Contraceptive implant

The contraceptive implant is a small, flexible plastic rod containing the hormone progestogen, which is slowly released over a period of three years.

It works by stopping ovulation, thickening the mucus around the cervix, which makes it harder for sperm to get through, and making the lining of the womb thinner so that a fertilised egg cannot implant.

The implant is about 40mm long (about the size of a matchstick), and is put under the skin in your upper arm by a specially trained health professional (doctor or nurse). Once it is put in, it protects against pregnancy for three years, or until you have it taken out.

You can have contraceptive implants fitted at an Umbrella clinic.

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Did you know, some GPs also fit contraceptive implants? Contact your GP or check our service locator to find out whether they offer this service.

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Not sure which type of contraception is right for you? Worried because you've had sex without a condom? Let us help you choose the right option.

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See the FPA website for a range of downloadable leaflets on contraception and sexually transmitted infections.

View FPA leaflets