The contraceptive implant is a method of contraception.

The contraceptive implant is a flexible plastic rod the size of a match. It contains 1 hormone. This hormone prevents ovulation. It also makes it more difficult for sperm cells to enter the uterus and reach the egg cell.

Contraceptive implant

How does the contraceptive implant work

A doctor or gynaecologist will fit the implant. You will have a local anaesthetic, and the rod is inserted with a needle just below the skin on the inside of your upper arm. This is practically painless.

The contraceptive implant works for 3 years. After 3 years it needs to be replaced.

Doctor inserting a contraceptive implant in a woman's upper arm.


The contraceptive implant is very reliable if used correctly.

Does not affect your health

The contraceptive implant contains 1 hormone. This hormone does not generally affect your health.
In some cases it is better, however, to choose another method of contraception. For example: if you have a heart disease, breast cancer or thrombosis. Ask a doctor for advice.

The implant does not make you less fertile. If you want to get pregnant, you just have the implant removed.

During the first months of use, you may have side-effects such as tender breasts, headache and irregular menstrual periods. These effects usually disappear on their own. If they do not, consult a doctor. 

Your menstrual periods can become less heavy, or can even stop altogether. For some women, periods become heavier. Others keep on having irregular menstrual periods and/or bleeding between 2 periods.

Protection against STIs and HIV

The contraceptive implant does not protect against STIs or HIV. Only a condom can protect you.

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