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What is the contraceptive implant?

  • The implant is a small flexible rod put under the skin of the upper arm.
  • It releases a progestogen hormone similar to the natural progesterone that women produce in their ovaries.

 

How does the implant work?

  • The implant stops ovulation (the monthly release of an egg).
  • It thickens cervical mucus to prevent sperm reaching an egg.
  • It thins the lining of the uterus to stop a fertilised egg from implanting.

The Implant is one of the LARC methods.  LARC stands for Long Acting Reversible Contraception.  The LARCs are the most effective methods at preventing pregnancy.   Unlike pills, you do not have to remember to take them every day.

Are there any advantages to the implant?

  • It works soon after it is put in. (In some it will work straight away but in others it may take 7 days before you can rely on it.)
  • It can stay in for 3 years, but can be taken out at any time
  • You don’t have to think about contraception for as long as the implant is in place
  • When the Implant is removed your fertility will return to normal.

Are there any disadvantages or risks to the implant?

  • Periods may stop, be irregular or last longer
  • Acne may occur
  • You will need to have a small procedure to fit and remove the implant
  • Implants do not protect you against STIs so you may need to use condoms as well especially if you have a new sexual partner.

Further info on STIs

Further Information about the implant

  • The implant is put in using a local anaesthetic and no stitches are needed.
  • Tenderness, bruising and some swelling may occur.
  • You should be able to feel the implant with your fingers, but it can’t be seen.
  • Some medicines may stop the implant from working so its always good to tell the doctor or nurse if you have an implant.
  • For more information about the advantages, disadvantages and risks of the implant you may want to read the FPA leaflet.

Where can I get the implant fitted?

You can get an implant fitted at the following places:

  • Your GP (if there is someone at your practice who fits them)
  • Unity Sexual Health (you may need a referral letter from your GP)
  • Brook (if you are under 20 years)
  • WISH (Weston Integrated Sexual Health Services).

Locate a confidential service

Find your local Pharmacy or Clinic and book a confidential appointment.


Order a testing kit

Worried about STIs or other sexual health problems? You can request a confidential free home testing kit.

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