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.
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
- 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
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.