I got a birth control implant 2 days ago… I feel like it was placed in the wrong area. Should i be worried? Is it still going to work?

Hi there! Thanks for writing in

Let’s go over some basic facts about implants.

  1. What is it?The implant is a flexible plastic rod about the size of a matchstick, which has a progestin hormone.
  2. How does it work to prevent pregnancy? It is placed under the skin of the woman’s arm and the hormone is slowly released into the body over three years. The hormone stops the ovary from releasing an egg, so there is no egg for the sperm to fertilize. The implant also causes thickened mucus in the cervix and changes to the lining of the uterus. All of these changes caused by the implant make it less likely that a woman will get pregnant while she is using it.
  3. How effective is it in preventing pregnancy? The implant is extremely effective. Typically, none or 1 of 100 couples will become pregnant in the first year of having sex.

Some people get side effects that bother them after getting their implant, but these usually go away after a few months. Some of the common side effects that people experience include:

  • Tenderness or swelling around the implant for a few days. It may look bruised for a week or two. There may also be temporary pain, bruising, or an infection on your arm where you got the implant.
  • Irregular bleeding (aka spotting), especially in the first 6-12 months. But most people on the implant get lighter periods, or their periods stop altogether while they have the implant.
  • Headaches, breast pain, and nausea.

Birth control shouldn’t make you feel bad. If you keep experiencing pain in your arm, see your local doctor or go to a family planning or your tribal clinic. They can help you find a birth control option that is best for you. Also, you can check out We R Native’s page on birth control for more information.

Thanks for writing in and best of luck.

Take care,

Auntie Manda

*Please note this line is NOT monitored 24/7. If you have an urgent sexual health question text NATIVE to 774636

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