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Contraceptive implant

About the implant

A contraceptive implant is a small, flexible rod that’s placed just under your skin in your upper arm and is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. Once in place, you don't have to think about contraception for three years.

The implant can be useful for women who might forget to take the contraceptive pill every day and for those who can't use contraception that contains oestrogen. Some medications can make the implant less effective, so make sure you tell your doctor or nurse about any medication you take.

In the first year after the implant is fitted, your periods will probably change. Most women will experience some irregular bleeding, or their periods will stop completely. Some women will have periods that last longer. Bleeding problems may be a nuisance but are not harmful and often settle down after the first year.

If you do have any bleeding problems medication or additional hormones can help control it. You may also be advised to book an appointment to check that the bleeding isn’t due to other causes, such as an infection.

The implant does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). By using condoms as well as the implant, you'll help to protect yourself against STIs.

The implant can be put in at any time during your menstrual cycle, as long as you and your nurse/doctor are reasonably sure you are not pregnant. If the implant is not working for you, it can be removed by one of our trained doctors or nurses (by appointment only). Once you have the implant removed your natural fertility will return very quickly. 

Where you can get the contraceptive implant

If you think the implant is the right contraception choice, you can:

  • make an appointment online to come into one of our clinics to have your implant fitted
  • visit any of our walk-in and wait clinics.

If you need to bring your child/children with you to your appointment, we recommend you bring another adult with you to care for them.

*Our walk-in and wait clinics offer limited slots and operate on a first come first served basis. When clinics are at full capacity, patients asking to be seen will be triaged and those who fit our urgent criteria will be a priority. At busy times we may need to signpost non-urgent cases to other clinics or recommend patients make an appointment for an alternative day or suggest a return visit.

More information

Visit NHS Choices - Contraceptive implant


Last updated: 29/11/2022