Long-acting contraception


Where do I get the contraceptive implant?

In Vietnam, the contraceptive implant is available in hospitals and in medical facilities including Marie Stopes International clinics. Only a specially trained doctor should insert the device.

Can I get a new contraceptive implant when I get the old one removed?

It is possible to have a new contraceptive implant inserted at the same time the old one is removed. It is best to advise your doctor if you wish to do this.

How is the contraceptive implant removed?

The removal of the contraceptive implant is a minor surgical procedure requiring the use of local anesthetic and needs to be done by a fully trained doctor. It is removed with a local anesthetic injection to the area just underneath the end of the implant. A tiny incision is then made in the skin and the end of the implant is pushed through this small incision or assisted out with a small instrument and removed. A dressing is then applied and should be left in place for 24 hours. The removal of the implant should take about three minutes. Although the implant rarely moves, if it has moved from its original position it could make removal more difficult.

How is the contraceptive implant inserted?

The insertion of the contraceptive implant is a minor surgical procedure requiring the use of local anesthetic. It needs to be inserted by a fully trained doctor, who will firstly discuss and assess the suitability of the implant for you (including the advantages and disadvantages).

Following the initial consultation and your consent, the doctor will inject a small amount of local anesthetic under the skin on the inside of your upper arm. When the anesthetic has taken effect, the doctor will insert the contraceptive implant just under the skin in your arm using a sterile disposable applicator. A dressing will then be applied which should be left in place for 24 hours. This process should only take a minute.

You should ensure your doctor shows you how to gently feel for the implant following insertion. This is important so it can be easily located at the time of removal. If you cannot feel the implant at any time you should inform your doctor immediately and use a backup method of contraception until the presence of the rod can be confirmed. Some bruising, soreness or discomfort around the implant may occur which can last up to a week following the insertion.

Some itchiness over the implant may also occur, and should pass within two weeks. It is recommended to avoid scratching the skin.

What are some other things I need to know about the contraceptive implant?

There may be some minor scarring after the insertion or removal of the contraceptive implant, and some women are predisposed to develop a thicker scar. A larger scar is likely if the implant is difficult to remove. On rare occasions the implant may move from its original position which may complicate removal. Contraceptive implants offer no protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS. These are all factors which you should take into consideration when deciding on the right method of contraception for you.

Can I use the contraceptive implant if I am breastfeeding?

The implant is considered to be safe to use during breastfeeding once your infant is 6 weeks old.

Is the contraceptive implant reversible?

The contraceptive implant can be easily removed, making it easily reversible. To stop using the implant, it needs to be removed by your doctor. Most women return to a normal menstrual cycle and previous fertility within a month of the device being removed. You need to use another form of contraception as soon as the device is removed if you do not want to get pregnant.