ImplanonFAQs

Implanon, also called ‘the bar’ or ‘the rod’, is a form of contraception. A small bar made out of soft plastic is inserted into the upper arm to prevent pregnancy, and lasts for three years.  The bar contains the hormone Etonogestrel, which is similar to the naturally occurring hormone progesterone.

Implanon belongs to a group of contraception options called Long Acting Reversible Contraceptions (LARCs). These are the most effective forms of contraception, are easy to maintain, and are completely reversible.

Implanon does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or blood-borne viruses (BBVs). Practice safer sex by using condoms to reduce the risk of STIs and BBVs.

    What is Implanon?

    Implanon is a 4cm long contraceptive device made out of soft plastic that is inserted under the skin into the upper arm to prevent pregnancy.

    Implanon is impregnated with the hormone Etonogestrel, which is a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone that women make naturally. This hormone is slowly released from the bar into the bloodstream.

    Implanon is the most effective method of contraception available and is effective for three years.

    Why would I use Implanon?

    You can get an Implanon inserted if you are having sex and do not want to get pregnant at the moment.

    There are many advantages to choosing Implanon, including:

    • Implanon is 99.9% effective in preventing pregnancy.
    • Implanon lasts for three years.
    • Once an Implanon has been inserted, you do not need to remember to do anything every day (like you do if you are on the pill).
    • Implanon can be taken out at any time by a specially trained doctor or nurse.
    • Your chance of getting pregnant will go back to normal very soon after Implanon has been taken out.
    • Implanon may make bleeding on your period lighter or less painful, or your periods may stop completely (this is completely safe).
    • Implanon can be affected by some medicines and your doctor can provide advice. Implanon is not affected by infections like gastro.
    • Implanon may help control acne.

    When choosing the method of contraception that best suits you, it can help to talk to a doctor or nurse about your options. Different methods may suit you better at different times in your life. The doctors or nurses at Family Planning Tasmania can give you information about the different benefits and risks of using Implanon, or your regular doctor or nurse may be able to give you advice.

    How effective is Implanon?

    Implanon is one of the most effective methods of contraception available and can stay in place for three years.

    Implanon is more than 99.9% effective at preventing pregnancy.

    Implanon belongs to a group of contraception options called Long Acting Reversible Contraceptions or LARCs (link). These are the most effective forms of contraception, are easy to maintain, and are completely reversible.

    How does Implanon work?

    Implanon stops the body from releasing an egg (ovum) each month. Implanon also makes the fluid at the opening to the uterus thicker, stopping sperm from getting through.

    When choosing the method of contraception that best suits you, it can help to talk to a doctor or nurse about your options. Different methods may suit you better at different times in your life. The doctors or nurses at Family Planning Tasmania can give you information about the different benefits and risks of using Implanon, or your regular doctor or nurse may be able to give you advice.

    How can I access Implanon?

    You can get Implanon inserted at Family Planning Tasmania clinics, some GPs, private gynaecologists, and at the public hospital.

     

    How much does Implanon cost?

    Implanon device costs only $35.00 on a prescription if you have a Medicare card, and for some clients it may be cheaper.

    For clients who do not have a Medicare card, the prescription for the medication will be more expensive.

    Family Planning Tasmania has a clear fee structure with subsidised services for priority populations.

     

    The best idea is to have your initial appointment with Family Planning Tasmania or your regular doctor to ascertain what the price may be for you.

    What could stop Implanon from working properly?

    There are a very small number of medications that can stop Implanon from working properly. Your doctor or nurse will be able to advise you on this in detail.

    Implanon will work without you needing to remember to do anything.

    Implanon is not affected by infections like gastro.

    Can anyone get Implanon?

    Most women can get Implanon, and it is a very popular form of Long Acting Reversible Contraception, however you should always discuss your suitability for contraceptive options with your health provider.

    You may not be eligible for an Implanon if you:

    • Are currently pregnant.
    • Have breast cancer.
    • Have severe liver disease or are using medications that affect the liver.
    • Have undiagnosed abnormal vaginal bleeding.
    • Are taking certain medication.

    Can I get Implanon after I've had a baby?

    It is safe to have an Implanon inserted as soon as you’ve had a baby.  It is safe to breastfeed if you have Implanon.

    When can I have Implanon inserted?

    Implanon can be inserted at any time that we can be sure you are not pregnant, and it will take 7 days to start working as a contraceptive.

     

    As it takes approximately four weeks from conception for a urine pregnancy test to give an accurate result, it may not always be possible to know if you are pregnant at the time Implanon is inserted.

    In this case, Implanon can safely be inserted and it will still take 7 days to start working as a contraceptive. You will then need to have a pregnancy test 4 weeks following the insertion to check that you weren’t already pregnant at the time of insertion.

    If you are pregnant, you can then choose to either continue with the pregnancy and have the Implanon removed or to not continue with the unplanned pregnancy.

    How does Implanon get inserted?

