Contraceptive implant

If you are looking for a family planning method that is highly effective and does not require you to keep a regular routine, the contraceptive implant may be a good option. The implant is a thin, flexible, plastic rod (4cmx2mm), about the size of a matchstick, which contains the hormone progestogen. The implant prevents pregnancy by releasing small but constant amounts of the hormone into the body via the bloodstream. The hormone blocks ovulation (the release of eggs from the ovaries) and it also thickens the mucus at the cervix so that sperm cannot get through to meet an egg. The implant lasts for three years, but it is easily reversible if you no longer want it.

The contraceptive implant is a very effective type of contraception (>99.9%). It is more reliable than the contraceptive pill as you won’t need to remember to take a pill at the same time every day. You should not use this contraceptive method if you do not want your periods to change. It does not protect against contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or HIV/AIDS.

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Prices

Prices are based on the minimum cost for each procedure for patients holding a valid Medicare card. Further discounts apply for Healthcare Card holders in many cases. Visit the prices page to understand the factors that influence cost, or contact us to get an exact price based on your personal circumstances.

Contraceptive implants

FROM $100*

* This does not include the cost of the device. Please contact us for a detailed quote. If you would like to have a contraceptive implant removed or replaced, contact us for pricing.

FAQ

A doctor’s prescription is required to obtain a contraceptive implant, from your local GP, sexual health clinic or Marie Stopes Australia clinic. Only a specially trained doctor or nurse should insert the contraceptive implant. To make an appointment for a Marie Stopes contraceptive implant consultation, call 1300 003 707 or enquire online.
At your consultation the doctor will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the implant and assess its suitability as a contraceptive method. Once you have given consent, the doctor will inject a small amount of local anaesthetic under the skin on the inside of your upper arm. When the anaesthetic has taken effect, the doctor will insert the contraceptive implant just under the skin in your arm using a sterile disposable applicator. A dressing will then be applied which should be left in place for 24 hours. The procedure of inserting the implant only takes a few minutes. There may be some bruising, soreness or discomfort around the implant following the insertion, which should last no longer than one week.
Some women are sensitive to the hormones in the implant and may experience acne, headaches, moodiness, weight gain and breast tenderness. These symptoms usually improve over time. If you are concerned about any symptoms you think may be caused by the contraceptive implant, consult your doctor.

There may be some minor scarring after the insertion or removal of the implant, and some women are predisposed to develop a thicker scar. A larger scar is likely if the implant is difficult to remove. On rare occasions the implant may move from its original position, which may complicate removal.

Most women will experience a change in their periods after the insertion of the contraceptive implant. These changes can include: periods ceasing (in around 20% of women); periods regular but lighter and less painful; intermittent bleeding in between periods; heavier, longer or more painful periods. While unusual bleeding often settles down within three months, around 20% of women will continue to have frequent, irregular or prolonged bleeding patterns. In this case, you might choose to have the implant removed.
If the contraceptive implant is inserted within the first five days of the menstrual cycle (where day one is the first day of your period), then it is effective immediately. If it is inserted at another time during your menstrual cycle, another type of contraception (such as condoms) should be used for the next seven days to avoid unplanned pregnancy. Your doctor will discuss with you the best time to have the implant inserted and will also ensure you are not already pregnant.
The implant is a good type of contraception for women who want a long-term, reversible, convenient family planning method, as each implant lasts up to three years. For this reason, it is a very cost effective contraceptive method.

The implant must be removed and/or replaced after three years. If you leave it in place beyond three years you will not be protected from pregnancy and you may increase your risk of ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus). Your doctor will give you a card that records the date that your implant must be removed and/or replaced, but ultimately it is your responsibility to make an appointment to visit your doctor.

The contraceptive implant can be easily removed by a doctor, which makes it an easily reversible contraceptive method. Most women return to a normal menstrual cycle and previous fertility within a month of the implant being removed. If you do not want to get pregnant, you need to use another form of contraception as soon as the device is removed.
A doctor removes the contraceptive implant in a simple procedure which only takes a few minutes. Local anaesthetic is injected into the area around the end of the implant and a tiny incision is then made in the skin, through which the implant is removed. Stitches are rarely required. Although the implant rarely moves, if it has moved from its original position it could make removal more difficult. A dressing is then applied and should be left in place for 24 hours.
The implant is considered to be safe to use during breastfeeding from delivery.

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