What is a contraceptive implant?

The implant is a small piece of plastic that works by releasing the hormone progestogen. It is inserted just beneath the skin of your arm via a small procedure. It is a highly effective method of contraception.

How to look after the insertion/removal site

Following the insertion or removal of a contraceptive implant, a pressure bandage may be applied to reduce bruising and swelling. The bandage should ideally be kept on for two to three hours after the procedure. If it is causing tingling, numbness or colour change of your hand/arm then you should loosen or remove the bandage.

The dressing can be removed after three days. If steri-strips have been applied, they can be removed at the same time.

If you notice worsening pain, redness of the skin or swelling around the site of insertion/ removal you should return to the clinic as this may be a sign of infection. Please see the contact details below.

Common questions if you have had a contraceptive implant inserted

When can I rely on my implant for contraception?

If you have had the implant inserted during the first five days of a normal period or had an implant removed and a new one put in on the same day, then the implant will be effective immediately.

Otherwise, you will need to use condoms or avoid sex for seven days after the fitting. If you have been using another method of contraception such as the pill, patch, or vaginal ring, you can also continue this for another seven days.

Will I require follow up care?

Follow up is not necessary after an implant fitting unless you experience any problems. You may experience some irregular bleeding with the implant. There are treatments that can help if this is persisting or troublesome.

How long does my implant last?

The implant lasts for three years, at which point it needs to be changed as it can no longer be relied on for contraception. If you are happy with the implant, you can have it removed and a new one put in on the same day, which is safe - it is not necessary to take a ‘break’ from the implant.

You can have your implant removed at any time if you are unhappy with it.

Common questions if you have had a contraceptive implant removed

When should I start to use another method of contraception?

Implants stop working very quickly after removal. If you do not wish to get pregnant you should start using another method of contraception immediately