Birth Control Specialist

Metro Health and Wellness LLC

Kirstie Cunningham, MD, FACOG

OB-GYN located in Atlanta, GA

At Metro Health and Wellness, Dr. Kirstie Cunningham offers her patients a variety of birth control and contraceptive options. She welcomes patients from the Atlanta, Georgia area, as well as many nearby communities.

Birth Control Q&A

by Kirstie Cunningham, MD, FACOG

How Long Does the Birth Control Implant Last?

Most birth control implants last for a total of three years. The implant is placed in the fleshy part of the arm. It continually releases a small amount of hormone over the entire time it remains inside the arm. The initial reaction to the implant once it is placed in the arm, is bruising and tenderness near where the procedure was performed. Once the area has been given a chance to heal, there will be very few if any side effects. The implant will remain in place until the medication has been depleted or the patient chooses to have it removed. The doctor will discuss the patient's options at each yearly physical to determine whether or not the implant will remain in place.

Are IUDs Safe?

IUDs are small "T"-shaped devices that are implanted within the uterus. Some will release small amounts of hormones, while others will release small amounts of copper, both of which help to prevent an embryo from attaching to the lining of the uterus. In most cases, IUDs are extremely safe. There are instances, however, of an IUD shifting inside of the uterus or beginning to work its way out of the uterus. When this occurs, the patient will begin to experience extreme pain, and in some cases, very heavy bleeding. It is important to make an appointment with the gynecologist as soon as the patient notices any type of change.

What are the Side Effects of Oral Birth Control Medications?

Oral birth control medications may have side effects. Some women will be more sensitive the types of hormones that are used in the medications, while other women will not begin to experience side effects until after they have used them for several years. A few of the most noted side effects include hot flashes, blurry vision, weight gain, acne outbreaks, and mood swings. Depression may also be a symptom for many. Because oral birth control medications are taken for many years, doctors believe they may increase the risk of certain types of cancers, including uterine, breast, and ovarian. The medications may also aggravate conditions like endometriosis.