Contraceptive Implants Vs. The Pill – Which Is Best For You?

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Contraceptive Implants Vs. The Pill

The contraceptive implants and the pill are two of the most popular birth control methods available to women. But determining the type that best works for you will depend on your particular circumstances as well as your health. Before opting for a contraception method, there are several issues to consider, and in this guide, we will look into every little detail to help you determine which is best for you.

Contraceptive Implants

The implant is considered a highly effective and convenient form of contraception. It is a small toothpick-sized flexible rod that a doctor will insert under the skin of your upper arm’s inner side.

The doctor will use a special needle to insert the rod, typically after local anesthesia is given to your upper arm to numb the area. A bandage is then put over the site, which may be slightly inflamed for a few days. Later on, the only physical sign of the contraceptive should be a small bump under your skin.

How does the contraceptive implants work?

The contraceptive implants steadily release the man-made form of the hormone progesterone into the bloodstream. This prevents pregnancy by:

  • Makes it difficult for sperm to pass through the cervix by thickening the cervical mucus.
  • Stops the release of an egg each month.
  • Makes it difficult for an egg to implant by thinning the lining of the womb.

Pros

  • Stays effective for up to 3 years
  • May reduce painful and heavy periods
  • Is a good option for women who cannot use estrogen-based contraception such as birth control pills
  • Safe for breastfeeding mothers
  • Once the implant is taken out, your fertility will return
  • Does not interfere with sex
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Cons

  • Does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Your periods may become irregular or stop altogether
  • During the first few months, you may experience side effects such as nausea and headaches
  • To have it fitted and removed, you will need a small medical procedure
  • If you have acne, it may worsen

Why choose contraceptive implants?

The implant is very effective, and it is more than 99% at preventing pregnancy. It does not rely on correct usage, and the implant can be taken out at any time, allowing your fertility to return to normal.

The Pill

The pill is also called the combined oral contraceptive pill. It contains man-made versions of female hormones progesterone and estrogen that are naturally produced in the ovaries.

How does the pill work?

The pill works by preventing pregnancy through:

  • Prevents ovulation/ prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg every month
  • Makes it difficult for the sperm to reach an egg and penetrate the womb by thickening the mucus in the womb
  • Thinning the lining of the womb, thus making it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant into the womb

Pros

  • Sometimes reduces acne
  • Does not interfere with sex
  • Reduces the risk of various cancers such as womb, colon, or ovarian cancers
  • Reduces the risk of fibroids, non-cancerous breast disease, and ovarian cysts
  • May reduce painful and heavy periods
  • Can reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome

Cons

  • Does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases
  • Can increase your blood pressure
  • Can cause temporary side effects such as nausea, headaches, and mood swings
  • The first few months of using birth control pills are sometimes coupled with breakthrough bleeding and spotting
  • Can increase the risk of health conditions such as breast cancer and blood clots
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Why choose the pill?

When correctly taken, the pill is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. (However, the tablets need to be continually taken at the correct time, and people can sometimes forget. This means the pill is around 93% effective during normal use, according to the World Health Organization).

Furthermore, there are different forms of the pill to choose from, they do not lead to weight gain, and there is a low risk of serious side effects.

Final thoughts

Both the implant and the pill are very effective at preventing pregnancy, so apart from your health condition, determining the one that is best for you is typically a matter of preference.

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