CHAPTER 8 - Implants

Key Points for Providers and Clients
  • Implants are small flexible rods or capsules that are placed just under the skin of the upper arm.
  • Provide long-term pregnancy protection. Very effective for 3 to 7 years, depending on the type of implant, immediately reversible.
  • Require specifically trained provider to insert and remove. A woman cannot start or stop implants on her own.
  • Little required of the client once implants are in place.
  • Bleeding changes are common but not harmful. Typically, prolonged irregular bleeding over the first year, and then lighter, more regular bleeding or infrequent bleeding.

What Are Implants?

  • Small plastic rods or capsules, each about the size of a matchstick, that release a progestin like the natural hormone progesterone in a woman's body.
  • A specifically trained provider performs a minor surgical procedure to place the implants under the skin on the inside of a woman’s upper arm.
  • Do not contain estrogen, and so can be used throughout breastfeeding and by women who cannot use methods with estrogen.
  • Many types of implants:
    • Jadelle: 2 rods, effective for 5 years
    • Implanon: 1 rod, effective for 3 years (studies are underway to see if it lasts 4 years)
    • Sino-Implant (II), also known as Femplant, Trust Implant, and Zarin: 2 rods, effective for 4 years (may be extended to 5 years)
    • Norplant: 6 capsules, labeled for 5 years of use (large studies have found it is effective for 7 years)
  • Work primarily by:
    • Thickening cervical mucus (this blocks sperm from meeting an egg)
    • Disrupting the menstrual cycle, including preventing the release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation)
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