Insertion and Removal of Contraceptives

Contraception, also known as birth control, is the practice of preventing pregnancy. Numerous contraceptive methods are available including barrier or hormonal method, natural family planning and sterilization (surgery). Two hormonal methods of contraception used by women include the Implanon and Mirena which steadily release the hormone progestin. Progestin prevents ovulation, thins the womb lining and thickens the cervical mucus, preventing sperm from reaching the egg for fertilisation.

Insertion and removal of Implanon: Implanon is a hormone implant inserted under your skin in your upper arm. It is a plastic rod which is about the size of a matchstick. Insertion of Implanon is usually performed on an outpatient basis under local anaesthesia. Your doctor inserts the Implanon in a groove between the biceps and triceps muscles with the help of an applicator. A small bandage and pressure bandage are applied. Insertion of Implanon may be associated with certain risks such as pain, scarring, bleeding and bruising at the insertion site.

TheImplanon implant prevents pregnancy for up to a period of three years, and should be replaced for further protection. Removal is performed under local anaesthesia. Your doctor makes a small incision on the skin and pushes the Implanon towards the incision until the tip becomes visible. It is grasped with forceps and pulled out. The incision is then closed and a pressure bandage is applied to lessen bruising.

Insertion and removal of Mirena: Mirena intrauterine device (IUD) is a small T-shaped plastic frame that is inserted vaginally into the uterus for long-term birth control. The insertion of Mirena is performed in the doctor’s office. Your doctor first cleans the cervix and vagina with an antiseptic solution. Using a special instrument, the cervical canal and the uterine cavity is aligned, and the depth of the uterine cavity is measured with the help of another tool. The Mirena is placed inside an applicator tube with its horizontal arms folded. The applicator is placed into your cervical canal and the Mirena is opened up in your uterus. Your doctor then trims the Mirena’s strings so that it does not extend out of the vagina.

Mirena can provide protection for up to five years, and needs to be replaced for further contraception. Removal of the Mirena is done with the help of forceps. Your doctor holds the string and gently pulls it out. You may experience light bleeding and cramping during the process.