A Guide to Implantable Birth Control

When it comes to birth control, there are so many options, types and methods that it can oftentimes be difficult to know what the best choice for you actually is. From the pill to condoms to longer-term options, the first step to finding birth control is deciding what you’re getting it for. Do you want to reduce cramping from menstruation? Are you looking for ways to prevent pregnancy? The good news is: with implantable birth control, you can have both of these benefits! Below, Zeid Women’s Health Center provides you with answers to common questions about implantable birth control.

What is Implantable Birth Control?

The implant is a thin piece of plastic about an inch long. Placed under the skin of the upper arm, it is one of the only long-term options that is not inserted vaginally. Similar to other types of birth control, implants release a hormone known as progestin that prevents pregnancy in two ways: by keeping eggs from leaving the ovaries and by thickening the lining of the cervix, making it more difficult for the sperm to reach the eggs. Because it works by releasing hormones, implants can also improve menstrual symptoms by, for example, reducing bleeding and cramping.

What are the benefits?

Birth control implants are extremely effective, with less than one in every one thousand women who use it becoming pregnant each year. Unlike other types of birth control such as condoms or pills, the implant doesn’t rely on you to work effectively. There is no way to use it incorrectly or forget to take it, as women often do with the pill. Additionally, if you want birth control now, but are looking to have children at some point down the line, you will be able to become pregnant quickly after it is removed.

What are the risks?

While the benefits may make you want to pick up the phone to call one of our gynecologists at Zeid Women’s Health Center to make an appointment for your implant, it is important to consider the risks and downsides as well. A number of possible side effects exist, including irregular menstruation, mood changes, weight gain and general pain, among others. In addition, implants are not suitable for women with a history of breast cancer, liver disease or blood clots. It is also important to remember that implants are not an effective form of STD or HIV prevention, so you should continue safe sex practices even while using the implant.

What prescriptions are available?

Implanon and Nexplanon are two of the leading prescriptions for birth control implants. Since a prescription is required, as well as implantation by a physician, it is important to make an appointment with a gynecologist to talk about both of these prescription options. Both work in the same way but Nexplanon was designed to be located using X-rays, making it easier for your doctor to be sure it was implanted correctly.

How can you get started?

If you are living in East Texas, call Zeid Women’s Health Center to make an appointment with one of our physicians in Henderson, Tyler or Longview. As a patient with Zeid, you can be sure that you’re in great hands for whichever type of birth control procedure you opt for. We will help you consider all angles of your decision including price, side effects and the best fit for your needs. Please don’t hesitate; call us today!

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