Family PACT

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All about the Contraceptive Implant

The Contraceptive Implant is a small plastic tube
containing a hormone placed under the skin of the
upper arm to keep you from getting pregnant for 3

You must go to a health care provider to get the Implant put in.
The implant releases the right amount of hormone into your body
to keep you from getting pregnant.

Department of Health Care Services Family PACT logo
Contraceptive Implant

The Contraceptive Implant is about 1¾ inches long.

How does the Implant work?

The Implant has a hormone called etonogestrel that
keeps the woman's eggs from leaving her ovaries.
It also thickens the cervical mucus at the opening of
the uterus so the man's sperm cannot get inside.

How welldoes the Implant work?

The Implant works very well to prevent pregnancy.
Fewer than 1 in 100 women who use the Implant for
a year will get pregnant.

What do some women like about it?

  • It lasts for 3 years.
  • You don't have to think about birth control.
  • There are no pills to take every day.
  • No one can tell if you are using it.
  • It is a good method if you have to avoid estrogen.
  • It makes periods less painful.

What do some women dislike?

  • The Implant will cause changes in your period.
  • The Implant may cause other side effects like
    headaches or acne. However, these rarely occur.    
  • It must be put in and taken out by a clinician.
  • You can feel the Implant when you press on your
    arm where it was placed.
  • You may have a tiny scar on your arm where it
    was put in.
Implant placed under the arm

The Implant is placed under the skin in the
woman's upper arm.

How do I get an Implant?

You must go to a specially trained health care provider. In the office, the clinician can put the
Implant under the skin of your upper arm. Your Family PACT provider will help you decide the         
best time to have it put in.

The Implant lasts for 3 years. You must go back to your provider at the end of the 3 years
to have the Implant removed and replaced with a new one or switch to another birth control  
method. You can ask to have the Implant removed at any time and for any reason.

How is the implant put in?

  • It usually takes less than a minute to
    put the Implant in place.
  • First, the skin is cleaned.
  • Next, the spot where the Implant will
    be put in is numbed.
  • Using a special inserter, the Implant is   
    placed just under the skin.

How is the Implant taken out?

  • It takes less than 5 minutes to take the
    Implant out.
  • First, the skin over the Implant is cleaned
    and numbed.
  • Next, a small cut is made and the Implant
    is taken out.
  • If you want to keep using the Implant, a new     
    one can be put in through the same cut. 
    same cut.

You can ask your provider to take the
Implant out at any time. It must be taken
out after 3 years because it will no longer
be working.

What about the side effects?

All women who use the Implant have a
change in their periods.
There is no way
to tell what kind of change in your period
you will have until the Implant is put in.

  • You will not know when your period
    will start.
  • You may have spotting between
  • You may have longer or shorter

Because of these menstrual changes, you
should keep a pad with you.

Other uncommon side effects include acne,
headaches, weight gain, breast pain, and
mood changes. 

Are there any problems when the
Implant is put in or taken out?

Most women don't have problems when
the Implant is put in or taken out.

Some women feel tugging or pressure when
the Implant is put in or taken out. The spot
where the Implant is put in may be slightly
bruised or sore until it heals.

Rarely, there are other problems. A few
women have had the Implant come out.
There is a small risk of infection where the
Implant was put in or taken out. Very rarely,
the Implant is placed too deeply and tests
must be done to find it before it is removed.

The Implant may not be safe for
some women.

Before choosing the Implant, talk to your
Family PACT provider about any health
problems you may have. For example, if
you have:

  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding.
  • A history of blood clots in your leg or
  • Had breast cancer now or in the past.
  • Liver problems, like hepatitis or cirrhosis.
  • Allergies to anything in the Implant.

The Implant does not protect you from
HIV (the virus that causes AIDS)
and other infections people get from
having sex.

Use condoms (for men or women)
along with the Implant to protect
yourself from these

©2010 Department of Health Care Services, Office of Family Planning. All RightsReserved. Revised 2017                                 
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OF2598 Implant ENG