Contraceptive Implants

Contraceptive Implants

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What are Contraceptive Implants? | Contraceptive Implants Singapore

The contraceptive implant (Implanon/Nexplanon) is a form of long-term, reversible hormonal birth control. It is a small, thin and flexible plastic rod about the size of a matchstick, which is inserted discreetly beneath the skin of the inner, upper arm. 

It contains a progestin hormone called etonorgestrel, which is released into your body slowly. The contraceptive implant protects against unplanned pregnancies for up to 3 years. 

How does the Contraceptive Implant work?

The contraceptive implant releases a hormone called etonorgestrel, which prevents pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation i.e. the release of an egg from the ovaries. It also causes the cervical mucus to become thicker, which helps to block the passage of sperm, and thins the lining of the womb to make it unfavourable for implantation to occur.

It is a highly effective (99%) and safe form of birth control. 

Who is a suitable candidate for the contraceptive implant?

The contraceptive implant is suitable for you if you are looking for a convenient, long acting, reversible form of birth control and have no intention of conceiving within the next few years.  

It is specifically suitable for individuals who need to avoid estrogen which is found in other forms of contraceptives. 

It is not suitable for individuals who have preexisting medical conditions such as serious blood clots, heart attacks or strokes, liver disease, breast or hormonal related cancers, or undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, or if you are allergic to any components in the implant.  

It may also be less effective in women with a body mass index (BMI) above 30. 

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Teleconsult & Medication Delivery

We are offering DTAP Teleconsult. This teleconsult service allows our current patients and new patients to connect with our doctors during clinic operating hours for non-emergency consults.

After assessment and consultation, we will also deliver your medications straight to your doorstep!

What are the pros and cons of the contraceptive implant?

Pros:

  • It is a highly effective and convenient form of contraception that lasts up to 3 years 
  • It allows for sexual spontaneity without worrying about unplanned pregnancy 
  • For women with heavy or painful menses (menorrhagia or dysmenorrheal), it can help alleviate these symptoms
  • It can be removed anytime should you wish to conceive

Cons:

  • Getting the implant involves a minor procedure (insertion and removal), which comes with certain risks (see below), but this can usually be done easily and quickly in clinic
  • If you experience unpleasant side effects, you may end up having to remove the implant earlier than expected 
  • The contraceptive implant does not protect against sexually transmitted infections
  • Should you get pregnant while using the contraceptive implant, you have a slightly higher chance of an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy occurring outside the womb), which can be a medical emergency

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What are some of the possible side effects of the contraceptive implant?

The most common side effect is irregular menstrual bleeding which may include spotting in between menses, longer or shorter menstrual periods. Some women may stop having their periods altogether (amenorrhea). Irregular menstrual bleeding is one of the most common reasons why some women may choose to remove the implant prematurely. 

  • Mood changes
  • Possible weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Skin changes like acne 
  • Headaches
  • Nausea 
  • Benign (noncancerous) ovarian cysts

What can I expect during the contraceptive implant insertion and removal procedure?

Insertion of the implant is done in a clinic setting and should take no longer than 10-15 minutes. The implant is inserted under the skin of your inner, upper arm, about 5-10cm or so above your elbow. After preparation, your doctor will administer a local anaesthetic injection to numb the skin. The implant is then inserted under the skin. 

Risks of insertion include pain, bleeding, bruising, possible skin infections and scarring. 

Removal is done similarly in a clinic setting. After numbing the skin, a small cut is made and the implant is removed through the small cut. 

In the rare situation that the implant breaks or if it cannot be located prior to removal, you may need to go to a hospital for removal. 

When is the best time to get the contraceptive implant and when can I begin having unprotected sex?

The optimal time to get the contraceptive implant inserted is within the first 5 days of your menstrual cycle. 

Insertion can still be done anytime during your menstrual cycle. However, you will need to use an additional form of protection such as condoms for 7 days before the implant becomes fully effective in preventing pregnancy. You can begin having unprotected intercourse without fear of unplanned pregnancy after these 7 days. 

Will I still get my period with the contraceptive implant?

About 1/5 women will stop getting their periods altogether, but a larger proportion may experience irregular but lighter bleeding/spotting. If you experience unpleasant or inconvenient spotting while on the implant, there are oral medications which can be prescribed to help reduce this.

Speak to us!

If you are worried about preventing an unintended pregnancy and are considering emergency contraception, you may wish to give any of our clinics a call or come down for a consultation with any of our doctors who will be glad to advise you further.

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Teleconsult & Medication Delivery

Teleconsultation is available with DTAP Clinic. Our teleconsult service allows both current and new patients to connect with our doctors during clinic operating hours for non-emergency consults.

After assessment and consultation, we will also deliver your medications straight to your doorstep!

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