You are about to exit this MSD website.

MSD makes no warranties or representations of any kind as to the accuracy, completeness, reliability or usefulness of any information contained in third party sites and shall have no liability for any loss or damage of any kind that may arise from your use of such content or information.

Inclusion of any third party link does not imply an endorsement or recommendation by MSD.

Some NHS services may not be available during this period due to limitations caused by COVID 19.

GB-NON-02457 | Date of Preparation: April 2020



The contraceptive implant is a small flexible plastic rod that's placed under the skin in your upper arm by your doctor or nurse as a form of birth control. It releases progestogen into your bloodstream, which prevents pregnancy.1


Implant key facts

The implant can be a good choice if you find it difficult to remember to take the pill at the same time every day.1 Unlike some other hormonal contraceptives, it does not contain oestrogen so may be an option if you cannot or do not want to take oestrogen.1

If you decide that you want to have children, the implant can be removed and your fertility should return to normal.1


Fitted under the skin in your upper arm1


One implant stops you getting pregnant for 3 years1


Contains progestogen which prevents pregnancy1

  • Over 99% effective1
  • After having the implant removed, your ability to have a baby will return to your natural level1
  • You may have changes in your periods – they may become irregular, lighter, heavier, longer or even stop altogether1
  • A doctor or nurse needs to put it in and remove it1

The pros and cons listed are not exhaustive. Talk to your doctor or nurse for more information.

Common questions

Who can’t use the implant?

Most people can have the implant but it might not suit you if you have certain medical conditions like liver or heart disease or if you take other medicines.1 Your doctor or nurse will be able to tell you more when you discuss your options. Just remember to mention any medicine you are taking.

How is the implant fitted?

A local anaesthetic is used to numb the area on the inside of your upper arm. The implant is then inserted under your skin – this only takes a few minutes and it feels like having an injection. You won’t need any stitches after your implant has been fitted.1

Can you feel it?

You should be able to feel the implant under your skin but only if you’re looking for it.1

Similar contraceptive types

This contraceptive is a type known as long-acting – for more contraceptives like this, click below


Tell me more


Tell me more


Tell me more

So what do I do now?

Now you have a few options for types of contraception that might be right for you, you should have a chat with a GP/doctor or nurse.


Sexual health clinic

Find and visit a contraception clinic near you for information about your available choices.

Find out more


Pop into your local pharmacy and ask about your options.

Find a pharmacy

GP clinic

Make an appointment with your nurse or doctor so you can chat about what options are best for you.

Find a GP

You may want to download information on your options to help with your discussion.

Download now

PDF - 0.5MB

Reporting of Side Effects: If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the package leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.


  1. NHS contraception guide: Contraceptive implant.
    Available at: (Last accessed May 2019).
  1. Merriam-Webster medical dictionary. Available at: (Last accessed September 2019).

Contraceptive Match is an awareness campaign which has been fully funded and developed by MSD.

Images on this site are for illustrative purposes only.