Implanon® is a small plastic rod, about the size of a matchstick, which is inserted just under the skin on the inside of a female’s upper arm. The rod slowly releases a female hormone called progesterone into the bloodstream over a period of 3 years. Implanon® won't protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It's a good idea for both partners to have an STI test before having unprotected sex (sex without a condom), even if the girl has Implanon®.
Implanon® works in 3 ways, it:
- 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 stop sperm from reaching 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 – 3 years.
- Easily removed.
- Does not protect against STIs, protection such as condoms must be used.
- Alters the menstrual cycle which causes irregular periods and spotting through the cycle.
Implanon® costs $5–$25 every 3 years plus the cost of insertion by your doctor.
You can get Implanon® from your doctor or sexual health clinic.