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Contraceptive Implant

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Procedure price from £277

The contraceptive implant is one method to help prevent an unplanned pregnancy. 

The contraceptive implant is a small flexible tube about 40mm long that's inserted under the skin of your upper arm. At Kingsbridge Private Hospital our experienced GPs can perform this quick and simple procedure. Once inserted the implant offers contraceptive cover for around three years.  

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How does the Contraceptive Implant work?

The implant stops the release of an egg from the ovary by slowly releasing progestogen into your body. Progestogen thickens the cervical mucus and thins the womb lining. This makes it harder for sperm to move through your cervix, and less likely for your womb to accept a fertilised egg. 

The continuous release of progestogen:

  • stops a woman releasing an egg every month (ovulation) 
  • thickens the mucus from the cervix (entrance to the womb), making it difficult for sperm to pass through to the womb and reach an unfertilised egg
  • makes the lining of the womb thinner so that it is unable to support a fertilised egg

What you need to know

  • If implanted correctly, the implant is more than 99% effective. Fewer than one woman in 1,000 who use the implant as contraception will get pregnant in one year.
  • It's very useful for women who know they don't want to get pregnant for a while. Once the implant is in place, you don't have to think about contraception for three years. 
  • It can be useful for women who can't use contraception that contains oestrogen. 
  • It's very useful for women who find it difficult to take a pill at the same time every day. 
  • If you have side effects, the implant can be taken out. You can have the implant removed at any time, and your natural fertility will return very quickly.
  • When it's first put in, you may feel some bruising, tenderness or swelling around the implant. 
  • In the first year after the implant is fitted, your periods may become irregular, lighter, heavier or longer. This usually settles down after the first year. 
  • A common side effect of the implant is that your periods stop (amenorrhoea). It's not harmful, but you may want to consider this before deciding to have an implant. 
  • Some medications can make the implant less effective, and additional contraceptive precautions need to be followed when you are taking these medications.
  • The implant does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). By using condoms as well as the implant, you'll help to protect yourself against STIs. 

How long does it take for the implant to work?

If the implant is fitted during the first five days of your menstrual cycle, you will be immediately protected against becoming pregnant. If it is fitted on any other day of your menstrual cycle, you will not be protected against pregnancy for up to seven days, and should use another method, such as condoms.   


How long does it take for the implant to work after giving birth?

The contraceptive implant can be fitted after you have given birth, usually after three weeks:

  • If it is fitted on or before day 21 after the birth, you will be immediately protected against becoming pregnant. 
  • If it is fitted after day 21, you will need to use additional contraception, such as condoms, for the following seven days.

It is safe to use the implant while you are breastfeeding. 


Can the implant be used after miscarriage or abortion?

The implant can be fitted immediately after a miscarriage or an abortion, and you will be protected against pregnancy straight away. 


Who can use the implant?

Most women can be fitted with the contraceptive implant. It may not be suitable if you:

  • think you might be pregnant
  • want to keep having regular periods 
  • have bleeding in between periods or after sex
  • have arterial disease or a history of heart disease or stroke
  • have a blood clot in a blood vessel (thrombosis)
  • have liver disease 
  • have migraines
  • have breast cancer or have had it in the past
  • have diabetes with complications
  • have cirrhosis or liver tumours
  • are at risk of osteoporosis   

Advantages and disadvantages of the implant

The main advantages of the contraceptive implant are:

  • it works for three years
  • the implant does not interrupt sex
  • it is an option if you cannot use oestrogen-based contraception, such as the combined contraceptive pill, contraceptive patch or vaginal ring
  • you do not have to remember to take a pill every day
  • the implant is safe to use while you are breastfeeding
  • your fertility should return to normal as soon as the implant is removed
  • implants offer some protection against pelvic inflammatory disease (the mucus from the cervix may stop bacteria entering the womb) and may also give some protection against cancer of the womb
  • the implant may reduce heavy periods or painful periods after the first year of use
  • after the contraceptive implant has been inserted, you should be able to carry out normal activities

Using a contraceptive implant may have some disadvantages, which you should consider carefully before deciding on the right method of contraception for you. These include:  

  • Disrupted periods

Your periods may change significantly while using a contraceptive implant. Around 20% of women using the implant will have no bleeding, and almost 50% will have infrequent or prolonged bleeding. Bleeding patterns are likely to remain irregular, although they may settle down after the first year.

