Implanon Side Effects

by on July 23, 2012


The most commonly reported side effects from women who had used Implanon (Etonogestrel Implant) included irregular menstrual bleeding, vaginitis, cramps, nausea and pain at the site of insertion. If the patient experiences any side effects with the Implanon implant, they should consult with their doctor immediately.

Common Implanon Side Effects

While not experienced by all women while using the Implanon contraceptive device, the following side effects have been reported:

  • Minor bleeding at the point of insertion
  • Acne
  • Freckles or darkening of facial skin
  • Nausea
  • Mild abdominal cramps
  • Problems with inserting contact lenses in some patients
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat or coughing
  • Loss of hair on the scalp
  • Changes in menstrual bleeding patterns
  • Numbness, tingling or pain where the device was inserted in the arm

In most cases, the abovementioned side effects don’t usually require medical attention, but if they persist or worsen while the implant is inserted, it is important for the patient to speak to their doctor as soon as possible.

Serious Implanon Side Effects

While uncommon, it is possible for patients to experience allergic reactions while using the Implanon contraceptive device. If the patient experiences any of the following allergic reactions, they need to contact their doctor immediately:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the lips, face, neck, mouth or throat

While other side effects which have been reported are serious, they are not always indicative of an allergic reaction to the Implanon device. If the patient experiences any of the following symptoms while using this contraceptive, they need to contact their doctor immediately:

  • Chest pain
  • Swelling or oozing at the site of the implant
  • Severe pain or cramps in the pelvic area
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin, which could be indicative of liver damage)
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Severe mood swings
  • Pain which spreads to the rest of the arm or shoulder
  • Swelling of hands or feet
  • Migraine headaches
  • Vision disturbances
  • Problems with speech or balance
  • Decreased libido
  • Weight gain
  • Back pain

Possible Complications Relating to the Use of Implanon

Although the Implanon device is easy to insert and use, on rare occasions there may be complications that arise during the insertion or removal process. In rare cases, the device may slip out of the needle during the insertion process. Because of the fact that the patient can feel the implant once it has been placed under the skin, they should advise their doctor immediately if they cannot feel anything at the source of insertion. In some cases, the Implanon device moves after being inserted into the arm. If this occurs, the removal process of this contraceptive device may be painful. Certain medications may render the Implanon ineffective, so it is important to use back up contraceptives if you are unsure.

Implanon and Pregnancy

Implanon should not be used by women who are pregnant or who are trying to conceive because of the fact that there is a high risk of an ectopic pregnancy occurring when the device is in use. If the patient has given birth, they need to wait for a minimum of four weeks before having the Implanon device inserted.

Implanon has been shown to transfer into breast milk, so mothers who are breastfeeding should not make use of this contraceptive. If the patient suspects that she may be pregnant, they should advise their doctor before the device is inserted.

Preexisting Conditions

Patients who suffer from unexplained vaginal bleeding or who suffer from blood clotting should not make use of the Implanon device. Those suffering from liver disease or who have a history of depression are not suitable candidates for using this contraceptive. This contraceptive device is not suitable for past or present cancer patients or anyone who has suffered from a stroke. Women who have ovarian cysts, gallbladder disease, diabetes or high blood pressure should not make use of the Implanon device. The Implanon device should also not be used by patients who are overweight or who suffer from epilepsy or seizures of any sort.

Other Medications

Once the patient has decided to have the Implanon device inserted, they need to ensure that they inform their doctor of any other medications that they may be using, because these may affect the performance of Implanon. The following medications may interact with the Implanon device:

  • St John’s Wort (a herbal treatment for depression)
  • Seizure medications such as Dilantin, Felbatol or Topamax
  • HIV medications such as Invirase, Lexiva, Aptivus, Viracept or Aptivus
  • Barbiturates such as Seconal or Luminal
  • Phenylbutazone medications such as Azolid or Butazolidin
  • Provigil
  • Herbal remedies or treatments

If the patient experiences any side effects while using the Implanon contraceptive device, it is important for them to contact their doctor immediately so that alternative options can be explored.