The contraceptive implant is a small (about 40mm long) plastic rod that is put under the skin in your upper arm. Once the implant is fitted into your arm, it provides protection against pregnancy for 3 years but doesn't protect you against STIs.

How it works

The implant releases the progestogen hormone which is also found in the Combined Pill and the Progestogen Only Pill. The hormone stops ovulation (release of an egg) and thickens the mucus around the cervix which makes it difficult for the sperm to enter the womb.

The implant is more than 99% effective against pregnancy but it doesn't protect against STIs so always use a condom!

How to get an implant fitted

A trained professional such as a doctor or nurse will need to insert the implant into your upper arm. They will use a local anaesthetic injection to numb this part of the arm as they will need to make a tiny cut in your arm to insert the implant. The procedure should take no longer than a few minutes and there will be no need for any stitches.

The implant can be removed at any time before the 3 years are up but it is important to understand that once the implant is removed, you can get pregnant easily so you will need to use an alternative method of contraception to protect against an unwanted pregnancy.

Long acting reversible contraception (LARCs)

There are many long acting reversible contraception methods that can be used as a form of contraception (e.g. implant, injection and the IUD/IUS). The main differences between these methods and other methods of contraception are that they are long-lasting, easily reversed and you don't have to remember to take it every day.

All LARC methods are suitable for women of all ages. Other types of LARCs include: