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Having a contraceptive implant fitted

the contraceptive implant the implant is

a popular method of long-acting

reversible contraception or LARC it's

chosen more and more by women of any age

it's over 99% effective more effective

than condoms or even the pill the

implant is a small flexible plastic rod

it's fitted just under the skin on your

upper arm it works by releasing a tiny

amount of a hormone called progesterone

into the bloodstream the progesterone

stops your body from releasing an egg

each month so preventing pregnancy the

implant is almost invisible under your

skin so nobody else can tell it's been

fitted why do women choose the

contraceptive implant it doesn't get in

the way of sex

unlike condoms once fitted you can

forget about contraception for 3 years

once removed your fertility will return

to whatever is normal for you within

days before the procedure the implant

can be fitted at any point in your cycle

provided there's no chance you could be

pregnant we ask that you don't have

unprotected sex for at least three weeks

before fitting this includes sex when

your method of contraception has passed

its expiry date or using withdrawal or

natural methods of contraception how is

the procedure done it only takes a few

minutes to put the implant in first

you'll meet the clinician who's fitting

your implant will ask you about your

medical history do a pregnancy test if

required an STI test if needed

and answer any questions will numb a

small area of your arm with local

anesthetic which may sting slightly for

a few seconds then we'll slide the

implant under your skin you might feel

some pressure but no pain we'll put a

dressing on your arm to cover the small

cut made by the insertion most

clinicians also apply a pressure bandage

to reduce any bruising after the

procedure most women feel well enough to

leave the clinic straightaway and can

travel home by bus taxi or car you may

like to bring someone with you to take

you home after

the local anesthetic has worn off you

may have some tenderness or swelling

around the implant this can last for a

few days and the area may look bruised

for up to a week or two if the implant

is fitted during the first five days of

your period you're protected from

pregnancy right away otherwise we advise

additional contraception such as condoms

for seven days we'll give you a card

with the expiry date written on it keep

this safe the device can be removed at

any time we recommend you use an

alternative method of contraception

before the removal so there's no gap in

your protection against pregnancy side

effects most women have no problems

around one in ten women notice hormonal

side effects in the first few months

such as headaches breast tenderness

weight gain or spottier skin the side

effects usually settle and they occur

with other progesterone only methods of

contraception we recommend trying to

find the method that's best suited to

you the implant can affect your periods

in three ways but we can't predict your

individual outcome for one in five women

period stop altogether three and five

women have bleeding that is either

infrequent or light but it is acceptable

to them and they are happy with the

device however one in five women have

bleeding that is prolonged or frequent

if this happens we might suggest you

take the contraceptive pill in addition

to the implant for a few months

risks very rarely your arm can become

infected we'll provide you with full

wound care instructions it's safe to use

the implant while breastfeeding it

shouldn't affect how much milk you

produce and it won't harm your baby

in fact the implant is a great method to

use if you're breastfeeding and you

don't want to get pregnant importantly

the implant does not protect you against

sexually transmitted infections

we recommend using condoms until both

you and your partner have both had an

STI screen questions or concerns if

you'd like to see or chat to a member of

staff about any part of this video

please get in touch