Know your contraceptives: Implant

Family planning means that you have control over the number of children you want to have, which eases taking care of them. It also means you can enjoy your life without worrying about unwanted pregnancy. However, there are various ways to effect family planning and one of these is using implants.

Dr Franklin Wasswa, a general practitioner, says it is a long term hormonal method. While there are various implant types, one of the common ones is the match-stick size type which is normally placed on the inner lower side of the left upper arm. There is one that lasts three years, which is normally one load and one that lasts four and five years which are both two load. The load represents the number of implants inserted per type.

The common ones in the market have implanon, such as the three year implant and is inserted under the skin of the upper arm. It does not work as soon as it is implanted, taking five days before it starts protecting you from conception. However, once it starts working, it remains effective for the next three to five years, depending on its duration.

How it works

The implant works by releasing small quantities of progesterone hormone into your body every day. By so doing, it causes the cervical mucus to become quite thick, making it impossible for sperms to swim through. Additionally, with increased amounts of progesterone, ovulation, which is sponsored by hormones such as oestrogen, is inhibited. As such, fertilisation cannot happen because the egg will not be released from the ovary at the right time or at all.

The implant is supposed to work effectively if well inserted in a medical facility and one taking any antagonising medication.

Who cannot use it?

As they are inserted under the skin, some people cannot use implants such as those that have conditions that affect the skin as well as those that have wound healing issues. These include those with diabetes as they have issues with wound healing, one with burns or having undergone surgical operations in the same area.

Additionally, those who are obese cannot use it since it makes it impossible to resolve the obesity issues since one of its side effects is making one gain weight. The other side effect is that it can cause amenorrhea, where a woman cannot have their menses for as long as it is in use.