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5 Considerations Before Choosing a Birth Control Implant

5 Considerations Before Choosing a Birth Control Implant

If you don’t want to have children — or at least not yet — you need to find the right type of birth control for your lifestyle. 

Nearly 47 million women ages 15-49, about 65% of adult women in that age group, use contraceptives. And of women 15-49, 10.4% are using some form of long-acting reversible birth control — intrauterine devices (IUDs) or contraceptive implants. 

Women in the Lake Mary, Florida, area looking for birth control options and other gynecological needs can find help with Dr. Christopher Quinsey and our experienced medical staff.

If you’re considering this form of birth control, there are some things you should consider before choosing the one that you think fits your needs. To explore this, let’s look at how contraceptive implants work, the types available, and the factors that may affect your choice.

How contraceptive implants work

During your reproductive years, your body produces hormones from your ovaries (estrogen and progesterone) to help your physical development in your teens and start your menstrual cycle. 

Ovulation is the period of your menstrual cycle when an egg is released. Contraceptive implants work by releasing progestin, an artificial version of the progesterone, to prevent ovulation.

We implant a tiny plastic stick known as the Nexplanon® implant into your upper arm, and then it slowly releases progestin. This is a low-maintenance way to prevent pregnancy that can work for up to three years.

What factors affect your choice

Here are some things to consider when using this form of contraception:

Initial hormonal side effects

Your body will undergo some changes due to the shift in hormonal balance, and this implant may come with dizziness, headache, nausea, sore breasts, and abdominal or back pain as you adapt. Weight gain and mood swings are possible, but less likely.

You’ll need backup birth control at first

For a week or so after the implant is in place, you’ll need to use other types of contraception while your body adjusts. After that, you won’t have to worry about pregnancies for years.

Unpredictable bleeding

Most common within the first six months of use, you can expect irregular bleeding and changes in your menstrual cycle, including heavier or light periods, bleeding between periods, and even the absence of your period. 

Not everyone can use the implant

If you have certain conditions, you may not be a good candidate for using this form of birth control, including unexplained vaginal bleeding, liver disease, certain types of cancer, and blood clots. 

If you have diabetes, depression, migraine headaches, high cholesterol, or hypertension, you should definitely consult with Dr. Quinsey.

You still need protection from sexually transmitted diseases

The implant is not a substitute for condoms or other forms of protection against STDs, as the hormonal changes from the device has no effect on the bacteria and viruses generally responsible for the diseases you may get from sexual contact.

A birth control implant can make a big difference in your personal life, but keep in mind the specific concerns mentioned here when considering it as an option. If you think this is the right contraceptive for you, make an appointment with Dr. Quinsey today to get started.

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