Everything you need to know about the contraceptive implant
About the implant
The contraceptive implant is a useful method for women who cannot use contraception that contains oestrogen. It is also useful for women who forget to take their pills at the same time every day.
The implant can be removed at any time within the 3 year period. Your natural fertility will return to normal very quickly.
When it is first inserted you may experience bruising tenderness or swelling around the implant site. This usually settles within a few days.
Your periods may become lighter, irregular, heavier or longer, and may stop together.
How the implant works
The implant steadily releases the hormone progestogen into the bloodstream, which prevents the release of an egg each month.
It thickens the cervical mucus, making it more difficult for the sperm to move through the cervix, and it thins the lining of the womb, so a fertilised egg is less likely to implant.
When can the contraceptive implant be fitted?
An Implant can be fitted at any time during your cycle, as long as you are not pregnant.
If the contraceptive implant is fitted during the first 5 days of your menstrual cycle you are immediately protected against pregnancy.
If it’s fitted at any other time in the cycle, you will need to use additional contraception for the first 7 days.
The birth control implant can be fitted any time after giving birth. If fitted in the first 21 days after birth you are immediately protected. After this time, you will need additional contraception for the first 7 days.
It is safe to have an implant whilst you are breastfeeding
A local anaesthetic is used to numb the area on the inside of the upper arm. The implant is then gently inserted under the skin. You will not need any stitches.
The implant can be removed at any time, a local anaesthetic is used and a tiny incision is made for the implant to pop out.
As soon as the implant is removed, you are considered fertile.
- It works for 3 years
- It does not interrupt sexual intercourse
- Safe to use while breastfeeding
- Fertility will return to normal once the Implant is removed
- Can reduce heavy periods
- You may experience temporary side effects in the first few months, such as headaches, breast tenderness, mood swings, bleeding.
- Your periods may be irregular, heavier and longer.
- Your skin may be affected
- A small procedure is required for fitting and removal.
In rare cases, the area of skin where the implant has been fitted can become infected, this may require antibiotics or removal.
If you notice any changes such as the implant has moved, changed in shape or feeling pain at the site, please contact the clinic for advice and next steps.
You only need one appointment for your consultation with our Specialist Nurse and fitting, which lasts for 45-minutes in total.
The total cost for the fitting of an implant is £295. This includes an £85 consultation fee, which remains payable even if it is advised that the implant is not suitable. You will be advised on appropriate alternatives.