Researchers, physicians and those who market contraceptives continue to search for products that will be safe, useful and appeal to the men and women who might use them. The fact is that most of the responsibility for contraceptive use falls to the woman in the relationship. If it fails she is the one who will get pregnant and have the life time responsibility of parenting.
That is why researchers devote more time to working on contraceptives that will both appeal to and be easier to use for woman.
The implant method of contraception was first discovered in the late 1960s. But it was not until 1983 that they were first made available for women to use. The first one was six sticks that were implanted under the skin that released progestogen for five years.
This product is no longer on the market but has been replaced by improved products. A new one, made by the same company, requires only two sticks to be implanted under the skin and lasts for three years.
Currently nearly eleven million women worldwide use implants. This compares to the Pill which has eighty million global users and the IUDs with one hundred and fifty six million users. The most popular method of contraception, which is female sterilization, ranks the highest with two hundred and ten million women worldwide choosing this option.
Still women continue to look for something hassle free and the implant may be their answer. Depending on which brand name is chosen there are a few differences. The one made by the makers of the original implant now make two other products. One uses two sticks to deliver levonorgestrel and lasts three to five years depending on country of release.
As well, there is another they sell that is only one stick which puts out a synthetic form of progestogen nestorone. This one has the advantage that it can be used by woman who are nursing because it does nothing when taken orally and so would not affect a nursing infant. The big change since this product was first developed is the reduction from six sticks to, at most, half that.
How to Use
To use this method a woman must go to her health care provider for implantation. It will require a local anesthetic being used and then a special device is used to insert the sticks under the skin. It is a quick procedure, lasting no more than a few minutes.
But, when you consider that it has an effectiveness rating of ninety nine percent it is certainly worth the few minutes.
Since one of these can be used when a women is breastfeeding it is suggested that three to four weeks after the baby is born she sees her health care provider for implantation. But, like all contraception methods there are some women who should not use them. For example, heavy women will not necessary get the protection she needs from this method.
Also women who take medication for tuberculosis or epilepsy may find that the medication nullifies the effects of the implant.