What are implants?
Implants are a set of small plastic capsules or rods; each capsule is about the size of a match stick. The capsules are placed under the skin of a woman’s upper arm to provide protection against
Pregnancy. An example is the two rod jadelle implant.
How does it work?
1. The rod releases a drug (progestin) into the blood stream which:
Thickens the fluid at the opening of the womb (cervical mucus) making it difficult for sperms to pass
2. Stops ovulation [release of eggs from ovaries] It changes he lining of the womb making implantation less likely.
What are the advantages?
1. It is safe and effective.
2. It is reversible.
3. It is effective within 24 hours after insertion.
4. Fertility returns almost immediately after capsules are removed.
5. It can be used by breastfeeding women.
What are the disadvantages?
1. Light spotting between monthly periods (common).
2. Prolong bleeding (uncommon and often decreases after first few months) or absence of monthly bleeding. (amenorrhoea). Some women see this as an advantage.
3. Clients cannot start or stop use on their own. Capsules must be inserted and removed by a specially trained health care provider. A minor surgical procedure is required to insert and remove capsules.
4. There is discomfort for several hours to a few days after insertion for some women.
5. Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV infections
What are the side effects?
3. Breast tenderness
5. Weight gain
Most women do not have any of these side effects and most of the side effects go away without treatment within the first year. If you have any of these side effects see your service provider for advice.
Who can use implants?
1. In general, most women young and old, with or without children, those who smoke and those breastfeeding can use implants.
2. Women who desire long term protection from pregnancy.
Is it dangerous to have implants for more than (5) years?
1. Implants are not dangerous if left in for more than the recommended period of time. Leaving them in is however not recommended.
2. Implants become less effective after the recommended period, and the risk of pregnancy, including pregnancy outside the womb (ectopic pregnancy), may rise unless a woman uses another effective method.
If a woman becomes pregnant with implants in place, should she have them removed?
1. This is recommended if she continues the pregnancy, though there are no known risks to the unborn baby (foetus).
Do implants cause cancer?
1. Implants do not cause cancer. Instead they may help to prevent cancer of the lining of the womb (endometrial cancer).
Must a woman have pelvic examination before she can use implants?
1. The examination does not help decide about implant use. However, if a woman has symptoms of reproductive tract conditions, a pelvic exam may help diagnose them.
Must a woman using implants return often for follow-up?
1. No. periodical visits are not necessary. Annual visits may be helpful for other preventive care, but they are not required for a woman using implant. Of course a woman is welcome to return whenever she ask questions or if she has problems.
What if a woman decides to have her capsules removed before five years?
There is what a woman can expect if she ask to have her capsules removed before five years.
1. To be asked courteously why she wants the capsules removed.
2. To have her questions and concerns answered clearly and accurately
3. To be assured if her problems are not serious
4. Never to feel pressured, threatened, or ashamed for wanting to stop using implants
5. After counseling, to be asked, clearly “Do you want to keep the capsules or to have them removed?”
6. If she wants them removed no matter what her reasons the health care provider should remove the capsules immediately or arrange for their prompt removal.
Should heavy women avoid implants?
1. No. studies have found that women weighing more than 70kilograms were somewhat more likely to get pregnant than women weighing less, but implants were still very effective for these women.
2. Women who weigh 80kgs or more should have their implants replaced after 4years to maintain its effectiveness.
Can implants break or move around within the woman’s body?
1. No. the capsules are flexible and cannot break under the woman’s skin.
2. They remain where they are inserted until they are removed.
Can a woman work immediately after insertion?
1. Yes. She can do her usual work immediately after leaving the clinic as long as she does not bump the insertion site or get it wet.
2. She should keep the insertion site dry and clean for at least 48 hours. After healing (usually 3 to 5 days), the area can be touched and washed with normal pressure.
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