Contraceptive Implants are now available!
We are now able to insert contraceptive implants. The brand, made by Merck pharmaceuticals, was approved in Canada in May. It is available after September 8 2020 and is called Nexplanon. The cost is between $300 - $350.
What is a contraceptive implant?
It is a small rod inserted under the skin of your arm. It releases a hormone, etonogestrel.
How does it work?
The hormone prevents ovulation (when the egg is released from the ovary). This is the same way that birth control pills work. It is a single hormone, and safer than the pill. It works for 3 years at a time.
How well does the implant work compared to other contraceptives?
If 1000 people use it for one year, we expect 1 to get pregnant. It is similar to using a hormonal IUD (Mirena or Kyleena), a tubal ligation, or a vasectomy in effectiveness
How do implants compare to the pill?
Most birth control pills (as well as the patches and rings) have a combination of estrogen and progesterone. Some people can’t use birth control with estrogen because they have conditions that can increase their risk of blood clots and some because they have side effects. The implant is similar to the progesterone-only pill in the amount of hormone (and therefore the associated side effects). However, the implant is more effective and much more convenient.
How do implants compare to IUDs?
Both IUDs and implants are long acting reversible contraceptives. They are the most effective option you can use. Copper IUDs have no hormone and periods get heavier and crampier. The hormonal IUDs have less hormone than the implant, so have fewer hormonal side effects. IUDs work by changing the lining of the uterus but do not change the natural hormone cycle or ovulation. Implants prevent ovulation. The implant is inserted into your arm under your skin while the IUD is inserted into your uterus through your vagina, which can be more uncomfortable for some patients.
All of these contraceptives are much safer than getting pregnant!
What is it like to get an implant inserted?
The doctor will inject a small amount of local anesthetic (freezing) in your skin of the inside of your upper arm before inserting the rod. You will feel the needle only. There may be some bruising after.
What is it like to get an implant removed?
The doctor will inject a small amount of local anesthetic (freezing) around the rod before removing it.
The birth control implant (AKA Nexplanon®) is a tiny, thin rod about the size of a matchstick. The implant releases hormones into your body that prevent you from getting pregnant. A doctor inserts the implant into your arm and that’s it — you’re protected from pregnancy for up to 3 years. It’s get-it-and-forget-it birth control.