Contraceptive Implant (Implanon)

Back to Contraception List

Contraceptive implants are long-acting, effective methods of contraception. They are over 99% reliable in preventing pregnancy. The implant works by slowly releasing a hormone called progestogen into your body. They can be started at any time during your menstrual cycle, as long as you and your doctor are reasonably sure that you are not pregnant.

The implant is a small flexible rod like structure that is put under the skin inside the upper arm. The implant can be felt if the skin is touched but you are unable to see it.
The rod discharges progesterone that stops the female egg being released. The implant additionally thickens the mucus that surrounds the neck of the womb that makes it a difficult task for the sperm to enter into the womb. Implanon works for up to 3 years before it needs to be replaced (HSE, 2017). It can be removed at any time by a specially trained doctor or nurse. It takes a few minutes to remove (HSE, 2017).

Benefits of choosing the Implant

  • Does not interrupt sex.
  • It can work effectively for up to 3 years.
  • The implant can reduce painful periods.

Disadvantages of choosing the Implant

  • The implant can cause irregular bleeding, constant bleeding or even lead to no bleeding/period.
  • The implant can also cause acne or weight gain in women.
  • The insertion and removal must be done by a doctor who is trained in this procedure.
  • It may leave a very small scar on your arm.
  • The implant does not protect against S.T.I’s.
  • It is not suitable if you are pregnant, suffer from migraines, liver disease, breast cancer (HSE, 2016).

For more information on the implant contraception, click on any of the following links;

Think Contraception


Planned Parenthood