In this video, Dr Stephens explains the the pros and cons of the contraceptive implant.
Hello, welcome to the Amicus Health contraceptive services. My name is Dr Helen Stephens. I'm here today to do a short video on the contraceptive implant.This is the contraceptive implant. It's a small, matchstick-shaped device that sits just in the upper arm. The contraceptive implant contains a single hormone and it works as a contraceptive by stopping the release of an egg each month.The contraceptive implant is over 99% effective and, once inserted, it can last for up to three years.Most people with the contraceptive implant experience lighter periods and for some they may stop altogether. For others, they may notice irregular bleeding patterns but there are things that we can do about this so do let us know if this is a problem for you.Once the implant is fitted, it can take up to seven days to become effective, so you may need to use extra precautions during this time.Before fitting an implant, we would sit down and have a discussion to make sure that it's the right option for you. If we decide to go ahead, it's a very simple procedure and we use some local anaesthetic to make the area nice and numb so that it becomes a painless insertion. We put the small device into the upper arm here, and afterwards we check that you can feel that it's in the right place. We then finish up with a bandage that you keep on for about 24 hours.The appointment takes 20 minutes in total. Afterwards, you will get some bruising and you will get a small scar. There is also a very small risk of infection but we do everything that we can to minimise this.Once the implant is fitted, it's really important that you can always feel it in your arm. If you ever can't feel it then let us know because it might not be working as a contraceptive.The implant can remain in place for up to three years but it can be taken out sooner if needed. It's removed with another simple procedure that uses local anaesthetic. Once it's removed, your fertility will go straight back to normal.In summary, the implant is a very effective method of contraception that can last for up to three years, and it means that you don't have to remember to take a pill every day. Once removed your fertility goes straight back to normal.