How safe and effective are hormonal birth control implants like Implanon?

Doctor's Answers (1)

Dr Christopher Ng

"More than 20 years of obstetrics and gynaecology experience"

Implanon NXT is 99% effective as a form of contraception and is meant to be inserted superficially just under the skin on the inner aspect of the upper arm so that it can be felt but not seen. It is literally a "fit-and-forget" form of contraception that lasts for 3 years.

gynaecologist inserting contraceptive implant into woman

Side effects of Implanon

It is safe and has been around for some time but like all hormonal contraceptives, some women may experience side effects (although uncommon) like:

  • headache
  • mood changes
  • breast tenderness
  • bloating

It is not associated with weight gain, however.

After the insertion, some women may experience bruising or discomfort over the insertion site but this is usually temporary. In very rare cases, the Implanon NXT gets inserted too deep or it may be displaced from its original insertion site and may require minor surgery to remove it.

Who should not get Implanon?

Implanon NXT is contraindicated for any women with a previous history of deep vein thrombosis or is at risk of this. Women with renal or liver impairment cannot use Implanon NXT (or any form of hormonal contraception, for that matter).

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