Contraceptive implant insertion

The contraceptive implant is about the size of a matchstick and is placed under the skin of the inner side of your upper arm.

Please read the information on this page carefully: it's important you understand both the benefits and risks.

Read about the contraceptive implant via Sexwise

Or watch a short video about the implant on Vimeo from our friends at CNWL

How is the implant inserted? 

  • A specially trained Doctor or Nurse will insert the implant.
  • An injection of local anaesthetic is used to numb the skin
  • A special device is used to place the implant under the skin. The wound is dressed and will soon heal just like any other small cut. The dressing needs to stay in place (and dry) for 48 hours.

After implant insertion

  • You may experience a little discomfort once the local anaesthetic wears off. Please take pain relief e,g, Paracetamol as required. You can carry out all normal activities.
  • The area around the implant may be bruised and tender for upto a week. Once it has healed, knocking the implant will not do it, or you, any harm.
  • Itching over the site of insertion can occur. This usually settles within a couple of months of insertion. You can try antihistamines such as Cetrizine or Piriton, available over the counter at a Pharmacy, for itching.
  • If you find pus or bleeding or have intense pain at the insertion site, you could have a skin infection and may need antibiotics. This is very rare. Please contact the clinic [020 3255 0084] if you are worried.
  • When to contact the Contraceptive Service
    • Pus / bleeding at the insertion site
    • Heavy vaginal bleeding
    • Delayed period after long intervals of normal periods
    • Severe lower abdominal pain (ovarian cysts are uncommon)
    • Expulsion of the implant (very rare)

Your appointment

Your appointment has been made for an appropriate time in your menstrual cycle. If your period has not started at the time of your appointment, please telephone 020 3255 0084 to arrange an alternative date. If you are using a method which stops periods you will have been given advice about timing.

We will send a text reminder about your appointment asking you to confirm your attendance. We will follow this with other attempts to reach you (call, text, email), but if you have not confirmed your attendance or re-arranged your time 24 hours prior to the clinic we will give your appointment to another woman.

Your consent

Before the procedure starts, you’ll be asked to sign a consent form.

Only sign the consent form when you’ve spoken to your clinician and you’re happy to proceed.

Your clinician will also sign the same consent form to say they’ve explained the following to you:

  • the intended benefits
  • serious or frequently occurring risks

Your clinician will talk to you about what the procedure involves and they will direct you to information about the procedure.

They will discuss the benefits and risks of appropriate alternative methods of contraception.

Finally, your clinician will answer any questions you have.