Contraceptive Implant

What is it?

The contraceptive implant is a tiny cylinder instrument that is put under the skin of your upper arm. This needs to be done by a GP, or other professional. The cylinder, when inserted, will protect you from pregnancy for three years, but is an irreversible procedure. It works by releasing the hormone progestogen. In the UK there is only one implant of this kind, known as the Implanon.

How does it work?

The cylinder releases an artificial form of the hormone progestogen into your body, which works to prevent the process of ovulation. This makes it difficult for sperm to reach the egg. The cylinder, though flexible, will remain safely in the upper arm.

How dependable is it?

The contraceptive implant is 99% effective, and is therefore best used with another form of contraception, such as a condom. The implant will not protect against STIs.

Other important information

The implant can be removed if there are any uncomfortable side-effects, and it is suitable for women who cannot use contraception containing oestrogen. Your period may become lighter, or heavier, dependent on the individual, and there will be an initial swelling in the upper arm. You should check with your GP to ensure any medication you are currently taking will not nullify its effects.

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