Who Can, Who May, and Who Cannot Use the Contraceptive Implants

Long term contraception is better at what the name implies: preventing pregnancy. Once you have an implant, you don’t have to remember or repeat or re-do anything. It is there and it works, and it works very well. The implants contain no estrogen, and within the first 8 hours of use they begin to leak enough medication that a woman gets a blood level of the progesterone etonogestrel for her to be protected against ovulation. The rate that the Implanon implant, the currently available single rod (or it’s slightly newer sister Nexplanon which has identical hormone) leaks hormone is about 60 mcg/day when it’s first inserted. This is only a bit less than the 85 mcg of the progesterone leaked by the old 6 rod Norplant system. It’s best then to think about the reasons that some women may not be able to use the contraceptive implant. Absolute contraindications to getting a contraceptive implant like Implanon or Nexplanon include an active case of blood clots, undiagnosed abnormal bleeding, active liver disease or liver cancer, and breast cancer. For women with severe acne, severe migraine or vascular headaches, severe depression or medicines that strain liver enzyme systems the contraceptive implants can be used, but gynos think you would benefit from other methods. For women who are heavy smokers over than 35, who have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, gall bladder disease, or diabetes, the implants can be used, but it is important to get a consultation with your gyno to be sure this is an appropriate method for you. Otherwise, if you want to wait at least 2-3 years to have your next baby it just might be the best method for you. But for STD protection, still, don’t forget to use your condoms!


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