Birth Control Implant
as any other medications may cause side effects. However, these symptoms could vary from one woman to another. The most common side effects that women get while on Implanon, Mirena, or ParaGrad are: cramps, back pain, longer and heavier periods, spotting between periods, nervousness or mood swings. These side effects are completely normal; it shows that your body is trying to adjust to the contraceptive particles that are being released by the implant. You can see the chart below for possible side effects for Implanon, Mirena and ParaGrad.
Common for all three Implants
Implanon Mirena ParaGard – Side Effects
IMPLANON SIDE EFFECTS
If you experience any of the above-mentioned Implanon side effects, you should always talk to your doctor. Some Implanon side effects, if not treated right away, could lead to serious problems, even death. A lot of women are concerned about possible complications of Implanon. Although it is very rare, but you might experience:
• Complications of Insertion
Health care specialists who were trained should insert Implanon. You should never try it yourself. If the device gets implanted too deep, it might be impossible to remove it. Possible Implanon side effects at insertion include: the implant fell out of the needle (which may cause unwanted pregnancy), insertion of Implanon too deep might cause neural or vascular damage. After the insertion, the doctor must feel your upper arm, to make sure that the device is properly positioned. If you have pain at the insertion site, bleeding, increased redness or pus, you should contact your doctor immediately.
• Complications of Removal
Removal of Implanon could potentially be difficult, or very rarely impossible, if the implant changed the original position, moved, or if the doctor couldn’t find it, if it was inserted too deep, or encased in the fibrous tissue. These types of Implanon side effects could lead to the surgical removal, where possible complications of the surgery might occur.
• Ectopic Pregnancy
Chances of getting pregnant while on Implanon are very low, but they do exist. If you get pregnant while on Implanon, chances that your pregnancy will be ectopic are slightly higher, than women who are not taking any contraceptives. This Implanon side effect can cause internal bleeding or even death.
• Bleeding Irregularities
Some women do not like unpredictable, irregular bleeding. During the first two years of use about 6%-18% of women experience frequent or prolonged bleeding or spotting between periods; 22%-34% report infrequent or no bleeding at all.
• Interaction with Drugs
Implanon may react with some drugs or supplements. Medications such as antibiotics, antifungals, anticonvulsants and other drugs that increase metabolism – decrease the efficacy of hormonal contraception. If you do take above-mentioned medications, it is recommended to use an additional non-hormonal contraceptive. Herbal supplement St. John’s Wort may also reduce the effectiveness of the device.
• Ovarian Cysts
Sometimes, Implanon can cause cysts on ovaries. Usually these cysts go away and do not require any treatments. But, in some rare cases surgery is required.
MIRENA and PARAGARD SIDE EFFECTS
The most common Mirena side effects, which about 10% of women encounter, is irregular bleeding such as spotting, lighter bleeding or no bleeding at all. ParaGard users might experience longer and heavier bleeding, as well as acute abdominal pain. Development of ovarian cysts is another common Mirena and ParaGrad implant side effect, which does not usually require medical treatments and it disappears itself. About 1-10% may get breast pain, back of pelvic pain, cramps, acne, weight gain, decreased libido, nausea, headache, nervousness. Less than 1% will experience PID, inflammation of the womb or cervix, hair loss, mood changes, migraine, perforation.
• Intrauterine Pregnancy / Ectopic Pregnancy
If the pregnancy occurs while you are on Mirena or ParaGard, the implant must be removed. About 50% of women that get pregnant while on Mirena, get ectopic pregnancy. But, do not worry, the risk factor for this Mirena Side effect is extremely low, about 0.1% per year. If you have had ectopic pregnancy before, then you will have a slightly higher chance for a pregnancy outside the uterus.
If you get intrauterine pregnancy, any manipulation with Mirena or ParaGard may result in pregnancy loss. The IUD device should be removed as soon as possible.
• Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
You should take into the consideration the possibility of getting PID, when choosing an IUD. The highest chance of getting this ParaGard or Mirena Implant side effect is during the first few weeks after insertion. Women that have multiple partners, have a bit higher chance to get PID. PIDs usually caused by STDs such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. Damages that this ParaGard or Mirena Side effect can cause are: tubal damage, infertility, can require hysterectomy, or even cause death. If you get symptoms such as fever, chills, abdominal or pelvic pain, heavy bleeding and vaginal discharge, contact your doctor immediately. PID can be easily treated with antibiotics as long as it is treated in time.
• Irregular Bleeding
IUD users will develop irregular bleeding for the first three to six months. Until you body adjusts, you might get prolonged bleeding or spotting. About 20% of women develop amenorrhea. Women with heavy menstrual cycles might actually benefit from Mirena, as it decreases menstrual flow.
Perforation is when the uterus accidently poked by the device during the insertion or removal. To fix this Mirena and ParaGard side effect, surgery might be required. The IUD can be re-inserted only after minimum of 6 months. Perforation can cause unwanted pregnancy, intestinal puncture, etc.
Embedment is when the device gets attached to the uterine wall. If embedment occurs, the contraceptive effect substantially reduces and the device should be surgically removed.
Women who have never had children have higher risk of the device being fully or partially expelled from uterus. Mirena or ParaGard must be checked regularly, because it might slip out with out even being noticed.
Birth control implant side effects usually develop within 6 month to a year. After one-year period, the body adjusts itself to the copper or the progestin and side effects symptoms slowly disappear. All birth control implants are easily reversible, but they do not protect from sexually transmitted disease (STDs).