel continuously into the bloodstream. The contraceptive effect lasts for up to 3 years.

Contraceptive implant

Contraceptive implant

How does the Contraceptive implant work?
Essentially, it prevents an egg from being released from the ovaries
It causes changes to the cervical mucus that makes it difficult for sperm to enter the womb

What are the common side effects from Contraceptive implant ?
Contraceptive implant users may experience irregular, absent, infrequent, frequent and in rare cases heavier menstruation.

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What is the Contraceptive implant insertion process?
Insertion is simple and usually takes 15 minutes or less. To numb the area, we use local anesthetic, similar to what the dentist uses, and the procedure is completely painless. The contraceptive implant is preloaded in a device and inserted into your non-dominant arm.

During what time of my cycle should I have an implant inserted?
Implants are usually inserted in the first three days of your cycle, but they can be placed at any time during your cycle as long as there is no pregnancy.

What do I need to do on the day of insertion?
To make sure you’re not pregnant, pregnancy tests are always performed on the day of insertion. On-the-spot pregnancy tests can be conducted by the Assure Health clinic.

Contraceptive implant

What is the aftercare following contraceptive implant insertion?

After inserting the device, the insertion point is closed with steri-strips and waterproof dressings. There is no stitching required.

Wounds normally heal within two days, and bruising is to be expected, but bandages are applied to speed up the healing process.

You will receive aftercare instructions and a device card with the date of insertion – but don’t worry, we understand forgetfulness might be a problem for you, so we also send you a reminder in 3 years when the device is due to be changed.

How easy is it to remove the contraceptive implant?

Surgical removal is very similar to implant insertion-we use local anesthetic to numb the area, just like a dentist would. The contraceptive implant is removed through a small incision made at the insertion site. The wound is simply dressed with steri-strips and normally heals in two to three days without stitches.

How often does a contraceptive implant need to be replaced?

Three years is the recommended lifespan for a contraceptive implant. However, you can remove the contraceptive implant at any time after insertion.

What are the side effects of a contraceptive implant?

It is estimated that 20% of patients stop having their period while the contraceptive implant is in place. The effects are not harmful to your health. According to the National Prescribing Service (NPS), the most common side effects after implant insertion are:

  • Acne
  • Headache
  • Breast tenderness and pain
  • Weight gain
  • Irregular bleeding
  • Emotional lability or mood swings
  • Libido decreased

It is not uncommon for women to experience irregular bleeding right after Contraceptive implant insertion for up to six months. Typically, this is in the form of spotting over an extended period of time and will subside within six months. You can use the pill on top of the contraceptive implant to help manage bleeding issues. Usually, this works very well and is safe.

What is the cost of Contraceptive implant insertion at Assure Health? Is it bulk billed?
The cost of fitting the Contraceptive implant at Assure Health Clinics is in keeping with our usual fee structure at the clinics. It is possible for eligible patients to bulk bill; however, the Contraceptive implant device can vary in price from the pharmacy.

Is Contraceptive implant removal bulk billed at Assure Health Clinics ?
Removing the Contraceptive implant is, again, in keeping with our usual fee structure at Assure Health. Click here to see the fee schedule at each Assure Health Clinic.

Does a contraceptive implant cause weight gain?
Contraceptive implant studies show a weight gain of 1.5% following implant placement, but interestingly, this trend is the same for those patients who have an IUD inserted into the womb.

Therefore, weight gain after a Contraceptive implant is only partially caused by the Contraceptive implant device. Regular exercise and a healthy diet are always recommended.