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Contraceptive implant

The contraceptive implant prevents pregnancy. It is a small rod in your upper arm, about as big as a matchstick. The implant is just as reliable as the pill.

How does it work?

Each day, the implant releases a very small amount of hormones into your body – just enough to stop you from getting pregnant. The rod can remain in your upper arm for 3 years. You’re protected against pregnancy during the whole 3-year period.

What you need to do

  • Ask your doctor if this implant is suitable for you.
  • Get a specially trained doctor to place the implant in your upper arm.
  • You can leave the implant in place for 3 years. 

Where can you get the implant?

You can arrange with your doctor to have the implant fitted.

Your period

You can’t postpone your period with the contraceptive implant. Your period may become more irregular or stop altogether.

Advantages and disadvantages

Advantages:

  • You only need to think about contraception once every 3 years.
  • It's very reliable: you can’t forget the implant, like you can forget the pill.
  • The implant can be removed easily and having it fitted is almost painless.
  • The contraceptive implant is even reliable if you’re vomiting or you have diarrhoea.
  • Periods are less painful or stop altogether.

Disadvantages:

  • It has to be fitted by a specially trained doctor. Ask your own doctor or Sense where you should go to have it done.
  • The first few months you may have side effects such as headaches and tender breasts.
  • You won’t know when you’ll have your period.
  • The implant doesn’t protect against STIs.
  • You may have bleeds between periods.

When do you run the risk of pregnancy?

If you are too late getting your next implant (you wait longer than 3 years)

STIs

Remember: the contraceptive implant doesn’t protect against STIs. To prevent STIs you must use condoms too.