Although these changes are not harmful, they may not be acceptable for some women. Your GP may be able to help by providing additional medication if you have prolonged bleeding.

Other side effects that some women report are: 

  • headaches
  • acne
  • nausea
  • breast tenderness
  • changes in mood
  • loss of sex drive 

These side effects usually stop after the first few months. If you have prolonged or severe headaches or other side effects, please contact your GP at Kingsbridge Private Hospital .

If you would like to book an appointment or require further information on the available options, please do not hesitate to contact our private patient booking team via our online enquiry form.

Alternatively, email Kingsbridge Private Hospital

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Treatment Locations

Kingsbridge MRI, CT and Outpatients Centre

801 Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7GX

Healthcare Professionals & Consultants

Dr Lisa Neligan

General Practitioner

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Patient Testimonials

"I had surgery here at the weekend and I can't recommend this place highly enough. They took great care of me and kept me at ease throughout my stay. The staff were brilliant, really friendly and chatted away and the food was top class. This hospital was better than any hotel I wonder could I book a weekend away in it when I fully recover?" Mr McGinnity, Kingsbridge Patient
"EXCELLENT - Had surgery today under the very caring Dr Stewart and her team. I cannot thank her enough for all she’s done for me over the past few months. Everything was explained to me in detail and all my care was considerate, professional and compassionate. Everyone I’ve met today has been beyond kind from Will the Anaesthetist, the Nurses and theatre staff, the catering staff - there has been no exception. Thank you all for taking care of me so well today - look forward to getting home tomorrow x" Mrs McAleavey, Kingsbridge Patient
"Hospital spotless and clean.   Staff were so caring couldn’t do enough for me and made sure I was comfortable. Give the place 10 out of 10. Had surgery yesterday and treatment was first class" Ms Demirtas, Kingsbridge Patient
"Their service was excellent and convenient location!" Ms Kneale, Kingsbridge Patient
"Just received surgery at this hospital and I couldn't have been made to feel any more comfortable from the minute I stepped in until the minute I left. All the staff are wonderful and so friendly I will highly recommend this hospital to everyone" Ms McGivern, Kingsbridge Patient
"Had eye surgery here twice for cataracts and lens replacement. Super smooth service from start to finish. Very happy" Ms Jones, Kingsbridge Patient
"As hospitals go this one is pretty amazing! Had surgery with Mr Molloy at the end of October and have another one the end of this month. Mr Molloy is a gentleman who puts you at ease right away and ensured my last procedure went smoothly! From start to finish all the hospital staff go above and beyond to make your stay as comfortable and stress free as possible. The facilities are brilliant with the rooms spacious and modern to recover in. Keep up the good work!" Ms Roulston, Kingsbridge Patient
"My mother had a total hip replacement surgery. We stayed for three days and were discharged today. Honestly, words can't describe the quality of the job and care they do. The doctors Roger Wilson, Sherman, David, the nurses Susan, Sinead, Siobhan, Andrea, the catering staff who provided customised halal food, and the remaining team whose names I cannot remember were the kindest, nicest, politest, the most caring, professional and pleasant people we have ever come across in healthcare environment. These are true gems and real stars. We are indebted to their treatment.
They are 7 star people. We love you!" Mr Yourish, Kingsbridge Patient
"Great friendly staff the nurses go way and beyond.  The hospital is spotless, and the service is second to none." Ms Croke, Kingsbridge Patient
