The main advantages of the contraceptive implant are:
- it works for three years
- the implant does not interrupt sex
- it is an option if you cannot use oestrogen-based contraception, such as the combined contraceptive pill, contraceptive patch or vaginal ring
- you do not have to remember to take a pill every day
- the implant is safe to use while you are breastfeeding
- your fertility should return to normal as soon as the implant is removed
- implants offer some protection against pelvic inflammatory disease (the mucus from the cervix may stop bacteria entering the womb) and may also give some protection against cancer of the womb
- the implant may reduce heavy periods or painful periods after the first year of use
- after the contraceptive implant has been inserted, you should be able to carry out normal activities
Using a contraceptive implant may have some disadvantages, which you should consider carefully before deciding on the right method of contraception for you. These include:
Your periods may change significantly while using a contraceptive implant. Around 20% of women using the implant will have no bleeding, and almost 50% will have infrequent or prolonged bleeding. Bleeding patterns are likely to remain irregular, although they may settle down after the first year.
Although these changes are not harmful, they may not be acceptable for some women. Your GP may be able to help by providing additional medication if you have prolonged bleeding.
Other side effects that some women report are:
- breast tenderness
- changes in mood
- loss of sex drive
These side effects usually stop after the first few months. If you have prolonged or severe headaches or other side effects, please contact your GP at 3fivetwo.