This product is a discreet contraceptive solution in the form of a small, slender plastic rod designed for subdermal insertion to effectively prevent pregnancy. It operates by gradually releasing etonogestrel, a synthetic hormone with similarities to a natural hormone produced within the body, over a span of three years. Notably, this contraceptive method is free from estrogen.
Uses and Dosage
Prior to the insertion of the rod, carefully review the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist or healthcare provider. Your doctor will present you with an Informed Consent document, which you should read and sign. Upon placement, you will receive a User Card indicating the date and location of the rod insertion on your body. Keep this card as a reminder to schedule an appointment for the eventual removal of the rod.
Consult your doctor about the most suitable time to arrange the rod placement appointment. In certain cases, your doctor may recommend a pregnancy test before the procedure. Typically, the medication begins to take effect immediately if the rod is inserted within the initial five days of your menstrual period. If the appointment falls outside this timeframe, it may be necessary to use non-hormonal birth control methods (e.g., condoms, diaphragm, spermicide) for the initial seven days following rod insertion. To determine if back-up birth control is necessary, discuss this with your doctor.
The insertion of the rod beneath the skin of your upper arm will be performed by a trained healthcare professional, generally in the non-dominant arm. Ensure that you can feel the presence of the rod beneath your skin after the procedure. If at any point you are unable to sense the rod or suspect damage to it (e.g., bending or breakage), promptly notify your doctor.
Following the procedure, there will be two bandages covering the insertion site. The top bandage should remain in place for 24 hours, while the smaller bandage should be kept as directed by your doctor, usually for 3 to 5 days. Maintain the bandage’s cleanliness and dryness during this period.
After a duration of 3 years, the rod must be removed, and if continued birth control is desired, it can be replaced. If, for any reason, birth control is no longer needed or if side effects arise, a trained healthcare professional can remove the rod at any time.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- breast pain or tenderness
- dark patches of skin on the face or other sun-exposed areas
- irregular menstrual cycles or spotting
- weight gain
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- pain, swelling, or warmth in the leg
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- severe stomach pain
- increase in blood pressure
- new or worsening migraines or headaches
- pain, redness, or irritation at injection site
- sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, trouble speaking, confusion, trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination, dizziness, severe headache, change in vision
- unusual vaginal discharge, itching, or odor
- worsening mood
- feelings of depression
Prior to utilizing etonogestrel, disclose any allergies to this medication, other progestins, anesthetics, antiseptics used during the procedure, or any other known allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients that could trigger allergic reactions or other adverse effects.
Before commencing this medication, inform your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, particularly concerning conditions such as blood clots, blood clotting disorders, high blood pressure, abnormal breast examinations, personal or family history of cancer, elevated cholesterol or triglyceride levels, depression, diabetes, gall bladder problems, severe headaches/migraine, heart problems, history of jaundice during pregnancy or while using hormonal birth control, kidney disease, liver disease (including tumors), stroke, swelling (edema), or unexplained vaginal bleeding.
If you are over 35 years old and smoke cigarettes or use tobacco, abstain from using this medication, as smoking increases the risk of serious complications like stroke, heart attack, blood clots, and high blood pressure when combined with hormonal birth control methods (e.g., pills, implants, patches, rings). The risks of such complications escalate with age and the number of cigarettes smoked.
Notify your doctor at least 4 weeks in advance if you are planning to undergo surgery or expect to remain immobile for an extended period (e.g., long plane flights). Special precautions or temporary removal of this medication may be necessary under such circumstances.
Be aware that this drug may induce dizziness, and consumption of alcohol or marijuana can exacerbate this effect. Avoid driving, operating machinery, or engaging in activities that require alertness until you can do so safely.
This medication may cause the development of blotchy, dark areas on the face and skin, known as melasma. Sunlight can intensify this condition, limit sun exposure, avoid tanning booths and sunlamps, and employ sunscreen and protective clothing when outdoors.
If you are nearsighted or wear contact lenses, be vigilant for potential vision problems or discomfort while wearing contact lenses. In the event of such issues, promptly consult your eye doctor.
Under no circumstances should this product be used during pregnancy. If you suspect you may be pregnant or become pregnant while using this contraceptive, inform your doctor immediately. There is a higher likelihood of a serious pregnancy complication known as ectopic pregnancy in such cases.
This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding while on this medication.
Form and Strength
Implanon is available in the following forms and strengths:
What precautions need to be taken with an estrogen implant?
Avoid lifting anything heavy or undertaking strenuous exercise or activities with your arm for a few days.
Does Implanon work immediately?
If Implanon is inserted during the first five days of a normal period, the contraceptive effect starts immediately.