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Progestin Implant

Definition

Progestin implants are a form of birth control used to prevent pregnancy.

Who is a candidate for the procedure?

Progestin implants consist of several small rods about the size of matchsticks that are placed beneath the skin. The rods contain progestin, which is similar to the female hormone progesterone. The rods are usually inserted under the upper arm. With progestin implants, a woman can get long-term, reversible birth control for up to 5 years.
These progestin rods prevent pregnancy in the following ways:
  • They inhibit ovulation, or the release of an egg from the ovaries.
  • They cause vaginal secretions to thicken to prevent sperm from traveling through the uterus to fertilize an egg.
  • They may change the lining in the uterus to prevent a fertilized egg from implanting
Progestin implants are one of the most effective forms of birth control. They are nearly as effective as sterilization. They do not protect against sexually transmitted infections, or STIs.

How is the procedure performed?

The procedure for inserting progestin implants is done in the healthcare professional's office. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes and is done under sterile conditions. Local anesthesia is used to prevent pain.

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