How effective is it? Over 99% effective – less than 1 woman per 1000 will get pregnant over three years. It is the most effective form of long term reversible contraception for women.
How does it work? The little flexible rod in your arm releases progesterone (reproductive hormone), which thickens mucus in the cervix to stop sperm reaching the egg, and thins the lining of the womb to prevent implantation.
How long does it last? Works for 3 years but can be removed sooner if necessary. It will need to be changed after 3 years.
How does it affect periods? They may stop, be irregular or last longer than usual.
How does it affect fertility? When removed, fertility will return to normal.
How is it put in and taken out? A doctor or nurse can put in the implant using a needle and remove it by making a small cut and pulling it gently out. Both are done under a local anaesthetic so the arm is numb and you shouldn’t feel any pain. For some people it can still be seen when pressed on, but in many it is not clearly visible. It can be felt in the arm but it doesn't hurt so you get used to it and forget it's there. If there are any problems, or you change your mind, you can always get it taken out.