The contraceptive implant is a highly effective, easy to hide contraceptive for 3 to 5 years. About same size as a matchstick, the implant is placed just below the skin of your upper arm where it constantly releases the hormone progestin in small doses from a reservoir into your blood stream. The hormone keeps your ovaries from releasing eggs but also thickens your cervical mucus making it hard for sperm to move around in the womb and fertilize an egg.

How to use it?

Once you’ve decided, after the counseling by your healthcare provider, that the contraceptive implant is the method for you, your healthcare provider will make sure that you are not pregnant and the implant can be inserted. After local anesthesia, a well-trained healthcare provider will numb a small area of your inner upper arm and insert the implant just underneath the surface with a special needle. Once the placement is finalized, there is little or nothing left to do or remember. The implant releases small amounts of hormones into your blood over the course of up to 3 or 5 years, depending on the type. It is suitable for women who want highly effective long-acting reversible contraception and wish to avoid a daily, weekly or monthly regimen. It can be removed at any time with minor surgery by a well-trained healthcare provider. Once the implant is removed, the contraceptive effect wears off quickly and you can become pregnant as rapidly as women who have used no contraceptive at all.

Questions? Ask the Lydia Contact Centre

Pros and Cons

  • Pros

    • At 99.95%, it’s the most effective contraceptive method available
    • Suitable for women who want long-acting reversible contraception for up to 3 or 5 years and wish to avoid daily, weekly or monthly regimen
    • It doesn’t interrupt sex
    • It can offer an alternative to those affected by the hormone estrogen
    • It can be used when breastfeeding six weeks after childbirth
    • It may reduce heavy and painful periods for some women

  • Cons

    • It requires a trained healthcare provider for insertion and removal
    • It may initially cause a change in bleeding patterns (irregular, spotting or stopping of bleeding altogether)
    • It may cause weight gain, breast and abdominal pain
    • Does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)