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Birth Control Implant
What you need to know about a birth control implant:
A birth control implant is a small device that releases hormones to prevent ovulation and pregnancy. The device is inserted under the skin on the inside of your non-dominant upper arm. It can be in place for up to 3 years before it needs to be removed or replaced.
How to prepare for a birth control implant:
Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for your procedure. You will need to have a test to make sure you are not pregnant. Your healthcare provider will tell you when to come in for this procedure.
What happens during the birth control implant procedure:
- You will lie on your back with your non-dominant arm out and bent up so your hand is near your head. Your healthcare provider will mark the area on your arm where the implant will be inserted. A spray may be used to numb the skin where the implant will be placed. You may also be given a shot of local anesthesia to numb the procedure area.
- Your healthcare provider will gently stretch the skin area where the implant will go. The applicator will be placed against your arm and the needle inserted under your skin. The applicator is then used to insert the implant in your arm through the needle. Your healthcare provider will feel the area to make sure the implant is in the proper place. A bandage will be placed over the area and covered with another bandage that applies pressure.
What happens after the implant is inserted:
You will be able to remove the top bandage 24 hours after your procedure. The second bandage may need to stay on for 3 to 5 days. Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed. You will need to keep yearly appointments to have your blood pressure checked while the implant is in place.
Risks of a birth control implant:
You may have an allergic reaction to the implant. The implant may be inserted in the wrong area or too deep and may need to be removed. You may become pregnant if the implant is not placed correctly. You may have pain, numbness, bruising, or bleeding at the site. You may get an infection. You may have changes to your monthly period, such as how long and how much you bleed. Your period may stop. You may have headaches, mood changes, acne, breast pain, abdominal discomfort, and some weight gain. You may also be at increased risk for a blood clot. A birth control implant does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
Call 911 for any of the following:
- You have wheezing, coughing, or trouble breathing.
- Your throat tightens, you have trouble swallowing, or your lips or tongue swell.
- You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.
Seek care immediately if:
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever or chills.
- You have a skin rash, hives, swelling, or itching.
- Your implant site is red, swollen, or draining pus.
- You spot or bleed for 2 weeks or more than 5 times in 3 months.
- You have questions or concerns about your procedure.
Care for your implant site:
Follow your healthcare provider's instructions for how to clean the area. You will be able to remove the top bandage 24 hours after your procedure. The second bandage may need to stay on for 3 to 5 days.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You will need to keep yearly appointments to have your blood pressure checked while the implant is in place. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.