What a relief to finally read about what I have inside my arms for almost three years now -- Implanon. My OB actually explained everything to me and I even took home some reading materials before finally deciding on the implant, but it is always good to know it is also being used somewhere by other women.
I am sharing to you the info from Good Housekeeping last June.
Implanon is a matchstick-size implant, which got FDA approval last year. It is 99 percent effective for up to three years. You may recall horror stories about Norplant, a six-rod implant that was difficult to remove and was finally taken off the market. 'Implanon's single rod isnt causing those difficulties,' says one expert. (Oh, that explains why there was not much info about it in 2004, it was not yet used in the US; but was already common in Europe at least.)
It takes about two minutes for a doctor to place it just beneath the skin on the inside of your upper arm and not much longer to remove. (I was a bit apprehensive during the insertion, but it went so fast and because of the anethesia, I didnt feel anything. It would be removed around September-October this year, I am again a bit scared but the doctor already assured me it wont hurt at all. I had to believe him!)
The implant works by releasing a low, steady dose of progestin, which blocks ovulation and thickens servical mucus so sperm cant enter the uterus. Because it doesnt contain estrogen, it's safe to use Implanon when you are breastfeeding. (I was still fully breastfeeding IC when I had the implant done and encountered no problems. I breastfed until late last year.)
There may also be a lower risk of blood clots than with the Pill or any other form of birth control that contains both estrogen and progestin. One drawback: Implanon may cause unpredictable breakthrough bleeding during the first six to nine months. (I didnt get my period until late last year. This could also be due to the fact that I gave birth in 2004 and was fully breastfeeding. My first monthly period took longer, between 2-3 weeks but after that, it became normal.)
Implanon costs about 525 dollars in the US, plus the doctor's fee for removal. Here in Deutschland, it was cheaper at 300 euro. After deliberating for months between my husband undergoing vasectomy or me having another implant -- we decided with the implant again. The OB strongly recommended it. After he dampened my fear that the removal wont hurt and since he would insert the new rod during the same procedure; I finally said okay. After all, the only side effect I got from using it is the main thing that I needed it for -- birth control.
What is it with men and vasectomy? They are too afraid of someone else fussing with their privates :-) I guess it is understandable for them to be afraid of loosing their virility. I wouldnt want to think about that, too!