Should you get a birth control implant? Things to consider in Singapore

Should you get a birth control implant? Things to consider in Singapore

Reviewed by Dr Bosty Chan, MBChB, MRCS

What is a birth control implant?

A birth control implant, Implanon, is a contraceptive method for women who prefer a long-term birth control method that helps couples do away with the need of using condoms or taking daily birth control pills.

Instead, it is a small implant that our doctors can insert into your upper arm.

People in Singapore are a little concerned about this method of contraception because of the word implant in its name. 

One thing you must know about Implanon is that it is a tiny flexible rod that is 4mm long and 2mm thick. 

It’s small, non-invasive and its presence is almost imperceptible in your daily life.

How does a birth control implant work?

Like birth control injections and birth control patches, birth control implants will slowly release progesterone in your body. 

Progesterone prevents you from ovulating and over time, the cervical mucus will thicken and it  prevents sperm from going through. 

This is how birth control implants help prevent unwanted pregnancies.

How effective is a birth control implant, and when should I get it?

You decide when you want to get it. You can get yourself implanted anytime as long as you do not have a pregnancy.

A birth control implant or Implanon is adequate for an extended period, up to three years. 

Birth control implants provide 99% protection against unwanted pregnancy.

How is it done?

  • You would need a trained healthcare professional who is familiar with the procedure
  • The implant would need to be inserted between Day 1 to Day 5 of your menses
  • After assessing your suitability, you will likely be ask to lie down
  • It is usually placed in the non-dominant arm, on the inner side of your upper arm.
  • The implant comes loaded in a special device, which makes the process quick with minimal discomfort
  • You may request your doctor to provide additional local anaesthesia to reduce the discomfort

What can I expect after an implantation?

After the procedure, you may experience local discomfort for 1 or 2 days.

As is typical with all birth control methods, there are some side effects:

  • Irregular bleeding, and sometimes no bleeding at all.
  • No protection against STDs.
  • Implanon can be displaced from the original insertion site and makes things difficult for the clinician at the time of its removal.
  • It must be removed from the body after three years.
  • Weight gain, breast tenderness, vaginal itch, etc., are some of the side effects a woman must deal with after getting Implanon.

Can a woman take it anytime during her cycle? What about after delivery or miscarriage?

If you get Implanon during the first five days of your menstrual cycle, you do not have to worry about any additional contraception. 

But if you take it after the 5th day of your cycle, you must use condoms for seven days. After that, you are good to go. 

Similarly, suppose you get it immediately after birth, miscarriage, or abortion. Again, you do not need to use additional contraception, but if you get this after 21 days of delivery, miscarriage, or abortion, you have to use condoms for seven days.

How is it better than other contraceptive methods?

A birth control implant is better than other progesterone contraception because it has a long duration of action. One implant can last up to three years. Whereas, birth control pills have to be taken daily without fail for it to be effective. Injections require new shots every 3 months.

And you can get it removed at any time. For example, say you are one year in and you decide you’d like to have children.

Dame can help

Dame is a discreet direct-to-home providing contraceptive treatments in Singapore.

Dame aims to provide a safe place for women of all ages to seek professional advice to help you take charge over your own sexual health.

At Dame, we believe in choice. We carry the largest selection of birth control methods that can be readily access through our online platform. With just a few clicks, you can get a professional consult with our experts, and the medications can be shipped discreetly to you.

There is even an option for subscription, if you are looking to commit to something regular and fuss free.

woman telemedicine

Getting birth control is easy with telemedicine.