About etonogestrel contraceptive implant
|Type of medicine||Progestogen|
Etonogestrel is a progestogen, which is a female sex hormone. Etonogestrel contraceptive implant is used as a long-acting contraceptive to prevent pregnancy. The implant is a small flexible rod which releases etonogestrel slowly into the bloodstream when inserted just below the surface of the skin on your upper arm.
Etonogestrel works by stopping your egg cells from ripening and being released and it also changes the lining of your womb to make it less likely that a fertilised egg will attach to it. The mucus that surrounds your cervix (neck of the womb) also becomes thicker so that the sperm cannot get through as easily to fertilise an egg.
Before having etonogestrel contraceptive implant
Before having this implant make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you think you may be pregnant.
- If you have ever had breast cancer or a cancer of the sex organs.
- If you have vaginal bleeding other than your normal monthly period.
- If you have been told you have any thickening of your arteries or a clot in a blood vessel.
- If you have liver disease or problems with your liver.
- If during a past pregnancy you have had jaundice.
- If you have had an ectopic or abnormal pregnancy.
- If you have porphyria (a rare blood disorder).
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine.
How etonogestrel contraceptive implant is given
- It is important that before receiving this implant, you read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet. Discuss any questions you have with your doctor.
- The implant must only be inserted by a person who has been suitably trained. This is because if it is not inserted correctly, you may not be protected against pregnancy. A check will be made to ensure it is inserted correctly.
- The date when the implant is to be inserted is important so remember to keep your clinic appointment.
- When the implant has been put into your arm, you will be given a user card which contains details for you to keep, including a suggested date for the removal of the implant.
Getting the most from your treatment
- You will be protected from pregnancy for a period of up to 3 years.
- You may stop using etonogestrel at any time by asking for this implant to be removed.
- This implant does not protect against HIV (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases.
- Your periods may change while you are using this implant. They may become irregular, infrequent, prolonged, heavy, or completely stop. The bleeding cycle that you experience during the first three months of treatment generally indicates your future bleeding pattern.
- It is important to regularly check your breasts and speak with your doctor if you feel any lumps.
- You may gain a little weight while you are using etonogestrel. Eating a well-balanced diet and taking regular exercise can help but if this is a concern to you, you should discuss it with your doctor.
Can etonogestrel contraceptive implant cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common side-effects||What can I do if I experience this|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headache continues or is severe, let your doctor know|
|Dizziness||Make sure your reactions are normal before driving, operating machinery or doing any other jobs which could be dangerous if you were not fully alert|
|Feeling sick, abdominal cramping pain, wind||Stick to simple or bland foods - avoid rich or spicy foods|
|Pain near the implant||This should soon pass|
|Nervousness, acne, mood changes, tiredness, breast discomfort, changes in menstruation, loss of hair, reduced interest in sex and hot flushes||If you are concerned about any of these, talk to your doctor|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store etonogestrel contraceptive implant
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 60th Edition (September 2010) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Nexplanon® 68mg implant for subdermal use; Manufacturer's PIL, Nexplanon® 68mg implant for subdermal use, Organon Laboratories Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated July 2010.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen|
|Last Checked: 23/03/2011||Document ID: 13622 Version: 1||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.