    Implanon needs a small procedure to be fitted/inserted.

    This procedure is carried out by a trained professional in a clinical environment.

    To get an Implanon inserted at Family Planning Tasmania you will usually need to attend two appointments (occasionally a third appointment is required):

    1. We explain the procedure to you, check if Implanon will be suitable for you and get a script
    2. Insertion

    At the insertion appointment:

    1. A local anaesthetic is given to numb the skin.
    2. Implanon is then inserted using a special applicator with no stitches required.
    3. A pressure bandage is applied to reduce the chance of bruising.

     

    How is Implanon removed?

    Never attempt to remove Implanon yourself. Removal should only be undertaken by a health professional who will remove it by applying a local anaesthetic and making a small cut in the skin. Very rarely one stitch may be required.

    It is important to consider future contraceptive needs before you have your Implanon removed, as its contraceptive effects will cease immediately upon removal and your fertility will return to what it was before you got your Implanon. Discuss your options with a health professional.

    Are there any side effects from having Implanon?

    While Implanon may occasionally cause minor health problems, Implanon rarely causes any serious health problems.

    All women will experience a change in their bleeding pattern when they first get Implanon, this often settles within the first three to four months. 20% women will stop having periods completely while they have Implanon. This is completely safe.

    After 3-4 months the bleeding will generally settle into a pattern that will continue for the duration that you use that Implanon.  The following bleeding patterns occur:

    • 20% of women will have persistent bleeding or spotting which lasts beyond the initial 3 month settling in period.
    • 60% of women find their periods stay about the same or get a bit lighter. If you do experience persistent or irregular bleeding,

    If you do experience persistent or irregular bleeding there is medication that can assist with these symptoms.

    Occasionally some women may also experience acne, breast tenderness, moodiness, increased appetite and headaches. Bruising and mild soreness at the site of insertion or removal can also last up to 2 weeks and a small scar will remain.

    If Implanon does not work and you get pregnant, there is no evidence that Implanon will have a negative effect on the pregnancy if you wish to continue with it.

    Please also remember that Implanon does not give protection from Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) or Blood Borne Viruses (BBVs). Using condoms will reduce these risks.

    It is also very important to have Implanon removed after three years as leaving it in place longer than this may increase the risk of an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy in the fallopian tube), and it will not be effective as a contraceptive. It is possible to have another Implanon inserted at the same time one is removed.

    Can Implanon cause serious health problems?

    Implanon may occasionally cause minor health problems such as headaches, acne, and breast tenderness. There is no evidence that Implanon causes any serious health problems.

    When will I have my next period after getting Implanon?

    Most women will experience a change in their bleeding pattern when they first get Implanon, this often settles within the first three to four months.

    Some women may have irregular bleeding, which may be frequent and unpredictable, some women will have persistent bleeding or spotting, and some women will stop having periods completely, and this is completely safe.

    Your cycle will usually return to normal within six weeks of getting Implanon removed, however if you do not want to get pregnant it is important that you use alternative contraception as soon as Implanon is removed as it can be difficult to predict exactly how quickly your fertility may return.

    Do I need a pregnancy test after getting Implanon?

    Implanon can be inserted at any time that pregnancy can be confidently excluded.

    Implanon can be inserted at other times in your cycle.  Talk to your Family Planning Tasmania doctor or nurse for more information.

    If pregnancy cannot be excluded, you may need a pregnancy test four weeks after insertion to rule out pregnancy.

     

    Is Implanon safe if you're breastfeeding?

    It is safe to breastfeed if you have Implanon.

    What happens if I get pregnant while I have Implanon?

    A pregnancy is very rare with an Implanon but if it does occur there is no evidence that Implanon is harmful to a pregnancy.

    If you think you might be pregnant and you have an Implanon you should see your Family Planning Tasmania clinic or doctor immediately.

    Does Implanon protect against STIs?

    Implanon does not protect you from Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) or Blood Borne Viruses (BBVs).

    Using condoms reduces the risk of STIs and BBVs.

    What else should I know?

    It is very important to have Implanon removed after three years. Leaving it in place longer than this may increase the risk of an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy in the fallopian tube), and it will not be effective as a contraceptive. It is possible to have another Implanon inserted at the same time the other one is removed.

    Irregular bleeding is a common side effect and will usually settle down within 3 months. Whatever your bleeding pattern, the implant is still effective. If bleeding is a problem, see your FPT clinic or doctor as there is usually a treatment that will help.

    Where to get more information, support or advice?

    Family Planning Tasmania has clinics in Glenorchy, Launceston, and Burnie.

    Any of our Doctors or Nurses can assist you with information or support about Implanon, or provide support with Emergency Contraception.

    MakeanAppointment
    Glenorchy
    9am-5pm Mon-Fri6273 9117
    Launceston
    9am-5pm Mon-Fri6343 4566
    Burnie
    9am-5pm Mon, Wed, Thurs6431 7692