Contraceptive implant

Pregnancy prevention for 3 to 5 years, remove at any time


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An effective long-acting, reversible contraceptive

The contraceptive implant is a small, plastic rod (or sometimes 2 rods) that is put into the upper arm, preventing pregnancy for 3 to 5 years.

The implant is a long-term method of contraception. Long-acting methods of contraception all have the advantage that, once in place, you don’t need to think about them until they need replacing and none of them interrupt sex. They’ve also been shown to be 20 times more effective than short term contraceptive methods such as the pill.


Over 99%. If one hundred women used the implant for a year, then 99 women would not fall pregnant during that time.


Implants are available at all of our Centres and outreach teams

Implant advantages

Implants offer numerous advantages as a long-acting, reversible method of contraception

  • Easily inserted by a trained Marie Stopes provider
  • It can last up to 5 years
  • Can be easily removed
  • Fertility returns rapidly after it is removed
  • It does not interrupt sex.

These benefits come from the correct use of a contraceptive implant when inserted by a trained provider. If using an implant, you should also make sure to follow any product manufacturer instructions.

Things to consider

When deciding if an implant is right for you, here are a few quick facts you should consider:

  • The implant is inserted like an injection
  • Irregular bleeding can occur, but this can often be managed with medication to help it settle down
  • Periods may stop, but this is nothing to worry about
  • It requires a simple procedure to remove it.

Looking for more information about implants?

Try visiting our frequently asked questions.

How an implant works

The contraceptive implant works by slowly releasing a hormone (progestin) in your blood and the hormone stops the body releasing an egg each month. The hormone also makes it harder for the man’s sperm to get into the womb.

Inserting the implant is a simple procedure that takes about five minutes. A trained person inserts the implant into the inside of your upper arm. Your arm is numbed before insertion so it is generally not painful.  Once inserted the implant does not move around your body. It stays where it is inserted. You can feel it under the skin. 

Dependent on when you get the implant inserted, it can take up to seven days for the implant to start working. You can use a condom during this time. It stops working when it is taken out, at which point your normal fertility returns.