THE BIRTH CONTROL IMPLANT
A skin-deep implant – which may be visible in some – with long-acting protection
ARM YOURSELF AGAINST UNPLANNED PREGNANCY
The birth control implant is as effective as other hormonal methods of birth control. It is a small, flexible plastic rod that contains a reservoir of the hormone progestin, which is constantly released through the entire body. This hormone analog of body’s natural progesterone prevents the ovaries from releasing eggs, and also thickens the cervical mucus, making it harder for the sperm to move.
You should consult your doctor or nurse when deciding if the birth control implant is right for you. If you do decide to get one fitted, your doctor or nurse will do this for you. A local anesthetic may take the pain out of the procedure, in which the implant is placed under the skin of your inner upper arm. Once that's done, there's little to do or remember. The implant will release hormones for up to three to five years, so it's a good choice for anyone who wants a reliable, long-acting birth control. Should you decide to return to your normal fertility, another minor procedure will remove the implant, and its effects will wear off very quickly.
HOW IT MEASURES UP
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Small silicone rods release hormones into the body.
The amount of time it takes to have one placed.
At this stage, it can be left in until you reach the menopause or no longer need birth control.
- Highly effective and can be used for several years after a one-time placement experience.
- No need to remember using it once placed
- Allows spontaneous sex and does not interrupt it.4
- No protection against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- You have to see a doctor or nurse to place and remove it.
- Weight gain, mood changes, and nausea can be experienced by some people.4
- NHS. How effective is contraception at preventing pregnancy? https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/how-effective-contraception/ [Accessed April 2023]. Return to content
- International Planned Parenthood Federation. Myths and facts about implants. https://www.ippf.org/blogs/myths-and-facts-about-implants [Accessed April 2023]. Return to content
- NHS. https://www.kentcht.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Removal-of-a-deep-contraceptive-implant-guidance.pdf [Accessed April 2023]. Return to content
- MSI. The contraceptive implant: everything you need to know. https://www.msichoices.org.uk/news/the-contraceptive-implant-everything-you-need-to-know/ [Accessed April 2023]. Return to content
- SH:24. Implant. https://sh24.org.uk/contraception/implant [Accessed April 2023]. Return to content
- Better Health Channel. Contraception – implants. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/contraception-implants [Accessed APpril 2023]. Return to content
Is It Okay?
It’s totally normal to feel worried about placement pain. Rest assured your doctor or nurse will be able to talk you through the procedure – that way, you can feel more in control by knowing what will happen.