Implanon® (implants)

Implanon® is a small plastic rod, about the size of a matchstick, which is inserted just under the skin on the inside of a girl's upper arm. The rod slowly releases a female hormone called progesterone into the bloodstream over a period of three years. But Implanon® won't protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It's a good idea that both partners have an STI test before having unprotected sex (sex without a condom), even if the girl has Implanon®.

Implanon® works in three ways:

  • Temporarily prevents ovulation (an egg from being released from the ovaries every month).
  • Temporarily thins the lining of the womb (uterus) to prevent a fertilised egg from attaching to it.
  • Thickens the discharge (juices) from the cervix to help prevent sperm from going into the womb (uterus).

When the rod is inserted correctly by a doctor, Implanon® is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.


  • Convenient - you don't have to remember to take anything.
  • Lasts for a long time - three years.
  • Effective.
  • Easily removed.


  • Does not protect against STIs - protection such as condoms must be used.
  • The menstrual cycle is altered, causing irregular periods and spotting through the cycle.

Implanon® costs $5 - $25 every three years plus the cost of insertion by your doctor.

Get it from your doctor or sexual health clinic.

Other types of contraception

Abstinence Implanon® (implant)
Condoms (female) Intrauterine device (IUD)
Condoms (male) Non-penetrative sex
Contraceptive pills NuvaRing®
Depo Provera® (injections) Withdrawal
Emergency contraception  

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