Contraceptive implant

An implant is a small bendy tube which is placed just under the skin in your upper arm. It releases a progestogen hormone for up to three years. The main way the implant works is to stop your ovaries releasing an egg (ovulation), thickening of the cervical mucus to prevent sperm reaching an egg and thinning of the lining of the womb to prevent a fertilised egg implanting.Implanon rod

Only a specially trained doctor or nurse can give you an implant. If your GP does not offer this method of contraception you can come to a Sandyford clinic.

If you are thinking about getting an implant the doctor or nurse will consider your medical history to make sure you can have an implant. They should also tell you about any possible side effects before you have an implant. Ask the doctor or nurse any questions you have.


  • It works for up to 3 years but can be taken out sooner.
  • You can breastfeed if you have an implant
  • You can use implants if you cannot take oestrogens, like those in the combined pill.
  • The implant does not interfere with having sex in any way.
  • Your normal level of fertility will return as soon as the implant is taken out
  • It may reduce heavy painful periods


There are a number of side effects you may experience from using an implant. These may include:

  • A change in your periods. In the first year of getting an implant, most women will have irregular bleeding. This is normal and will usually settle. Some women may have heavy and prolonged bleeding and a few will not bleed at all. These changes may be irritating but they are not harmful.
  • Other side effects can include: headaches, acne, appetite or mood changes, tender breasts or bloating.
  • It requires a small procedure to fit and remove it. Very rarely soon after the implant is put in it can cause an infection in your arm where it was inserted.
  • An implant does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections, so you may need to use condoms as well.


Can anything make an implant less effective?

Some medications including some complementary medicines, can make your contraception less effective, always tell your doctor, dentist or chemist.

The Implant protects you from pregnancy but not sexually transmitted infections. You must also use condoms to help protect against most infections.


Help, information and support:

If you have any concerns or questions about using the implant speak to your GP.

You can find out more about implants at a Sandyford Clinic.