"Currently just back from recovery on the ward. I have just had ACL reconstructive surgery on my left knee. What can I say? This place is brilliant. I arrived at 8.35am, taken to the ward at 8.45am (my admission time was 9am). Tended to by a lovely Nurse. Dr Roger Wilson spoke to me around 9.45am, in Theatre for 10am, recovery for 11.10am and now currently back on ward. These guys are awesome. From the consultant to anaesthetist to nurses to cater assistants. Absolutely brilliant. Thank you so much. I am so grateful to everyone at Kingsbridge for the service." Mr McNicholl, Kingsbridge Patient
"I just had a total hip replacement done by Mr Molloy.  He made me feel totally at ease (a real gentleman). I had 1st class treatment and as for the staff they couldn’t do enough for me. My experience was excellent from the time I arrived until the day I left for home. Thanks a million to all involved." Miss Bennett, Kingsbridge Patient
"Excellent experience with Kingsbridge Hospital, my dad had a day procedure here recently and not only did he receive fantastic care, but so did myself and my mum. The staff were so understanding and without saying anything could see I was looking after my mum also who has dementia, they went above and beyond to make the time spent waiting on my Dad as pleasant and stress free as possible, I will never forget the extra mile they went to, to support us. Many thanks x" Ms Forde, Kingsbridge Patient
"I have just been discharged from Kingsbridge today after surgery and was in for 3 days. From start to finish my experience was excellent. From catering staff up to senior nurses and doctors they were all fantastic and made my stay a positive experience. As a nurse myself I probably have high expectations of care and I certainly experienced the best of care in Kingsbridge who have staff they should be proud off.  Great teamwork." Ms Armstrong, Kingsbridge Patient
"I recently had my gall bladder removed. All of the staff I had to deal with were excellent and professional. It was the best treatment I have ever received." Ms Burrows, Kingsbridge Patient
"I got my tonsils out yesterday, all the staff were so pleasant and nothing was too much for them. I really did receive one to one care. They just had so much time for me. The food was lovely and the staff from the kitchen where first class. Glad I received my surgery here." Miss Wright, Kingsbridge Patient
"The service and staff are first class.  Had my cataract operation done on the 20th of January and I would like to thank all the staff of this fantastic hospital for giving me my life back.  You are all a credit to your profession.  Excellent service and I would highly recommend you.  Once again thank you so much and I am truly grateful to you all." Mr Doolan, Kingsbridge Patient
"Amazing 5-star hospital.  Have had other surgery here before on my back.
Yesterday's was a neck disc replacement operation.  I would highly recommend this hospital like a hotel manner. Thanks again guys." Mr Phillips, Kingsbridge Patient
"I recently got an MRI scan at Kingsbridge and was very impressed with how simple the process was and how little time I had to wait. The staff were friendly, and it was an all-round pleasant experience." Mr Sharkey, Kingsbridge Patient
"Can’t praise Kingsbridge Private Hospital enough!! I had an operation a couple of weeks ago and I was so well looked after. My surgeon Mr Rashid was fantastic, and the nursing staff was also fabulous. I found they communicated very well to each other, so everyone knew when my meds were due, my allergies etc. They were so kind, so lovely, constantly checked to see how I was i.e. my temperature etc. The food was fabulous and the catering staff very helpful having had an operation were very happy to accommodate ... Thank you to all!" Ms Cheong, Kingsbridge Patient
"Staff very friendly and very efficient. Surgeon and surgery top class. Big thanks to the Nurses for all their care and patience" Mr Howard, Kingsbridge Patient
"I was in your facility yesterday for a day procedure (operation on my left arm). I wanted to write and express how impressed I was with the facilities and more importantly the staff on the Ward.

Everyone was excellent, and I mean excellent, i don't normally write congratulatory e-mails so this is high praise in my view. The Senior nurse was excellent, as was the Theatre nurse and the anaesthetist. Even the assistants that helped with catering and other duties. All came together to form a great impression of the establishment." Jason Carpal Tunnel Surgery, Kingsbridge Patient

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