What is the implant? The implant is a thin plastic tube about the size of a paper matchstick. It is inserted under the skin of your upper arm.
How does it work? It prevents pregnancy by releasing a small amount of progestin (a hormone). It prevents pregnancy for up to 3 years. After 3 years, you can get a new implant if you want one. (You can remove it at any time if you don't like it.)
How well does it work? The implant works better than the pill, the patch, the ring, and the shot. It prevents pregnancy in 99% of women who use it.
Is it safe? Yes.
How is it inserted? After numbing your skin, a medical provider inserts the implant under the skin of your upper arm. This takes a few minutes. It is done in the office or clinic.
How is it removed? A medical provider numbs your skin and makes a small cut to remove the implant. This takes a few minutes. The implant can be removed at any time if you don't like it or want to become pregnant. It is removed in the office or clinic.
What are the benefits? The implant is safe, effective, and easy to use. Once you have it, it works on its own - you don't have to do anything. You can use it while breastfeeding. It's great for many women who can't use birth control pills, patch, or ring.
What are the side effects? The implant causes periods to change. Most women have off-and-on spotting. Spotting may last until the implant is removed. A few women have:
• mood changes
• weight gain
• headache
• acne
• skin changes in the upper arm.
Most side effects go away when the implant is removed.
Can people see it? Most people can't see it, but you can feel it if you touch the skin over the implant.
How much does it cost? Insertion costs $400-800, and removal costs $75-150. Most insurance plans cover the implant.
Does it protect against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections? No, it does NOT protect you from sexually transmitted infections. Unless you and your partner have sex only with each other, you should use a condom every time you have sex (even with the implant in place).
Is it easy to get pregnant after the implant is removed? Most women get pregnant quickly after a medical provider removes the implant.