What is Private Contraception?
Howell Medical Group offers a wide range of contraception services including advice on the most suitable medication choice and the insertion and removal of contraceptive implants and coils. If you would like family planning advice we have private GPs and female health specialists available along with expert Consultant Gynaecologists who can advise on the best form of contraception to suit you and your options to have this done privately at our clinic.
Here at Howell Medical Group we understand that all women have different needs when looking for a method of contraception. While contraception is free on the NHS we know that for many women, with busy lifestyles, it is difficult to get an appointment at a time that is convenient for you.
The contraception clinic here offer you a consultation in a private setting at a time that is convenient for you. You will have a named nurse who will be available to you for your initial consultation and all follow up appointments. Our nurse is accredited by The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH). This means that they are qualified experts in the field of sexual health and contraception.
After spending up to one hour discussing your needs and the options available to you they will then be able to prescribe the appropriate form of contraception.
Contraceptive Implant – Nexplanon
How does the contraceptive implant work?
The implant is a device that is placed under the skin of the upper arm (right or left). The contraceptive implant is a small flexible rod about 4cm long (the size of a matchstick) that is inserted into your upper inner arm. It releases a low but constant dose of a progesterone, a female hormone to thicken the cervical mucus and thin the lining of the uterus. In addition to this, it should also prevent ovulation. It is very convenient as you do not have to take a pill every day once it has been fitted by the nurse.
Can the contraceptive implant be used as emergency contraception?
No, the implant cannot be used as emergency contraception. This is because the implant takes around 7 days to become fully effective.
Can the contraceptive implant move?
Whilst movement of the implant is rare, it is possible. It may move slightly from the site of insertion by 2-4cm. It is important to minimise the use of the arm for up to 48 hours after an implant fit, to ensure the implant remains correctly cited.
How long does the implant work for?
The implant works for 3 years at a time, and it must be removed and/or replaced by the end of the third year.
How effective is the contraceptive implant?
It is highly unlikely for the implant to fail. It has a 0.1% failure rate, meaning that 1 in 1,000 people using the birth control implant will become pregnant in a year
Will the contraceptive implant completely stop working after 3 years?
At the end of the three years, the implant will lose its effectiveness, as the hormone levels in the implants drop. After they lose effectiveness, they may still release a small dose of hormone for several more years, which serves no purpose and is the reason why the device needs removing and replacing in that time frame.
What are the side effects of the contraceptive implant?
Most side effects of the contraceptive implant are usually temporary as you adjust to the hormones.
Can the contraceptive implant cause you to gain weight?
Whilst the implant may cause weight gain in some people, it is a very uncommon side effect and many people use the implant without gaining weight.
How can the contraceptive implant affect your periods?
Your periods may become irregular, lighter, heavier or longer. Often women having an implant notice their periods stop. Some times the bleeding can be irregular.
Can the contraceptive implant affect your fertility?
The implant does not affect your long-term fertility. After the implant is removed, your fertility returns immediately.
Can the contraceptive implant cause cancer?
It is not known whether the contraceptive implant use changes a woman’s risk for breast cancer. If you have breast cancer now, or have had it in the past, do not use a contraceptive implant as some breast cancers are sensitive to hormones including progesterone.
Are there any positive side effects?
Contraceptive implants are more than 99% effective and provide easy, long-term protection against pregnancy without having to remember to take a pill or how to use it correctly.
A contraceptive implant fitting/replacement is a straightforward procedure which rarely poses complications. It usually takes a few minutes and does not require any stitches.
The procedure takes around 30 minutes. We will begin by discussing any questions and concerns that you may have about the implant, the procedure and rule out pregnancy before we proceed (in the same appointment) with the fitting/replacement.
Once we have completed the consultation element of the appointment, we will then ask you to lie down on the couch and roll up your sleeve (so please do wear something loose and comfortable). After cleaning the area of your arm where the implant is to be fitted/replaced with an antiseptic wipe, we will administer a local anaesthetic injection.
Once the area is numb, we will proceed to insert the implant under the skin on the inner side of your upper arm. We will then check that the implant can be felt in your arm and show you how to feel it is in place.
If we are replacing your implant, we first make a tiny cut in your skin and gently pull the old contraceptive implant out.
Once the implant has been fitted/replaced, the area will be cleaned and a bandage applied (to be kept clean and dry for 24-48 hours).
You may then re-dress and we’ll make sure you’re feeling alright and answer any further questions before the end of your appointment.
Your arm may ache once the local anaesthetic starts to wear off so take simple painkillers if uncomfortable.
Leave the pressure bandage on for 24-48 hours and try to keep the area dry. If you do need to bathe or shower, then cover the area with a plastic bag/cling film.
If the bandage is uncomfortable to sleep in, take it off overnight and apply it again in the morning.
You can take the plaster off after one or two days
The steristips should come off by themselves (in either the bath or shower) or you may remove them after 5 days.
The bruising should fade by about 10-14 days and any swelling of the area should also have disappeared. Furthermore, there will be a small scar from the insertion or removal, usually about 2mm.
- Will I require a follow up appointment after my procedure?
No. It’s rarely necessary to have a check up after an implant procedure, unless there are concerns to attend to (please see above for helpful advice).
- How soon will the implant begin to work?
It works immediately if the implant is fitted before day 5 of the menstrual cycle. It works 7 days after insertion if the implant is fitted after day 7 of the menstrual cycle
- How soon after my implant removal can I have sex?
You can have sex as soon as you would like to after your implant removal.
- How soon after my implant removal will I become fertile?
Fertility usually returns soon after removal of Implant within a month and you can start trying to conceive straight away after having your implant removed.
- When should I expect my periods to return?
Your period should return within 4-6 weeks. The implant hormones leave the body’s system very quickly. Therefore, if you do not wish to fall pregnant, please use a reliable method of contraception as soon as the implant is removed.
Hormone Injection (for women)
The hormone progestogen is given as an injection every 12 weeks. It is over 99 per cent effective and works by stopping the ovaries producing eggs. It shares many of the advantages of the combined pill but can cause irregular bleeding initially. Once the injections stop it can take a year or more for periods to return to normal.
Oral Contraception (the pill)
Contraceptive pills are synthetic hormones which resemble the female hormones of the ovary. In suppressing ovulation they mimic the action of pregnancy. Protection is established as soon as the woman begins taking the pill, if started on the 1st day of the menstrual cycle. The pills are divided into two types, the combined pill and progestogen pill. The combined pill contains synthetic oestrogen and progesterone hormones in each pill. The progestogen or ( Mini-Pill) contains a progestational agent and no oestrogen.
The combined pill contains two hormones which inhibit the release of hormones which stimulate the final development and release of ova (eggs) from the ovary.
The combined pill is convenient and over 99 per cent effective when taken correctly, and has many advantages.
The progestogen-only pill contains only one hormone and stops sperm from getting to the egg by maintaining the natural plug of mucus in the neck of the womb. It also makes the lining of the womb thinner. It is highly effective (99 per cent) and it is particularly useful for women who cannot use the combined pill.